George Bridgman’s Big Book

This is the book to buy for my Bridgman Courses.

Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing From Life, 5th Edition

by George Bridgman

Bridgman’s Complete Guide has been around for decades. It compiles most of the best of the small books.

There was reason to whine about the Complete Guide for a few decades: flawed organization, an upside-down torso, and more than one upside-down knee, but the 5th Edition fixed the upside-down bits and slightly improved the layout information but here’s why it’s not important: nobody recommends this book for ease of understanding or train of thought.

It’s a collection of great images. Read the text as you like, but you probably won’t. He offers some excellent thoughts, but in a 100-year-old academic style that can exhaust you by the end of a paragraph.

You can get much better explanations from Robert Beverly Hale. Especially his Drawing Lessons from Great Masters.

But also from Hale’s Master Class in Figure Drawing, which couples well with Bridgman because it is such enjoyable reading by comparison. Also, Hale was Bridgman’s student.

Here’s my recommendation: this book is filled with the bulk of his Bridgman’s work. Buy it to look at the pictures. —mv

Click to buy from

My blog-post on About Learning from Bridgman.

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