I wasn't really going to write about this, because everybody else already has, but Don Graham's seminal book about design, "Composing Pictures" was recently reprinted. This is a big deal because it's been long out of print and the only way to get a copy was to pay a lot of money.
The reason I post about it now is that the price and availability of it keep fluctuating on amazon.com. Last week it was priced around $75 and only available from resellers. I'm sure it will be available steadily from now on, but just in case it's not, right now it's selling for a totally-worth-it $26.37 on amazon. Here's the link.
Who was Donald Graham? Here's what I think I know (and someone correct me if I'm wrong): he was an instructor at the Chouinard Art Institute who was selected by Walt Disney in the 1930s to teach art instruction at the Disney Studios in preparation for making "Snow White". As I understand it, he was instrumental in teaching the animators how to move away from the cartoon conventions that had been the basis of the shorts and start studying and understanding how real humans and animals are constructed in order to handle the complexities of the characters in films like "Snow White" and "Bambi". In the studio documentary, there's scenes of an art teacher instructing the animators, and I'm not sure but it might be Don himself teaching the class.
At donaldwgraham.com there's more information about him.
Quick question for anyone out there that might know: apparently at some point, all the teachers of the Famous Artists Course wrote each wrote books called "How I Make a Picture", describing their process and talking through their philosophies. Norman Rockwell's is the most well-known and available, but it's near impossible to find any information about the other editions. If anyone has any information about any of those other versions (particularly Robert Fawcett and Al Parker) let me know. And if you know someone at the Famous Artists Course, ask them why they won't republish these great books!!!