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Drawing the Draped Figure (Dover Anatomy for Artists) Paperback – August 9, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Many art students and professionals have mastered the art of depicting unclothed figures, but still have trouble accurately rendering clothing or other forms of draped cloth. Part of the problem—before this book came along—was that there was a lack of concise and simple instruction on the subject, and much that was written was too vague to be helpful. This comprehensive, well-illustrated book was created to solve the problem.
In these pages George Bridgman—a longtime instructor at New York's Art Student League and one of the nation's foremost teachers of figure drawing—offers expert advice on depicting draped figures. "Clothing is none other than a drapery arranged around a body that is beneath it. To express the multitudinous forms it takes, one should learn to express in a direct way the different characters of folds, for each one plays its individual part as distinctly apart as actors play their different characters upon the stage."
Students learn the characteristics of seven different kinds of folds and how to render them, including pipe, zigzag, spiral, half-lock, diaper pattern, drop, and inert folds. Mastery of these principles is the key to realistic portrayal of garments, as well as the proper rendering of cloth in still lifes. The straightforward, easy-to-follow text is illustrated by 200 of Bridgman's own sketches and diagrams, reproduced from pencil renderings in crisp halftones. Art students, teachers, and professionals alike are sure to welcome this inexpensive republication of a practical, hands-on manual by a master of figure drawing.
Dover (2001) unabridged republication of The Seven Laws of Folds, originally published by Bridgman Publishers, Inc., Pelham, New York, 1942.

About the Author

Canadian artist George Brandt Bridgman (1865–1943) studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris and taught at New York City's Art Students League. Generations of students have learned the principles of anatomy and figure drawing from his books, which rank among Dover's most popular art instruction texts.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Anatomy for Artists
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (August 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486418022
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486418025
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

The poor printing quality doesn't help.
Amazon Customer
The descriptions really don't seem to apply to drawing at all.
Yaoimila
Save your money by not buying this cheap paperback....! :)
Dawn E. Scire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "extreme_dig_cm" on March 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a basic to intermediate-level effort on wrinkles & drapery- parts of which can be clearly seen in the popular title by Burne Hogarth: Dynamic Wrinkles & Drapery.

The 7 laws of draped figure folds listed here: -pipe folds, -zigzag folds, -spiral folds, -half-lock folds, -diaper pattern folds, -drop folds, and -inert folds. Burne Hogarth basically takes all of Bridgman's ideas and tries to improve on them. Critics still debate the effectiveness of Hogarth vs. Bridgman- but I believe Hogarth's work, in this particular case, has far exceeded that of Bridgman. Which book to get? The price of Bridgman's book is very attractive- But is it effective? Maybe. I think it depends on how you use it. In conjunction with photographs, Bridgman's book *can* be effective. Still, I have to admit: Bridgman's drawings here are not exactly clear. It takes a real concerted effort to figure out exactly what he's trying to teach. Also worth considering is that the best parts of this book were eventually included in what is now called Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life. If you're trying to decide between his Complete Guide and this, I recommend the Complete Guide by far.

P.S. There's a brief, excellent section on wrinkles & drapery for *beginners* in Jack Hamm's Drawing the Head and Figure- check it out!
*A better book worth considering*- Barbara Bradley's Drawing People: How to Portray the Clothed Figure, available here on Amazon(!).
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 5, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the other very positive review, I'm wondering if we have two different books!
I was looking forward to receiving this book as I've been experimenting drawing folds and clothing lately, but needed some guidance. I thought this book would provide it. It didn't.
There are several problems.
1. The drawings are almost incomprehensible line drawings that give no clear picture of exactly what's going on in the various kinds of folds.
2. There's a lack of useful photographs.
3. The poor printing quality doesn't help.
4. The text gives no "laws" of folds (such as: The fabric will always bend this way if it hangs that way, etc).
In a bookstore in Italy recently I saw a book by Hogarth on the same subject. Though it was in Italian, the drawings showed much more clearly exactly what's going on with clothing in various positions and movements. With text in English, I can only imagine it will be far more helpful to me than this Bridgman book.
I'm just happy the Bridgman book was inexpensive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By gy314 on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read both Burne Hogarth's Dynamic Drappery and Bridgman's one and I like this one better.

First, I like Bridgman's drawing style better. It's looser and more simple. I can see the rhythm of folds better.

Second, the size is handy. A thin book that covers the basic in a good price.

My little recommendation: Go for it if you are looking for a more fine-art-way of drawing, as others has already sugguested in their review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By studioprod. on November 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes I wonder if I had not worked as a professional illustrator for fifty years, if i could luxuriate in the self-described expertise of those who make pictures occasionally and with no time constraints. This contains everything the SERIOUS artist needs to know...the basic anatomy of folds in fabric.

Done in Bridgman's powerful and abbreviated style that cuts to the chase, this will be difficult for those who judge a drawing on how much it resembles a photograph, this will not be of any use...nor will a photographic rendering.

In the studio, we had built what came to be known as "The Wall of Pain," because drawing from it always results in showing what you still have yet to learn. Here's a link to the picture [...]

This is based on Bridgman's observations of the way cloth forms folds in nature and also upon the way the classical Greeks had codified the study of drapery. If the reader is among that small number of brush and pencil owners who aspires to make art a profession, Bridgman's book forms a cornerstone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 'floaty pen' on June 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book offers some basics as to types of fabric folds and falls that one would encounter in trying to draw a draped figure. While the writing is lucid though incomplete, this book suffers from a serious flaw of terrible prints of drawings of such folds which do little to elucidate the writing in a substantial manner. More illustrations would have been helpful, as would have been covering close focus photographs of the draped figure as painted by some of the masters excelling in the same. It would not be possible to master or even come close to mastering the aspect of drawing fabric folds on the basis of this book
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dawn E. Scire on May 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
Unfortunately this book is a poor representation of the original, a hardcover that was printed in 1942 and has better representations of the drawings.
If you are an artist or art student, it's worth it (even if more expensive), to find the older, 1942 hardcover version for the finely detailed drawings that are shown clearly and full sized.
Save your money by not buying this cheap paperback....! :)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By n0s4a2 on April 12, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bridgeman is an indispensable teacher of human anatomy (even though he worked in the early 20th century), but this isn't the best book out there. The drawings are too loose and sketchy to see clearly what he is describing. He goes through the seven typs of folds all right, but they need to be illustrated more three dimensionally. I'd choose this over Hogarth's book, though, because Bridgeman's written descriptions are to the point, and at least the drawings aren't overdone. And it's [inexpensive]. The world cries out for the definitive book on drapery: one that is concise, accurate, and with good drawings. I saw one once on a guy's desk in an animation studio, it looked like it was written in the '50s, but I can't remember the name; it had superbly elegant drawings and lean, no-nonsense explanations of the 7 folds. I made some copies, but not of the title. Oh well, Bridgeman will have to do.
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