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The teaching program of Frank Reilly consisted of communicating an accumulation of knowledge and skills beginning with the elementary

and building to the complex. He primarily taught the craft of drawing and then painting the nude figure. Each step in his lectures followed logically upon the step which had been previously taught. His students moved forward in their learning with a degree of confidence as skills were accumulating. We were instructed to take notes during the lectures in order to put the lessons into words we understood and to enable us to look back over the material. The lectures included drawings on a blackboard and always began with something humorous. The following account was made possible by elaborately re-recording my lecture notes the following day.

When he believed the time had come, he advanced us to the painting class.

We continued to attend lectures while in the painting class. There were no grades and the length of study was decided by the student.

FRANK J. REILLY When a teacher at the Art Students League and later when I knew him at the Frank Reilly School of Art. We students used a glass palette which we cleaned with a razor blade in a holder. There was a fifth value gray under the glass and it was placed flat on a stool.

DRAWING THE FIGURE The classes were from seven to ten o'clock each weeknight and included a ten-minute break every hour. The time was kept by the monitor who called the poses and kept order. After a pose was called students were not allowed to enter the room and disturb the class. The poses were five, fifteen and thirty minutes in length beginning with the fives. A nude model was on a model stand two to three feet high and the male models wore jock straps. A floodlight was placed a few feet higher than the model and directed at about the center of the torso. The placement of the light was such that the entire figure was about 3/5 in the light for the forty or so students. There were three rows of seats and the row farthest back was elevated. Where the students sat depended on arrival time and preference. The monitor sat in the middle of the first row. We drew on 9" x 12" sheets of loose, smooth newsprint or tracing paper, with a kneaded eraser within easy reach. The paper was secured by a clip at the top of a masonite support. Using a razor blade and fine sandpaper, we fashioned a chisel edge on a 4b or 6b charcoal pencil which kept its shape due to the way it was used during drawing...

DRAWING INSTRUCTION Hold the charcoal pencil thumb up swinging the wrist and arm to create a graceful line and rest the fingers lightly on the paper. When holding the pencil as if writing and

moving the fingers, it can be moved only a few inches but when holding the pencil thumb up and moving the wrist, the range of motion is greatly increased. I began to think of drawing as similar to dance...

Sit with the drawing at a 45 degree angle supported on the back of a chair...

The pencil is in motion before it hits the paper (sometimes with a few mid-air test swings). Draw in a downward motion initially using the "fat" portion of the charcoal for a light wide line. Twist the pencil and use the edge for a sharper, darker line or tip up to the point. MR. REILLY'S SIX LINE FIGURE The six line figure is not the way to draw, it's the way to think...

The axis, #4, is an imaginary line through the center of the figure which appears to be straight when viewed from the front. Side view...

The abstract figure becomes more life-like as anatomical features are added...

Mr. Reilly's six line abstract figure is the way I was taught to think about the relationships of the various parts and proportions of the figure when drawing. I would initially visualize the abstraction and draw with a wide light line and then, as the drawing progressed, adjust more closely to the forms of the model. As I became more certain of placement the lines became darker and more committed...

One great difficulty is the tendency to, 'tack things on.' Which is to say, parts of the figure are added to parts already established and the relative lengths and placements are misstated, (frequently due to the model moving). This was overcome by imagining the abstraction and 'seeing through' to visualize attachment points, the lengths of body parts and their positions in relation to one another. It was not necessary to ask the model to move to the original position.

BEGINNING A DRAWING

In a standing pose with the weight on one leg, I knew about where the head was, the feet and the center of the figure so I began with these, (known quantities). Related to the head, I knew about where a thrust out hip was, the other hip in relation to this, the angle of the shoulders, (with the rib cage), and so on...

RELATIONSHIPS

Action is the direction of the movement of the figure, initially established with a wide, light line. A line comes from somewhere and goes somewhere. I formed the habit of constantly looking for relationships when drawing, making certain every line was in relationship to something else. By first indicating the head, then the center, (crotch), and then the base, I didn't draw from the top down and hope the feet would be on the page. A drawing isn't exact so mistakes were made on the side that would help, eight heads high instead of seven, for instance. The word relationship in this context means that the position of everything on the figure was found by finding imagined connections. The diagram shows many of the relationships in this particular pose...

