Alex Ross Helps Bring to Life Illustration Book by Andrew Loomis
I’d Love to Draw, the lost Loomis masterpiece.
Alex Ross in his studio with Andrew Loomis's I'd Love To Draw.
American Academy of Art alumnus and world-famous comic book artist Alex Ross helped make I'd Love to Draw – the unfinished, last book by illustrator, instructor and famed author Andrew Loomis – a reality.
“I'd Love to Drawis a collection of work by the innovative American artist Andrew Loomis, previously unseen by anyone outside the Loomis family and available in print for the first time ever. Having been held in the Loomis family archive for decades after the artist's death, I'd Love to Draw has been restored by a group of devoted experts, including the globally renowned comic book artist and Loomis devotee Alex Ross.”
About Andrew Looms
Andrew Loomis was an accomplished commercial illustrator, instructor at the American Academy of Art and author best known for having created several instructional art books that have influenced popular artists, including Alex Ross, long after his death in 1959. Titan Books has published his titles, including: Creative Illustration, Drawing the Head and Hands, Figure Drawing, Fun with a Pencil, and Successful Drawing.
“Loomis’s books were rare and highly sought after by Academy instructors and students, alike, prior to being reissued,” states the Academy’s Illustration Chair Rich Kryczka.
An Unfinished Work
Loomis finished the main body of text and illustrations for I’d Love to Draw. However, several captions accompanying many of the illustrations were unfinished. “This is the part where I come in,” Ross explains. “In my own voice, I've written these notes to hopefully illuminate the lesson plan he had in mind.”
“The publisher, Titan Books, contacted me for the project,” Ross adds. “They had previously reached me for a quote about Loomis’s influence on me to use with the books they have reprinted thus far. When the prototype for the unfinished Loomis book became a project, they looked to me again as a potential contributor to complete the remainder of his visual notes.”
Ross Calls on Academy Instructors and Friends
Ross turned to two other key influences in his career, his former instructors and current friends at the Academy – Rich Kryczka and Lou Ann Burkhardt (life drawing instructor) – to edit all of the captions he wrote for I’d Love to Draw.
From Ross’s introduction to I’d Love to Draw:
“Loomis shared a wealth of insight from the perspective of a working illustrator, trying to prepare artists for the challenges they faced in the craft as well as the business itself.
“The Loomis books were part of the Ross family library for a long time before I came along. When I was a boy in the 1970s and 80s, I would pore through these instructional books just to admire the fantastic illustrations inside. The delicate and charismatic realism of Loomis’s drawings connected with me as objects of beauty to try and emulate.
“Andrew Loomis and Norman Rockwell opened up a world of elaborate rendering and lifelike illustration for me.
“I use a painted photorealistic style. While I'm not the first to do so, the principles of basic figure drawing and hand-painted media in a comic book has remained a rare thing that my notoriety is founded upon.
“This book was intended to appeal to the average person who never saw him or herself as a working artist, but always had a curiosity for drawing.
“Ultimately, I Love to Draw is the masterwork that got away.”
“As a student, Alex was very giving and sharing of his talent with everyone,” explained Burkhardt. “It’s great to see that carry through in his work with this terrific book.”
A world-famous comic book artist superhero in his own right, Alex Ross has won the Comic Buyer's Guide CBG Fan Award seven years in a row, among numerous other awards. Interestingly, Loomis taught at the Academy a decade prior to Alex Ross’s mother studying there in the 1950s.