My go to reference artist for traditional illustration is Andrew Loomis. Not only has he written books about the genre during the most popular era for illustration artists, he has helped define the genre. He created beautiful works of art that rival all the great illustrators and pin up artists such as Gil Elvgren, Al Buel, Earl Moran, Alberto Vargas, and artists like Alphonse Mucha, Aubrey Beardsley and Gustav klimt.
|Drawing The head and Hands|
His books are a delight to read, and all have recently been re published by Titan Books and so are easy to get hold of in new print, or first edition copies are available through collectors book shops.
I have two Andrew Loomis books, One is Creative Illustration and the other, Figure Drawing for All it's Worth. Creative Illustration has more colour plates and talks more about the profession in terms of advertising. The other, Figure Drawing For All Its Worth has lot's of art tutorials, though both are similar in this respect, the latter has tutorials which concentrate more heavily on the ability to draw as the tools of the trade and give you the exercises and skills necessary to achieve such status, that was necessary for illustrators in advertising.
For many artist Illustration was their way or making their living, their bread and butter. It was their income, for those good enough and as such these books offer a wealth of knowledge.
|Figure drawing for All It's Worth|
|Tilting The Head and Perspective in Drawing The Head|
|You Get Something The Camera can't Give You|
|Drawing The Head|
|Hanging Figures On The Horizon|