Dionne Quintuplets by Andrew Loomis

Portrait Drawing 101: A Short Guide

A Beginner’s Guide to Portrait Drawing – The- Loomis Method

 

Overview

 

This is a complete guide on how to draw portraits via the Loomis Method whether you’re a beginner or a professional just trying to brush up on your basics.

  • In this guide you’ll learn:
  • What the Loomis Method Is
  • How to Draw the Loomis Head
  • Facial Markers – How to Mark the Face
  • And more!

Contents:

 

  1. Chapter 1: What the heck is Loomis?!

  2. Chapter 2: Actually Drawing the Loomis Head

  3. Chapter 3: Drawing in the Facial Features

  4. Chapter 4: Try Drawing in Different Perspectives

  5. Chapter 5: Add Finishing Details

  6. Chapter 6: Tips & Tricks

The Loomis Method The Loomis Head Portrait Drawing - Turtle Craft
The Loomis Method – Portrait Drawing

Chapter 1:

What the heck is Loomis?!

 

The Loomis Method was developed by someone named William Andrew Loomis – a brilliant artist, author, and instructor.

He is known for creating a series of instructional art books printed throughout his lifetime. Loomis’ realistic art style has continued to influence popular artists even today!

So, the Loomis Method is really about how to create a basic grid for a head and/or face so you can use this grid to create a character or realistic portrait from any perspective.

Dionne Quintuplets Painting by Andrew Loomis
Dionne Quintuplets by Andrew Loomis
Tiny Tawker Painting by Andrew Loomis
Tiny Tawker by Andrew Loomis

I have never found a book that stressed the importance of myself as a caretaker of my ability, of staying healthy mentally and physically, or that gave me an inkling that my courage might be strained to the utmost.

Andrew Loomis

Chapter 2: Actually Drawing the Loomis Head

Loomis Head with Facial Marker Sketch and Final Portrait Drawing
Finalized Portrait Sketch – The Loomis Method

Step 1. The Ball

 

Everyone has a slight variation to their Loomis technique, but they all start the same – a ball or perfect sphere for the head.

The Ball - The Loomis Method - The Loomis Head
The Ball – The Loomis Head

The ball actually represents the top of the head, pretty much the section that houses the brain and slightly more.

Loomis himself looked for a shape that most represented the head, even though the head really isn’t a perfect spherical shape at all.

Step 2. Cut Off the Sides of the Ball

 

If you want to draw a head from any angle, we have to really understand the basic shapes that make the head.

There are shapes that are hidden behind the face and it’s important that you see it!

How to Shape the Head - The Loomis Head
Cutting Off the Sides of the Loomis Ball – The Loomis Head

Once you have cut off the sides from the left and right side try drawing these in different directions to get a feeling for different perspectives.

Different Perspectives of the Loomis Head
Different Perspectives – The Loomis Head

If you’re having trouble with this, you can always grab a small ping-pong ball or gold ball, draw lines on it and turn it different ways to get an idea.

Step 3. Defining the Center of the Face – The Loomis Grid

 

Now we define the central line of the face. Make sure the line is exactly in the middle of the sphere between the chopped sides.

Note: It’s also important to understand how long this line must be, because it defines the length of the face.

This is where the Loomis Grid comes along – a grid system is a great visual guide so that your line doesn’t come out too long or too short.

Defining the Center of the Face - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Defining the Center of the Face – The Loomis Head

Now, try drawing the Loomis head with and without the grid in different perspectives.

If you’re having trouble with this, you can always grab a small ping-pong ball or gold ball, draw lines on it and turn it different ways to get an idea.

Step 4. Placing the 1/3 Facial Markers – Hairline, Eyebrow line, Nose, and Chin

 

Before we go further, just a gentle reminder that practice makes perfect! It can get boring drawing the same thing multiple times again and again, but the more you practice, the more these markers and shapes will become instant muscle memory for you

This is a variation of the Loomis Method, and you will find other variations that have a ½ concept, but we feel this is the easiest grid system:

  • 1/3 Hairline to Eyebrows
  • 1/3 Eyebrows to Nose
  • 1/3 Nose to Chin
1/3 Facial Markers - The Loomis Head - Loomis Method - Portrait Drawing
1/3 Facial Markers – The Loomis Head

Once you have figured out your facial markers, now it’s time to connect and refine the cheek lines and the chin and you have finally done it!

Define the Cheek Lines and Chin - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing - TurtleCraft
Define the Cheek Lines and Chin – The Loomis Head

Chapter 3: Drawing in the Facial Features

 

Once you’ve gotten the Loomis head down and, now all you have to do is add the facial features.

It’s pretty easy to add the facial landmarks when drawing portraits via the Loomis Method – only because the distance between each marker is relatively the same and makes it easier to draw.

