Drawing the Head and Hands Review

Drawing the Head and Hands is a book by Andrew Loomis that expands on Figure Drawing for All It's Worth with new references to help you draw the head and hands.

A lot of people(me included) seem to have trouble drawing the head and hands; I would think due to their natural complexity and the human eye's irritating ability to detect if a face looks human or not.

I'm hoping that Drawing the Head and Hands will give me the ability to do just that or I'll have to demand a refund for false advertising.

But Loomis hasn't disappointed me yet, so I'm sure if anyone is able to deliver in this regard it'll be him.

Drawing the Head and Hands Book Details

FormatDigital, Hardcover
AuthorAndrew Loomis
PublisherTitan Books
Edition1st Edition(Reprint)
Original Published1956
Edition Published2011
Page Number160 pages
Book Dimensions9.2 x 0.8 x 12.1 in

Drawing the Head

From the moment I opened up Drawing the Head and Hands I could tell that this was not going to be a step-by-step guide.

This book is more of a refeDrawing the Head and Handsrence that gives you all the measurements and pointers you need to get started, but doesn't hold your hand throughout the process.

You'll have to perfect the technique through practice but I felt more confident tackling it with these references in front of me.

It also certainly helps that Drawing the Head and Hands is printed in a nice large format so you can see every detail in Loomis' beautiful original illustrations.

Drawing the Head and Hands is split into five chapters, four of them covering the head. These chapters cover things you'd expect like muscle groups and facial expressions but Loomis has also given us the tools to draw different types of heads as well.

Men, women, babies, teenagers, the elderly: it's all in there! ThDrawing the Head and Handsere's actually so much in here on heads that it's amazing to realize that someone sat down and drew out all these illustrations. Loomis must've had one hell of an encyclopedia of heads inside his own.

I think it's fairly obvious at this point, but I feel that it's worth pointing out that this probably isn't a good book for a beginner.

As mentioned before it has great references but you won't be able to put those references to good use if you don't fully understand the fundamentals of drawing.

If you're looking for a good book on getting those drawing fundamentals down check out Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards or have a look at the Drawing Fundamentals category in the Art Book Reviews section of this site.

Drawing the Hands

I was surprised to find out that hands aren't covered as much in this book as I would have thought.

You'd think a book called "Drawing the Head and Hands" would have the head and hands material evenly split down the middle but only one of thDrawing the Head and Handse five chapters in the book was dedicated to it! Perhaps there's much less variation in hands so a more universal reference guide is all that is needed.

In any case there's still a lot of reference to go around and this last chapter has hands plastered on every page. There was enough for me to begin practicing with and I'm willing to bet it'll be enough for a lot of other people as well.

Loomis even expands a bit on something he introduced in Figure Drawing for All It's Worth by manikinizing the hands in some of his illustrations.

If you go through this book and find that you were a little shortchanged on the hands side of Drawing the HDrawing the Head and Handsead and Hands, you may want to look into Drawing Dynamic Hands by Burne Hogarth.

Hogarth was a veteran cartoonist and comic book illustrator and even co-founded the School of Visual Arts: a school originally for cartoonists that has now expanded its programs to include illustration, animation and more!

Let's just say you'll be in good hands with Hogarth. Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Art's Assessment

Drawing the Head and Hands is a great reference book that any artist can benefit from having in their collection.

This book is more of a reference guide than a step-by-step how-to book. The references are plenty though and the large format the book comes printed in allows you to see all of Loomis' crisp illustrations in striking detail.

Most of the book is dedicated to drawing the head and there are countless references for drawing every single type of head: male/female, yoDrawing the Head and Handsung/old, small/large, are given.

This book won't hold your hand so if you're still new to drawing you may want to check out Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards or the Drawing Fundamentals category in the Art Book Reviews section of this site to get a better grasp on the fundamentals of drawing first.

There is only 1/5 as much on drawing the hands as there is on drawing the head, which was a little surprising. There is still an adequate amount of reference material here for hands though. I think most people will find it sufficient if they are at the correct drawing level when reading this book. Some people may require more, however and they may find Drawing Dynamic Hands by Burne Hogarth to be helpful in that regard.

Drawing the Head and Hands is another fantastic book by Andrew Loomis that while lacking a bit in the "hands" category, adequately provides good references for artists looking to learn how to draw the head and hands.

4.5 out of 5.0 – Fantastic

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