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 Three: Chapter One – Ideal Proportions Male

In reading Chapter One, The Approach To Figure Drawing, it becomes more apparent at how unpretentious Loomis is as an artist and a teacher. He is not afraid to approach the art world in a marketable way by using art in the fields of comics, newspapers, story illustrations and magazine advertisements. Areas that are often looked down upon by many fine artists and instructors as not being true art-forms. Loomis is not afraid to admit that in order to be successful as an artist, one my be capable of advertising themselves and their work. This can only come from possessing the proper skills and abilities needed to create quality illustrations.

Loomis enforces the importance of observing your daily surroundings in great detail, from places and objects, to people and expressions. Don’t just look at the facial expression some is making, really look at it. Observe the fine details in relation to the action. He stresses the value of utilizing your own knowledge in your work. If you were brought up on a farm, it may be boring and common for you, in your mind, to produce images of farm-life. However, for city-folk, an image of a farm can be quite uncommon and interesting. What is ordinary to the artist can be extraordinary to the viewer.

Loomis begins his tutorials on ideal proportions in this chapter. Below is a scan of page 26 featuring his ideal proportions for the male figure.

01_03 pg 26 book scan male proporions clean

Below is my reproduction of his exercise.

01_03 pg 26 ideal male proportions

Adhering to his guidelines was a challenge for me, as I find it difficult to draw perfectly symmetric figures from straight on. I could not, for the life of me, get the shoulders to match up on the front and rear views. After holding the page up to light and looking through the back of the paper, I was able to make the corrections and get them pretty close. It’s very important to pay close attention to the lines and head measurements on these. After I thought I was done, I took a closer look at my sketch and noticed that the lower half of the legs were too far forward in the side view, and that the nipples were too high on the front view. Good lesson to slow down and pay attention! I think this exercise was rather helpful and look forward to doing the female figure tomorrow. Later in the book, Loomis will discuss skeletal and muscular structures, which should be very exciting!

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