How to Study Bridgman – Student Anatomy Critique


Edward did a really nice Bridgman study. Bridgman has an anatomy book or a few that
were compiled by his students and their demonstrations that he did on a wall with a giant stick. So his drawings are very crude but the information
that he teaches us is extremely useful. You just have to know how to study Bridgman. And it’s important that you when you guys
are drawing from Bridgman that you don’t just copy the marks, you don’t just copy his lines
because that’s not what it’s about. He was drawing with a big stick, he was using
as few lines as he possibly could to just kind of get the information across. He wasn’t trying to make these pretty, even
though they look actually really nice for what they are. So you have to make sure that you’re dissecting
these and you’re trying to pull out of it the information that he’s actually trying
to teach you, and not copying his marks because that’s not what it was about. So there’s some common ways that people talk
about to study Bridgman. One, you’ve gotta read the text you gotta
make sure you understand what he’s talking about. And two, you have to draw these with form. You have to try to shade them instead of copying
them you take this information and you try to create it into an actual three dimensional,
shaded anatomy drawing. And that’s what it looks like you’re doing
which is awesome. Although I don’t think that you took the information
correctly. So when we look at Bridgman, you’ve gotta
make sure you know that Bridgman is all about three dimensional structure. He is better at that than anybody else. The way he observes the human form and the
way he simplifies it is really useful to show the way the forms wedge into each other, and
flow through the body. And the crazy thing is even though he is all
about structure, his drawings feel extremely dynamic. He doesn’t sacrifice the gesture at all. His structure is based on gesture. So when I look at…I pulled the page out
of his book that I think you’re referencing. When I look at some of these drawings each
one of them he’s trying to show us something different. With this one he’s showing us that there’s
a very obvious tendon that’s diagonal it’s flat and then it’s surrounded by these this
belly. And this belly has a bottom plane. A very simple statement, you don’t need to
take it literally when you design it but you need to look for that information when you
look at a real person. So when I think about that and I look at your
shaded drawing you missed that statement, right? Look at it, I don’t see a bottom plane in
these triceps that you put in. I don’t see a diagonal tendon. So I feel like you might be taking his shapes
and you’re kinda outlining and them, putting the flat shapes that you’re seeing, and then
you’re kind of putting aside his drawing and then you’re shading it. Instead of looking at the analyzing the forms
he’s trying to show you and shading it and applying those actual structures to your shaded
drawing. Because if you did that you would have shown
a medial area in here, another one in here, and a very obvious plane change around it. Not as obvious as he has in his drawing because,
you know, you’re kind of softening his forms or you should be softening his forms. But you still gotta make sure that the information
he’s teaching you is actually getting across into your drawing. And even in the one where you copied his marks
you’re still missing that now bottom plane. There’s no bulk to the muscle. He’s showing you that the muscle is bulky
and the tendon is flat. In this one he’s showing that this one’s up
here and this one’s down here, so there not symmetrical. And there’s a very clear corner in the elbow,
the elbow is like a box. When I look at yours I don’t see that box
at all in your elbow. Another thing let’s say let’s look at the
forearms, because that’s part of this arm. What I’m getting from this is drawing of the
forearm is three very important forms. Super blocky and he even kind of curves that
bottom plane of that blocks to wrap around the carpal bones, so that’s cool. But it’s super blocky. He’s got a front plane and he’s got a side
plane. And then to that he attaches this drumstick. And then on top of that the ridge muscle is
stacked. So he’s showing you that there is that drumstick,
but the ridge muscle is kind of on top of it, it’s not part of that drumstick. So the three very specific forms. Now when I look at yours, I feel the drumstick,
I feel that rounded form, and I feel that extra ridge group on top. But then I don’t feel the blocky wrist, I
feel like you actually just kinda continued that drumstick soft form all the way through. The whole thing just looks like round, soft,
mushy. Look at how clear he’s trying to make it for
you right in here. About two thirds of the way down the bulk
of the muscle, the curvature ends and we get straights. There’s tendons in there, tendon and bone. He’s trying to make it as clear as possible
for you by over exaggerating everything. What is it important to look for? And so you gotta make sure that everything
he’s telling you, you take that into account. Okay so Bridgman, I don’t think it’s for the
for beginning artists. If you’ve never studied anatomy this is gonna
confuse you, and you’re probably just gonna copy his marks without knowing why you’re
copying them. I feel like you have to study a little bit
of anatomy and a little bit of simple structure before you go to Bridgman. But once you do it’s so useful. So I hope this gives you a little bit of guidance
as to how to study Bridgman because it could a complete waste of time or it can be extremely
valuable depending on how you approach it. You want a free model sample pack? Go to You’ll be the first to hear about sales, videos,
events and I’ll send you some hand picked model reference that you can use for the assignments. If you want a critique, post your work in
one of our groups at and get feedback from the community. And don’t forget to share this video. It really helps me out and it lets me to make
these videos better and better. Thanks.

