How I Make A Picture by Jon Whitcomb - Famous Artists Advanced Program



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"America's most famous artists have spent a lot of their time, thought and energy in putting down for you in words and pictures all the ideas and methods they use in making pictures....we are confident you will find it fully expresses the man and his work, and is designed so you can readily understand his way of thinking about picture-making."

The Famous Artists School's Advanced Program which started in 1948 consisted of eleven separate volumes/binders each written and illustrated by a different faculty member (John Atherton, Austin Briggs, Stevan Dohanos, Robert Fawcett, Peter Helck, Fred Ludekens, Al Parker, Norman Rockwell, Ben Stahl, Harold Von Schmidt, Jon Whitcomb). It only lasted for a few years before school president Albert Dorne cancelled the program due to low enrollment and had all the material incinerated (according to an instructor at the school at the time) resulting in the scarcity of the remaining volumes.

This volume is Jon Whitcomb's contribution to the Famous Artists School's Advanced Program. An entire course (9 lessons in 142 pages) written & illustrated entirely by Whitcomb. Whitcomb was best known for his glamorous covers and illustrations and his idealized renderings of men & women. He was also co-founder of the influential Cooper Studio in New York. This course is the only instance when Whitcomb put in print his philosophy and approach to illustration.


  • Meet Jon Whitcomb - a 10-page profile of the artist
  • Working Procedure
  • The Face
  • Men & Women
  • Fashion
  • Love Scenes
  • Photography
  • Techniques
  • Story Illustration
  • Color and Covers

As with all our copies of the Famous Artists Courses, we have verified the contents and completeness of this volume. All the pages are present including all the color plates.

This has a black Famous Artists Course binder rather than the usual maroon How I Make A Picture binder. The significance of this is unknown.


Jon Whitcomb

Condition & Attributes

Near Fine in Near Fine binder. All the pages are present including the color plate. Except for the last page which has some toning and wear, the pages are clean. Ringholes show only light wear. The one-page assignment sheet is missing, but a facsimile is



Publishing Information

Westport, CT
Institute of Commercial Art

Physical Description

14 inches
12 inches
142 pages
1 double-page color illustration and over 400 black & white illustrations
printed custom binder