The Figure in Motion by Thomas Easley was the first book of poses I ever owned, and one of the reasons I fell in love with figure drawing. Leaping, dancing, somersaulting, stretching -- Real live models can't hold these poses for very long. If you're looking for poses that are out of the ordinary, to practice muscles that are working hard and stretching, contracting, straining, then this book is a must-have. It won't waste your time with lengthy descriptions of drawing implements. It assumes you know how to hold a pencil and what you want to do with it, and leaps (ha, pun!) directly into the images. In fact, there's almost no text at all, just pages and pages of unique poses.
Due to the film process of the 1970's and 80's, some of the photos are a bit grainy. Back then, before today's fast digital cameras, snapping an unblurred image of someone in mid-leap could mean you had to put up with some visual artifacts. Personally, I have been using this book for years and have never once been bothered by the grain. The poses are just too energetic for me to resist. The majority of the images are inspiring and extremely useful. However, you will find that a handful of the photos are dark or back lit and won't further your anatomy studies despite being rather gorgeous on their own.
The models are average to thin, mostly female, and all light skinned. The book also includes a few dancing groups, and a number of family-themed images that include young children.
If you're looking for a training manual, this is not it. If you're looking for a book of high-energy poses a real live model couldn't provide you with, this book could be the spice that you're looking for.