Friday, July 10, 2009

Perspiration: Anatomy

One of the most recommended books on anatomy is Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life . While admittedly a great book, it can be a bit hard to follow. From Bridgman's chaotic, yet beautiful linear drawings, (made all the more difficult to follow by poor reproduction) to the somewhat erratic presentation of the text (due to the book being little more than a cobbling together of notes from his students) it can be very intimidating to the novice artist. The way I was taught to study Bridgman by Jeff Watts was a three tier process.

First: Read and understand the text as best you can (I like to have Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form close at hand to shed light on anything that is not clear)

Second: Translate and copy Bridgman's drawings into a tonal representation (this forces you to understand what you are drawing rather than just copy his marks)

Third: Find photo reference similar to Bridgmans drawings, and draw from them while trying to identify the shapes you learned from Bridgman. (I was taught to use female bodybuilders, or natural atheletes. So the muscles are clearly defined, without being overblown light steroid enhanced men)


Unknown said...

is the final drawing done in conte or graphite?
(this is a great method of studying, thanks!)

E.M. Gist said...

the final drawing is done in conte.
Thanks I wish I could take credit, but I believe Jeff came up with it.


arnie said...

now that helps, alot. tnaks for sharing the pointers you were taught.

peace out

S. Weasel said...

Heh. You're right -- female body builders have some of the most excellent male physiques. Them, and farm boys.

Nothing is more distracting in a picture than Nautilus gym bodies escaped into the wild.

Imaginary said...

Well this makes alot of sense... Ah man, why didn't i think of the tonal thing earlier? Thanks dude, gonna try this approach out for a while. =)

Candace X. Moore said...

Nice post here, Erik. Very clear. I'm excited about the class this term. Good level of rigor. I'm hoping to actually remember some anatomy this time.

Anonymous said...

amazing :D
if u dont understand what u drawing it will never work, it will be just a copy :P

Andrew said...

This has been a great help, I was looking at Bridgmans books thinking, how am I supposed to copy this and learn from it? Thank-you a lot!