This book is simply superb for learning about the muscles of the human body and how these are activated while the body is in motion! Overall, Strength Training Anatomy explains how the human body works while performing certain weight training exercises. The human body is drawn without the skin (especially for the muscles that are being exercised in each exercise, which are colored in red) and although this book was not really made “for the artist”, the drawings are extremely good, and it can be a great reference material for your characters. Moreover, if you actually create superhero comics, this book will be more than useful to you when your hero is under pressure (while holding an entire house above his head) or when he/she is trying to protect a civilian or a loved one from the villain (while using his/her skills and movements that are putting pressure in their entire body). Greatly recommended for understanding how the muscles work!
Dynamic Figure Drawing
This book skips all the unnecessary chit-chat and goes right into the information you’re looking for. Through a variety of stylistic illustrations which are all accompanied by Burne Hogarth’s notes, one can learn through seeing dynamic figures in various ways and also understand the anatomical details when the body’s moving. A great book if you want to create dynamic illustrations that will take the viewer’s breath away.
Figure Drawing for All It's Worth
The fact that this book is written by Andrew Loomis is enough to prepare you for a ride! In “Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth” Andrew Loomis explains… everything there is about drawing! From simple (and quite comical) instructions on how perspective works, to bone and muscle anatomy, to figure drawing, to foreshortening, to shadows and light and even more than that…! This book is an absolute must for both beginners and more advanced artists, since Loomis’s books and illustrations can always inspire and reveal anatomical/structural tips that we tend to overlook.
Figure Drawing: Design and Invention
This is one of the best books I've come across when it comes to figure drawing and the muscles.
Although there isn't much knowledge in it on how to build the skeleton (which is the first step, before diving into the muscles and the skin), there are other great books for that purpose, such as Atlas of Human Anatomy. Overall, when it comes to figure drawing and the muscles, this book is very detailed and beautifully illustrated.
Animal Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form
This is a great book for drawing animals as it gets to the bottom on how to draw the skeleton of the animal and the muscles above it! There may not be information about drawing the skin or fur, but just like with drawing humans, an understanding of the skeleton structure and of anatomy is essential before learning how to draw the skin and wrinkles. This book covers a vast variety of animals, even of certain birds and from wild animals to our everyday friends of dogs and cats.
How to Draw: Getting Started
This book is absolutely amazing for the simple reason that it covers everything about creating a comic. This is actually a compilation of the best ‘how-to’ segments from the now defunct Wizard Magazine, so be warned that each artist can have their own unique style (so you won’t be reading information coming from the same mouth, with the same art style). There is information about drawing, some in-depth information about perspective and some anatomy (yet, because of its variety of subjects in just over 255 pages, this book is not the best for learning detailed anatomy), facial expressions and drawing characters of different ages, among others! There is also information about character creation, body language, movement and action, drawing costumes and anything else you could possibly need for your action-packed comic (there is even information in drawing energy effects)! Information about a page’s (panels) layout, to texture and inking, this book is really chocked-full of information and tips for any comic creator out there!
The Artist's Complete Guide to Facial Expression
This book has all the essential information you will need in order to put a smile (or a frown) on your characters! From the anatomy of the skull, to each individual muscle of the face, from detailed drawings of the eyes, mouth, eyes and so forth, to shot-by-shot drawings of a person going from serious to happy (smiling) or angry/sad (frowning), this book is invaluable for learning how to properly draw expressions. The book covers (among others) in great detail the six basic facial expressions: sadness, anger, joy, fear, disgust and surprise.
The Art of Drawing People
This book is simply amazing for learning how to draw people – and even more so to create portraits! The information written in it varies from the anatomy of the human body, to perspective and foreshortening, and of course to the basics of depicting realistic hair/facial hair, eyes, mouth, drawing different sexes and ages, and so forth. Written with simple words and combined with many drawings, this book is easy to read and really useful if you want to learn the art of drawing people!
Anatomy for the Artist
“Anatomy for the Artist” by Sarah Simbet has a vast variety of photographs you can use as a resource for your own artistic needs. With images of the skeleton and the muscles above it, and even more photographs of people standing (or sitting, or lying down) in various poses, this book is excellent for understanding how muscles work beneath the skin and the differences between male and female bodies.
Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist
If I were to choose the FIRST book one should buy when learning anatomy, this book would be it!
Learning the structure and the proportions of the skeleton can be a tedious business for most, yet it is a fundamental step for creating anatomically good characters. It doesn’t matter if you draw anime or cartoon-style; learning what’s under the skin is a must!
This book has great illustrations of the skeleton, along with small entertaining yet memorable drawing associations for most of the bones of the body; how could you ever forget the sternum’s shape if you associate it with a sword?