Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sample Sketches

Here's a few recent studies, meant to show the drawing process, but I always find mine tend to have fewer sketch and construction lines evident. I tend to apply them very lightly, and many times just "see" them as I sketch. I always used to think it was because I wasn't really doing the work, but it came from wanting my sketches to look clean. I sort of trained myself to see the foundations and go right to the intended line. I still start with shapes and proportions, but go to details faster than normally recommended. I also have a long running habit of erasing as I go. Once I get line where I want it, I'll "erase and replace" the area to clean up as I go.

Here's a Daffy image. I partly chose it for the small challenge of finishing the drawing, since the top is cut off in the actual scene:

Here's a couple done just sitting on the couch sketching freeze frames. (just picked up the Sat Morning Cartoons 1960s vol. 1 set):
I only partially penciled in details on this pose to show the sketch lines underneath, but the weak blue pencil doesn't show up well in these scans. There's a certain stiffness to these, which comes from an initial copying. Once I learn a character's construction that loosens up.

I wanted to try some Spumco characters as well. I'd heard George Liquor was hard to do. I actually found his construction pretty easy to understand. Only one of these was from a sample (and the middle one didn't really work). They're far from perfect, but for first attempts I think I could get a feel for it:

Jimmy is trickier. Of course, it would have been easier to finish the walking pose if I hadn't placed it too low on the page to begin with. And the one on top definitely went off course:
I wanted to get more study sketching done last night, but my wonderful day job made quick work of that by giving my a cut straight up the tip of my index finger, making holding a pencil like trying to draw with a stinging bee. Thanks, great big drag of a necessary evil-type job! Wasn't enough to just stiffen up my back and limit the amount of time I can sit at a drawing table, I guess.

I started this Bugs last night, but fighting my throbbing fingertip was putting me off. I continued and added more detail to this, the the proportions are badly off (big damn head) so I'm just including the first scan to show some more of the work behind. The red pencil certainly shows better. Is that the purpose of using red, to show the work? I've always known about non-repro blue, but never heard why red was used.

find 'em bigger on flicker:

1 comment:

J C Roberts said...

I put these up mostly in response to John K's recent announcement of a private blog for artists to gain more instruction. He searched the world and found two guys to feature, then seems to have moved on to posting doodles. I can't tell if he looked at anything (the Flicker images show no views), so maybe he's been busy. If I keep posting more links to things I'll wind up looking like a pest. There are enough links already to lead to everything I have up so far (which only scratches the surface of what I've done/can do), so it's there.

At this point, I really couldn't predict what he would see in my efforts. Would he lock into the fact that they don't show all the steps of hierarchy and construction and dismiss it outright as a result? Would he consider me a wiseass for some of the jokey comments I've contributed on his blog? Even though I continue to employ it, I worry that my tendency to make with the wisecracks is off putting, even to others jokesters. Text only can be a difficult format to be jokey in, because people can read it the wrong way and think you're being serious and obnoxious.

I don't know. I'm not looking to pester the guy for work for free guru services. The lessons on his blog have had a very good impact on my efforts to rebuild my 1st effort, so more of them wouldn't hurt. If he's going "invitation only", I wouldn't mind an invite to
gain some more knowledge. If his purpose is to seek potential talent to employ, the only thing I feel gets in the way for me is being clear across the country from where he works. That doesn't seem to be the case though, since his first picks were from Brazil and Chile.

This is all part of why I'm still doing this on the side and sorting packages for a living. This process can be so disheartening that I've never done it as much as I should. I hate sending things out to never hear back about it. I can recover very quickly from a failed attempt sent to a publisher or studio, because you can chalk it up to boneheads in suits who wouldn't know a good cartoon from a hole in the wall.

It's entirely different when you're expecting someone who's a creator and fan of things just like you're doing to look upon your stuff, sniff, and say "next!" without ever dropping you a line to say "Hey, I saw your stuff. God, how I hate you!!!"

These are at least the extremes that my mind will go to, I'm more level headed on the outside about it, but I would be interested to know what I'd be like if I were excepted into the business, and there was a project that I wanted to work on that I was actually involved with. What would it be like if that wasn't a pipe dream to ponder while I breakdown interoffice mail? If I was off doing that while someone who did give a rat's ass about last night's game sorted the letters? You and me both, right, fellow artists that can't get anywhere with it? We are the majority, after all. Somebody's got to be the statistic that will give the others a sense of accomplishment when they beat the odds. If everyone who fancied themselves an artist really was one, we'd have a broken society filled with pretty pictures and music, but no one to pick up the garbage or process your paperwork.

I sometimes envy people like the John K blog reader "Pilsner Panther", who's participation shows he greatly enjoys this stuff, but by his own admission, he can't draw. What's THAT like? To be able to enjoy it all without the pain and frustration of being able to do it and wanting to do it always being thwarted by statistics and the realities of the world. How lucky to just be a fan, without the pesky motivation to do something no one wants to make easy for you.

To quote the late, great George Carlin: "Ah, I get pissed sometimes, dammit! I get pissed!!!"