Customer Reviews: Successful Drawing
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon May 14, 2012
This book is more advanced than the two earlier books, Figure Drawing for All It's Worth and Drawing the Head and Hands.

Compared to other books that try to cover everything, this book focuses on certain aspects of drawing.

There's a great deal of emphasis on perspective and that section is 80 pages, which is half of this 160-page hardcover. At times, it can be quite difficult to follow because there's too many things explained at the same time. The part on drawing figures on different planes and elevation is quite useful. And also the part on common perspective mistakes.

The second half of the book covers lighting. It's stuff like how light rolls of a sphere, cone and cube. The application is more on figures as with the accompanying illustrated examples. There are many useful drawing pointers to take note of.

The book doesn't cover everything, or at least topics I would expect from a drawing book. What's missing are topics such as composition, contour drawings, colours, drawing portraits (dealt in his other books) and drawing techniques like hatching, layering tones, etc. It doesn't cover drawing by eye which deals with proportion, although it is mentioned briefly which can be overlooked easily.

Ultimately, the book is on understanding the fundamentals behind drawings. There isn't any step-by-step instructions to follow along, you learn by copying what's shown.

This is an intermediate book more suited for those with some knowledge of drawing, more specifically for those looking to learning perspective and lighting. If you have the two other Loomis books mentioned above, then you can easily apply what you've learned.

If you're looking to draw something instantly, then I would recommend more elementary beginner books. For perspective, you can try Perspective Made Easy, and Keys to Drawing for drawing in general. I'll also recommend Lessons in Classical Drawing because that book is also about successful drawing.
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on February 15, 2013
In fact, don't pass up any of the Loomis books. One word of caution though, he'll give you the information you need to start with in this book, but isn't totally complete so I suggest you supplement with other authors. Here are a few of my suggestions: Edwards, Dodson, Peck, Bridgman, Richer, Hale and of course any of Loomis' suggestions. I actually began re-learning how to draw after around 16 years and "Successful Drawing" has the basic all important "key fundamentals" on drawing. So it's, in my opinion, not a bad place to start. I suggest, however, to pick up both the Edwards and maybe even the Dodson book to help you understand in more complete detail, the components, elements, including technique on good drawing. Loomis, in this book and his figure drawing book, suggests that you learn from his drawings and also to draw from life. Again if you want to be able to copy clearly and accurately what you "see", start with the Edwards book, then for technique, such as restating lines, the "Key's to Drawing" book. I have some advice on the Edwards book. I think it talks way too much about psychological theory, but if you can get past all that, you'll find gems of artistic advice.

So again, I wouldn't pass up any of the Loomis books. If nothing else, he has everything you need in art education and can guide you in the right direction for further study. Read carefully what he has to say, study his illustrations thoroughly, apply the knowledge, practice and draw all the time. As for my suggestions, for all other authors to study from, I found them by researching drawing forums. This is your best bet if you still have any kind of trouble. One of the best one's I've found, if not the best, is called CG Society, google it and find tons of information in their general techniques forum section.

By the way, there is a certain order that you should keep in mind when studying the Loomis books. Things will make a lot more sense, with some minor overlap.

Here's the suggested order:

Fun with a Pencil
Successful Drawing / Figure Drawing For All It's Worth / Drawing the Heads and Hands
Creative Illustration
The Painter's Eye
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on July 20, 2014
Buy the Printed version. The Kindle version is a scanned in copy and you can not change font size or zoom in on pictures and diagrams. Some of the diagrams are too small to read at all. This is crazy. I dont understand why this is allowed.
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on May 11, 2012
Successful Drawing is one of the most brilliantly created books on artistic perspective and now it is back in print. This author and publisher have almost single-handedly kept foundational artistic knowledge alive and every artist should have this book in their library. The clarity of the diagrams and corresponding explanations are easy to understand. This should be a textbook for all art schools.
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on May 24, 2012
The books by Andrew Loomis are legendary in the environment of students and lovers of drawing and illustration. For many years they were only available online in PDF format, with the usual copyright issues.
Now, finally, Titan Books has decided to republish them. I just received Successful Drawing, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn or improve the basics of drawing, in particular perspective, light and shadows.
I hope that Titan Books get good sales and continues with the publication of the other Loomis titles, in particular Fun With A Pencil.
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on January 28, 2015
This was a gift for my art major son. He loves the books and has been using them for one month. He says that thus far the books have helped him refine a few of his techniques. The books are heavy, beautifully covered, and use quality paper. The surprised look on his face at my knowing about Andrew Loomis was priceless.
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on May 20, 2014
Every student or even working professional should get Loomis's book collection. It is profound and very helpful no matter what level you are. Very information and shows you the break down of forms with clear drawings and exercises for further practices. I can not gush enough about this set. A must have!
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on October 2, 2015
The author has a very long section on perspective in this book and also recommends another book by Ernest Norling called "Perspective Made Easy." I learned from reading Loomis that I needed some simpler, in-depth help and so picked up the Norling book -- and loved it. This book, Norling's, and Brian Curtis's "Drawing from Observation" provide a great fundamental instruction to drawing and introduce the critical tools for getting you down the path.
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on September 29, 2015
It is good book, but it does not cover all the areas. The first chapter is excellent, talking about the philosophy and general approach to drawing. It explains the main aspects of a good drawing. It especially emphasis the role of perspective, and there is a larger chapter on this topic. But, this book cannot teach you anything about perspective. The chapter on perspective is waist of paper, just some examples but not instructions at all. Simply, one cannot learn perspective from this book.
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on July 21, 2016
AN excellent book with a lot of Information, much of which is no longer taught but which is enormously helpful if you are finding ways to advance your drawing. And after all all finished painting is about the drawing under it!
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