My West Coast correspondent Frank Bettendorf is always sending me little tidbits of book arts and drawing related news. He just sent me a link to "Getting Back to the Phantam Skill" by James McMullan.
Frank doesn't know that James McMullan is one of my all-time favorite illustrators! (Thank you Frank!)
McMullan has started a series of columns in the New York Times (the link will take you to the first one on Sept. 16, and below you'll find the title to the second in the series, and so on). He explains in the first column:
The first few columns of this series on drawing that I’m initiating this week will offer a primer on the basic elements of line-making, perspective, structure and proportion, which I hope will begin to rekindle the love of drawing for those readers who left it behind in the 4th grade. Achieving some confidence in drawing objects will get you started in the pleasure of this activity, and give you the basis for moving on to drawing figures…
…My overall goal, apart from helping with specific information, is to communicate the enthusiasm I feel for the immediacy of drawing. It is the activity that most engages an artist’s sense of exploration, both visually, as the artist feels out the image, new born, on the drawing surface, and intellectually, as the drawing becomes the bridge between observation or an idea and a graphic fact.
I urge you to take a moment each Friday to look at McMullan's column. You might also seek out "Revealing Illustrations," by James McMullan. (Amazon has it on offer, but no information on it.) The book includes a variety of his illustrations with discussions about the jobs, often including thumbnails and roughs. Every illustrator should own a copy of this book.
On Amazon I see there is also a book of McMullan's Theatre posters, however, I have not seen a copy of that book. Based on the product description, I'm ordering one. I've seen many of the posters, but I look forward to having them in a collection along with sketches and first drafts and such.