Sunday, July 10, 2011

Figure Drawing for all it's worth

Andrew Loomis cover for the Saturday Evening post

Armand Cabrera has posted an excellent collection of quotes from the great American illustrator Harvey Dunn on his blog Art and Influence. you can read that Here.

A publisher call Titian is reproducing the classic texts by Andrew Loomis. They are very reasonably priced , used copies of these books sell for hundreds of dollars. I actually have an old copy of this book.

Andrerw Loomis (1892 to 1959) was a successful illustrator, trained at the Art Students League in New York, he studied with George Bridgeman and Frank Vincent Dumond. Loomis kept his studio in Chicago, and also taught at the American Academy of Art. He published his first instructing book "Fun with a Pencil" in 1939. The most sought after Loomis book is "Creative Illustration", hopefully this rare book will be available from this publisher too. These books are available online for free, but I prefer a real book to reading online. I get a better idea of the flow of a book from the paper version and find it much easier to study.

All that I show professionally is landscapes, but I draw figures one night a week with a group of atelier students in Manchester. You should too, if you want to improve your drawing. Drawing the nude is the best training for your drawing.. Nothing looks so wrong as a badly drawn figure, we all know what a figure looks like and notice any problems in a drawing of one.

Loomis drew hundreds of illustrations of figures showing proportions and tricks to remember them, He shows drawings of all the features, anatomy and construction lines for building the armature of the figure. His drawings from the golden age of illustration show different styles and techniques of drawing and although they are a little dated looking the figure hasn't changed much over the years. The information is as useful as when the book was written. The book is not scholarly but accessible and easy to understand

This classic text has been used by generations of artists and illustrators and is one of the simplest books on the subject.


adebanji said...

Thanks so much for the info!

McKinneyArtist said...

Loomis and Vanderpoel are required reading and drawings at the classes I take. But nothing is as hard to do as drawing a nude from life. Any one who has this in there area needs to do this often. My goal is landscapes but this drawing of light and shadow is totally awesome learning. said...


Paul Bachem said...

I have them all in hardcover and wouldn't part with them for any amount of money. Classics! Great post Stape.

jeff said...

I own and use the Loomis books.
His book Creative Illustration is a gem. It's great that these books are starting to come back into print.

I'm hoping the book Three Dimensional Drawing comes out as well. It has to be one of the best all around books on perspective and composition I've every seen. I think the perspective chapters rival Rex Cole' book and the illustrations are over twice the size.

On a side note I was on an online auction site looking at some of the work for a illustration art auction and they had a few Loomis originals for that one could have had for under $3000. One of them had a starting bid of $1500. If I had the money I would have snatched that up in a heart beat. It was one hell of a painting. What I find so interesting about Loomis, Cronwell, ,Lovell and Dunn is that their work transcends illustration. They made paintings that were used as illustrations. At least this is how there work seems to me and from what I've read about these chaps it's how they approached it.

stapeliad said...

Gotta love Loomis.

Brady said...

Loomis is awesome! The way he breaks down the human figure is simple and logical.

armandcabrera said...


Thanks for the redirect, I owe you one. What do I give the man who has his own model of easel named after him?

mendacious_valkyrie said...

Strange but true...Karl Malden was a great admirer of Loomis.

circa said...

FYI, several Loomis books are available for free, and in full, as .pdf files. Figure Drawing For All It's Worth, and several others, can be downloaded at the following site:

circa said...

In reading my published comment, it looks as though the link I pasted got cut off. So, after the "07/", the final portion of the link should read:

Yes, "instruction" is spelled incorrectly in the URL, but it works.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are welcome over there is London!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Do you see the figure differently now that you are working from a Lazy Boy?

Stapleton Kearns said...
Uh, yeah.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Paul Bachem;
I have several but I want "illustration".I can read it online or download it, but I like a volume if I am going to study something.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I do. And Speed, Payne and Carlson.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It seems to pair well with Bridgemans book too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

You are USEFUL!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Karl was well rounded and always seemed to have his finger on the pulse of the nation. Karl's gone now, but I am sure he is knitting ecru colored pantyhose in Valhalla.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, If anybody wants to read these online there they are. I might like online better if I was downloading to a device like a Nook. I can just pick up a book and study it in my idle moments.