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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instructive AND inspiring
I love this book, it's exactly what I was after! There are many relevant and beautifully drawn illustrations, not all of them by the author, Mike Mattesi, but some by his friends/colleagues. Nearly every single page is filled with drawings.

Here's a breakdown of the 6 main chapters:

Chapter 1 Seeing Life - This is pretty much an introduction to the...
Published on 15 Nov 2006 by M. K. Blewuada

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK LET DOWN BY SHODDY PUBLISHING!
A truly great book, full of new material, clearly written and wonderfully illustrated. A book to treasure, and to refer to constantly. But the whole effect has been ruined by the use of cheap perfect binding by Focal Press, part of the Taylor and Francis publishing group so that my new copy is already falling to bits. Somebody ought to tell them that smudges of glue at...
Published 3 months ago by BERNARD CANAVAN


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instructive AND inspiring, 15 Nov 2006
By 
M. K. Blewuada "mouse" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I love this book, it's exactly what I was after! There are many relevant and beautifully drawn illustrations, not all of them by the author, Mike Mattesi, but some by his friends/colleagues. Nearly every single page is filled with drawings.

Here's a breakdown of the 6 main chapters:

Chapter 1 Seeing Life - This is pretty much an introduction to the ideas behind drawing forces - the author explains how to look at a model and focus on drawing the verb/action rather than trying to copy what you see. The theory is good and I saw major differences in my drawings after just this chapter.

Chapter 2 Forceful Form - This chapter is about technical skills involving drawing from varying angles and perspectives. He talks about creating depth in pictures using foreshortening, using overlapping and using tangents.

Chapter 3 Forceful Shape - This chapter is about shapes and silhouettes - how to draw effectively by knowing where to draw curves. This is a bit harder for me to explaing without showing you the illustartions used in the chapter with the authors' descriptions, but I'd say it was how to draw the descriptive nouns of the objects, while also capturing the verbs.

Chapter 4 Clothing - This chapter is one of my favourites. At first the author discusses capturing the texture and weight of the fabric. Later he talks about using clothing in character drawing to enhance the qualities you're trying to convey about them and their pose. I really love the drawings in this chapter.

Chapter 5 On Location, Reportage - This about going out into the big, wide world and drawing the people out there! There are tips on how to observe people and what you should try to capture about them. The author also discusses drawing "moments", relationships between people, and crowds.

Chapter 6 Animals - Mattesi talks about "comparative anatomy", comparing human anatomy to animals', in this case, a dog. The following drawings are of diffrent kinds of animals seen in a zoo (or Natural History museum) with some pointers on what to note in the drawings and useful tips on drawing birds, something I struggled with. This is the shortest chapter, I this book focuses on drawing people.

At the end of every chapter is a list of pointers for that topic. The book closes with some recommended reading, a brief glossary and a very comprehensive index.

A great thing about this book is the way the author writes, he is really passionate about drawing and his enthusiasm is infectious through the pages. The tone is encouraging, and there are little uplifting quotes about art dotted around the book.

I wouldn't say this was a beginners book but you probably don't need to be "classically trained" to use it. I have a completely technical background and I work in the vfx industry. I've never taken any classes or courses, I've only done clay sculpture and casual sketching as a hobby. I'm working towards becoming a 3D character animator and this book has helped me a lot with practice storyboards. It's more of a guide than rigid instructions, the author doesn't give you numbered exercises, he rather mentions things he gets his classes to do and these serve as exercises you can adapt for yourself. I personally find this combined with the pointers, more interesting and helpful, and less daunting than a structured list of instructions.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful for animators and life drawing, 3 April 2009
By 
Parka (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Length:: 0:25 Mins

Here's a very useful book not just for animators, but for anyone who do character drawings. It's called Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators, authored by Michael D. Mattesi.

First of all, this is a book for intermediate and advanced artists. Foundational knowledge of anatomy is required to fully appreciate and follow along with the lessons.

This book is about creating realistic poses for life drawing. Examples show how forces inside the body and outside (gravity or objects) act on the human figure, and how the body reacts to the force.

There are lots of tips and illustrated examples on strong and memorable poses, such as the using of structure and form, overlaps, foreshortening, silhouettes etc. The explanations are clear and simple, even very sketchy illustrated examples bring the point across with very few lines.

While many instructional drawing books teaches how to draw, this book teaches how to think before drawing. Whenever I draw, I always remind myself of the tips to help prevent my characters from being too static.

Additionally, there are also chapters on handling clothing, drawing on location and drawing animals.

There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little masterpiece., 11 Nov 2007
It's a honour to write a review for this book.
It's inspiring and very well written, and the illustrations are of outstanding quality. Mattesi doesn't simple teach you how to give life and power to your drawings (as well as correct common technical mistakes): he makes you change the way you look at reality and drawings.
Whoever you are, whatever your job is (painter, comic artist, illustrator or animator) this book will surprise and help you.
The author holds his readers in great respect and is passionate about his job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for animators!, 1 May 2011
This book is a core text for any artist thats wants to breathe life into their figure drawing. I would highly recommended it to anyone that would like to start taking their artwork seriously and most importantly for those students with an eye towards entering the entertainment industries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 Jun 2011
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Brilliant book, before my drawings were anatomically correct but fairly dull and static. Really helped my figure sketches come to life.

Author makes use of lots of diagrams and uses familiar concepts to make learning the principles of drawing force and easy process.
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5.0 out of 5 stars he said it was useful., 10 July 2014
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I bought this for someone who is an environmental artist and wanted to up their dame on life drawing, he said it was useful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I like this book, 7 April 2014
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I think that this is a very worthwhile addition to the armoury of both those who draw and are drawn.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK LET DOWN BY SHODDY PUBLISHING!, 4 April 2014
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A truly great book, full of new material, clearly written and wonderfully illustrated. A book to treasure, and to refer to constantly. But the whole effect has been ruined by the use of cheap perfect binding by Focal Press, part of the Taylor and Francis publishing group so that my new copy is already falling to bits. Somebody ought to tell them that smudges of glue at the back of a large sheaf of A4 pages - what looks like a new glue-saving technique of only glueing half the sheet to a thin card cover - is not going to be be sufficient for purpose. When i took the book out of its wrapper two pages fell one. I glued them back in with household glue, but now have resorted to holding the whole publication together with a bulldog clip.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, 11 Jan 2014
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I love this book. Lots of tips and ideas on improving your drawing skills. Unfortunately, i haven't had much time to go through it all, but i will highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Got this for my son, 11 Jun 2013
By 
Greg Fox (Kent UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Got this for my son who draws comic book characters etc... he struggled getting the detail of movement in and this book has shown him just how to do it. is art has come on in leaps and bounds since.
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