We were unaware that Titan Books has reprinted the highly sought after anatomy books by Andrew Loomis that have assumed a legendary status among classically minded cartoonists and illustrators. The Lines and Colors blog has a good write-up of the reissues and just why they are so prized:
The book goes into better detail than I have seen anywhere else on understanding the change in proportions that the human face and head undergo as we move from infancy through childhood into adulthood.
His section on hands brings similar focus to the proportions of the various parts of the hand, an understanding of the hand’s underlying geometry, and the distinction between the hands of the young and old, male and female.
In case I haven’t gotten it across, I can’t recommend these books highly enough for those learning to draw the human form without reference to a model. For those who are drawing from a model, you might be surprised how much a study of the Loomis construction methods can inform your drawings with an underlying strength and dimensionality.
Titan has already released facsimile editions of FIGURE DRAWING FOR ALL IT’S WORTH and DRAWING THE HEAD AND HANDS:
Next May they’re releasing SUCCESSFUL DRAWING.
According to reports, these editions are faithful facsimiles of the originals from the ’40s and ’50s — books that routinely go for hundreds of dollars on eBay or are quickly snatched from libraries. If you’ve been relying on crappy pdfs, these new editions should be a formally correct replacement.
Loomis has been cited as a big influence by Alex Ross and Steve Lieber; Steve Rude and Mike Baron named Admiral Loomis in NEXUS after him. It’s not too hard to see the huge influence of the whole “golden age of illustration” encapsulated in Loomis’s pleasing proportions and rounded lines, but it’s still awfully nice to look at.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.