"Relationship" was the word most used by Mr. Reilly, (drawing and painting) and was key to placement, shape, balance, proportion and structure. STRUCTURE Structure is the outside and anatomy is the inside. Planes...top, bottom, front, sides of a form. Proportion, perspective, weight and balance. Drapery (clothing) as it explains the structure underneath. DRAWING IDEAS Don't copy. Only put down a form that is related to something. Draw, 'big to small.' A drawing is an explanation of the light. Use confident lines. Eliminate lines that don't explain an action. A line should flow, be accurate and graceful. There are no points or right angles on the figure. Never draw piecemeal, (draw a face around a nose). Avoid monotonous lines, (parallel). Consider negative shapes. The voids between body parts and the figure itself. Begin a drawing with light, thick lines. Be economical with lines. Draw the action lines (idea) first then draw the forms in conformity to the action lines. Avoid anatomy until later stages of a drawing. SIX LINE FIGURE IDEAS

With practice, I was able to imagine and draw the abstract figure in any position...

We were instructed to practice shapes in order to learn control. Round, large on the bottom, large in the middle etc. and drawn from the top down...

Do the longest relationships first, then progressively smaller. Relationship choices change with the pose. Here is one set of choices... Arm to opposite leg. Arm to opposite arm. Arm to itself.

Station points on the abstraction are where lines intersect or at a known quantity...

FORM

Form can be... Opaque. transparent. Translucent. Has texture... Glossy. Matte. Nap. First shapes - Outside shapes. Second shapes - Large Shapes. Third shapes - Small shapes that further explain the second. This illustration shows possible relationships in this particular view. I would observe the model and find relationships that fit the pose...

Forms are convex (unless pressing against a solid). Relate every symmetrical form to it's corresponding form; eyes, breasts, hips, arms, legs, etc. Keep the outside shape simple. Small forms are in sympathy with large forms which are with the action.

HANDS "A hand can easily look like a bundle of sausages." - Frank Reilly. Learn the shapes of knuckles, pads, ligaments, and other characteristic forms...

The above are samples of the many hand drawings I've done from the George Bridgman books. George Bridgmen was Mr. Reilly's drawing teacher at the Art Students League. Learning structure and anatomy allows the artist to further shape what is seen on the model. The books by George Bridgman are good sources for the anatomy of the entire figure. CONNECTORS Connectors allow the figure to turn, twist and bend...

Twist

Joints Ball and socket - shoulder. Hinge and ball - elbow. Hinge - wrist. ANATOMY The supinator muscle moves the thumb away from the body. The pronator opposes the supinator and moves the thumb toward the body...

1 - Pit of neck 2 - 7th cervical vertabra 3 - 12th dorsal vertebra 4 - sacrum 5 - tip of iliac. Circles show the spine curve and the angles of the vertabrae...

Spine composed of 24 vertabrae. Seven cervical. Twelve dorsal.

Five lumbar. Gray's Anatomy, doctor's authority. Female muscles have longer tendons and a longer profile. Muscle groups Bone to bone. Bone to muscle - expression, E.G. muscles from zygomatic arch to mouth. Muscle to muscle - protection, E.G. muscles surrounding the mouth. Muscles are always found in opposing pairs. Muscles can only contract. Bones and muscles of the head Side view... 1 - Masseter muscle 2 - Temporal muscles, (used for chewing) 3 - Zygomatic arch 4 Temporal bone 5 - Mastoid process 6 - Side view, (9"wide, 6' man) 7 - Massiter 8 - Eye socket 9 - Nasal 10 - Mallar (cheek) bone 11 - Superior maxillary 12-Inferior maxillary 13 Occipital 14 - Parietial. Front view, (five eyes wide) 1 - Buccinator muscle, (under masseter) 2 - Lower eyelid, 1/2 of head 3 - Zygomatic arch, (wraps around skull) 4 - Levator Scapuli, (pulls mouth up) 5 - Lesser zygomaticus, 6 Pulls corner down 7 - Pulls lower lip down 8-Circular band of muscle (muscles of expression attach) 9 Teeth cylinder.

There are fine books by George Bridgman, Mr. Reilly's drawing teacher, on this subject which I keep for reference. He designed shapes for and understood the interactions of everything on the figure. Mr. Reilly taught anatomy but stressed the external shapes of muscle groups (structure). FORESHORTENING Perspective of the figure based on... Pivot points. Lengths and how they are affected. End sizes.

Centers. Forms on forms. Consider a shape moving forward and away...

The lengths, end sizes and centers change but not the pivot points. Pivot points are usually at the centers or at the starting points of the action...

Overlapping lines are used in foreshortening to show what is in front and what is behind. When foreshortening, be sure that one form is longer than the other, usually the the forward form. The forward form in front overlaps the form in the rear. LIGHT AND SHADE Shade reveals form. Shade receives no direct light and should be kept at one value in the beginning of a drawing or painting (massed). Shade shows the action of a series of forms on the figure and it is advisable to first draw the large idea instead of breaking the shadows into smaller forms immediately. Line#1 in the diagram is an example of drawing the larage idea of the action. If this were to become a painting, the smaller shapes would eventually be painted as they appear on the model...

