25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A masterpiece of art instruction,
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This review is from: Drawing the Head and Hands (Hardcover)
This book has been out of print for decades, but has always been sought-after by artists and student.This has pushed prices into the stratosphere but that's all over now that it is back in print. It is the grand-daddy of all portrait art instruction books, and it remains the best.
If you are a beginner in portraiture then this is almost certainly the best book on the planet to get you started. It takes you from the very basics of form and shape, continues to explain perspective, light and shade, facial expressions, the differing characteristics of different ages of face, and so on. It is divided roughly into two parts: male and female. Therein it also covers baby, child and elderly faces. Toward the back of the book is a chapter about drawing hands. This is the only weak part of the book, though hands are generally not a major component in a portrait. The examples have a rather 1940s look about them, but their quality is never in doubt. Loomis was a master of portrait and illustration, and this comes across clearly in each of the hundreds of examples he provides.
I also strongly recommend the accompanying book by Loomis: "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth", which has also recently made it back into print. Get yourself copies while they are still in print. If history repeats itself and they fall out of print, they will only rise in value.