Category: News / Exhibitions
  1. 28

    Oct 2014

    Book Review ~ I’d Love To Draw

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    Editor’s Note:

    I’d Love to Draw is a collection of work by the innovative American artist Andrew Loomis, previously unseen by anyone outside the Loomis family and available in print for the first time ever. Having been held in the Loomis family archive for decades after the artist’s death, I’d Love to Draw has been restored by a group of devoted experts, including the globally renowned comic book artist and Loomis devotee Alex Ross.

    The Book Review:

    Last week we treated you with some special photos of the original I’d Love To Draw book. This week we shall regale you with our thoughts of the newly restored version.

    Andrew Loomis started this book with the ambitious intention of bridging the gap between those who “can’t draw” and hobbyist. Before he passed away, he completed much of the writing, annotations, and sketches. Though some of the sketches are quite rough, they more than convey their point. Alex Ross plays co-author, and adds extra annotation where needed. I initially though his part would be quite small, writing a forward and maybe some extra thoughts, but Mr Ross actually has annotations throughout which are very helpful.

    An important thing to remember is that this book is aimed at the absolute novice and so Mr Loomis pays careful attention to limit the art terminology, and breaks down processes to their simplest. Mr Loomis’ main focus is to change how a beginner thinks about drawing. He States that an amateur will focus on the contours of an object and attempt to draw them. This is of course very difficult even for seasoned illustrators. He goes into great depth to explain the importance of construction lines, and breaking down an object to its most basic shapes. Mr Loomis proceeds comfortably to reinforce this idea with a few examples of complex objects with their basic shape counterpart. The book is filled with some great tidbits, like this gem:

    “We can only fake things we know thoroughly—otherwise we just put down the evidence of what we do not know.”

    After addressing preconceptions and hopefully easing some of any initial fear, Mr Loomis proceeds to explain some of the most central areas of illustration including perspective, light, faces and figures. He spotlights cartooning and exaggeration, in attempt to convey the fun of drawing. Which actually did just that. I found it a really welcome section after the more technical information. The book concludes with different techniques of sketching: tonal, accent, scribble, block and more. This was definitely my favourite section as it pretty much doubles as a showcase of how inspiring and adept Andrew Loomis’ sketches are.

    In all, I’d Love to Draw, is a worthy addition to the Loomis book collection and it is wonderful to see more of his work in print. I should stress that it won’t suit everyone. For those who already have a foot in illustration and draw regularly, this book may be a tad repetitious. Essentially it is a more accessible version of Successful Drawing. However, what it does do well and what it set out to do, to relieve the fear of having a go.

    I will admit I have not sat to draw much lately, but as soon as I put this book down I picked my pencil up. Something about the “Getting the fun out of it” section really motivated me.

    Published by Titan Books, I’d Love To Draw is out now, retailing at £29.99. I would recommend it mainly for beginners, those interested in illustration (and willing to give it a go), and definitely the Loomis enthusiast.

    I’d Love To Draw
    Titan
    Hardback with dust jacket
    128 pages
    306 x 234mm
  2. 20

    Oct 2014

    Book Review ~ Ed Sheeran “A Visual Journey”

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    Before I get into this book review, I just want to make it clear that I have a personal interest in this book and the artist behind it, Mr Phillip Butah.

    I have known Phillip for some time now in a professional and personal capacity. His work has always inspired me and I was all too happy and humbled to provide him with my opinions when he first opened the conversation about putting this book together. Also for our Blog readers, it’s worth noting that this book is not an out and out art book, it’s more of an illustrated book of autobiographical memoirs. I would therefore recommend it to both fans of Ed Sheeran’s music and fans of illustration and portraiture alike. Although much of the accompanying visuals are the work of artist Phillip Butah, there is also some varied and complimentary photography.

    The Book Review:
    The UK version of the book (to which I have kindly been gifted a first edition of by Phillip himself) is published by Cassell Illustrated a division of Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.

    The hardback cover is a bright and striking luminous green wrapped in luxurious soft touch lamination. The cover contains a simple line illustration of Ed looking rather humble. This I felt was an excellent precursor to the overall flavour of the book which takes us on a journey through Ed’s more humble beginnings up until his latest’s album release. In fact humility is often an underlining feature within both Phillip Butah’s artistic portraits and Ed Sheeran’s music.

