Young Advice for Young Illustrators

Sea-landscape and figure illustrator Cliff Young was born in New Waterford, Ohio in 1905 and died in 1985. He studied at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Grand Central School of Art with Harvey Dunn; the Art Institute of Chicago with Charles Schroder and J Wellington Reynolds; the National Academy of Design, New York with Leon Kroll, the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; and the Art Students League, New York.

  • Young was a former lecturer on anatomy at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Central Park School of Art, New York and at the Grand Central School of Art, New York. He was also a member of the Society of Illustrators, New York.
  • Young was a mural assistant to Ezra Winter, N.A., William A Mackay, Dean Cornwall, N.A., Barry Faulkner, N.A., and Frank Schwarz A.N.A. and he was a story and advertising illustrator who mostly worked from his New York studio.
  • His paintings and watercolours have been exhibited in galleries and exhibitions throughout the United States (U.S.).

All images featured above are from his instruction guide: Figure Drawing Without a Model (1946) which features over 150 drawings; illustrating proportion, construction, light and shade, action and drapery.

Young says, “In order to become a versatile artist, one must learn to draw figures without a model. It is possible to reduce a seemingly complicated figure to its simplest form by using geometric solids. That way, one can understand what to look at, when one draws from a model or photograph”.  By following his instructions, Young claims, “That one should be able to ‘read’ a photograph, as an engineer does a ‘blue-print’; and know the position of all the parts, which make up the whole figure”.

Go figure!

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Source: Figure Drawing Without a Model by Cliff Young. House of Little Books: New York, 1946.
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