Thursday, December 31, 2009

Famous Artist Course

In case you all didn't already see this posted anywhere, please visit Daniel Caylor's blog "On Animation" and see his post of the complete Famous Artist Course booklets. If you're not familiar, it's an artists course from the '60s , founded by Al Dorne and Normal Rockwell. It's 24 lesson booklets, downloadable as free PDFs of great, classic, illustration techniques and tips. It covers everything from the basics and artist materials, to composition, form and painting techniques. I haven't read them all, but for anyone who still considers themselves a student, they're sure to be a fascinating read! And we can all probably pick up a gem or two from lessons created in part by Norman Rockwell and Al Dorne!

Get 'em while they're hot!



  1. That is really cool! Thanks for the link.

  2. Thanks, Oliver!
    I'll probably never get around to reading all of them, but I had to peek at the course on drawing animals, since that's what interests me the most. (I wish I had that 20 years ago when I was wondering why all my cats were looking like dogs!)

    We're so lucky (in some ways) to be illustrating in the era of Google Images. About 8 years ago, I had a peach of an assignment —designing a gila monster accountant. I pulled down dozens of photos from every angle. The end result was hardly what you'd call realistic, but the observations I made studying the photos made it a better (and funnier) drawing.

  3. I'll have to check out that lesson for sure! Truthfully I'm excited about them all...doubt I'll finish them all tho.

    I agree, having google at hand is ridiculously convenient. When I see the physical scrapbooking catalogues some artists kept before the internet age, it's really intimidating. With my poor organization skills, I doubt I could have made it years ago!

    I think a lot of us have grown soft with the ease of internet though, and lost the art of life drawing and observation. That's one reason I love James Gurney so much. He still thrives on drawing what he sees and experience and I think it keeps him sensitive to his surroundings and always keeps him wondering. George Pratt as teaching in Florida and said his students were googling images of palm Florida.

  4. And the PDFs seem to be taken down. Drat.

    In the late 1970s, I noticed that the hands that comic god Jack Kirby drew had become - unbelievable. Thumbs that didn't attach in any human way, strange wrinkles in the joints. As this was before his eyes went bad, I wonder if he had stopped looking at the outside world?