Proof 1
Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 112
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How does the body communicate in art? As important as facial
expressions are, their impact is enhanced and carried forward by
the expressive gestures of the hands and body — by the “language”
of the human form itself.
In the sketch below by Austin Briggs, additional details are not
necessary to give us a sense of what is going on. It seems abundantly
clear that this figure, perched on a rocky incline with one arm thrust
into the air and the other set for stability, is in trouble and asking for
help. In contrast, spontaneous flowing lines capture the attitudes of
the figures in the rough sketches shown opposite, created in pencil
and ink, communicating a sense of relaxation and languor.
HANDS, GESTURES, AND BODY LANGUAGE
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Proof 1 C
Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 113
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clear that this figure, perched on a rocky incline with one arm thrust
into the air and the other set for stability, is in trouble and asking for
help. In contrast, spontaneous flowing lines capture the attitudes of
the figures in the rough sketches shown opposite, created in pencil
and ink, communicating a sense of relaxation and languor.
(All images on this spread)
Austin Briggs
Figure studies, c. 1948
Pencil and ink on paper
(Opposite)
Figure on rocks
Ink on paper
113
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Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
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Proof 1 C
Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 114
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In these Austin Briggs studies, the casual
body language of the men in the group at
right gives a sense of ease and congeniality,
whereas the stances of their younger coun-
terparts, below, infer tension and separation.
(All images on this spread)
Austin Briggs
(Above)
Figure studies
Men Talking
Charcoal on paper
(Right)
Figure studies
Young Men in Group
Pencil and colored
pencil on paper
114
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Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 115
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A Matter of Life and Death
Study (left) and final (below) illustration for
Cosmopolitan, June 1947
Oil on board (final)
When Briggs accepted this assignment, the art director
wanted him to illustrate the subtitle of a fiction story that
read, “He could not remember clearly what happened;
but one thing was starkly plain: a man had been killed,
and soon the police would be looking for the murderer.”
Note the heaviness of the figure and the weight of the
arm and overturned hand, which seem to weigh the
lifeless body down. “The flat horizontal of the figure in
a calm state in itself suggests no movement, although
a sleeping figure might well have an arm over the side
of the bed as I’ve painted it,” Briggs wrote. “I wanted to
make very sure the figure could not move and accented
the vertical of the arm with the repeated line of the bed
covering at right.”
115
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Job: 11803 Title: #218076# Drawing Lessons From The Famous Artists School (Rockport)
DTP: GLP Page: 115
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