Monday, November 23, 2009

Bernie Fuchs and the Famous Artists Course

In past posts we've looked at some of lessons from the original 1950's Famous Artists Course, but never at the material that was part of the school's 1960's "revamp" - when a second generation of renowned illustrators were called upon to update the look of the course material.

Recently TI list member Matt Dicke very kindly sent me a PDF of Bernie Fuch's chapter from that revamped Famous Artists Course. I thought it might make a good topic for this week's posts. How better to learn about how Bernie Fuchs made pictures that to have him describe the process in his own words?

Those interested in reading the text should click on each image to see a larger version of the scan.

The Famous Artists School continues to this day! Please visit the school's website for details.

The school also hosts a page devoted to guiding faculty member, Bernie Fuchs on their site, which includes a biography of the artist and a gallery of his work.

Many thanks again to Matt Dicke for providing this week's scans.

* My Bernie Fuchs Flickr set.


  1. Hehe, he's right, the "sketch" is better than the "finish". Less information, but more feeling. Still a really nice article though. Thanks for posting.

  2. Leif, I so enjoy your blog and the emails with the images.... I am one of those early students of the Famous Artists Course! My parents enrolled me after I drew "Skippy" from an ad and their local representative (they had them back then!) in West Lafayette, Indiana, called to say I qualified for the course and qualified for paying the money to take it. Haha! The rep was the uncle of my first crush in junior high school. I LOVED the course and the big hardcover binders that the lessons came in and having to mail in my assignments. I was 11 or 12! (1968-69) It was a three year course. I completed two and then discovered pot. Oh boy. The 70's were like that.

  3. You can go over to and read 7 of the FAC coursebooks online for free.

  4. The boy in the window of that house is Bernie's young son, Derek. I believe he has that painting to this very day.

  5. I remember when I first saw this as a kid wondering how the sick boy could see the things on the other side of the tree. I had a much too practical mind when I was younger. This example about going back to the original tree sketch has always stuck with me.

  6. >great job,looking good your Drawing / concept art.
    >beautiful work...

    >see my blog.

  7. Thanks, as usual for a great post. It's a real treat receiving these posts at the end of the day. Especially new scans from Bernie Fuchs.

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