Join Date: Dec 2009
Thanked 9 Times in 7 Posts
05-28-2012, 03:29 PM
I'm sure I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I honestly think Bridgman is WAAAAYY overrated. Some people find him useful, but I always find his drawings messy and hard to dissect. I'd recommend Figure Drawing: Design and Invention by Michael Hampton as a starting point, because he uses a more simplified, construction-based approach to anatomy as opposed to textbook anatomy. I'd also suggest any of Glen Vilppu's instructional DVD's. He uses a similar approach, but breaks it down one step at a time. I found it extremely useful to actually see a demonstration of the drawing process, as opposed to just reading about it.
Once you get a firm handle on the basics of drawing the figure (ie proportions, volume, movement, construction, foreshortening, etc), you can move on to a more advanced anatomy text to serve as reference. My personal favourite is Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie Winslow, but there's also Stephen Rogers Peck, Eliot Goldfinger, Joseph Sheppard, David K. Rubins, Daniel Carter and Michael Cortney, etc. Also, any of Gottfried Bammes' books----they're in German, but the illustrations are an amazing source of reference.
Join Date: May 2010
Thanked 55 Times in 48 Posts
05-31-2012, 09:06 PM
First of all: Bridgman was Frazettas teacher and teacher for X other master draughtsmen, which automatically makes him a legend.
Second, Bridgman is not intended for beginners. I personally believe that one could reread and study his "Life drawing" for a lifetime and find new things each time. You should start with this one since it's much more structured than the compilation of his six books. Some of the things he discusses is almost at a philosophical level ("rhythm" for instance).
Third, I know I read an article on how to get more out of Bridgman by adding tone to the studies. I'll see if I can find it...brb...
Ok, here it is. Gist's recommendations on how to study Bridgman
Fourth: You seem to have quite a list of books. Did you mention Jack Hamm? His "Drawing head and figure is clear and logical" (as is all his books really)
Fifth - and most important: If you're a beginner it's probably more important that you DRAW a lot. From life, yourself in a mirror, your own hands, feet, sculptures, copy master paintings, draw from photo, but DRAW something every day. Once you get into that habit you should worry about studying this-or-that.
Try to draw what you want to learn from memory: A leg for instance. Does your drawing look like a leg? If you can't decide start posting your drawings and we'll try to find what's wrong and how to make it better. Look at your own leg. In what way is that different from your drawing? THEN go to the theory books (Bridgman or whatever appeals to you most and look up the theory on leg construction). Copydraw from the book. Copydraw and draw some more. Then see what you learned by drawing a leg. Repeat until happy, then do the same thing with an arm and then every part of the entire body.
Sixth: Start drawing now!
Seventh: Post your drawings here
Best of luck, getting all those books says a lot about your ambition. But don't forget: Draw, draw, draw, read, draw draw, draw, read - not the other way around. Looking forward to following your progress
Here is my own attempt at writing some lessons on how to study Bridgman - if you use Google translate it might be useful:
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