The division between light and shade reveals the shape...

Soft divisions (halftones) show round shapes. Flat forms and cast shadows have hard edges. A shadow on a form is at right angles to the light and has a soft edge, a cast shadow follows from the light and has a hard edge...

A cast shadow shows the shape of the object casting or the object cast upon...

Draw the shadows relative to the action...

The length of the cast shadow is relative to the position of the light. Cast shadows have sharp edges near the source. Shadows sometimes skip forms and then connect. Avoid monotony in position, size and shape. Shadows are... With the action. With the form. With the light. PROBLEMS While I was still in the drawing class, Mr. Reilly began including problems in his lectures. Problems were homework. He used simple figures to illustrate the material in the lectures. Problems both made clear the lecture material and gave us experience in the use of brushes and paint. The problem here was to determine and paint the values in the light and shadow areas (including the background) using the chart below...

Frank Brangwyn said of Howard Pyle's work that... "The darkest dark in the light is always slightly lighter than the lightest light in the shadow". The above chart shows these values...Black(0) in the light is 4 plus and White(10) in the shadow is 4 minus. The above is the chart for normal indoor light. The numbers on the problem diagram above are locals and will adjust according to the chart. 7 on the diagram was painted at 8 plus in the light and 2 1/2 in the shadow. The jacket (local of 2) was painted at 5 plus in the light and 1 minus in the shadow etc. Normal form light is two parts shade and three parts light. Rim light is the reverse. Back light has no light and front light has no shade. Norman Rockwell used front light almost exclusively...

Problem - Using the above chart, determine the values and paint the spheres. The

background is 5 and the locals of the spheres is 10, 5 and 0...

This chart illustrates form light with more and less light. With more light Black becomes two and with less light White becomes eight...

Problem - paint the simplified figure of the Nun in the three form light conditions. Again, the values in the diagram are locals so the the light and shade must be determined from the charts. for instance, for normal form light, 7 in the light is 8 1/2 and in the shadow 7 is 3...

Mr. Reilly had an arrangement with a government agency for his students to compete in a Fire Poster contest. The winning poster was printed by the state of New York and used

for a year. Below was my entry for one of the two years I competed. The values for the background heads were determined on a variation of the value charts and may be seen as a solution to one of Mr. Reilly's homework problems. I mixed a string of red from the third value to nine. When I painted the background within this range, the figure, painted in full value range stood out. Neither of my entries won a contest.

PLANES Plane diagrams were taught by Mr. Reilly to show where value changes on a form might occur. The light strikes planes at various angles which may result in darker or lighter values. Edge planes can pick up reflected light in the shadow and consequently lighten in value (reflected light, reflected color). The plane diagrams are not the way to draw but show what to look for. Drawing the planes against the forms, however, is the way to draw especially in the beginning of a drawing. Mr. Reilly believed that the student will.. 'See what he knows'. When I understood that planes went against the form I began to see them in that way. A form can have flattened areas or planes...

Planes show the top, front, sides and bottom of a form. The light determines which planes are important. Planes are more in evidence on a thin person. One plane can include two forms...

A change of value occurs on the planes...

Planes relative to the light...

Planes are concave, forms are convex. Planes can be repeated, are against the form and can touch other planes...

Procedure Big outside shape. First planes. Secondary forms. Secondary planes. Etcetera.

Planes of the head

FEATURES OF THE HEAD Planes of the features and angle of the ear...

Hair parts on a plane and grows on a plane. It takes the form, to some degree, of the shape on which it grows...

Learning these idealized features allowed me to give shape to forms not readily apparent...

PERSPECTIVE I learned the principles of perspective mechanically but as a practical matter I use, "Kentucky reckoning" for landscapes. Usually the horizon line is not actual but imagined and it and the vanishing points must be estimated. Perspective is used most obviously for architecture in landscape but all elements, clouds for instance, have perspective.

Everything in a landscape gets smaller and closer together as it recedes toward the horizon. A special problem for still life is ellipses and I have done separate sketches when looking down on cylindrical shapes (vases, bottles etc.). When perspective is off it's immediately apparent and amateurish so learning it mechanically is a way to have corrective measures available. One point perspective In one point perspective, the front plane is square to the picture plane. It is used for narrow pictures only due to distortion. One point is a convention as it is not true to nature. Angled planes can be in one point perspective. The VP, or vanishing point, may only move if the plane has no thickness. In one point, only one set of lines converges to a VP...

Two point perspective Two point perspective is used most often and is, as is all perspective, based on the right angle...