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84 thoughts on “How to Study Bridgman – Student Anatomy Critique”

  1. Proko says:

    It’s important to not study his lines. Instead look at what he’s trying to show you. His observations about the body are the gold. His lines are rough. They’re only detailed enough to get the message across and no more.Understand his forms and apply it to a real person, don’t copy his marks. Can you find subtle versions of his forms on real people?

  2. Megin Dog says:

    I purchased the Bridgeman complete Guide to Drawing from Life. Did not understand a thing. Now I know why. As I have never studied anatomy before. But who would expect that you have to learn anatomy before you read the book by, Bridgeman?

  3. maik harau says:

    Jim Lee approves, is favorite book. Today Lee is Publisher Dc Comics.

  4. Void lon iXaarii says:

    thank you!

  5. Tiago D'Agostini says:

    This is the most useful video you have published ever! For me at least because 2 weeks ago I just bought all bridgeman books to study 🙂

  6. Draco says:

    you look very shiny in this video

  7. sachin chauhan says:

    Thanks a lot!!!

  8. Cesare Tatarelli says:

    Brilliant. I've come to learn that my Bridgman books are becoming more valuable as i develop,

  9. Kristopher Infante says:

    Thanks for this info. I like this how to study a certain Anatomy master. My first book was on Bridgeman and I had a hard time figuring out what to look for. Now I can revisit it with real purpose. A second example would have been even better.

  10. Socrates says:

    brilliant lesson, please do more on Bridgman

  11. Myrk Fælinn says:

    I use both, skeletal and shape work. I just quickly make the form and try to make a dynamic pose but it's still a practice. I do know the most important bones and hope to know more about the muscles too.

  12. Theo Sakurai Dahlstrom says:

    I am not sure if it is just me, but I swear Proko sounds kinda like Pewdiepie…

  13. androo2300 says:

    I feel like this is the same thing people misunderstand when they dismiss Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy. It was never meant to be an accurate depiction of anatomy but a visual language to convey the way the forms and surfaces (topography) are interacting.

  14. ArtPassword says:

    Good video!!

  15. Kevin Moodie says:

    thank you.

  16. djangolad says:

    I appreciate all that Bridgeman has left us and those that came before him. However it is equally important to state the disclaimer that when studying this forearm beware that most forearms don't appear this way. I find that this study of anatomy gets in the way of reality. I think that it is very important for an artist to look to draw the cause rather than the effect but all too often the students of classical anatomy in drawing forget the point of it. Becomes a classic case of forest for the trees!

  17. opan pro says:

    Keep drawing Human body and anatomy from life, you won't need any bridgman book.

  18. Grasstricks says:

    Thanks didn't realize i was just copying lines without understanding why. Gonna do some research into simplified anatomy then

  19. Sharlling Jheff says:

    You could make a video explaining about Frank J Reilly Method, please? I love your way of teaching.

    hugs Brazil.

  20. Pancake Soup says:

    I've just watched the most inspirational ad ever.

