Andrew Loomis seems to appear on every artist's list of favorite art books. Loomis, a successful American illustrator in the first half of the 20th century, wrote several books on art that sold extremely well, and are still in demand today. His 1947 masterpiece, Creative Illustration, has long been considered "The Illustrator's Bible," and it is filled with instruction on composition, color, and storytelling.
Ten years ago, I bought my copy of the second edition of Creative Illustration for $125, and it is my most treasured book. I had never spent so much on a book before, but I had also never before run across a book that was so universally admired by artists either. I have no regrets on this purchase for the lessons it holds within.
The Loomis family has retained the copyrights to Andrew's books, and have not for many years re-published them despite the high demand. Recently, however, several of his books have been making their way back to the printer, such as Figure Drawing for All It's Worth (available in German and Spanish). The latest is his wonderful Creative Illustration, which is due to be released in September of this year. Amazon.com is taking pre-orders now at $13.57 USD, and I plan to buy this edition as well, just as a bang-around copy.
If you look around the web, you'll find downloadable copies of all of Loomis' books, and they are worth looking for, as he was an incredible teacher, with a great mind for organizing his lessons.