Some artists have as much, or more, impact as a teacher as they do as an artist.
Although Frank Reilly had been fulfilling assignments as a professional illustrator even while he was still a pupil at the Art Students League, it was on his return there as a teacher that he would make his greatest contribution.
Reilly was one of the most influential American art teachers in the 20th Century. He is credited with codifying methods for teaching drawing, painting, illustration and other aspects of representational art in ways that became the foundation for teaching techniques still in use today.
Reilly organized the study of color, value, form, composition and other elements of painting and drawing into systematic programs built on Munsell’s scientific study of color and the knowledge he acquired from his own teachers (who included renowned anatomist George Bridgeman, Frank Vincent DuMond and his friend and neighbor, the great illustrator Dean Cornwell), as well as his own experience as a working illustrator.
For the 35 years he taught at the Art Students League his classes and lectures were waiting list and standing room only.
I can point you to two excellent sources of information about Reilly on the web. One is an article American Art Archives, the other is a remembrance by contemporary realist Doug Higgins in which he gives a wonderfully detailed account of his experiences as a student of Reilly’s, profusely illustrated with his notes, drawings and paintings from his classes (images at left, bottom).
Because Higgin’s site is in frames, I’ve popped it out of context here because it’s the only way to link to it directly. The original context is a link within Higgin’s main site.
Another of Reilly’s students, Jack Faragasso, who succeeded Reilly at the school he founded, has published a book, Mastering Drawing The Human Figure From Life, Memory, Imagination which is based in large part on Reilly’s instruction.