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Drawing the Head and Hands

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  5,397 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The illustrator Andrew Loomis (1892-1959) is revered amongst artists - including the great American painter Norman Rockwell and comics superstar Alex Ross - for his mastery of figure drawing and clean, Realist style. 

His hugely influential series of art instruction books have never been bettered.

Drawing the Head and Hands is the second in Titan's programme of facsimile ed

Hardcover, 154 pages
Published January 18th 1956 by Viking Pr
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

(More pictures of the book on my blog)

This is the second Andrew Loomis book that publisher Titan Books has reprinted. Just like Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, this is a large format hardcover with a dust jacket. The production quality is excellent and it's a faithful reprint of the original content.

There are 5 parts to the book. The first 4 parts covers the drawing of head for men, women, babies, kids and teenagers. The last part is on drawing hands. The instructions are insightful and simpl
Nov 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely the best resource for learning to draw the human figure.
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015, drawing
There is a reason why Andrew Loomis is deemed one of the best artists on teaching the fundamentals of drawing. I've been exposed to his work for a while, but it was only until recently did I decide to read one of his books.

Not only does Loomis break down the fundamentals of drawing, he explains WHY they are relevant and also adds great knowledge and experience on applying that knowledge to the working life of any artist. Given that a lot of his work has been built upon other artists after him,
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Grab it here bois:

Nice introduction to the method here from a solid YouTube artist:

This book is all over YouTube rn, and for good reason.
Still working my way through it, so this review is a work in progress.

I'm an idiot for not having read this sooner.
That's not the only thing that makes me an idiot, but it's one of the things.

p19 - 'There must be a genuine basic motive behind any genuine effort ... Search quietly an
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
This is the fourth Loomis book that I've read, and I'd have to admit it's the least essential one that I've read yet. That's not to say that there is nothing of value here (not to mention more beautiful art by Loomis), but in terms of nuts and bolts drawing instruction on the subject of hands and heads, there isn't as much information to learn as you might get from "Creative Illustration" or "Figure Drawing."

I'd recommend this book, but only if you've already started an Andrew Loomis section in
Jun 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
I think this book is a really good book for people who want to learn how to draw hands and heads and I like this book because it helps me get ideas of drawing and I really like the person who explains this.
I chose this book because I'm interested in art and drawing.
I learned how to draw head and hands from this book.
Helsean K.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Loomis' books! They always offer in-depth understanding of every drawing subject! Portraits in this book are fascinating and I've not seen a book so detailed as this one on drawing different age groups. Highly recommended for portrait artists who don't want their works to look photographic, but at the same time beautiful in an artistic sense.
Fafiliebe ♥ Warner ♥ Raffe ♥
andrew is amazing,, he helped me alot
Michaela Cvičková
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: artbooks, i-own
I think it's a basic must-read for all artists that start with "Loomis method", but at the same time... I have more questions about this method and I didn't find answers in this book. I understood some things by practice and now I can say I can use it well, but this is definitely NOT the only one book you should read and go through if you wanna draw well, head, hands, whatever. I think the more you practice, the more you will understand and it's good to have a starting point like this book at ha ...more
Anna Morgenstern
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
I love this one, it's very detailed and explains matters very efficiently albeit not hard to understand.
The only critique that I have for this book is that you can definitely tell it's an old one, given how only the men have facial expressions whilst the women tend to stay still, smiling, and docile. That being said, if you were to make a "must-have" art book list, this one hits one of the top spots.
Would highly, highly recommend!
Rachel King
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The most comprehensive guide to drawing the head. I have not read the "hands" part yet as this is an area I feel more competent in. The only drawback is that the general guidelines provided are for white Americans, as Andrew Loomis was a draftsman that worked primarily in advertising in the 1950s when this was written. He does however make suggestions for adjustments that are useful for drawing faces from a wide berth of backgrounds. I refer to this book often when out of practice.
Lorena Da Silva
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, favorites
This book helped me in my animation classes, understanding the hands and the proportion of the head in general. I always struggle with hands, but this book was very useful to practice in my sketchbook. Always practice drawing your own hand.

I still struggle with perspective drawings of humans, but I can always open the book and look for references of the perspective of the head and face
Reeda Booke
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, reference, drawing, art
I love to draw, but always had a problem with hands (and feet, to be honest). This book is a fantastic resource and a big help in helping me practice and refining my drawings as a whole.
Definitely recommended for all artists out there!
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Andrew Loomis is one of my favorite illustrators. His teaching methods are some of the best in his class.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A great start in drawing the portraits.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must-read for those hoping to improve their art skill. Great tips and methods inside.
emma wk
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
received a couple of loomis books as a birthday gift, & i practically inhaled this one. what a timeless style with timeless advice. ...more
Ada  Lovemap
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art
Midnight, The Stars, and Nostalgia with Loomis.
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will definitely read more of his books. So helpful and genius in his concept.
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
difficult subject
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extremely useful information. It's not a book I can read once and absorb completely. I have no doubt I will continue to return to it as I become more adept at drawing heads and hands.

My only complaint is that many of the descriptions not accompanied but drawn examples were not intuitive. I found myself reading and re-reading sentences trying to understand exactly what he's trying to convey about line tone proportion and angle.

It's inspired me to try more construction and measuring before diving
Scott Wiener
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art-books
Essential reference for any illustrator.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of Loomis' books that I was never able to locate a physical copy of and always wanted. One of the biggest challenges for me is drawing hands and I look forward to having this reference to work with.

Working with the Loomis Estate, Titan Books has created a facsimile of the original publication. The content is beautifully printed and the quality of the volume imparts a gravity to compliment the sense of genuineness - it is almost like having an early edition.

As always, Loomis' methods
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, nonfiction
At least several fabulous drawings of gorgeous male faces and heads. I love reading this book just for that.

The plane-by-plane breakdowns for human faces are very useful, and the part I have the most trouble rendering correctly. I've seen contradictions across books, as if the human head isn't consistent lol.

But, I'm probably going to stick with this one's instruction. I must stop relying on a library copy and get my own copy.
Serge Pierro
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art
Thanks to the likes of Alex Ross, Andrew Loomis's series of books are starting to get the notice they deserve. Here he tackles heads, and to a lesser degree hands. I prefer Hogarth's books on both subjects better, however, Loomis excels at rendering each in tone. His tonally shaded heads are outstanding. Although the look is "dated", the material contained within in is tremendous.
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is old but still a very good reference for drawing. I really like this one because it is all about drawing the head and hands from adults, old people to babies. Another great reference book! Check out my full reference books collection here: ...more
Barbara Roma
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's an amazing book!!
Unlike Figure drawing for all it's worth that I found a little difficult to start, so I chose Bridgman's Complete Guide to Drawing from Life to start all full body.
However when you get used to shapes, Loomis is the best choice to move forward.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: art-instruction
This is a very detailed and helpful book, but again...his narrative often gets me. Loomis is always a good find and I highly recommend him for the beginner and intermediate levels if you are self-studying.
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A classic with flawless illustrations and insightful instruction. Amazed at the detail and specific information on babies, toddlers, school children, teenagers, adults and seniors. Recommended for anyone serious about illustration.
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great book for providing some fundamental skills to practice drawing the head with. It takes quite a good look at proportions, the bone and muscle structure of the face and the planes of the head, all of which are helpful for doing studies or creating your own characters.
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William Andrew Loomis was an American illustrator, author, and art instructor.

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