Illuminating Loomis

A daily examination and reproduction of the works found in Andrew Loomis’s art instruction book, “Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth.”

Day One: Cover

This past Christmas, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth, by Andrew Loomis. Being a comic book illustrator, myself, and always wanting to improve upon my own set of skills, I had wanted to purchase this figure drawing book for some time but never actually got around to it. After flipping through just a few pages of Loomis’s sketches, I could tell that this book was not like other figure drawing books I had previously seen. These illustrations were clean, dynamic, realistic, practical, beautiful, and his method of construction was easy to understand and follow. I could tell right away that, if utilized properly and with dedication, this book was going to change my career as an illustrator.

In the introduction of the book, Loomis suggests, “With every page…place your [sketch] pad at the side of the book.” And that’s exactly what I intend to do. If I’m going to be serious about improving my abilities as an artist, I need to take notes while reading every word in this book, I need to reproduce every illustration, and I need to think of practical ways to incorporate the teachings into my own work. I need to treat this book as my textbook, with Loomis as my teacher. Starting today, January 1st, 2013, I am going to spend my time each morning by reading this book and reproducing a sketch a day. Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth is 204 pages long. Some pages have multiple illustrations (sometimes hundreds), while some pages just have text. If I am diligent, I should easily be able to reproduce every illustration in the book within the course of one year. I intend to complete this exercise by December 31st, 2013. I may miss a day here or there, but I intend to make up for it by doing multiple illustrations on other days.

So take a look at the wonderful image printed on the dust jacket of the book. This is one of those instances where I would say that it IS a good idea to judge a book by its cover. I absolutely love this image. It’s both strong and delicate at the same time. It makes the book simply leap off the shelf! I don’t usually care for digital reworkings of images such as this, but this one turned out amazing (I’ve seen another cover out there that has a blue woman, but I like this orange version better).

I figured the best place to start would be the cover. Below is my duplication of the cover image using my current knowledge of figure drawing technique. Drawn on sketch paper with a 3B pencil.

01.01.13 cover

I’m somewhat pleased with it. It’s nowhere near as great as Loomis’s drawing, but it’s a start. My figure’s head isn’t quite right and I think I may have made her thigh too big by comparison. I find that I have difficulty drawing female faces at this particular angle and that their heads usually turn out a bit too large. Things seem to go ok up until I add the mouth, and then the whole thing just starts giving me problems. Problems I hope to remedy as I read through this book!

Having had a great deal of fun working on the cover image, I felt the need to keep going. So, finding a way to incorporate these teachings into my own field, I turned the model into…Catwoman! She happens to be my favorite villainous, after all. I thought that Catwoman was a perfect fit considering the position of the model.

01.01.13 cover as catwoman

Check in tomorrow, when I discuss the introduction of the book and I work on another sketch! And by all means, please feel free to leave feedback, suggestions, tips, or criticisms, about my sketches, or share stories about how Loomis has influenced your work.

Thanks for reading!


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