  21. Alex K says:

    i can't take my eyes off of that that bridgman's arm, damn it's so graceful

  22. Lucid says:

    Please more Bridgman

  23. zilei li says:

    tanks you tell me how to use it

  24. Gunga Din says:

    Helpful, thanks!

  25. Fernando Velazquez-Alvarez says:

    In my opinion Bridgman drawings, didactically are of great value, since he stages his drawings starting with the analysis of their geometrical structure, then he partly dissects them in the fashion of the renaissance masters, in order to help us see the relationship among bones, muscle, fat and skin in the motion mechanics of the human body.

  26. Connor_King says:

    What are some book suggestions for biginner artist? For over all anatomy portrait…

  27. Tyler says:

    I sometimes wish i had money i could spend on your stuff because im sitting here with this book i have had for years and you made it make sense in a 7 minute video.

  28. UnorthodoxThing says:

    I love Proko passion! 🙂

  29. Rt Wils says:

    Exactly what I needed.

  30. Alfred Paredes says:

    This is great. I'm teaching an anatomy sculpture class, and the main focus is Bridgman's "Constructive Anatomy". Explaining to the students about how to study Bridgman, was a major part of the opening lecture. I think he's an invaluable resource, but often misunderstood. People see it as a drawing guide, when really its a structure guide. I loved the thing you said about not sacrificing gesture. I'm going to add that to future lectures, as I believe it's crucial when creating studies (illustrative or sculptural).

  31. Shaman says:

    Which must study first ? Anatomy, gesture , ??

  32. MyArtJourney says:

    Very helpful, thank you!

  33. Skulltruck08 says:

    I've just found your channel. Amazing tutorials!

  34. Robert Cook says:

    I must disagree that one should study other anatomy before coming to Bridgman. 40 years ago I was at a comics convention in Florida where Will Eisner was the guest of honor. After his presentation, he spoke personally to those of us in the room, (about 30 people or so). He agreed to look at one young man's drawings. After he did, Eisner asked him if he studied anatomy. The boy replied that he used Burne Hogarth's books. Eisner, who knew Hogarth, said, "Burne would kill me if he heard me say this, but don't study Hogarth. Study George Bridgman, B-R-I-D-G-M-A-N." (He did spell it out). I went home and bought one of Bridgman's books and started copying the drawings. I already owned Jeno Barcsay's book at the time, and I found it's drawings beautiful, but the anatomy was too complex for me, too daunting. After copying Bridgman's drawings for awhile, my own figure drawing began improving noticeably. (I was not doing life drawing at the time, but I did start that a few years later.) After becoming familiar with and learning Bridgman's simplified and dynamic SHAPES for the body, I was able to more easily digest the more realistic depictions of anatomy in Barcsay's book, (and in other books I looked at). For me, at least, Bridgman was the doorway to my learning and comprehending human anatomy, as well as the shapes of the forms of the body. (Norman Rockwell and many other prominent artists and illustrators studied personally with Bridgman, and he is almost universally revered.)

  35. Zedfinite says:

    How do I use Bridgman to draw female figures? Specifically when drawing the torso and hips?

  36. Peter_Panda says:

    If you are a beginner and you would like to study Bridgeman dont be scared. My first anatomy book was a Bridgeman book and it was a bit scary and complex, but a few weeks in I got the hang of it and it helped me to improve alot.

  37. Tom Roth says:

    With all those plane changes don't they ever lose your luggage?

  38. Moses Herald says:

    What book would you suggest for anatomy for beginners???

  39. Paul Callahan says:

    I have one of his books, it's just been collecting dust because i did not know how to use it. It's hard to draw from his book if you do not how to. Like me.

  40. Shiv A Joshi says:

    @proko what is the starting point for anatomy

  41. Pj Lewis says:

    Attorney Proko is justly ready to rest his case as he has shown, without a reasonable dought, that, in fact, Bridgeman is just not that easy to figure out no matter how many of his books one posseses , like me, it's hard to just git it!

