Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Treatise on Muscular Action

I found a copy of this 1794 book, A Treatise on Muscular Action. This was a pioneering work on exercise. Apparently the author, John Pugh, invented apparatus for strengthening the muscles. The book doesn't illustrate the apparatus but it is mentioned in the testimonials at the beginning of the book.

What it does illustrate in elaborate detail, with engravings by Thomas Kirk, is the structure of muscles under tension and the grouping of muscles working with and against each other.

It is these engravings that are interesting to artists both interested in figure drawing and in action comics or animation.

You can see more illustrations from the book which is available as an ebook at
The illustrations compare favorably to the work of such artists as Burne Hogarth, who has an equally strong line and way of illustrating groups of muscles in action.

A treatise on the science of muscular action. By John Pugh, anatomist.
Text at A treatise on the science of muscular action. By John Pugh, anatomist.

Used copies of A Treatise on the Science of Muscular Action at

Dynamic Figure Drawing Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded Edition
Dynamic Figure Drawing
Dynamic Anatomy: Revised and Expanded Edition

Monday, May 5, 2008

More links about Perspective Drawing

I came across this web page: Spherical Perspective by Rob Adams. It explains why the traditional linear rules of perspective are not sufficient to describe the way we really see things, especially the way we see things in panoramic view.

The site reminded me of the work of one of my teachers, Rackstraw Downes.  Here's a site with a number of examples of his work: Simplistic Art - The works of Rackstraw Downes. You can get a book of Rackstraw's work:  Rackstraw Downes by Sanford Schwartz, Robert Storr, Rackstraw Downes.

Finally, I came across examples from an old book on  perspective drawing: "PRACTICAL PERSPECTIVE - or Perspective made Easie" published in 1670 by Joseph Moxon. Here are two  examples from the
 book plus an interesting pop-up illustrating the observer looking though the picture plane  which is illustrated in so many ways in Traite de Perspective a l'usage des Artistes.

Find a copy of Practical Perspective at .

Enter the search term "Perspective made Easie."
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