Thursday, January 18, 2018

E.G. Lutz and Drawing Made Easy

Edwin Lutz was the author of the first how-to book I ran across as a kid.

Lutz's great-great nephew has created a tribute website about his illustrious ancestor, who among other things inspired the young cartoonist Walt Disney to make moving drawings.

I wrote the following for the tribute section for the new website:

There was an old copy of Drawing Made Easy on the shelf of my home when I grew up. It belonged to my mom when she was little, and the cover was hanging on by a thread. When I was just 7 or 8 years old, I was fascinated right away by the funny character types and the old fashioned locomotives and automobiles. I was also intrigued by the method of drawing that it presented, illustrated with a very clear series of steps. The method struck me then—and it still strikes me now—as a sensible way to draw anything. By starting with simple shapes and straight lines bounding the outside of the form, you can subdivide the geometry of anything down to smaller and smaller details. It really does make the process of drawing much easier. As I've learned more about art and how it has been taught over the centuries, I keep coming back to Mr. Lutz's clear-headed, practical, and whimsical approach as being the best doorway into the world of drawing.

E.G. Lutz website
Drawing Made Easy From Amazon.
Drawing Made Easy with intro signed by me, from my online store.


Glenn Tait said...

I was reading your August 2008 post on Lutz's book and couldn't agre with you more on the contour and gesture drawing issues. There is no real way to accurately measure or make comparisons with those methods. My college teachers used Nicolades as their textbook and couldn't answer basic drawing questions about accuracy nor what the reasons were for doing some of Nicolades' exercises. Fortunately for me Betty Edwards Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain had recently come out at that time and I studied that on my own. Wish I had known about Drawing Made Easy back then as it would have been a big help. The Bargue course would have been great too.

Bob said...

My childhood art book was Jon Gnagy's Learn to Draw. Drawing Made Easy is also quite an excellent resource, especially with its use of basic shapes. I wrote a review of this book at:

Tom Hart said...

Bob beat me to the punch on the Jon Gnagy memory. JG - the other JG! - was my early childhood influence, initially through his tv program and then through his book and the accompanying art set which I received one Christmas. I still have the book and just pulled it out to glance at it. I notice that Gnagy's step-by-steps don't generally begin with one or two large geometric shapes as Lutz does, but rather with several basic shapes - i.e., already breaking down the subject into multiple shapes, not one or two. Given the experience and retrospect of many years, I would say that Lutz's initial step is a somewhat better approach. Not to slight my first "master"! :)