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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Andrew Loomis Books Reprinted by Titan

Saturday, June 02, 2012

The folks at Titan Books recently sent me a review copy of their most recent Andrew Loomis 'facsimile' series of re-releases. This latest volume is Loomis' "Successful Drawing"

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You can find PDFs of Loomis' books all over the Internet so the content is not the reason one would want to own this book. This is something for those who really would want the physical item on their shelf or drawing table. I already own original copies of "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" and "Creative Illustration" but I've never seen this particular Loomis book. I found it to be quite amazing and expect it will be extremely useful to me, both personally as an artist and professionally, as an instructor in the Mohawk College Graphic Design program where I teach structural drawing foundations.

Loomis talks about the importance of thumbnailing - something I strongly agree with and will be teaching a course in this September.

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I love this spread from the chapter on "The Fundamentals" of successful drawing and picture-making. This is such a useful reminder for those of us who have been at the business of drawing and painting for a long time - as much as for those who are just starting out.

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The chapter on perspective gets VERY complicated - my head was spinning in the later pages - but ultimately it only reinforces why Loomis was such a master of illustration. Everything in a Loomis picture is built on a solid foundation of understanding. Nothing is ever fudged.

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Once again, everything in the chapter on rendering light and shadow is absolutely essential knowledge for beginner or seasoned professional. This sort of stuff needs constant review and Loomis describes it masterfully through both words and pictures.

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As with all Loomis books, there is no shortage of beautiful figure studies - both nude and clothed - and worth the price if only to admire Loomis' great skill at rendering the female form.

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The book concludes with a long section showing a great variety of Loomis' drawings. Everything from cartoon sketches to landscapes to figures young and old. Very inspiring stuff!

As mentioned, you could download all of this material for free ... but if you are, like me, someone who appreciates a shelf full of books by great illustrators, then order this volume from Titan Books - and enjoy!



9 comments

  1. Actually...one of the problems, at least with this book, that Loomis has, is that he occasionally leaves out important information. While he does go into some depth about perspective, he fails to mention a couple of important things. The first is how to find measuring points in 2 point perspective. He uses them, but he never tells you where they came from (the length from the station point to the vanishing point 1 then laid toward the VP2 from the VP1 gives you the MP1). I'm sure he knows, or he just assumes that we do. Also, like nearly every perspective book I've looked at, he fails to talk about how vertical ellipses rotate at different elevations. He does it in his work, but he never explains it. In fact, the only book that I've seen that appears to explain it is by Dora Miriam Norton "Freehand Perspective and Sketching", which you can find for free on Google Books. Nearly every perspective book I've looked at either avoids the question of ellipses or just tells you to fake it.

    However, despite my complaints, I think the book is a must have. I had one of the universities I teach at print it out for me last summer, so I could more readily use it. I used the book as the primary text for a Drawing for Illustration course, along with some of the Famous Artists Course materials. The book is unusually good at explaining how to generate and manipulate compositional and 3D space for great impact. Sadly, this is exactly the sort of information that students are never taught and we're lucky that Loomis had the sense to condense that information in such an excellent visual way.

    I'm really looking forward to the reprinting of Creative Illustration. I'm hoping they'll do that one next.

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  2. Great info - thanks for sharing your insight, Sakievich!

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  3. I saw one too here in my place..a bit pricey in my currency but i think it's worth it. I think it was a how to on portraits or drawing faces..can't say exactly though

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  4. I saw one book by Loomis..took me by surprise!..lol..the book's a bit pricey for my currency but i think it's worth it. The book i saw was one of his portrait drawing how to's or how to draw the head.

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  5. The PDFs are bootlegs. Even if I did not appreciate having hard-copy, I would not want to substitute a boot-legged copy of Loomis's work for a licensed copy.

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  6. Good point Daniel; and for that very reason this is the first time I've seen this particular volume. I made the same personal choice as you not to download the PDFs back when I was first made aware of their availability.

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  7. Not that I can confirm nor deny (just puttin' it out there), the way I heard it was that Loomis' heirs didn't give a damn about him or bootleg pdfs.

    From just whom is this edition licensed?

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  8. Nick Williams3:50 PM

    No books on art instruction will ever be entirely comprehensive The joy of reading Loomis is the the easy manner in which he engages with his readers guiding them towards an understanding of the key issues without ever sounding dull. His skill and enthusiasm are obvious to all, in 38 years of art teaching I never found an author to match him.

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