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Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 19
Drawing Lessons_012-025_11803.indd 19 16/2/17 3:00 PM
Alfred Charles Parker
Illustration for
Government Girl by
Adela Rogers St. Johns
Ladies’ Home Journal,
January 1943
Gouache on panel
Austin Briggs
Grandmother Arrives
for a Visit, c. 1950
Illustration for American
Airlines: “I’m a lot closer
to my grandchildren . . .
holiday time or anytime.”
Oil on Masonite
“Even before the artist has a very definite visual idea of what [to]
paint, he already knows what [the] subject is going to be about in
a general way. He has decided what the emotional content of the
picture will be. Most eective pictures try to get this across in one
single message,said Austin Briggs, who believed that a story con-
cept should be able to be summed up in one sentence. In storytelling
images, Briggs advised artists to home in on a detail that means
something to them. “I start where I am the most sensitive. The more
the situation means to me, the more meaning I can give it for others.
But Briggs clearly understood the interests of his audience as well.
For the advertising illustration below, Briggs paints a narrative
with universal appeal — an anticipated visit from family for the
holidays. The artist invites his viewers to identify with the children
who anxiously await their grandmother’s arrival. We look over their
shoulders toward her; She and the children’s father are framed within
the open door. Holiday greens adorn the stairwell and are connected
to the exterior scene with color — note the bright green package
under grandmother’s arm and shutters on the home across the street.
Briggs’s story is expanded by other elements as well. Arms raised
in greeting connect the young girl and her grandmother, and the
cropped figure on the left, presumably the children’s mother, tells
us they are not home alone.
Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 19
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Drawing Lessons_012-025_11803_C2.indd 19 7/3/17 12:17 PM

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