Unfortunately the book is very badly done ~~~ the idea was sound but the execution leaves a great deal to be desired.
I own this book as well thought it would be great to have all the material together (I already owned all his individual books) i.e. Constructive Anatomy : Life Drawing : and the Human Machine plus his book on Heads and Features and his Book of a Hundred Hands. I thought it would great to have it all in one book so I bought it without really looking at it.
The editor that put this edition together really had no understanding of the material and really no logically order to anything sometimes the copy really does not go with the pics and there are even some pics printed upside down.
Each of Bridgmans original books had a concept and a reason for being.
Constructive Anatomy his first book is about of course Anatomy
Life Drawing deals with basic principles of drawing and describing from
The Human Machine is more involved with function
Hands and Heads of course speak to those issues
The best way to deal with Bridgman's books are in the order they were written ~~~ Constructive Anatomy and Life Drawing are mandatory studies for anyone serious about the human form.
The Human Machine is good but not as good.
My complete Bridgman has a nice spot on my shelf where it rarely ever moves from, on the other hands I use the originals on a regular basis and have read them several times each and drawn every picture 2 or 3 times as well. Bridgman was Rockwell's Loomis's and Hales teacher and I think between Bridgman, Loomis and Hale you pretty much have the brain trust of figure drawing as it is known in this country (I would throw in William Rimmer)
So my suggestion would be chalk it up as a loss and get the originals.
Nothing is that bad ~~~ they would have been better off to just put them in sequence under one cover ~~~ I think you will fine is useful ~~~ I will just so familiar with the originals and so familiar with the material that I with painfully aware of how little the editors of complete guide understood the material they were dealing with.
You certainly can still learn what you need from the complete guide.
I think Bridgman is a little harder for the beginner anyway, but is it what I teethed on and I highly recommend it ~~~ the most important thing is the diagrams with the insertion points ~ beside to study those until you know them ~ if you know where a muscle starts and where it ends you will be able to draw it ~~~ it is a thousand times more important than memorizing names and they are probably the diagrams in the book most people skip over to copy the drawings ~ copy and analyze the drawings for sure but pay special attention to the diagrams with the little dotted lines that show you the insertion points THEY ARE THE KEY
I've got a copy Bridgeman's complete as well, I've copied all the drawings out of it at least once. I still have a hard time grasping the "wedging" concept though. I keep reading that segment but I still don't understand what exactly he's talking about.
I should write a book just to translate Bridgman ~~~ what wedging is essentially all about is the interlocking of one form into another form usually at opposing angles. The principle is that the muscles of shoulder girdle operate the upper arm and the muscles of the upper arm operate the forearm and the muscles of the forearm operate the hand and fingers and the same thing is true of the whole body.
I call the same principle interlocking and try to explain as gears and pulleys. The beginner has a hard time interlocking one form unit into the next form unit because they think of them as separate units.
It is also often referred to as articulation or joining ~~ it helps to think in terms the muscles of insertion points most muscles originate on one part of the body and insert into another part. Bridgman is just trying to get the artist to emphasis this joining.
Thankyou mentler, your help with the wedging concept has helped me also! Right now I am definitely wishing I had bought all the seperate books rather than go for the cheaper complete guide.
I have actually been working on the pictures of the muscles shown on the face (I am only on page 70 at the moment) are these the ones you meant for insertion points? It seems to me to show where the muscle enters the face and has really helped a lot!
I can see how the muscles in the face change to make the expressions now.. I am thinking of making some studies of people in different expressions and then making drawings of where I think the position of the muslces in the face are for that expression! I hope this will help to remember the muscles.
You also mentioned Bridgman is pretty hard going to start with? I have several other anatomy books - those by Hogarth, Richer, Ryder and Hale. Should I use any of these instead to begin?
Your mention of William Rimmer is interesting - Bridgman references his method of proportion for the figure in his book!
yeah bridgman is hard for me yet..the sketches are awesome to copy..i like then a lot..but there is a lot of stuff to swallow..im going back to loomis..and hogarth on dynamic figure drawing...i still got the barcsay's which i like to..and finally i will study richers..man anatomy is fun and hard..