A Classic Drawing Study
Over the holiday break, I revisited some classic art books.
The first I chose was Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis. The book was written in 1956 and his illustrations have an awesome retro vibe that I love.
I followed a classic art student exercise of copying the work of the master (I posted a couple on my instagram). For us visual people it's an awesome way to truly understand how certain effects are accomplished.
...Except I changed the supplies! I free hand copied his images in procreate on my ipad pro. A lesson learned was to angle my apple pencil more so I can get broader softer strokes. As opposed to holding the apple pencil upright which produces very sharp lines.
The book is pretty awesome especially for beginners to portraiture. He explains how to see the shapes in the head and specifies how skin moves during expressions and as we age. Even if not new information, it was still a terrific reminder of all the details we're driven to capture in a portrait.
While some of the advice is the authors personal aesthetic or that of the era, he does provide great practical anatomical lessons.
My favorites are the bits of conceptual approaches he sprinkles in. Here are some of the best:
- "Be kind in your drawings, but do not fabricate. Insincere work does personal harm to your reputation, and that is more important to you than any single drawing of any face in the world."
- "A head is not drawn until you can feel the unseen side."
- "A good way to experiment is to jot down beforehand a little description of the character you wish to draw, then try to draw the head you have described."
- "Rhythm is freedom in drawing, freedom to express shapes, not meticulously, but in harmony."