Showing posts with label Famous Artist Course. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Famous Artist Course. Show all posts

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Drawing convincing clothing and folds can add a lot of realism and believability to a drawing. Like a lot of things, when an artist draws them well you don't even notice them; you only notice when they're drawn poorly.

The Famous Artists Course that I own has a great chapter on drawing folds. Here it is, in its entirety (again).

Even if you're not drawing men wearing shirts and jackets, or women wearing skirts, the same principles apply.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Resources for Drawing Different Ages

One thing I always find tricky is drawing people at different ages. So I've collected a few resources here - selected pages from books about the subject - and let me know if you are aware of any other good ones I've missed.

Also in a future post I will jot down a few I have observed myself over the years and that I find helpful.

WARNING - there are drawings of naked people (at different ages) below! If you are offended by such things, you've been warned...

This one is from The Famous Artists Course and it's a good breakdown of how the head changes at different ages.

This page is from Andrew Loomis's "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth".

And here's another page from Loomis's book where he talks specifically about baby heads.

These are from "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist" by Stephen Rogers Peck.

Both Loomis and Peck make the point that the "center line" (where the midpoint of our bodies lies) changes as we grow older. Loomis represents it in his drawing with a cross at the midpoint; in Peck's drawings it is represented by a dotted line.

Here's one by Peck that's a map to where wrinkles form.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Composing Pictures" by Don Graham, and a Request for Information

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 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 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!!!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Famous Artist Course

I have been contacted by the current owners of the "Famous Artist Course" and they have asked me to remove my link to Dan Caylor's blog because they own the copyright to the material, and they are planning on launching a new program soon that they say will incorporate some of the older material. Their website can be found here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Haunting a House

So it's a Halloween tradition: posting this page from the Famous Artists Course by illustrator Stevan Donahos, where he talks through his process on how he draws a house to make it looks like it's haunted.

I like this page because its a good example of an artist talking through his process and explaining how he thinks and works.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

FAC: Composition

I've been putting a lot of time into a talk I'm putting together for the trainees at work, but when I'm done working on that I'll write some new posts. For now I wanted to re-post these: the chapter on Composition in my Famous Artists Course book has a lot of great little compositional tidbits in the margins and I scanned them all and put them on these three pages.

All of these things are pretty basic and obvious, I suppose, but that's what makes them easy to forget, I find. I put these on an 8 1/2 by 11 template so that, if you want, you can print them out and tack them up wherever you want. Hopefully, looking at them can provide a great bit of inspiration whenever you get stuck.

Composition is a difficult subject to become an expert in, but there's not a whole lot more than this to it - you just have to have the discipline to keep working at a drawing until everything is presented clearly and in an attractive way. Hopefully these handouts will help you in finding your way as much as they've helped me!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

FAC Life Drawing (part five)

Here is the very last bit of the FAC "Simple Anatomy and Figure Drawing" chapter. There's not too much of interest in these last few pages but for the sake of being complete about it, now you've seen the whole thing, including the cheesy photographs of the male model wearing the mid-century jock strap. We all know it's funny so don't feel like you have to leave a comment to point out how silly it is.

UPDATE: I created a .pdf file of the whole chapter and Michael Holmes has graciously offered to host it on his site at Barnacle Press. To Download the whole .pdf click here.

Thanks Michael!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

FAC Life Drawing (part three)

UPCOMING BILL PEET EXHIBIT: If you're fortunate enough to be in Chicago anytime between next week and May, check out the Bill Peet exhibit that's going to be held at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The people at Famous Artists Course continue to publish books about anatomy and drawing animals, as well as other topics. If anyone has a recent copy, I'd be curious to know: are they still publishing this same material? Years ago I bought a version of their human anatomy book and I didn't think it was as good as this stuff, if I remember. I wonder why they don't just reprint this same stuff? Its great. Anyway, enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

FAC Life Drawing (part two)

Okay, thanks for everyone who posted a comment, sorry to put you to all that trouble but I'm glad to know everybody likes the Famous Artists Course stuff. I will keep it coming. Here's part two of Chapter Four of the 1950 version of the Famous Artists Course.