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Nudes (Illustrators Reference Manuals) by…

Nudes (Illustrators Reference Manuals)

by Peter Hince

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This book takes me back...

I had access to either the first edition or one of the early reprints shortly after leaving art college. I must have had it on perpetual loan for three or four years.
As a cash-strapped student living in a bedsit in Islington, at the time, I relied on the poses in this book heavily as reference material for my fantasy art and comic book (graphic novel) work.

The unique feature for me was that Peter Hence (the Photographer) and his assistant Roberto Bortall appear to have photographed each pose from 24 angles apparently simultaneously (a similar technique would be used some years later in order to capture the frozen action shots for the special effects movie The Matrix).

In actual fact Peter Hence did not have access to such an expensive array of photographic equipment and manages to pull off the illusion using only three cameras and a turntable rotated through 360° - an impressive feat!

As an aspiring comic book artist, I found the multiple angles particularly useful as it enabled me to add a lot more dynamic movement and drama to my stories.

No art book is perfect, and this is the case here:
The images are small. Often standing only four inches tall.
The colour printing (in my Quarto Book version) is very washed out, almost sepia tone. Other publications of this book may vary.
Each image has been meticulously removed from its background and repositioned on the page. Although great care has been taken, I worry that some of the hard edges formed with a scalpel blade can cause minor distortion in the profile of the subjects and it is worth taking special care when enlarging any unintentional defect to your finished work.

One helpful touch is the calibrated bar symbol alongside each page that enables the artist to set the right scale when taking individual models from different photoshoots and assembling them together to create groups using a Grant Enlarger or similar equipment thus accurately rescaling each model correctly rather than using mere guess work.

For all its minor faults, this book remains indispensable to this day, and I am very glad to have been reunited with a copy that I picked up again in a second hand book shop in Swansea recently. ( )
  Sylak | Aug 13, 2017 |
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