the Figurative Artist's Handbook

Black Star , by Jenny Morgan

Black Star, by Jenny Morgan

The Reviews Are Fantastic

"The book has encyclopedic breadth and analytic depth, and is beautifully illustrated with drawings and paintings, all presenting the body in one or another of many possible positions and situations, all suggesting that we need the mirror of art to insightfully attune to our own bodies."

Donald Kuspit – Art Critic and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History and Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook

"The Figurative Artist’s Handbook... is a very beautiful book to look through, so it may be challenging for those who use it as a handbook to let it get dirty and dog-eared, just like the previous generation did with their [Andrew] Loomis books. But used as intended — both for reference and for inspiration — it will achieve its purpose. As its gorgeous plates tell us, there is a rising group of figurative artists who know the importance of learning “the rules” before they break them, which is precisely the opportunity this book intends to offer its most ambitious readers."
John Seed, Hyperallergic



The book is presently available for $27.19 (32% off the regular price of $40) from these two online retailers:

To pre-order the book from Amazonclick here. 
To pre-order the book from Barnes and Noble, click here. 


You can order a SIGNED and PERSONALIZED copy directly from me for $35 ($30 + $5 domestic shipping.)

For international orders, please email me here, and let me know your address. I'll calculate shipping and get back to you with an adjusted price.
To order a SIGNED copy, click on the button below. 

An alphabetical list of artists included in the book:

Steven Assael * Craig Banholzer * Colleen Barry * Bo Bartlett * David Bell * George Bellows * Kent Bellows * Thomas Hart Benton * Candice Bohannon * François Boucher * George Bridgman * Pieter Brueghel the Elder * Noah Buchanan * Michelangelo Buonarroti * Sherry Camhy * Caravaggio * Aleah Chapin * Gustave Courbet * Lucas Cranach the Elder * John Currin * Jacques-Louis David * George Dawnay * Edgar Degas * Eugène Delacroix * Edwin Dickinson * Carl Dobsky * Michele Doll * Hollis Dunlap * Albrecht Dürer * Randall Exon * Eric Fischl * Zoey Frank * Frank Frazetta * Lucian Freud * Michael Fusco * Ann Gale * David Gluck * Susan Hauptman * Hans Holbein the Younger * Edward Hopper * Sabin Howard * Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres * Christian Johnson * Alexander Kanevsky * David Kassan * Kurt Kauper * Evan Kitson * Gustav Klimt * Käthe Kollwitz * Maria Kreyn * Kristin Künc *Brad Kunkle * Leonardo da Vinci * J. C. Leyendecker * Andrew Loomis * Daniel Maidman * Simone Martini * Masaccio * Master of Guillebert de Mets * Lippo Memmi * Adam Miller * Alyssa Monks * Jenny Morgan * Odd Nerdrum * Ashley Oubré * Guno Park * Maxfield Parrish * Polykleitos * Jacopo Pontormo * Christopher Pugliese * Rembrandt * Julio Reyes * Norman Rockwell * Auguste Rodin * Matt Rota * Peter Paul Rubens * Camie Davis Salaz * David Salle * Egon Schiele * Nelson Shanks * John Sloan * Daniel Sprick * Sharon Sprung * Dan Thompson * Dorian Vallejo * Nicola Verlato * John William Waterhouse * Patricia Watwood * Antoine Watteau * Andrew Wyeth * Jason Bard Yarmosky * Elizabeth Zanzinger * Rob Zeller


An Authoritative, Comprehensive Guide for Contemporary Figurative Artists


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.

Over 300 pages 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.

Now available at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Getty, Mass MOCA and in other major museums throughout the US and internationally, in addition to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and The Strand (NYC).


Jamal,  by Rob Zeller

Jamal, by Rob Zeller

Sketchbook page by Evan Kitson

Sketchbook page by Evan Kitson

“The book brings together three figure-drawing methods - the study of gesture, the structural approach and the atelier method - and synthesizes them to help the artist understand the human figure. Zeller also includes chapters on creativity and on using a sketchbook to take ideas from initial inspiration to a fully developed work…appreciated the book's surprises, including spreads that include not only the finished figurative painting but the preparatory sketches as well.”

Terry Sullivan
Professional Artist's Magazine

"Rob Zeller’s debut book on drawing and painting the human figure promises to be the most definitive on the subject in decades. Simultaneously classical and contemporary in scope, it contains roughly 300 images, how-to diagrams, and information about figurative art movements of the past as well as profiles of some of the greatest practitioners working today... featuring examples of Zeller’s own work and also some of his best contemporary peers, who collectively bring the figurative tradition forward into a new era."  

David Molesky
Juxtapoz Magazine

Sleeping by the Lion Carpet  by Lucian Freud

Sleeping by the Lion Carpet by Lucian Freud

A sample spread from the book on Alla Prima painting.

A sample spread from the book on Alla Prima painting.