    Phillip’s forward highlights this fact quite clearly when he talks about the need to put in at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become really good at any discipline. He also explains how even though both himself and Ed have made the necessary sacrifices to get to the level they are at, they both instinctively know and feel they can always do more and always do better. He also talks about this at the end of the book (which is dedicated to Phillip and the way in which he works) where he states that he is his “own worst critic”, with an eye for seeing his own work’s imperfections.

    The book contains a variety of artistic styles and approaches however I find that its Phillip’s signature realism style that shines through. His images often look like he has deliberately peeled back some of the layers to reveal the inner workings and techniques used to create them. Leaving areas of the portraits only subtly rendered to create depth and interest. I personally like this idea as it creates a sense of imbalance or drama and can help draw your eye to what the artist finds interesting and what he wants to reveal about the person he is drawing.

    Some of the styles in the book include inspiration from Czech artist Alphonse Mucha and even Soviet propaganda art. He treats us to a variety of mediums including, pencils, watercolour & pen, biro sketches, full blown pastel renders and graphite on paper chiaroscuro illustrations.

    Ed Sheeran “a visual journey” is available to buy now. I think we will be seeing a lot more of Phillip Butah and his collaborations with Ed Sheeran.

    Ed Sheeran “a visual journey”
    Hardcover
    208 pages
    24.8 x 19.6 x 2.2 cm
  3. 17

    Oct 2014

    I’d Love To Draw by Andrew Loomis

    by
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    I’d Love To Draw is out today in the UK! To celebrate Titan books have kindly sent over some rare photographs of the original book Andrew Loomis created.

    I’d Love To Draw was started by the Andrew Loomis, but he unfortunately died in 1959 before its completion. Held in the Loomis family archives for decades, the book’s existence was entirely unknown outside of the Loomis family – until now. Lovingly restored by a team of experts, including the globally-renowned and respected artist Alex Ross, Titan Books are finally publishing Loomis’ lost legacy. This facsimile edition finally completes the Loomis legacy at long last.

    We will have a full review of the book soon.

  4. 24

    Sep 2014

    Phantom Limb / LNWC

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    Phantom Limb is a short animation created by Australian animation director Alex Grigg, in association with Late Night Work Club. It has done the rounds this year at many prestigious film festivals, including Sundance Film Festival, and the Annecy International Animation Festival, picking up multiple awards along the way. The melancholy, yet enchanting animation is enhanced by its choppy pacing and notable eerie sound design. To find out more about the project, take a look at Mr Grigg’s write up.

    Slight tangent from illustration here, but if this animation has made you the slightest bit inquisitive of phantom limbs, and you would like to know more, you absolutely must read Phantoms in the Brain.

  5. 24

    Jul 2014

    Really Cheap and Really Useful Books for Illustrators

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    We are going to do something a little different for today’s post. I recently picked up a copy of The Anatomy of Costume from Amazon for the enthralling price of 1 pence. A perfectly good book, in a perfectly acceptable condition. This got me thinking, how great it would if there were a whole list of useful art books that were being sold for a penny? I did a little Google-fu to see what was out there already, after not finding anything I decided to make my own list and share it with you, my fellow Loungers.

    This list of 30 books breaks down into four main categories, Reference, Tutorial, Fine Art and Other. I specifically chose books from a broad range of creative fields and would have loved to throw in a couple books on design or architecture, but sadly could not find anything worthy for so cheep.

    Just in case some of you are thinking, what is the point of buying a book when you have a wealth of reference of the internet? Firstly, as shocking as it may seem, not everything is on the internet; sometimes that dissected image of that flower you need can only be found in a book. Personally, I prefer working with a book in front of me rather than a screen. Ultimately buying books will introduce you to things you weren’t looking for, which is the best way to expand your pool of inspiration. Not to mention, these books are a penny, you cheapskate!

    I should mention that I own a lot of the books in this list, most of which I spent a lot more than a penny to buy. Suffice to say their value is much higher than their price tag.

    Enough rambling, here is the list:

    Reference

    General

    Costume

    History

    Tutorial

    Fine Art

    General

    Artist

    Other

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