The vibrant and very cute illustrations of Laura Müller have a very lively quality to them. Though her style tends to lean towards manga, a western animation influence is very visible. Mr Müller has a varied colouring technique, all very strong, but I think her watercolours and her digital paintings are perticularly pleasing.
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.
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.
Frieke Verle is an illustrator based in Bruges, Belgium. She creates some excellent editorial pieces, and I really admire her visual style and approach. It’s quite gritty, full of textures and various techniques. Do take a look at her Tumblr, or her blog which is packed with various projects and one-offs.
Ricardo is from Portugal and now lives in London. He works at D&AD, the famous creative hub home to the famous Yellow Pencil award. On Ricardo’s website you’ll find some excellent projects, both personal and professional. His Gallery of Mo portraits are fun, and I highly recommend taking a look at ‘Ever After’, his MA final project. I like the often whimsical and sometimes provocative nature of his work, so of course we were delighted to receive this suggestion. Now, wonder on over and gasp in delight at the rest of Ricardo’s portfolio…
Dasha Tolstikova lives and works in New York. She is a doodler extraordinaire, creating all sorts of interesting work, such as her ‘Book of Lonely Children’ and her work in progress titled ’12: A Year Without Mom’, which looks intriguing and I’m sure will be a great piece of work. I’m not sure if her works are autobiographical at all, but she does pick interesting subject matter and you can feel some real truth coming through. Her style carries a child-like innocence, which is perfect for the type of subjects she draws. Her handwriting is adorable (quite an achievement if you consider she uses only capital letters).