After you’ve gotten your template down, we can adjust facial features where necessary.

Loomis Head with Facial Features - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Loomis Head with Facial Features – The Loomis Head

Don’t worry if you mess up, proportions take some time to perfect, but once you get the hang of it you can adjust it to your liking!

Chapter 4: Try Drawing in Different Perspectives

 

You’ve mastered the Loomis head and facial features! Awesome!

Now try drawing what you’ve learned in different perspectives – yes, with ALL the facial features: the nose, eyes, mouth, chin, and ears!

Drawing the Full Loomis Head in Different Perspectives - The Loomis Method - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Drawing the Full Loomis Head in Different Perspectives – The Loomis Method

Skill is the ability to overcome obstacles, the first of which is usually lack of knowledge about the thing we wish to do. Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it.

Andrew Loomis

Chapter 5: Add the Finishing Details to your Loomis Head

 

Drawing the face can take some time to perfect, but it all depends on if you want to draw someone that has masculine or feminine features.

And the great thing about art is that you can adjust and tweak it how you like.

All you have to do now is add the finishing touches to your Loomis Head and voila!

Loomis Head with Facial Marker Sketch and Final Portrait Drawing
Finalized Portrait Sketch – The Loomis Method

 

And… you’ve done it! Amazing job!

You have successfully created your first portrait drawing via the Loomis Method, and hopefully many more to come.

 

TurtleCraft Logo Banner 728 x 90 px

 

Chapter 6: Tips and Tricks

 

You can create small tweaks here and there to create whatever you’d like into your own style.

Some tips and tricks, and reassurance that we’d like to discuss is that:

  1. Understanding perspective is important (and can be difficult), but that brings us to our second point.
  2. Practice makes improvement – there is no such thing as perfect, because perfectness can always be perfected.
  3. Your best is always the best, and hopefully you have found your strengths and weaknesses so you can always improve!
Showbiz Painting by Andrew Loomis
Showbiz by Andrew Loomis

 

 

Over time, you will definitely adapt to these methods and will accordingly adjust as you’d like. With that being said, your own style will develop over time, if that hasn’t happened already.

 

We’d Love Your Feedback!

 

Hopefully you’ve learned something new today drawing portraits with us, and we’d like to hear from you guys!

Did you learn something new today?

Or maybe you have never heard of the Loomis Method before, is it easier or more challenging than you expected?

Either way, let us know by leaving a comment below.

A Beginner’s Guide to Portrait Drawing – The- Loomis Method

 

Overview

 

This is a complete guide on how to draw portraits via the Loomis Method whether you’re a beginner or a professional just trying to brush up on your basics.

  • In this guide you’ll learn:
  • What the Loomis Method Is
  • How to Draw the Loomis Head
  • Facial Markers – How to Mark the Face
  • And more!

Contents:

 

  1. Chapter 1: What the heck is Loomis?!

  2. Chapter 2: Actually Drawing the Loomis Head

  3. Chapter 3: Drawing in the Facial Features

  4. Chapter 4: Try Drawing in Different Perspectives

  5. Chapter 5: Add Finishing Details

  6. Chapter 6: Tips & Tricks

The Loomis Method The Loomis Head Portrait Drawing - Turtle Craft
The Loomis Method – Portrait Drawing

Chapter 1:

What the heck is Loomis?!

 

The Loomis Method was developed by someone named William Andrew Loomis – a brilliant artist, author, and instructor.

He is known for creating a series of instructional art books printed throughout his lifetime. Loomis’ realistic art style has continued to influence popular artists even today!

So, the Loomis Method is really about how to create a basic grid for a head and/or face so you can use this grid to create a character or realistic portrait from any perspective.

Dionne Quintuplets Painting by Andrew Loomis
Dionne Quintuplets by Andrew Loomis
Tiny Tawker Painting by Andrew Loomis
Tiny Tawker by Andrew Loomis

I have never found a book that stressed the importance of myself as a caretaker of my ability, of staying healthy mentally and physically, or that gave me an inkling that my courage might be strained to the utmost.

Andrew Loomis

Chapter 2: Actually Drawing the Loomis Head

Loomis Head with Facial Marker Sketch and Final Portrait Drawing
Finalized Portrait Sketch – The Loomis Method

Step 1. The Ball

 

Everyone has a slight variation to their Loomis technique, but they all start the same – a ball or perfect sphere for the head.

The Ball - The Loomis Method - The Loomis Head
The Ball – The Loomis Head

The ball actually represents the top of the head, pretty much the section that houses the brain and slightly more.

Loomis himself looked for a shape that most represented the head, even though the head really isn’t a perfect spherical shape at all.

Step 2. Cut Off the Sides of the Ball

 

If you want to draw a head from any angle, we have to really understand the basic shapes that make the head.

