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

You can learn to draw and paint!

Draw and paint.  You can learn it!  It is as simple as that.  The question is …. How much time are you willing to spend?

Draw and paint every day.

Sunflower, draw and paint
“Kissed by the Sun” 11×14 Oil on Canvas by Sharon Morley


I teach many oil painting and pastel painting workshops and have taught studio art classes for many years and the one thing I hear over and over again from my beginning students is “My drawing looks childish”.  “I have no ability” or better still, “I have not talent!”  “Talent!”… I love that word..  Yes, there are a few prodigies in every category in life but most successful artists are not “born” that way.  They are encouraged!

A child is taught the basic skills of learning to journey through this world,  We teach them everything from learning to read and write, knowing right from wrong, and all other sorts of necessary information.  Does a child sit down and write their name perfectly the first time?  No… there are three factors involved here.

1) They have to have instruction how to write their name. 
2) They have to WANT to write their name. 
3) They have to practice writing their name.

Those are the key factors in the success of anything!  I ask my adult students “How many of you expect to sit at a piano and play like Mozart?”  No one raises their hands.  Yet when it comes to  being an artist, they expect to be able to paint like the old masters!  Usually the artwork in museums that we adore is not the artist’s first attempt at painting.  It was years of practice with the highs and lows of trying, achieving and failing.  Then getting back on track and trying again.

People who draw well (or do anything well actually) are encouraged.  A child who is told he is a good artist at an early age will love to draw and paint.  They will do it more (practice) because they are praised for it and they like to do it.  The parents will get them art lessons so they excel faster.  And there is the cycle of success.

If you dream of being an artist or just becoming better at art, the key is to get instruction and practice!!

How many of you will become good artists?  All of you who persevere!   Do you have the will to follow your dream?

Sharon Morley, December 13, 2015