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Fun with a Pencil

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,135 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) is revered amongst artists - including comics superstar Alex Ross - for his mastery of drawing. His first book, Fun With a Pencil, published in 1939 is a wonderfully crafted and engaging introduction to drawing, cartooning, and capturing the essence of a subject all while having fun. With delightful step-by-step instruction from Professor Blook, ...more
Paperback, 121 pages
Published May 8th 1939 by Viking Books
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,135 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Apr 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who sketch or would like to
Recommended to Xanthippe by: lalavoxbox
Shelves: art-instruction
Loomis was an illustrator par excellence, and a marvellous teacher. Be forewarned, however: as a previous reviewer stated, some of the content might be considered culturally insensitive. The antiquated race categories 'negroid', 'mongoloid', and 'caucasoid' are referenced here, and non-whites are drawn always in caricature fashion--pretty ghastly. There's a great deal to appreciate in this (or any) Loomis book, however.

His approach to drawing the head is easily grasped and fun, and he gives the
রিফাত সানজিদা
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to রিফাত সানজিদা by: Tareq নূরুল হাসান
It's a true helpful guide for the beginners, who have interest in illustration. The way of showing the basic techniques is so easy indeed.

And yeah, making lines & images on paper with a pencil is always fun to me. :)
Violet Marcelo
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it
He's a master illustrator but he's racist, propagates stereotypes and if you actually did the lessons in this book, you'll realize that it's way too hard for beginners!
Goutam Malviya
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pretty boring and difficult for a beginner i will not recommend this if you are begginner in drawing.
Alien  Citizen
Jun 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
racist crap...well, racist anyway. This one includes lots of fun instructions on how to draw stereotyped forms of all sorts...from the librarian with glasses on the nose to the African-American man with lips the size of Australia. Yes, this book was written in the early 60s, I think. If that's enough excuse for you then enjoy the's not for intermediate or advanced artists.
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Andrew Loomis. All of his books are brilliant. Reading this book was an excellent first step into understanding how cartoons can be created by breaking them down into simple forms and exaggerating their various proportions. I loved the section on facial expressions and how he encourages drawing from the imagination through the use of the basic construction framework. He also shows how the framework of a cartoon relates back to a traditional figure which piqued my interest for further ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
~3.5 stars

A pretty good book with some fun lessons rooted in simple geometry and clear instructions. The perspective lessons at the end are a bit more complex, but they're still good instructions. I'd say back this up with other books on the fundamentals (including perhaps Loomis' other books on figure drawing), since formulaic lessons can become a crutch, but this book is still rooted in a lot of those basics, so you won't be lead astray.

It's unfortunately got some racist caricatures that
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Deceptive title.

This book is a gross liar in that it presents itself as a drawing book for "rookies".

Make no mistake, the drawing principles exposed here are extremely hard, and 70% of the illustrators of today do not draw this good...even those who went to art school.

This book covers how to draw with volumes , keeping proportion, technical perspective and shadow and light. Heavy emphasis is on the human figure (the most rewarding and challenging of subjects). All the principles are very HARD
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
It's fun to "interact" with pencil. But still it's not as easy as it is in the book.
I've tried, hard enough. But still, it's the practice you need, not the theory.
However, i recommend this book for those who doesn't have time for a drawing class. But try as the book say. Don't just stare at the book. it won't help you out.
Loran (Inked with Curiosity)
Fun with a Pencil is a really awesome introductory drawing book for people who have little to no experience with figure drawing or basic techniques. Anybody could pick up this book and get a great grasp for how to start drawing and where to progress from there. Andrew Loomis's lessons are classic and simple to follow and provide enough structure to even encourage those people who don't think they can draw at all. The only downside to this book (and most of Loomis's books) is his personal style ...more
Brian King
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastialy authentic, endlessly useful

Andrew Loomis was one of the biggest influences in commercial art. His guidance will never be missed as long as you can find his books. This one is fun, but loaded with practical information on how to upgrade your feeble attempts to draw what want to illustrate your ideas. Andrew seems to genuinely want you to become proficient and maybe even even excellent as an artist if you catch the drawing bug. And you just might.
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Too incomplete for intermediates, too complicated for beginners. Good grasp of basic perspective is prerequisite. Results of figure drawings require at least some knowledge of anatomy, not possible with information presented in book alone.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great content as always. A must-read for beginner artists!
Michael Scott
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching, art, my-favs
Andrew Loomis's Fun with a Pencil is a wonderful about drawing. Starting from the premise that anyone can draw, Loomis draws what becomes circles, circles in circles, and ultimately human shapes and figures. The twist? It's not only a masterful course on drawing (cartoons) but also a course on drawing philosophy. Read it and all the books signed Loomis.
Angel Arturo
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, art
While the principles seem simple, they are actually very powerful tools to learn how to correctly draw from life. I've always struggled with "seeing" the world as shapes and the examples were good enough to let me draw accurate representations of objects and people I see in my daily life. Now the struggle comes to draw from imagination.
Chris Jones
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, methods, 2016
Great introduction to cartooning and drawing in general. All Loomis assumes is the person can pick up a pencil and draw a few shapes, but he quickly builds on basic shapes to constructing frameworks and figures. I've drawn for a long time and still found his methods useful and helpful. Loomis wrote in the 30s/40s so the books can be difficult to find but many libraries carry them.
Lachezar Petkov
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this one a long time ago. I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn to draw a little bit better just for the fun of it (even if you "can't draw at all"). Or to children and teenagers who want to improve and become pros. Its indeed very fun to read and very fun to do the exercises (lots of funny cartoons!)
Abdullah Alasmari
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was 16 when a fellow artist recommended this book for me. Andrew approach is very interesting and will keep you following up the steps and continuously learning. As we had no art schools or classes around, Andrew books were the ultimate learning resource. I highly recommend all his books not just this one.
Gerald Henthorn
Nov 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't think the whole book is published here!

I only got a couple of pages with my purchase, basically an introduction. Problem with the programming ... book freezes up. Crappy! Not happy.
Sonya Ball
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent introduction to illustrating comic characters. In this book you will find the original models for the comic strips we know and love, and many marvel and DC characters known today. If you want to learn to draw american style comics, not manga, this is the book for you.
Oct 08, 2013 marked it as to-read

Not all the photos in here are good, upon looking at it, but mostly. A lot of focus on the cartoon type, but still might be helpful.
October 9, 2013 @ page 14
--> Great book! Happy to own an Andrew Loomis how-to book!
--> Will come back to this book once I find my confidence in drawing again, so that I can perform each and everyone of the drawing exercise with my own originality rather than copying his works.
Mai Ngoc
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I keep giggling all the time I read this book. Marvellous!! I love all the illustrations. It feels like there is someone actually taking to me and teaching me how to draw. And it is just so easy following all the steps and I always get amazed of what I have drawn. An awesome book. :'D
Kris Budi
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drawing
Great book on hw to draw cartoon characters
step by step and really made it easy
Indah Threez Lestari
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Fun to read, hard to do...

Josh Edward
Apr 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: artists-realm
Excellent for beginners! A must have!
Kawther Al  Sayed
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the book of my day
Its a very interesting book wich let you know how to draw by the shapes and mostly the circle
It show the basics you need
Read it and start drawing your own painting
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A truly incredible book for emerging Artists and those who aspire to draw more. It's the perfect introduction of the basic drawing techniques presented in a traditional format.
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
a very beautiful book, helps you a lot in drawing
Sam Reeves
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fantastic art instructional book for beginners. These techniques for drawing the human form are the same ones used by most artists today.
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William Andrew Loomis was an American illustrator, author, and art instructor.