Andrew Loomis books

Late last week, an artist I follow on Twitter named Ryan Stegman (@ryanstegman) posted a small image from an old art book by a guy named Andrew Loomis on constructing heads. He said it was still the best way to construct a head, from a book published around the 1940s.

Loomis’ books are long out of print, and apparently are now in the public domain; I was able to track down PDF copies relatively easily last night (originals are pretty expensive on eBay) and have started reading them. Putting digital copies of very old books onto my iPad in order to read them was a highly entertaining experience.

I started reading them this evening and have even gone so far as to break out a notebook and take notes. My attempts to get back into drawing have revealed a lot of the weaknesses I knew I had when I was drawing a lot more often in college and shortly after; I need to work on construction fundamentals, perspective and lighting, and at first glance I think I’ll get a lot out of these books. They’re significantly more approachable, and more focused on general principles of designing and constructing an image, than the Burne Hogarth books I’ve picked up that focus on anatomy and they human figure.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try and sketch something every day and post it here, even if it’s just a light study on a cube or something. Hopefully that’ll help me get in some of the work I need to improve.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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2 Responses

  1. tom feister says:

    I’ve been a fan of Loomis since I was first turned on to them by Steve Rude. I’ve managed to collect all but Eye of the Painter. If you have to get just one Creative Illustration is the swiss army knife of his books. It covers everything. I’m glad to see that people are still continuing to discover his work.

  2. Hi Tom; welcome to the blog. Thanks for the comment! The Loomis books are great; to me, they seem more approachable than the Burne Hogarth books, which I’m also trying out. Mostly, I just need to do a ridiculous amount of work — at the end of the day, which book I’m trying to learn how to draw mannikins out of probably doesn’t matter all that much. 🙂 But having books like this to act as a guidepost sure has been helpful.

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