Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bernie Fuchs' FAC Lessons, Part 3

Recently TI list member Matt Dicke very kindly sent me a PDF of Bernie Fuch's chapter from the 1967 edition of the Famous Artists Course. How better to learn about Bernie Fuchs' process than to hear it described 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. Leif,
    I discovered your blog only a couple of days ago. Just wanted to say thanks, fantastic stuff.
    Fredrik, Ystad, Sweden.

  2. Welcome, Fredrik - thanks for commenting - I'm so pleased that you're enjoying Today's Inspiration :^)

  3. I keep tabs on your blog daily, and it's always interesting.

    But this FAS article by Bernie Fuchs is gold, just pure gold. If there are more pages, please keep 'em coming!

  4. Bob Bollini3:27 PM

    Wonderful insights into how an important painting emerges from the discourse between the artist and his patron on behalf of a audience already cast in its role. Pretty much the way paintings came into existence before the romantic era, eh?

  5. I agree with Thomas, keep 'em coming!. They are fascinating and insightful. What really hit home for me, was Fuchs' willingness to get further input and opinions from the AD. Even though, by this time, he was one of the top illustrators, he wasn't telling ADs to leave him alone, and wait until he finished the illustration, or at least resolve it all by himself. Unlike some self important narcissistic big name illustrators, Fuchs must have had a modest ego, and very enjoyable to work with. The idea that the AD stymied growth and creativity, didn't seem to prevail in Fuchs' work. The title "art director" explains their function, and Bernie Fuchs seemed to understand that, and used their opinions and insight to come up with the right solution for both. That goes beyond just having a lot of artistic talent, and impresses me just as much.

    Tom Watson

  6. I agree with Thomas -- this is indeed "pure gold". It also, for me, makes Mr. Fuchs seem a bit more accessible, more human. I've always admired his amazing and occasionally shocking composition sense, and it's somehow gratifying to see how much work -- and a surprising amount of collaboration with the art director -- went into those beautiful paintings.

  7. This is a perfect example of how a master illustrator developes their art in parallel to the story without having it be a literal translation. Beautiful stuff.