I’ve written before about my admiration for the classic instructional books by the early to mid 20th century American illustrator Andrew Loomis.
In particular I’ve enthusiastically reviewed two of the superb new editions from Titan Books of his too long out of print classics, Figure Drawing for All it’s Worth and Drawing the Head and Hands (links to my reviews).
My recommendation for the relevance for these volumes from the 1940’s and 1950’s to contemporary artists comes under two principles: “What’s old is new” (or fashionably retro) and “Some things are timeless.”
The latter, of course, is the primary qualification for Loomis’ teachings; they go to the heart of figure drawing, and in his signature work, Creative Illustration, he also goes to the heart of composition, line, tone, narrative imagery and creative idea generation.
The book, published in 1947, was aimed at professional illustrators; and while some of the advice about the nature of the business may be dated, some is not, and the principles of composing and creating illustrations in various media are essential and timeless.
Some may find Loomis’ style “old fashioned” — others, myself included, find it both timeless and wonderfully retro, as fresh as when he was working.
There is plenty of it to be seen in Creative Illustration. Loomis has packed it with instructional drawings, layout diagrams, sketches, process sequences, paintings and illustrations in diverse media. It’s a visual treat as well as a treasure of art instruction.
He even goes into his admiration for the work of the great American illustrator Howard Pyle, including some tone studies he made of Pyle’s works (above, 7th down).
Once again, Titan Books has gone beyond a respectful reproduction and brought us a beautiful edition of this classic work, from the facsimile cream-colored paper to the color reproductions to the crisp black and white and tone illustrations.
The images above are rough scans from an old edition and don’t by any means do the current volume justice. So far I’ve been unable to convince Titan to provide more in the way of previews. In lieu of that, see the reviews that include previews on Parka Blogs (including a video flip-through), Parka Blogs Flickr stream, Boing Boing and Wings Art.
Creative Illustration is a 300 page tome bursting at the seams with essentials of image creation and Andrew Loomis’ beautiful work, sage advice and straightforward instruction.
Creative Illustration, Amazon link
Other Andrew Loomis books on Titan Books
Creative Illustration review on Parka Blogs
Parka Blogs Flickr stream
Review and excerpt on Boing Boing
Review on Wings Art
Related Lines and Colors posts:
Drawing the Head and Hands
Figure Drawing for All it's Worth
Andrew Loomis in Illustration Magazine