A circle in perspective is not a perfect ellipse because the center moves. The center is

found by diagonals. The circle on top in the first illustration will touch the spots indicated...

One and two point perspective can occur in the same picture. Two point pespective has two sets of parallel lines which vanish to two vanishing points. The object is at an angle to the viewer in two point perspective and everything in the picture must be within a 60 degree cone of sight to remain undistorted...

Not relating windows is a common error. Once the windows are established on one wall, imagine the vanishing points on the other. This puts all the windows in relationship...

Three point perspective All sides of a cube vanish (three vanishing points). In three point the artist looks up or down...

Mr. Reilly went into perspective of inclined planes, perspective measurement, cast shadows in perspective and the perspective of reflections. A high level of exactness is not usually required in my landscapes so I've not included some of what he taught. Good books on perspective are readily available. In my experience, it has been sufficient for me to understand the principles to get the drawing visually convincing. If something still looks "funny", I imagine a horizon line and vanishing points, draw a separate sketch or consult a book to resolve the matter. DRAPERY Art school drapery studies. The man with sunglasses and the cowboy are from photographs...

When drawing a figure with clothing, be conscious of form, action and tailoring. Think of supporting surfaces, gravity, pull points and structure based on the six line abstraction. Drapery is used to design a figure and is mostly fairly straight lines and the shapes of folds is generally triangular. Keep drapery on the form underneath...

At first glance, folds may seem chaotic so explain them to yourself and determine which ones are significant and why. Reveal the figure underneath by using excess material and an awareness of the points from which the material hangs. Design the drapery using your knowledge of the location of knees, elbows, shoulders, etc. and when appropriate, the shapes of the various body parts. The calf muscle on the right leg in the diagram above, for instance, or the deltoid muscle on his left shoulder. The knees and elbows are clearly pull points causing folds to lead to them. Merely copying the surface appearance of folds leads to cutting into the underlying form or having the form bulge out. Eliminate folds that cannot be used for an explanatory purpose. The action of the figure will provide opportunities to reveal pull points, twists, and to design folds that show underlying forms. The artist is concerned mostly with the excess material that allows for folds to occcur. Clothing is designed with the average figure in mind. the top button is at the pit of the neck, for instance, the third button down is at the nipples of the breast, the fifth button at the navel and pleats are at the tip of the iliac...

Be sure that folds are off center and zigzagging down...

Folds follow the same pattern on the legs and arms...

1 - Wrap-around folds, 2 - High points cross the form to avoid monotony, 3 - Folds show foreshortening and the form underneath...

1 - Two soft edges indicates a shallow bump. 2 - One soft edge and one hard indicates a high bump....

There are three types of folds...surface, gravity and action. A surface fold is lying on a form and taking the shape of the form. A gravity fold is also called a hanging fold and the lines tend to be straight. An action fold is a pulling fold and can be twisted or angular. Lying on and hanging folds Avoid parallel lines for hanging folds to avoid monotony...

1 - Look for places where drapery is on the form. 2 - Be aware of perspective.

Consider carefully the points of support...

On rounded forms, think crossections...

Pull points...

HOLDING THE LOCAL

This demonstration piece shows a White, a Gray and a Black cube. These are their local values. The White cube is lightest in the light and the shadow, the Gray cube is intermediate in the light and the shadow and the Black cube is darkest in the light and the shadow. These relationships remain constant on the three visable planes of the three boxes. The cast shadows do not change. A simple way to say this is that... a White box will not be Black on the shadow side. Holding the relationships of the values (and color) true in both the light and the shade is called...'holding the local'.

ADDITIONAL TOPICS COVERED IN THE BOOK (available at


www.virtualbookworm.com)...
PICTURE MAKING Tipping Overlapping Black, white and gray backgrounds General abstract ideas Color abstraction Color choices Composition ideas MUNSELL COLOR WHEEL Simplified color wheel FIGURE PAINTING Art schol palette and supplies Color charts Required paint, their values and chromas Yellow/red chart Wash-in for figure painting Lay-in Order of importance Order of doing Edges Steps A figure painting is most dependant on... Effect Complexion Graduations and progressions

Finishing LANDSCAPE Types of illumination Four light conditions Palette Range Atmosphere Landscape color Recession Sky Clouds Trees Water Mountains Mr. Reilly contracted to write four books that were neither completed nor published which is the reason for my undertaking this project. A complete survey of his program, if it existed, would be far more extensive. The above is an honest account of his teaching as I experienced it during the four years or so that I was his student and monitor during the 1960s. It accurately describes the substance of his teaching. Doug Higgins

Doug Higgins and Whalley 2007


Photo Bill Hudson