William Andrew Loomis (1892–1959), better known simply as Andrew Loomis, was an Americanillustrator, author, and art instructor. His commercial work was featured prominently in advertising and magazines; however, Loomis is best known as author of a series of instructional art books printed throughout the 20th century. Long after his death, Loomis' realistic style has continued to influence popular artists.
After military service in World War I, Loomis worked for a couple of advertising agencies before opening his own studio in downtown Chicago. In the 1930s, he taught at the American Academy of Art. It was during this time that his teaching techniques were compiled for his first book, Fun With a Pencil, in 1939. Loomis would go on to release several more books in the coming decades, including one of his most popular, Figure Drawing for All It's Worth, in 1943. Many of the books exhibit his own personally crafted techniques - such as the "ball and plane" method of head drawing - guided by Loomis's witty and humorous dialogue. Many of the titles gained strong appeal for their rich academic value and went through several prints during the 20th century. Loomis died in 1959, but his final book, Eye of the Painter and Elements of Beauty, would be printed posthumously in 1961.
Despite their undying popularity, Loomis' books are currently most out of print, except for some excerpts available from the art publisher Walter Foster. Some of his books are currently being published in Japanese via Maar Sha Co., Ltd. Early prints have become highly collectible and sought out by art enthusiasts and practitioners. Drawing the Head and the Hands and Figure Drawing for all it's Worth have been the first two in the publisher Titan's programme of facsimile editions, returning these classic titles to print for the first time in decades. Pending reissues include "Creative Illustration" and "Fun with a Pencil" planned to be published between 2012 and 2013.
- Fun with a Pencil (1939)
- Figure Drawing for All It's Worth (1943) This book was reissued as a full facsimile of the original on October 25, 2011 from Titan Books.
- Creative Illustration (1947)
- Successful Drawing (1951) This book was also republished in a revised edition as Three Dimensional Drawing. (16 new pages with technical material on perspective replacing the pictorial gallery sections)
- Drawing the Head and Hands (1956) This book was reissued as a full facsimile of the original on May 31, 2011 from Titan Books.
- The Eye of the Painter (1961) (Loomis presents the problems of anatomy, movement, balance, expression, technique and he significantly emphasizes the importance of creativity and idealism in every artist's work.)