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Thread: Bridgman's method for the head...

  1. #1
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    Bridgman's method for the head...

    Hi!
    Recently i have bought this book (the reprint of Constructive Anatomy), and since i'm already learning anatomy and memory drawing from this site, i have decided to use this book as a "completion".

    I have read the part about the head because that's where i am at, and frankly i don't get it why Mr. Bridgman uses a box/cube to start drawing the head in his approach..
    I am used to start things by drawing a slight oval shape.
    Overall i just think(from the few pages i have read so far) that this book is a little vague. I find it hard to believe that when an artist needs to draw the human head he will start his construction with boxes etc.
    What do you think?

    Corel.
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  3. #2
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    A box, a circle, oval and a sphere are all used in several books(loomis, bridgeman,...) to start constructing the face.
    Just see what works for you and run with it.
    Some people just prefer to see the head in boxlike forms from which they carve away the excess, some people prefer to see the head as a circle and add the facial features onto it.
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    The head isn't really round or oval. Having people draw it in a box will prevent people from drawing a head like children draw them. To draw the head properly in perspective it's also easier to use a box.
    The construction/understanding of the planes of the head and their influence on light and shadow is also easier when working with flat surfaces instead of curves and round surfaces.
    Both circle and box are methods to help you understand certain aspects.
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    Box is alot easier for me so I can see the planes easier, I'm just a noob however, it has made it easier to distinguish.
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    With a box, you get the direction the mass is facing defined clearly in three dimensions as well as the major planes. It's also very conducive to thinking about symmetry. You can get all this using a sphere or an egg, but without care it won't be as clear as with a box (i.e. a lot of people misplace the centerlines on a sphere turning in space, and then all the subsequent features are skewed).
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    hmm anyway for me starting with an oval and then carving and sculpting the features and overall shape makes it more intuitive, its a lot easier to handle various angles of the head, this is just my opinion. I will try to give the box method a chance though.. :-)

    Corel.
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    This is the answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by dose View Post
    With a box, you get the direction the mass is facing defined clearly in three dimensions as well as the major planes. It's also very conducive to thinking about symmetry. You can get all this using a sphere or an egg, but without care it won't be as clear as with a box (i.e. a lot of people misplace the centerlines on a sphere turning in space, and then all the subsequent features are skewed).
    "Some people just prefer to see the head in boxlike forms from which they carve away the excess, some people prefer to see the head as a circle and add the facial features onto it."

    Carving and modelling can be accomplished with either approach. Just like boxes, spheres can be constructed using planes: by rotating a circular plane. Sketchup is an easy way to see this.


    "Having people draw it in a box will prevent people from drawing a head like children draw them."

    Loomis gives a genius approach in "Fun With A Pencil" that is derived from the way kids draw heads. The circle that kids use is an abstract way of representing an object. The circle could be anything: man, machine, animal, plant, and so on.


    "Both circle and box are methods to help you understand certain aspects."
    "Box is alot easier for me so I can see the planes easier"

    The understanding of surfaces, and the direction of the masses, is inate. Boxes and ovals are just shorthand ways of jotting down pose ideas. Without that inate understanding they're useless.
    Sketchbook

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post

    The understanding of surfaces, and the direction of the masses, is inate. Boxes and ovals are just shorthand ways of jotting down pose ideas. Without that inate understanding they're useless.
    This is a very important point, and thanks for making it. The only thing I would add to this is that the use of box or oval or any combination of both is to do with temperement. The right way is the way that feels the less awkward - later to become 'more fluent' as you gain experience. Thus, when starting out, try both and give each a good shot for a couple of weeks, then you will know, one way will feel a little 'closer' to you over the other.
    From Gegarin's point of view
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    I think that it is best to try both the oval and the box method in order to understand different points and to see what works best for you. I have been using ovals, though I'm going to be starting Bridgman studies soon, so I don't really have a preference yet.
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    It's not either/or. The different approaches are only different in emphasis, not in the underlying concept, which is to get you to think in terms of three-dimensional construction.

    Tristan Elwell
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    It's not either/or. The different approaches are only different in emphasis, not in the underlying concept, which is to get you to think in terms of three-dimensional construction.
    Another good point, and one I should have made clearer; the emphasis an individual places on on one or the other will be the product of temperement. Some will go the whole hog one way, some the other, but most will use them in varying degrees of combination depending on how it suits their needs and feel for the world objects.
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    Bridgman is very vague, but in a good way. His books helped me allot with general shapes, but when he gets specific with faces things fall apart. What he does well is explaining the mechanics of human anatomy. Don't bother with his book on heads though. He is only good for one chapter on that subject (boxes). I also wouldn't recommend his "book of a hundred hands" because 100 poses of the hand doesn't cut it. You just have to learn to draw your own hands (total pain in the ass)

    I wouldn't spend $70 on a dvd. I actually bought a bridgeman book for under a buck on amazon, but the s&h was like $6.

    If you don't like bridgeman try Hogarth.
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    Bridgman's cubes

    I recently picked up Loomis's construction method and it really helped me. Without construction geometry, you are drawing a head like you would draw a landscape or a potato, but a human head has so much internal structure and symmetry that it makes sense to me to use it.

    I would like to add my complaint here about Bridgman's construction method in Heads, Features and Faces. If you already knew where to put the nose, ear, cheekbone and chin and still don't know where to put the eyes, I suppose this is useful. I am unimpressed.

    from page 58:
    1. Number one line is drawn down the face touching the root and base of the nose.
    2. Number two line from the base of the ear at a right angle to number one, with no relation to the face as to where the line crosses.
    3. Number three line is drawn from the cheekbone at its greatest width to the outer border of the chin.
    4. Where two and three intersect, start the fourth line and carry it to the base of the nose.

    -john b
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