Andrew Loomis's "Flat Diagram"—Part II

In Part I of this topic, I broke down the first of two figure-in-perspective methods explained by Andrew Loomis. The methods are diagramed on page 30 of his book "Figure Drawing For All It's Worth."

My preference is for that first method. It involves drawing fewer lines and is easier to follow. This second method is more complicated but it could be helpful to some so I'll break it down into steps.

1. Establish your vanishing point which is located on the horizon line (eyeline). (Note that Loomis doesn't show the horizon in his diagram.):

2. Draw a line that represents the width of your figure. This is line A-C (like the diagram on the left) and Loomis labels it "1":

3. Find the midpoint of line A-C. This is point B:

4. This step is not labeled on Loomis's page but I think it needs to be clearly stated. Find the midpoint of line A-B. This is point D:

5. Draw lines that extend from points A-D to the vanishing point:

6. Draw a line to indicate the depth of the figure. Loomis labels it as "Optional depth for rectangle." The confusion for me is Loomis's use of the word "optional" which implies it's not necessary. But it's TOTALLY necessary! I think he meant to say "arbitrary":

7. We now have our large main rectangle. To continue, we need to find its midpoint. To do this, draw a diagonal from point A to the opposite corner of the depth line. Loomis labels this "1st diagonal":

8. Draw another diagonal in the opposite direction. Loomis labels this "2nd diagonal":

9. The intersection of these two diagonals is the midpoint of the box. Draw a horizontal that goes through that intersection and extends from line A to line C. Loomis labels this "1st division" and "5":

10. To create the next segment, draw a diagonal from point B to point 5. Loomis labels this "3rd diag.":

11. The 1st diagonal and 3rd diagonal now intersect. Draw a horizontal through that intersection extending completely across. Loomis labels that line "2d division" AND "3":

12. Draw a diagonal from point 5 on line A to the intersection of line B and the depth:

13. You've created a new intersection of lines. Draw a horizontal through that intersection to get line "7":

14. Draw a diagonal from point D to point 3 on line A:

15. Continue to draw diagonals lines A and D until you have four total (in the far left section/column of the rectangle):

16. Draw remaining horizontal lines through the new intersections created by the diagonals. Loomis labels those lines "2," "4," "6," and "8":

17. Now with the 8 divided boxes you can place the figure into this diagram using the anatomical landmarks established in the frontal flat diagram at left:

The first of Loomis's methods I broke down into 9 steps and this method has 17. That's enough of a reason for me to stick to the simpler first method although it doesn't hurt to know this alternative.

Hopefully you found this helpful. In Part III of this series, I'll explain these diagrams:


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, roxy, for the comment! I was so focused on my project that I completely forgot to do part three. I'm working on that post now and it will include a review of parts 1 and 2. Thanks for the heads up and look out for part three in the next couple of days!

  2. You need both methods. The first is for the situation where you can dictate the overall height of the figure, while the second is for when you have to fit the body into a specific size of box to match the rest of the scene (e.g. when adding it to something you've already done).

    1. Excellent observation, thank you! Your explanation would have been helpful being included in Loomis's book.