George Bridgman's art instruction books are a compilation of his life's work as an instructor at the Art Students League of New York. His book "Bridgman's Life Drawing" provides a complete course in figure drawing. He begins by explaining his method of building the human figure as a scale model out of wire and wood that can be manipulated and drawn from to see how the bending, twisting or turning of volume gives the sensation of movement held together by rhythm. The interlocking and distributions of the masses of the body and their proportions are described as well as the effects of light as tonal values. The different stages of developing a drawing to completion, from outline and construction to shading, are arranged in their sequence. After considering the full human form, Bridgman then describes how to draw each major feature of the figure in detail such as the head and limbs, eyes and hands.
George Brant Bridgman (1864-1943) was a Canadian-American painter and instructor. He studied under the painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Bridgman taught artistic anatomy and figure drawing at the Art Students League of New York starting in 1898. Over his 45 years of teaching, Bridgman taught thousands of art students including Norman Rockwell, Andrew Loomis, and Robert Beverly Hale.