Monday, May 31, 2010

Proportion Practice

I've been reading Robert Fawcett's On the Art of Drawing again and came to the section about drawing naturally. Fawcett believes the problem of getting the correct proportions can be solved by simply drawing things at the size that you see them. This makes a lot of sense but is very easily said than done. He says the problem with sighting and measuring is you're trying to figure out how to resize your subject and will fail once your eye becomes tired of calculating and you start to truly draw what you see. Your calculations wont be the same as the results of simply drawing what you see, and the resulting figure will be out of proportion. I really like this idea and would like to use his method. Here's a drawing I just did to practice.

Its difficult to draw something the same size as I see it when I have to look up at my monitor and down at my sketchbook. I'm going to do all that I can to make it to the model sessions this week and use this approach there. Hopefully the results will be better since I can place my board visually right the model. Fawcett says this method takes time to learn but once you've got it, you wont have issues with proportion anymore. In fact, the whole book is basically like that. It's debunking everything I've learned/read about life drawing with his own sound logic. It seems like Fawcett's main message is once you're able to truly draw what you see, you'll be able to draw any and everything. I think thats what Glen is trying to get me to see with this assignment and from recommending that I read Fawcett's book.

Fawcett also says that lots of students have learned various short cuts to drawing. He doesn't approve of such and says that true draftsmanship can only be attained once the artist has learned how to see and how to record that which he/she see's on paper in a particular (instead of a general) way. This can only be reached with hard study and constant practice. I really want to work in 2d as well as 3d and if this is what I have to do to get my drawing abilities to the level that they need to be then I'm all for it, regardless of how painfull the process can be.

Rabbit Update 5.0

I had planned on finishing the roughs for my Rabbit test today but I ran out of time. Andreas suggested rotating Rabbits head from side to side on Friday and I ended up spending all of my time on that. It's extremely rough but the basic idea is there. I need to clean up the inbetweens though since they're the same drawings from the previous version. Once that's done, the side to side motion will be much clearer. I wanted to tie this down and finish it completely, but I think its probably time to move on once the roughs are done. I remember a quote from Glen about students who made as many pots as possible improving faster than the students who spent all of their time trying to make a one pot masterpiece. I dont want this to end up being a one pot masterpiece. I still have a lot to learn and would like to try some other things.

Drawing Before Bed

Hey guys,
I decided to do another drawing before going to bed last night. I liked the flow the model achieved through his forearm, wrist and hand so I decided to reproduce it. I've noticed that Glen draws these epic hands that always have a sense of flow to them with anatomy laid on top. Lol, my drawing is light years away from his of course but hopefully he'll like it anyway.

The model's face looks wonky though. I think faces are the hardest thing for me. On Friday, Andreas pointed out that the body parts in my life drawings were well constructed but all together they don't quite fit. It sounds like I should do more full figure drawings in addition to individual studies.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kitty Take Over

You know, I don't think I've completely rid myself of my dislike of drawing people. Yes I want to get better at drawing them but I'm starting to question whether or not I actually enjoy them as a subject matter. These two pages were supposed to be filled with human faces, instead I ended up doing more gesture drawings of my cat, Jubilee. I find a lot more enjoyment in drawing animals and am much more fascinated by them than people. Maybe I'm trying to get better at drawing people simply because I have to. I cant be a 2d animator and not be able to draw humans. Granted, I find non-human more fun to animate (especially in 2d) I'm sure I'll have to animate a person at some point in my career. The funny thing is, this only pertains to 2d. I'm fine with animating people in 3d, I'm just dreading the day that I'll have to do the same in 2d since I'm not confident in my ability to draw them.

I think its safe to say that my seemingly sudden drive to get better at drawing people over the past few weeks is because I feel like I have to rather than simply drawing people because I want to. Hopefully this will go away as I improve, because right now it seems like the desire to get better at drawing people and the desire to simply draw them are two separate things. >_<

Trip to the Zoo

I went to the LA Zoo for the first time today to do some animal drawing. I was pleasantly surprised by how close it is to where I live. My main purpose for going was to do some lion studies but I wasn't able to find any. I'm debating on whether or not I should get a membership and come to the zoo more often. I like that idea of that but I don't think I'll have the time to do so. Anyway, the tiger was the only big cat I was able to find and he spent most of the time pacing around his enclosure. Unfortunately, I'm not fast enough to successfully capture a moving target yet. The orangutans and goats (I don't remember their specific breed) made up for the lack of cats though. Both were active but held still long enough to draw.

