Andrew Loomis

I used to draw a lot more when I was young and got to be pretty good by the time I was in college. I might have had a career as an illustrator if I hadn’t taken a detour into graphic design and art direction.

For the last few years, I’ve been trying to get back into drawing again, but more for enjoyment than anything commercial. Not long ago, I discovered the books of Andew Loomis, who died in 1959. He was a commercial illustrator who did a popular series of books on drawing and painting, starting in 1939 with Fun With A Pencil.

Loomis’s facility for drawing was astonishing. One thing I’ve never been good at is figure drawing without referring to a live model or a photo. Loomis lays it all out clearer and with more depth than anything I’ve seen before. Where were these books when I needed them?

I don’t know if I have the time or patience to begin again with these books, but I’d love to try. More likely, they’ll be fuel for day dreams, and I’ll stick to doing what I do—type and lettering. Speaking of which, aren’t the covers terrific?

By the way, don’t write asking what fonts are used on the covers. Except for some Futura on the first cover, it’s all hand-lettered, presumably by Loomis. There’s lots more lettering inside, too, for title pages and illustration captions.