  42. Nathaniel Wier says:

    I feel the drumstick as well

  43. Joshua Armstrong says:

    Bridgmans + Life Drawing. Problem solved.

  44. dagoelius says:

    This was great. Can you do the same kind of tips when approaching Burne Hogarth studies.

  45. Swamp Fox says:

    Comic illustrator Jim Lee states that a lot of his background style comes from George Bridgman. Just sayin. 👍😎

  46. FrostDrive says:

    If a guys book needs a tutorial on how to learn from that book. I think it's safe to call that book a shitty book.

  47. danishnajfi says:

    great video

  48. Chris Asoy says:

    Saw this vid right after I borrowed Bridgman's book from library ❤️❤️

  49. Russell Shows says:

    Invaluable suggestion.

  50. Dragos Adrian says:

    What do you think of Classic Human Anatomy by Valerie L. Winslow?

  51. sloths requiem says:

    This is probably overshooting, and I know that, but I yearn for someone like you to answer this for me. You're a professional, and you draw the exact way that I hope to, and you know your stuff because you studied it.
    I've been studying too. I study anatomy and muscle structure, and then I move on to other things, like forms and gesture.

    What I want to ask you, (in high hopes that you read this) is what would you recommend studying and in what order?
    I've read over Andrew Loomis's Drawing the Head and the Hands multiple times. I've read over Bridgman's Constructive Anatomy twice now. I'm afraid that I'm too stuck on these guys being masters, and I'm not taking into consideration how many more resources there are out there that share different techniques and ideas, or that shed light on those that exist.

    I want to be great at drawing. I just don't have a structure in which to study it

  52. F Mann says:

    Fantastic Stuff!

  53. Killah Priest says:

    that's one weird looking bicep its like the guy has popeye forearms

  54. spartan2498 says:

    Bridgman was like 95% accurate with his demos at The Art Students League because he was drunk(it's documented he was a functioning alcoholic)usually while he taught. Bridgman was arguably one of the most celebrated student and teacher the league ever produced. Some lines are vague are haphazard or refined and detailed, that's partially the sauce and just him trying to convey an idea without going overboard with detail. I find Bridgman easier to understand than Hogarth. For constructive figure drawing, I recommend Glen Vilppu, Will Weston and Ramon Hurtado. Human Anatomy for Artist by Eliot Goldfinger is an excellent anatomy book with pictures of live models with skeletal overlays. Scott Eaton has immersive 8-10 wk online instruction on anatomy, even one dedicated specifically for portraiture. Oh yeah.Colleen Barry as well,check her out on Grand Central Atelier's Instagram.

  55. I'm Dead says:

    Zelda is a boy and you play as him

  56. Flamin Moes says:

    Why does a Wacom tablet cost 1700 dollars?

    It's like a tablet that has adobe photoshop installed.

  57. 师静寒 says:

    Hi, can you suggest some books or materials for beginners to learn before getting into Bridgman's books?

  58. key the 1st says:

    I Thought I saw kid buu in the thumbnail

  59. Penelope McQueen says:

    I guess everyone visualizes things differently. A lot of people here seem intimidated by Bridgman's drawings, but to me, this actually makes the human form make sence and it relates to how I view the human body. Ordering his book because of this video.

  60. D. Gata says:


  61. Koschke says:

    I loVE the way he explained the flow, information about muscle structure and function of every muscle and all this simplified but so detailed as well!
    I now can remember all Important muscles and the position to build a correct looking leg, still working on the torso tho, but…. You need to be ready to get into more intense anatomy to understand WHY the body is build like it is, if that is done u can include this Knowledge into your own work!
    And it is so fun;)))

  62. Funkipor says:

    I dont understand, his art is so confuse to me.

  63. J D says:

    So, how should we use Bridgman's book? I'm wondering why all these drawing anatomy books never have any actual steps for someone to approach the process. Would you train an electrician like this? "Well we are students of the master electrician, and we have a bunch of images of the wires he used, so now we'll put all those images in a book and sell them …that makes readers a master electrician!" Sorry, after 30 years of trying to find drawing anatomy books that actually take one beyond the "cubes and their cousins," I've found very few are willing to teach students simplified methods to draw the skeleton or to stress that YES you must draw the skeleton!