The lion skull was done prior to going to the zoo. I planned on using it as a reminder of what's going on beneath the lion's fur.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life Drawing Session

Hey guys,
I was able to make it to today's lunch time life drawing session at work. As usual, I'm really glad that I went and wish I could go to every session. The instructor suggested a different approach for me to take when drawing. He said to draw really lightly and then pay attention to the center of things. He said I tend to pay attention to the outer contour of the figure while leaving the inside blank. His technique can be seen in my drawing of one of the model's legs. I worked on defining the shapes inside the leg and then worked on the contour, only darkening certain areas while leaving other faint. He said that helps to give the drawing a sense of personality rather than having a consistently dark contour line. I already draw lightly, I just end up going over my lines so many times that they end up all being the same shade. I'll have to make a conscious effort to work on that.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Today ended up being a study day drawing-wise after a few failed attempts at sketching Rapunzel. Andreas said he'd look at my animal drawings so I figured it would be a good idea to have an animal as the subject of one of my studies. After failing at drawing this sailor guy, I decided for my next study to deal with the face and eyes in particular. When I finished the horse drawing, I pulled out one of my anatomy books and studied the muscles in a horse's chest area. Lol, it probably would have been more beneficial to do that prior to actually drawing the horse. I think the eyes were a success as well. I feel like I have a better understanding of what exactly is going on there anatomically. The evil eye on the top left is my favorite of the bunch. =D

Monday, May 24, 2010

Catching Up

It seems I forgot to post my gesture drawings from yesterday. I finally worked up the courage to go to a Starbucks to draw people. I've always been afraid of getting caught drawing someone and having an awkward situation. Thankfully that didn't happen at all. I just avoided eye contact with people and glanced at them with my peripheral vision if they were looking in my direction. I found it to be a very interesting experience and saw all kinds of people. I wish I could draw faster so I could have gotten a better image of what my subjects looked like.


I did some gesture drawing today as well. I went to Issuing a bit early and drew the animation supe's and our two directors. Once again, it will be nice once I'm able to draw fast enough to actually capture their likeness as well as their pose lol. The guy in color is a character I'm fleshing out for OC improv sessions with one of my friend's from school. I'd never done OC before and tried it with her last night. It was super fun and a great exercise for drawing quickly and acting in character. His name is LaQuandae "Dae Dae" Ray and is meant to be used with her character, Cookie (the one on the far left).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rabbit Update 4.0

Hey guys,
Here's another Rabbit update. I feel like its finally getting close to where I want it to be. If I was able to work on this all day I could have all of the roughs finished. Unfortunately I had to leave early since I really need to wash clothes to do some more life drawing. As usual, I've created a list of things that need to be fixed but any comments and crits are always appreciated.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Back Online

Sorry about the lack of updates! My cat, Jubilee clothes lined herself with my internet cord on Monday night which caused the cord to rip from the plastic end in the wall. I've been internet-less at home since then. That didn't really matter though since this turned out to be an overtime week and I didn't leave work until after 10 each day. As the result, I don't have any drawings between Monday and today since I went to bed when I got home all of the other days. Today was normal hours though, so I was able to go to the store to buy a new cord. Here are the drawings a I did on Monday after I lost my internet and the drawings I did tonight.


I've found that my drawings of human faces always turn out weird and wonky if I start from any place other than the eyes...

I dont know what happened with the face in the middle. It's quite hideous, lol. The other two are examples of how much better my human faces look if I start with the eyes. I'm not sure why that's the case.

I was able to shot Glen the drawings I'd done so far. I told him the blind contours are from life but the others were drawn from photos. He updated my assignment and now I'm only to draw directly from life. I guess that means my plans of drawing animals from my Planet Earth dvds is no longer relevant. I wonder if drawing sculptures in a museum counts. I dont feel like my drawings are good enough yet to try to quicky capture moving people without inadvertantly reverting to my previous ways of drawings.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Out of Time

Hey guys,
I really liked the pose captured in this photo and decided to try and draw it. Once I got started I realized it contained almost everything I feel like I'm bad at, hands, and complex clothing. XDDDD

I kept going despite that but had to stop here so I could go to bed. At first I was just going to leave this as is, but now that I look at it again I might continue working on it tomorrow. Her shadowed hands scare me.

