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I have reached the point where I want to study some more shall I say theoretical stuff, anatomy, proportions etc specifically for figure and head drawing work.
The cheapest option for me is the online Loomis books. I have downloaded Drawing the head and hands and figure drawing for all its worth. I have started some of the excercises.
Now here's the fear/problem (hope I don't instigate a stoning because of my blasphemy )
won't all my images start looking sort of stylized 1950 ad illustration. Am I being silly. It's like the mindset has already started to fill my subconscious and I have to actively fight it. His figure proportions are self admittedly idealized and all the girls wear heals.
I started with Fun with a Pencil and quickly dropped it for fear of ending up doing caricatures.
I must admit his formulaic approach is easy to remember and easy to apply if you don't have any references.
what do you think? Should I continue or find some other source of info.
I have the same fear miasmak. I have found a remedy that perhaps might not be the best way but I think it will work. I am going through all the major books at once. I am going through Loomis' books and also through bridgeman's and also this book:
Every day I read a page and draw the bones/muscles/etc... from the jeno barcsay book. The reason I am going through all of them is because of exactly what you are talking about...being forced into a mould will not allow your true creative juices to be flowing. I think it really comes down to how you approach the material. When you study these anatomy books don't look for a way to "duplicate" a human on a piece of paper. I think that is counterproductive...however it would yield cheap results...rather you should strive to "understand" exactly how a human is made up. Everyone knows that not all people are 7-8 heads tall...some people are weird looking...and have distorted facial features and a distorted posture...those are the interesting people too! When you approach Loomis think of it this way...you are learning how the human body is put together...don't worry about creating his exact paper doll...etc... Before you draw a person imagine the bones...then the muscles...then the skin...(then possibly clothes)... I think understanding the human form allows you to distort it and twist it at will. If you can "think" 360 degrees around anything...you will be able to draw it well. Sean McNally gave me some awesome advice and I would advise it to you as well...find a hanging skeleton...draw it from life...then put another piece of paper on top of it and draw the muscles on top of that...learning how everything works and why muscles contract and things like that will allow you to utilize that knowledge in the long run and use it at will. I am realizing that to draw humans I have to first become a doctor...to understand how everything works...that is the only way to trully be able to do it. I am rambling but I hope that helped.
i feel like i've been tossed into some sort of whirlwind of information. there are so many books out there and everyone has pros and cons for each book. i have no clue which to read, which to study, which to draw from!
I find that when I'm learning from many different sources my drawing look like "mine". So don't fear to learn from Loomis, Bridgeman, Barcsay, Hogarth or whoever. All of them offer me a new insight in how things work and how I can draw what I see.
it's the question what you take from loomis. if you take all and everything he has to offer, you may end up with drawings looking like loomis.
if you extract some of his knowledge or approaches and put it on your style you developed until now, you won't be too close to losing your style to loomis.
learn from hogarth about drapery, learn from loomis about quick figure construction ...
in the end, you set your own accents and recognize form in your own way. this is what makes your style, too.
not always easy to control what you absorb, especially if your style is still in flux.
I have decided to give Loomis a break until I have obtained some more books on the topic to dilute his views a bit.