Human Anatomy &
Native American
Research Material
If I had one piece of advice to offer any aspiring artist it would be to research your subject thoroughly. My specialty as a woodcarver is Native American faces and figures. In my shop I have many books and pictures that I have collected over the years. When I carve, even if it is a carving that I have done before, I usually have at least 3 books open and lying close by. I'm not advocating copying by any means, however it never hurts to have some research material around to refresh your memory or to help you learn more than you already knew. The following are 5 of my favorite research books for the type of carving I do.

Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist

by Stephen Rogers Peck
This is a wonderful book for diving deeper into human anatomy. This book is laid out in sections which show you the human form from bones, muscles, surface anatomy, proportion, equilibrium, and locomotion. If you want to carve people, this would be an excellent book for you to have in your library.

Drawing the Head & Figure

by Jack Hamm
This book is almost always laying open somewhere close to my workbench. It has been an invaluable tool for learning proportion. As with many carvers, most of my original works start out as drawings. This book has been like taking a drawing class for me, it seems like I learn something every time I use it.
The Mystic Warriors of the Plains
by Thomas E. Mails
I have heard this book referred to as the bible for Indian carvers, and I would have to mostly agree with that description. This is a large book with many, many drawings by T. E. Mails, depicting the Plains Indian culture. This book is a rich resource for anyone wanting to gain a comprehensive knowledge of Plains Indian dress, hairstyle, weaponry, religion, crafts, and art. Simply a must have book for carving Indians.

Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume

by Josephine Paterek
This book is a great tool for finding information on Native American clothing, hairstyles, headdress, and costume accessories. The author provides comprehensive information on every major tribe of North America. This book is a great way to find out how the Native American looked pre and post European influence.

Atlas of Indians of North America

by Gilbert Legay
This book is filled with full color illustrations of hundreds of Native American tribes in typical costume. This book is divided into regions spanning all of North America. I have found this book especially useful for research before painting my Indians. This is another book that stays open most of the time in my shop.
I hope that you have enjoyed this little look into my research material. I have many, many more, but these are my favorites. One other item I would suggest for those of you interested in carving the human form is a mirror. There is no handier human anatomy tool that I know of than a quick look in the mirror. Look at yourself as a whole library of information on human anatomy.