Skulls From Last Night

Hey guys,
I chose to draw a couple of skulls last night in preparation for moving on to people. I spoke to one of the animators at work about how helpful it was for her to do pages and pages of skulls before trying to draw realistic heads. I feel like I struggle with the human face more than anything and that having a solid understanding of the structure beneath it will be a great help.

The drawings are filled with errors, but I'm leaving them in just as before. My mistakes will be there in person for Glen to view and thus shall be true here. I am quite pleased despite the proportion issues though. Both of these were done via blind contour with looking down at the page every now and then. I think that's why the lines are significantly less "hairy" than the ones in my previous drawings. Hurray for improvement!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Missed the Mark

Hey guys,
I only got two drawings in today. I'm going to have to step it up if I'm to meet Glen's 50 drawings in two weeks estimate.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More Drawings

Hey guys,
Here are my contour drawings from last night and today. I spent the evening wallowing in frustration, telling myself I couldn't draw and producing page after page of crappy imagery. Then I had the bright idea to try drawing things I actually care about, lol. I love drawing animals and have always struggled with horses, so I figured they would be a good place to start. It seems like my days of struggling has paid off in the form of a gypsy vanner, my first successful horse drawing! =D

Yesterday's Page:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A New Direction

I got to spend time with Glen Keane today and he pointed out something that caused an artistic revaluation for me! I asked told him I wanted to get better at drawing people and showed him my sketchbook. To make a long (but extremely awesome) story short, he wants me to do some observational pen drawings and to return in two weeks to show him what I've done. He said I've learned how to make cartoons and animation drawings but haven't learned how to draw what I see. Its interesting because I was always told to study anatomy and use that to help me draw what I know rather than copying the model whereas Glen wants me to do the opposite.

He and Clair mentioned blind contour drawings so I figured I'd start with some of those. I'd never done these before and prior to today never knew what their purpose was. I find them challenging and interesting at the same time. The results of mine are hilariously bad too.

I also went to today's life drawing session prior to speaking with Glen. It was a long pose today but I wasn't able to stay for all of the session. I did one real drawing of the model, a page of messing around, and an unfinished portrait attempt.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Rabbit update 3.0 and some sketches

Hey guys,
I worked on my Rabbit cycle again and have gotten it to a point where I'm actually starting to like it. I focused on getting the torso and head overlap right today and am happy with where they are now. Tomorrow I'll work on redrawing the arms, the tail and fixing the volume issues in his feet.

I also did a couple of pages of Shar Pei sketches to prepare for this week's Make it Funnier challenge. I had planned on redrawing the final image in a larger and cleaner format but it doesn't look like I'm going to have time to do so. In the meantime, this touched up version will have to do. >_<

Friday, May 07, 2010

Cool 2d Animation

Hey guys,
One of my friends told me about a really cool 2d reel from a studio in Spain called headless productions. I really like the work on their reel and would love to see the films that they've done. I already have Nocturna, but I would love to see Mr. Collieu and I'm a Monster. The clips the have of the latter are my favorite of the bunch. I really hope these projects will somehow be viewable in the US.

Headless studio reel 2010 from Headless Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Rabbit Update 2.0

Hey guys,
Here's an update on what I accomplished last week/weekend. It has the feeling that I want but now there's way too much overlap on the torso and head. I also need to fix Rabbit's tail and arm since I just traced them from the previous version. Both things are easy fixes though and I'll leave them off of my next interation until the torso and head are where I want them to be. Its really great to be able to rework this test over and over until its right! This is the first time that I've been truly able to do that and I'm learning a lot. In 3d, I tend to make things too big to make sure I've got everything working and then I tone things down by scaling the curves. So far, its much easier to work this way in 3d than in 2d since "scaling the curves" equals redrawing everything again.

I'm learning a lot about workflow, things to do and not do, how much information to include vs how much is too much etc. I showed this to my mentor and he also told me how I can tone down the torso and head without losing the spacing I had established. Its awesome, because I would have kept redrawing it over and over hoping it was right rather than using a systematic method like his. Its also unbelievably amazing to finally be at Disney and to have one of their fantastic animators draw over my drawings, its seriously a dream come true! I really hope to be able to work on one of the studios 2d projects in the future.