I got back from the Bristol Animation festival a little over a week ago and had a sudden rush come over me. It was a rush of inspiration but also a rush of worry. I sat down to analyse my drawings and took a few minutes to study them. I thought to myself, given my age, they weren't good enough.
I am by no means trying to compete here but i do believe my drawings are lacking a few things.
So i sat myself down and wrote myself a drawing schedule. I dusted off my old copy of the Preston Blair Animation book and set back to work to reteach myself some things i may of forgotten through my own laziness.
Hopefully my schedule will make be a better cartoonist, teach me to be more observant of basic things like proportion, posture etc and hopefully at long last get some basic life drawing skills. I am on the hunt for a good book on life drawing, so until then i will brush up on my cartoon skills.
I will post here as often as i can with each new study that emerges from my sketch book and open it up to the public to critique it.
So here we go.
This is the first image that appears in the Preston Blair Animation book. It looks simple enough but it didn't stop me from making a complete mess of it.
Below is my first attempt to understand this drawing.
As i can see its a complete mess. There is no real observational skills here it is me just trying to copy what i see rather than trying to understand how it is all put together.
From the above drawing i realised that:
- I rush to much
- I am to agressive with my pencil
- I dont measure things out
- I dont take time to work out how everything works
The problems with this drawing are:
- The snout of the bear is far to big and doesnt point in any particular angle. It seems to be upturned for some reason.
- The eyes are flat on the shape and dont wrap around the forms as well as being to big
- The ears are out of place as well being the wrong size
- The line work is messy and uncontrolled
- The nose on the snout is messy
- There is not enough negative space on the back of the head
Taking a few minutes to analyse my work as strictly as i could i set off to improve it and hopefully improving on some of my faults.
Again, not a great attempt but there is improvement.
From this i realised:
- I am still to agressive and lack confidence with my pencil
- I either makes thing to large or to cramped
- Things i dont understand like the ears i will rush out
The problems with this Drawing are:_
- The snout ist curved correctly and looks disconnected from the head
- The snout looks to big and heavy
- The eyes are one constant shape rather than getting smaller towards the snout
- The eye furthest away doesnt follow the shape of the head
- Lack of negative space between the back of the head
- The brow isnt steep enough
The third drawing is where i start to see greater improvement and greater confidence and then start to compare it to the original drawing
The head shape here although not perfect is closer than any of the previous drawings, There is still the issue with negative space and the smile doesnt quite match up as it should given its shape but the snout is pretty much in the right place. The nose however is a little off from where it should be.
The brow still isnt following the form of the head but the eyes however seem to fit nicely, not perfectly but with a lot more accuracy than before. The ears are still messy.
The above image seems to be the most confident out of the lot. Its a lot neater, a lot more confident and has been observed a lot more carefully.
This one is hard to see so i apologise.
The eyes have strayed a little in this one and the snout and nose are upturned, the smile however is almost in the right place.
The shape of the head is almost correct, although a lot messier than it should be it has a lot more form.
So for next time i need to work on the key facial features and slowly build outwards as this seems to be my main area of weakness. Features don't point in the right direction and sometimes aren't the correct size or shape given the shape of the head. The eyes although almost the right size more often that not don't follow the shape of the head.