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Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
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THE
WELL-DESIGNED
IMAGE
5
Alfred Charles Parker
Mother, Daughter,
and Son Sledding, 1949
Cover illustration for
Ladies’ Home Journal,
February 1949
As the Famous Artists frequently emphasized, a well-designed
page is visually coherent, technically sound, and able to convey
emotion and information in a dynamic, eective way. In this
chapter, position, balance, color, contrast, size and scale, attitude,
and the use of symbolic elements are explored from the view-
points of these accomplished illustrators, who were all gifted
designers as well.
The Famous Artists were, by and large, commercial artists — that is, they produced work
on assignment for magazine covers, story illustrations, advertisements, posters, books,
and more. Although they occasionally drew and painted for their own pleasure, they were
dedicated visual communicators who sought to connect with a broad, popular audience
through the printed page. Thus, they each established eective approaches to visual
design that could be called upon when constructing artworks for publication.
When creating his famous mother and daughter cover illustrations for Ladies’ Home
Journal, Al Parker eliminated distracting backgrounds in favor of clean poster designs
that emphasized strong, simple forms and recognizable narratives. Here, he activates his
composition by contrasting flatness with volume — linear figures are juxtaposed with areas
of opaque color and naturalistic faces. Red hats connect each of his subjects, as does a
lively pattern created by white gloves and a patch of snow atop the younger child’s head.
He also took time to design a decorative font that relates aesthetically to his layout and
painting style. A true innovator, Parker wrote, “After I have chosen the situation I want to
illustrate, I try to avoid any hackneyed or stereotyped approach or arrangement. I pretend
I am seeing the figures and props for the first time and discard any preconceived ideas I
may have of them.
Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 81
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