Monday, October 19, 2009

Andrew Loomis,"Figure Drawing for All its worth"

Last night I recommended a book by Andrew Loomis, "Figure Drawing for All its Worth". I knew someone had posted five of his books online and couldn't find them. One of the readers gave me that address, and here is a link.

These books are out of print and expensive. The demand for them has been high ever since they weere written and they have seen many editions. I don't like reading books online and I own my own copy of this book. "Creative Illustration" written in 1947 is the best of his books in my opinion. I will write about that tomorrow night.. It is very expensive, here is a link to Amazon where there are used copies for sale. Walter Foster books ha an abridged version of the Figure Drawing book there is a link for that at the bottom of the page. I wish this were a better book, it is greatly abridged but it is inexpensive.

Andrew Loomis born in 1892, was a student of George Bridgeman and Frank Vincent Dumond at the Art Students League. Loomis served in the First World War and then returned to Chicago working first illustration studios and then opening his own. He is best known for teaching at the American Academy of Art and the books that he wrote, that have been an enormous influence on illustrators and artists.

The books are illustrated with his own pencil drawings and teach in an orderly and logical way. The style of the drawings may seem a little dated but the figure, remains the figure, and the information on proportions etc, is timeless. Loomis also gives a bit of advice on the characterizations that illustrators of his day used to get grace and beauty into a head or figure. Some of those ideas are dated and some are not. But studying how it was done is useful ,as the mannerisms of mid 20th century fashion art are adaptable to anyone wanting to draw attractive figures.


Philip Koch said...

Oh those shoes!

I was a student in the late '60's at the Art Students League of New York when I discovered R. B. Hale's great book "Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters." To this day I still have my well worn copy. It's an old friend. In addition to showing principles of construction, the author picks drawings to reproduce that are wonderfully expressive and sensitive. For example it has great Rembrandt and Degas drawings.

Robert J. Simone said...

I don't like reading books on the computer either. So I downloaded them onto a CD and took them to a local printer. He printed and bound each for what I thought were reasonable prices. Creative Illustration was around $50 because it has a lot of color illustrations but the others were less expensive. Well worth the effort and cost.

tony damico said...

I have this book and also Creative Illustration and find them invaluable tools. He presented his material in a very simple yet thorough manner.

As an artist, Loomis was at the top of the game. His design, lush color palette and sumptuous brush strokes combined to make beautiful paintings. I was fortunate enough to own a 30x30 painting done for Ladies Home Journal in 1939. Unfortunately I sold the painting about 10 years ago and regret doing so.

I really enjoy your blog... you keep it interesting with a variety of topics!

Tony D'Amico

Mary Bullock said...

Now I know what to ask for Christmas!

jeff said...

If your patient you can find this book on Amazon or EBay for a good price.

Last year I won two Loomis books Figure Drawing and Creative Illustration for $45 on EBay and I know I was lucky but fro some reason that week there were a few of them on line for sale. Another Figure Drawing went for $100.

Used they can fetch $200 to $300 if in good condition.

I have paid more for the Perspective book, but that book is one of the best books on the subject on par with Rex Cole's book.

jeff said...

For what it's worth there is one on EBay right now with 0 bids and is starting at $19 plus shipping.

I recently also saw the book on Amazon for about $60 which is well worth it.

Gregory Becker said...

Great link. I looked at it this morning over coffee. It was hard to tear myself away. Good stuff.

willek said...

Just finished browsing ALL of the Loomis books and downloading them. They are really terrific. Thanks for the tip off

Stapleton Kearns said...

You can't tell me you don't like those shoes!

I also have a dogeared copy of Drawing lessons and Anatomy lessons by Hale. I should do a post on those some day.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone: When I went to the local printer they wanted way to much because the pages were oversized. Did that happen to you?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, I'll bet you regret that!

Stapleton Kearns said...

I think we can count on a white Christmas this year, as we have already had snow once here.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have a feeling those cheaper copies are going to be gone real soon.The readers of this blog will all be bidding against one another for them too.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Look at the diagram on the degrees of separation of light in tonight's post. Do you remember we had a conversation about that.

Stapleton Kearns said...


I am surprised they are new to you.What do you do with lemon oil?

jeff said...

Yes this is true, but so it's still cheap.

I bid on both Creative Illustration and Figure Drawing. I was lucky, as I was the only person bidding. On the same day I one I lost a bid for Figure Drawing and it went for about $80.

If you go to Ebay you can find these books for a good price if your patient.