He was billed at "Television's Original Art Teacher," and few disputed the claim. Jon Gnagy was a fixture on TV in the 50s and 60s, and millions bought his "Learn to Draw" kits in an attempt to bring out their artistic ability.
Gnagy grew up in Kansas, where he took up drawing and began winning art competitions when he was in his teens. After attending art school, he moved to New York in the Depression to try his hand as a freelance artist. He gained success surprisingly quickly, getting a major commercial art contract two days after he got there. He went on as a successful freelancer and teacher, developing his system to make people comfortable drawing.
All that put him in a good position when, on May 16, 1946, the first television broadcast from the Empire State Building antenna was aired. Gnagy's charm and ability let him to getting the leadoff spot on the broadcast, and he was on TV for years afterwards.
Gnagy's system made it easy for beginning to learn to draw. He broke everything down into four geometric shapes: a ball, a cone, a cube, and a cylinder, and promised that if you could draw those shapes, you could draw anything. And he would proceed to show you how.
Gnagy was a fixture of off-hours TV. Part was because his shows were interesting, but I suspect that they were also cheap for the stations to run them. Production costs were minimal -- there was just Gnagy and one camera. In addition, Gnagy also sold a "Learn to Draw" Kit, which had all the pencils, erasers and other equipment needed to follow along with the show. The kit and others by him are still being made, and kids continue to use his methods to learn how to draw. But sales of the kit clearly helped support the show, and probably allowed Gnagy to make offer it at a low price.
It's hard to get a handle on the show's history. It was syndicated, and appeared in odd timeslots like Sunday mornings. By the late 60s, they were gone.
Gnagy had the ability to make things look easy enough that any beginning artist could feel he could follow along. Thousands of kids -- including many who went on to be professional artists -- got their start from his shows.