Richer V Loomis

Posted by – 14 November, 2011

I’ve been trying out a new method of getting people and heads down quickly, so there are a lot of figure drawing sketches lying around at the moment and not much else. Here are some androgynous folk..

I think I’ve found the perfect teaching combination in Andrew Loomis and Paul Richer, two great artists who wrote some classic texts on life drawing. Loomis was an illustrator of the 30s & 40s whose republished book Figure Drawing For All It’s Worth is full of advice for nailing the foundations of a person/picture. Richer was a 19th century doctor who put together Artistic Anatomy, a classic study of bones and muscles with the artist in mind.  Loomis’s advice can get quite specific to his time (women should be drawn with wide shoulders, narrow hips etc.) so I’ve adapted some of his techniques by cross-referencing with the more accurate Richer.

A couple of pages which pretty much represent what my sketchpad looks like at the moment..

I’m even more pleased with my combo having discovered they’re connected.  Richer was a professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where George Bridgman studied; Bridgman went on to teach many illustrious students, including Loomis and Robert Beverly Hale, at the Art Students League of New York.  Hale (whose books I also use) became a renowned life drawing teacher himself and in the 60s translated Artistic Anatomy into English, ‘not only the most complete but the most accurate of contemporary works on artistic anatomy.’ I love the way this story demonstrates the legacy of a good teacher, influencing not only future artists but future teachers too.

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