SketchBook Sunday: Ancora Imparo

Hi all!

A school field trip to the Gambia last November broke my weekly posting schedule, and the next thing you know, four months have passed.

I have nevertheless still been working diligently, actually more than ever, on personal projects as well as commissioned pieces. Furthermore, I finally acquired a book series I should have bought five years ago:

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Yep, Andrew Loomis‘s famous drawing book series, beautifully reprinted by Titan Books. Once you get past some old-fashioned and at times cringe-worthy comments about the art of drawing people, especially attractive women – let’s remember that this series came out in the 1940s and was directed at aspiring commercial illustrators – these books are as effective as it gets when it comes to breaking down various drawing techniques.

For proof of Loomis’ lasting influence on the world of figurative art, you need not look further than the sheer amount of both amateur and professional illustrators still using his books as a reference. His techniques are a no-brainer for anybody interested in drawing the human figure.

Of course, since figurative art is combination of skill and subjectivity, no one technique can be the end-all-be-all solution (remember the fate of Master Frenhofer in Honoré de Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece). It can therefore be healthy to vary techniques.

You can easily complement (or even switch) Loomis’ book series with that MogilevtsevsFundamental of Painting / Drawing for an even more classical and technical approach, although you would benefit from knowing a bit of Russian since no English translation exists to this date.

The legendary plates by Charles Bargue and Jean-Léon Gérome have also been reprinted, but I haven’t got my hands on them yet.

It is not that there is necessarily much in these books that aspiring artists haven’t encountered or heard about at one point or another. The question, however, is not about hearing, but about acquiring an understanding of figurative art through regular and dedicated practice. This involves recognizing your own weak points and tackling them before they become bad habits.

 

Here are some sketches from these past days. They’re still a bit rusty, but let’s see how things evolve over the next year. As the saying goes, ancora imparo.

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A copy of the famous Loomis “mannequin”.

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For hundreds of live model videos, I cannot recommend  this Youtube channel enough.

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Plus a few more freely drawn doodles.

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Next week, we will introduce a new model that will be at the center of an exciting new drawing series.

Until then, draw on,

PT.

 

 

 

 

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