Learn to draw the head and hands with Andrew Loomis free book!

Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis

Head and hands are the most difficult of all drawing subjects but there is help!  Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis is a reprint of the 1956 book of the same title.

Andrew Loomis was an artist/illustrator who taught at the American Academy of Art in Chicago in the 1930’s.

His books are full of so much knowledge and humor.  His illustrations are impeccable and have taught me so much.  They are beautiful renditions of people as most illustrators of his time portrayed.  The book has helped me with lighting in my portraits.  There is an illustration for nearly every type of portrait lighting and I look to this book for beautiful rendering and form.

Drawing the Head and Hands starts with drawing the skull then moves on to drawing different parts of the face.  We then learn to develop complete  portraits of men, women and children in a variety poses and lighting situations..  The book finishes with a chapter on hand again, showing many different poses.

Drawing the Head and Hands is available online to read in your browser for free by going to archive.org

Other books by Loomis are:

  • Fun with a Pencil (1939). Reissued as a full facsimile of the original on April 5, 2013 from Titan Books.
  • Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth (1943). Reissued as a full facsimile of the original on May 27, 2011 from Titan Books.
  • Creative Illustration (1947). Reissued as a full facsimile of the original on October 12, 2012 from Titan Books.
  • Successful Drawing (1951). Republished in a revised edition as Three Dimensional Drawing (16 new pages with technical material on perspective replacing the pictorial gallery sections) and reissued as a full facsimile of the original on May 4, 2012 from Titan Books
  • The Eye of the Painter (1961).

I highly recommend any of his books as he is one of the greatest teachers of our time.  Please let me know what you think of any of the Andrew Loomis titles!  I hope this helps!

Sharon Morley, January 11, 2016

Color and Light by James Gurney Book Review

Color and Light by James Gurney

“Color and Light” by James Gurney is one of my favorite “go to” art books. As most of you know, James Gurney is the author/illustrator for the Dinotopia book series. In his best selling instructional book, “Color and Light” James takes us through many helpful scenarios of how to set up our objects (or people) and light them to make it easier to paint.   James discusses and illustrates the use of light on many subjects and how to portray that in paint.  He then shows many examples of how one would apply that knowledge.

In “Color and Light”, James takes us through many diverse color schemes and clearly describes how to apply this information so anyone can understand no matter the level of painting that you are at –  from beginner to advanced painter.


I highly recommend  “Color and Light” to anyone who is starting out in art and/or in  fantasy art. You will be delighted and enlightened and will refer to this book over and over again!  color and light

James Gurney  has a blog with extremely interesting facts and instruction. He demonstrates painting in goucahe  and watercolor and shows videos of everything from his paint box as he travels to sketching on location. You can find him in the streets painting watercolors or gouache buildings and in the farms painting some of the animals. His videos are short but informative and very much worth watching repeatedly.  He is a master artist who enjoys teaching art to all levels of students.  I just can’t wait for his new book, video, blog, or DVDs come out.  I am a subscriber of his channel.

I have attended an exhibit of James Gurney’s work and it is exquisite.  I liken it to the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum. Photos can never do justice to the real paintings.  James proves himself over and over again to be one the modern day masters.

James is also selling downloadable instructional DVDs for very reasonable prices. You can find all of his items on his website http://jamesgurney.com/site/

Sharon Morley, Artist,  December 26, 2015  www.sharonmorley.com

Class Distinctions: Dutch Paintings

Class Distinctions, Vermeer  Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer

I highly recommend Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer book which is the companion to the exhibit of the same name at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. I have looked at the book each time I have visited the exhibit and the illustrations are good… This would be a delight to give or receive as a gift. I have noticed that the books from exhibits increase in value and I usually buy them. I have asked for this one for Christmas as it is a great inspiration to see how the masters painted.

One way we can use these high quality books is to copy the masters’ paintings to see what they did and if we can achieve the same effects as they did.  I have done this in the past but will start to do more.  How many people make this a practice?

You can see the book and order it here:

(I am an Amazon.com affiliate and do get a very small commission but that is certainly not the reason I recommend books)