  64. fabrizio santo says:

    can you teach, how to study Burne Hogarth

  65. Blitzy says:

    edward, the vampire? lol

  66. I'm Learning How to Draw says:

    What's a good book on anatomy for beginners?

  67. Jacob Polansky says:

    I was doing horrible at my Bridgman studies until my teacher suggested simply pulling up an anatomy diagram of the muscles in the human body. From there it was simply seeing which parts Bridgman was showing and how he added the flow, which helped immediately. Just some handy advice.

  68. Edward Luis Paez Ventura's art tv says:

    I understand it better and better now !!

  69. Goat Surgeon says:

    I just got a couple of his books for a buck and I really love the style
    I totally want to study this guy

  70. RoiF says:

    Your critique is really helpful Stan. Thanks for this.

  71. Nicholas M says:

    Bridgman is hekka talented and it wouldn't be a sinch for any regular person to just pick up and master his technique. It does take practise, well there are some naturally talented people out there with a gift for picking some things up but still I'm not doubting the practise because that's what I need, as much practise as I can possibly get, 10,000 sketches or minutes/hours of sketches. A community college I went to for art said somewhere around 1000 drawings but think of it as how much effort you are putting in to learn what you may be unsure of and need the enlightening. I know that I need all the tutorials, and trainers and techniques that I can find. I'm even practising to learn anime/manga styles that I have never attempted before, it's interesting and I hope it gives me motivation to learning more.

  72. Strong Independent Black Woman Who Need No Man says:

    6:40 oh…i thought bridgman anatomy books were for beginners lol.
    he has like 4 books of anatomy :p , which one is the 1º to study?

  73. Richard McKergow says:

    Just a thought, there's four arms in a row on the page that the student drew the study from. The study is of arm numbers 2 and 4, which have actually been done very well, and don't have as pronounced a ridge in the middle (as in arm number 3, which the student didn't actually make a study of). But point taken on the bulk in the middle of the arm.

  74. Garret Luke says:

    i want to purchase some of your courses, but i’d be breaking the bank. thanks for putting these free critiques and videos on youtube though!

  75. Fraxinus! says:

    Alternatively, look at any Marvel, DC or Tower Comics from the mid-1960s drawn by the late Gil Kane to see how Bridgman's approach could be adapted to superheroes (for the most part).

  76. thanks for the help bois says:

    Where should i start studying anatomy?

  77. Anthony Rayvon Wylder says:

    I am doing Bridgeman's 100 hands right now and this video defined some of the concepts discussed here. It's easy to create a featureless hand. With Bridgeman you get DETAILS. This video was and is critical to that end. I discounted some of the accentuations. That was a mistake. You can't make that mistake if you want to be a comic book artist.

  78. SOYBOY NPC says:

    I just got a copy of Bridgmans book and yeah…I'm a beginning artist and its verry confusing…

  79. Madjun Iion says:

    почему до сих пор нет русского перевода на все твои видео ?????

  80. Constable Benton Fraser says:

    Ooooooo, I am all over your glove, where do u get it?!!!! I will hunt…..

  81. Blitzy says:

    Should I still try to study bridgman even after learning from proko?

  82. Omar Taylor says:

    This is annoying.

  83. Mike Pelosi says:

    Great advice here. For me, Bridgman = shape design and a calligraphic way to draw which is very stylized and three dimensional. It is not perfect anatomy or even correct anatomy, nor is it meant to be. I’ve studied from cadavers and Bridgman like many artists takes great liberties in his construction of anatomy. Of course this is because he doesn’t sacrifice gesture and, in fact, enhances it.

    Bridgman is a great reference for anatomical shape design. So is Hogarth. So is Rubens! But clinical anatomy this is not.

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