Thursday, September 12, 2013

Andrew Loomis

I first came upon the name Andrew Loomis when I was delving into the world of vintage romance comics.  I have a deep appreciation for the fine arts and illustration.   So, when the name Andrew Loomis made it's way into my path, I quickly found his artwork mesmerizing. He is a mid-century artist best known for his how to draw books.   He is an excellent example of an artist able to capture the beauty and glamour of mid-century ideals.

Andrew Loomis was an American illustrator who was famous for his books on drawing, composition, and illustration.   He taught at the American Academy of Art but is most famous for his "how to" drawing books.  You can certainly see that he understood the human form.  His perspective and light and shadow contrast studies are just amazing. He is a great reference tool for the study of composition in general.  You could (can) even learn a lot about placement of subject matter within compositions by looking at some of his "how to" books.

I thought these quotes by Andrew Loomis were quite interesting:

"Every good picture should show a main focal point and all lines should draw toward that spot."

"There should be a planned easy and natural path for the eye to travel in every good picture."

"The eyes should enter at the bottom and emerge at the top-never at the sides, since corners are "Eyetraps" because of their junction to lead the eye away from or around them."

There is so much psychology in the study of composition.  It's a fascinating topic.  He also discusses which times of lines and forms can elicit emotional responses such as peace, patriotism, stability, power, security, attention, love, etc.

A favorite quote from Loomis:

"Imagination is contagious, mood is contagious, and the spirit behind a picture is ninety per cent of the picture."

I'd like to share with you a few of his illustrations.  You can find his books in vintage form and also reprints.   Figure Drawing For All It's Worth published first in 1943 seems to be the most popular.   Loomis died in 1959.

Here is a link to many of his books.

Isn't this quote fascinating?  How "Every artist should subscribe to fashion magazines.  They are the best possible source for practice material."


Source here.

Andrew Loomis certainly knew how to capture the flow and print composition of fabric.  Just lovely!


  1. Spectacular! I have never heard of him but his work is amazing. Thanks for bringing him to my attention.

  2. Thanks for sharing! This is fantastic. Everyone talks about Vargas and Elvgren but Loomis is great. I want to look into more of his stuff!

  3. Wow, truly beautiful work and I love love love that quote!

  4. I had never heard of him before. I really love his graphics, especially the war years inspired ones.