19 June 2018

Considering Bridgman's Complete Guide To Drawing From Life

I, very recently, under the aegis of Powell's, acquired Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing From Life to bolster an already-groaning shelf loaded with books on drawing practice and technique.

As an older work, it attracts. George Bridgman was an artist and illustrator who lived from 1865-1943. He was trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and made the practical part of his fame teaching anatomy at the legendary Art Students' League of New York; he's said to have taught thousands of art students the subject, and amongst his more famous students were Will Eisner and Norman Rockwell.

He taught a method of anatomy that involved grouping the large masses into blocks and connecting them with gestural curves and 'wedges' to simplify drawing the human form.

The book itself has remained popular over the years, remaining in print in many editions. It's a meaty book, weighing in at 300 pages and generously laid-out with a legion of simple yet communicative drawings and patiently-worded text.

I've not been all the way through this yet, but it appears to be a worthy reference book for any artist's shelf.

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