Art Practice Week 1: Me vs. Andrew Loomis


For the uninitiated, Andrew Loomis is an artist whose books on drawing faces and hands are considered essential guides for a lot of beginners.

How to draw faces, according to Andrew Loomis:

Step 1: Draw a circle

Step 2: Add some lines, and voila! you now have a realistic face!



I'm just joking. (Well, sort of.)

I feel like I understood his concepts just fine and I managed to sketch according to his instructions. (See sketch below.)

But when I try to apply the rules to actual faces, it wasn't as easy because they don't fit into the perfect circle-and-angular-jawline-and-deep-set-eyes models that I was practicing with. I struggled a lot with getting the features to fit accurately. The general rule of the Loomis method is understanding that we all have a rounded skull inside which sits a pair of eyes, a nose, and a pair of lips. But within the skull, everyone's features are arranged differently, so you need a lot of practice to see the tiny differences and bring those out in your drawings.

For example, I did an initial sketch of a photo I saw on Pinterest (I don't have permission to post it on my website, but you can hop on to my Pinterest (@/eitchyfingers) to see the photos I've been using as references). I'm not trying to get a perfect drawing but just to get the right angles of the face: the tilt of the chin, the eyes, and the nose in relation to the face direction, angle of the jawline, etc. To get a better understanding of how the outline should look, I traced out the photo and compared it with my own sketch.

You can tell the angle was wrong from the get-go. The figure in the reference photo clearly leans to the left, which almost meant his eyes and brows should be like this

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating but you know what I mean. I could tell I need to adjust his nose and hand shapes as well (again, they don't have to be detailed, I just want the right angles) so I re-worked the sketch. This time, I stacked the outline and my sketch on top of each other (outline in black, sketch in brown) and tried to see what the differences were.

I would keep adjusting the sketch according to my notes until I had a result I was happy with.

Final Sketch

I did the same practice with all of my sketches and after a while, I figured where I tend to go wrong: I would normally get the face shape right, but my features were always slightly off.

I'm not too concerned with complete accuracy but rather getting the general mood and posture of the subject.

I practiced for at least an hour every day (and longer on weekends) and it's been really helpful. I'll probably do another week or so of such outline exercise before I move on to tonal and shading works. I'll check in here again soon!

2 views0 comments