There are shapes that are hidden behind the face and it’s important that you see it!

How to Shape the Head - The Loomis Head
Cutting Off the Sides of the Loomis Ball – The Loomis Head

Once you have cut off the sides from the left and right side try drawing these in different directions to get a feeling for different perspectives.

Different Perspectives of the Loomis Head
Different Perspectives – The Loomis Head

If you’re having trouble with this, you can always grab a small ping-pong ball or gold ball, draw lines on it and turn it different ways to get an idea.

Step 3. Defining the Center of the Face – The Loomis Grid

 

Now we define the central line of the face. Make sure the line is exactly in the middle of the sphere between the chopped sides.

Note: It’s also important to understand how long this line must be, because it defines the length of the face.

This is where the Loomis Grid comes along – a grid system is a great visual guide so that your line doesn’t come out too long or too short.

Defining the Center of the Face - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Defining the Center of the Face – The Loomis Head

Now, try drawing the Loomis head with and without the grid in different perspectives.

If you’re having trouble with this, you can always grab a small ping-pong ball or gold ball, draw lines on it and turn it different ways to get an idea.

Step 4. Placing the 1/3 Facial Markers – Hairline, Eyebrow line, Nose, and Chin

 

Before we go further, just a gentle reminder that practice makes perfect! It can get boring drawing the same thing multiple times again and again, but the more you practice, the more these markers and shapes will become instant muscle memory for you

This is a variation of the Loomis Method, and you will find other variations that have a ½ concept, but we feel this is the easiest grid system:

  • 1/3 Hairline to Eyebrows
  • 1/3 Eyebrows to Nose
  • 1/3 Nose to Chin
1/3 Facial Markers - The Loomis Head - Loomis Method - Portrait Drawing
1/3 Facial Markers – The Loomis Head

Once you have figured out your facial markers, now it’s time to connect and refine the cheek lines and the chin and you have finally done it!

Define the Cheek Lines and Chin - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing - TurtleCraft
Define the Cheek Lines and Chin – The Loomis Head

Chapter 3: Drawing in the Facial Features

 

Once you’ve gotten the Loomis head down and, now all you have to do is add the facial features.

It’s pretty easy to add the facial landmarks when drawing portraits via the Loomis Method – only because the distance between each marker is relatively the same and makes it easier to draw.

After you’ve gotten your template down, we can adjust facial features where necessary.

Loomis Head with Facial Features - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Loomis Head with Facial Features – The Loomis Head

Don’t worry if you mess up, proportions take some time to perfect, but once you get the hang of it you can adjust it to your liking!

Chapter 4: Try Drawing in Different Perspectives

 

You’ve mastered the Loomis head and facial features! Awesome!

Now try drawing what you’ve learned in different perspectives – yes, with ALL the facial features: the nose, eyes, mouth, chin, and ears!

Drawing the Full Loomis Head in Different Perspectives - The Loomis Method - The Loomis Head - Portrait Drawing
Drawing the Full Loomis Head in Different Perspectives – The Loomis Method

Skill is the ability to overcome obstacles, the first of which is usually lack of knowledge about the thing we wish to do. Skill is the result of trying again and again, applying our ability and proving our knowledge as we gain it.

Andrew Loomis

Chapter 5: Add the Finishing Details to your Loomis Head

 

Drawing the face can take some time to perfect, but it all depends on if you want to draw someone that has masculine or feminine features.

And the great thing about art is that you can adjust and tweak it how you like.

All you have to do now is add the finishing touches to your Loomis Head and voila!

Loomis Head with Facial Marker Sketch and Final Portrait Drawing
Finalized Portrait Sketch – The Loomis Method

 

And… you’ve done it! Amazing job!

You have successfully created your first portrait drawing via the Loomis Method, and hopefully many more to come.

 

TurtleCraft Logo Banner 728 x 90 px

 

Chapter 6: Tips and Tricks

 

You can create small tweaks here and there to create whatever you’d like into your own style.

Some tips and tricks, and reassurance that we’d like to discuss is that:

  1. Understanding perspective is important (and can be difficult), but that brings us to our second point.
  2. Practice makes improvement – there is no such thing as perfect, because perfectness can always be perfected.
  3. Your best is always the best, and hopefully you have found your strengths and weaknesses so you can always improve!
Showbiz Painting by Andrew Loomis
Showbiz by Andrew Loomis

 

 

Over time, you will definitely adapt to these methods and will accordingly adjust as you’d like. With that being said, your own style will develop over time, if that hasn’t happened already.

 

We’d Love Your Feedback!

 

Hopefully you’ve learned something new today drawing portraits with us, and we’d like to hear from you guys!

Did you learn something new today?

Or maybe you have never heard of the Loomis Method before, is it easier or more challenging than you expected?

Either way, let us know by leaving a comment below.

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