Here's a letter from illustrator Tom Lovell on June 19, ’95 in answer to my questions about his preliminary drawings and his take on Andrew Loomis's material on Pyle in Creative Illustration.
"Yes, I still make great use of the mirror—just finished a painting in which all information derived from mirror drawings. Not easy, but at that stage you know what you want.
"All my work begins with charcoal drawings done on bond typing paper, with an effort to hold to black, white, and gray.
"I never saw any of Pyle’s writings but admire his work tremendously. Harvey Dunn (one of his students) said, 'Pyle did not understand color' and I wonder if he was partly colorblind. Remember the yellow night skies in some of the pirate pictures? I never heard of his color principles.
I saw Loomis’s book years ago and remember black was on his palette, which suggests that he had it to control his values, which is exactly the way he worked years ago in illustration: red + black, black + green, etc."
"Nowadays my task is to come up with subjects that have not been used before. Storytelling and history are not in demand—more interest in close-ups and artifacts. Keep up the good work."
Tomorrow: Lovell's mirror studies and miniatures
Lovell's charcoal, color sketch, and finish for "Battle of Hastings" (Thanks, Jeff!)