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Book Review ~ Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

Book Review ~ Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

Editor’s Note

The illustrator Andrew Loomis is revered amongst artists for his mastery of drawing technique and his clean, realist style. His hugely influential series of art instruction books have never been bettered and Successful Drawing, the third in Titan’s programme of facsimile editions, returns this classic title to print for the first time in decades.

For over 60 years Successful Drawing has provided a superb resource covering all the techniques needed to master three-dimensional drawing. From the fundamentals of proportion, placement, perspective, planes and pattern, through a detailed examination of scale and the effects and capture of light, to the mastery of conception, construction, contour, character and consistency, Successful Drawing is filled with step-by-step instruction, professional tips and beautiful illustration.

As the great American painter Norman Rockwell said, “All of Andrew Loomis’ books have been so simply and clearly written that their popularity is certainly deserved.” Engaging, witty, and wonderfully executed, this is a masterclass for amateur artists and professional illustrators alike.

The Book Review

In my youth I was always quite partial to an odd “how to draw” book. Sitting down with them and following the instructions like for like, then not really understanding why my drawing didn’t look quite as the one in the book. Why is the book’s version of a 3/4 profile of a face so good, and mine just OK? Well, Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis goes into great detail explaining what makes a good drawing. Mr. Loomis does not just simply give you a dictatorial step-by-step guide to follow, he annotates as much as possible for you to get a better understanding of constructing similar images.

He brings up a brilliant term, “intelligent perception” which basically discuses the pre-programmed information the human brain has about objects. A series of truths that if crossed we realise something is wrong. In drawing terms, if we do not conform to our innate understanding of intelligent perception a drawing will simply not be good.

The information in the book is very well written, and easy to grasp, even though the outcome may be complex. It does reiterate lessons that we may sometimes ignore in our everyday drawings. For example distorting shapes in line with a single vanishing point, which we often play by eye.

This book contains all the elements that you can find in most “how to draw” books, such as dimensions, perceptive, and lighting but does a much better job of trying to explaining their importance, and how to achieve them. It also has a wonderful gallery of examples by Mr. Loomis, that any illustrator would be inspired by. I would definitely recommend this book as great refresher course of illustration techniques that you may have left on the wayside and some information that you may have not even considered before. You can pick up a hardcover version from amazon, for £15.29.

Book Review ~ Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis
Book Review ~ Successful Drawing by Andrew Loomis

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