The Figurative Artist’s Handbook

Robert Zeller, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook (2017) (c) Robert Zeller 2016

The long wait is just about over, and renowned artist Robert Zeller can barely wait to release his contemporary guide to figure drawing, painting, and composition. When does it hit the shelves?

Fine Art Connoisseur’s Editor-in-Chief, Peter Trippi, perhaps said it best when he described Robert Zeller’s forthcoming book The Figurative Artist’s Handbook as “a milestone.” Continuing, Trippi said, “Obviously a labor of love, it also marks the opening of the next chapter in the rebirth of figuration in America today.”

How exciting! And the wait is almost over. Hitting the shelves in March 2017, Zeller’s contemporary guide to figure drawing, painting, and composition is being met with great anticipation. Via the artist’s webpage: “At a time when renewed interest in figurative art is surging throughout the art world, author Robert Zeller and the Monacelli Press present The Figurative Artist’s Handbook—the first comprehensive guide to figure drawing, painting and composition to appear in decades.

Elizabeth Zanzinger, (c) Elizabeth Zanzinger 2016
Elizabeth Zanzinger, (c) Elizabeth Zanzinger 2016

“Illustrated with Zeller’s own exquisite drawings and paintings as well as works by nearly 100 historical and contemporary figurative art masters, the book includes some of the finest figurative art of the past and the present day. Some of those included are Michelangelo, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Gustav Klimt, Edward Hopper, Andrew Loomis, Andrew Wyeth, Lucian Freud, Odd Nerdrum, Eric Fischl, Bo Bartlett, Steven Assael, John Currin, and many others.

Daniel Sprick, (c) Daniel Sprick 2016
Daniel Sprick, (c) Daniel Sprick 2016

“Original and thoroughly modern in approach, Zeller’s method of teaching synthesizes three styles of figure-drawing long thought to be at odds with each other. All three methods underlie contemporary fine-arts practice and education. Zeller combines them into one system to offer a cohesive and complete understanding of the human figure.

Zoey Frank, (c) Zoey Frank 2016
Zoey Frank, (c) Zoey Frank 2016

“Covering all the basics as well as many advanced techniques, The Figurative Artist’s Handbook is aimed at both students and experienced artists. A practical, how-to guide, it provides in-depth step-by-step instruction and—rare among figure-drawing books—features sections on composition, portraiture, studio practice, and painting.

“Chapters on creativity and on using a sketchbook help readers hone their artistic vision and evolve ideas from the initial inspiration to the fully developed work. Also included is an extensive section highlighting the great movements in figurative art throughout history—from ancient Egypt and Greece to the present.”

To learn more, visit Robert Zeller.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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