Thursday, July 27, 2006

Note: At this point, this is an incomplete post. I just wanted to get it up there to stay in motion on these lessons.

I've got two more egghead first drafts done, and I'm feeling a lot better about how close these are looking to the originals:

Definitely happy about this one. Now see if you can see a continuing trend in the mistakes on this next one...

It's something about that goddamned mouth and lower lip line! I am consistently making one end of those dip lower than they should go. Maybe I should do a couple of extra horizontal guide lines to make sure they wrap correctly around the face. Any suggestions? I'm going to do corrected versions of these later today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lesson one, page one, continued again!

I wasn't going to post tonight, but I was so pleased with this one I just had to.

Look at how close that is! Oh how it is to be pleased. So pleased I'll share a few doodles I did at work today when I should have been painting a mural. I got to thinking about how to construct a poodle out of circles and ovals (I work at a dog grooming parlor and own a Toy Poodle), and wound up drawing this. I like the one in the lower left hand corner. Not that these are brilliant works of art...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Lesson one, page one...continued.

Here's the first of what I'm going to call "the eggheads." There are eight of these little guys in all, and I'm going to do the first four today.

Egghead 1- facing forward

There is clearly a lot wrong with this. On the bright side, though, it looks closer to the original than the bear cub attempt #1 looked. Also on the bright side, I got the egg shape mostly right in this one. Not always the case. One note...all of these pictures originally had the teeth and the little cheek lines intact, but the scanner did not always preserve these. Sorry, but I work with what I've got. Yuck, my lines are wobbly...

Eh...better, but not great. At least the eyes are placed well and the right size. A marginal improvement over the first.

This is my best and final attempt at this, with the only major problems being the mouth shape, the smile lines being a bit too low at the start, and the ugly lower left side of the egg. Other than that, I'm rather pleased with it.

Egghead 2- looking up and left

This first one was disheartening. I got the angle ALL wrong on the mouth, so it was difficult to say what the smaller problems might be. I made more corrections right on the drawing this time, and I think that may help me get a feel for it. Sorry for the crappy quality of the scan, but it got the important lines to show how much it sucked.

I will edit this post to add more later, but this day has been very long and I'm pausing for now.

UPDATE: I will add more tomorrow (Thursday) as I am away from my scanner all today. Hopefully by tomorrow night, I'll have all of the basic eggheads done. I know my work is slow, but I'm hoping I'll get faster as I get better and more confident.

Monday, July 24, 2006

So, way late, I've discovered these wonderful lessons by John Kricfalusi, of Ren and Stimpy fame! They use the Bible of animation, Preston Blair's Animation...the first edition, where he used MGM and Disney characters he'd drawn, rather than the generic characters he was required to use for the second edition. These lessons are invaluable, and though I'm starting late, I'm going to follow them anyway. I'm afraid my progress may be painfully slow, but I want a record of it,'s the first night of me giving these lessons a try. I've combined lessons 1 and 2 with lesson 3 for the sake of catching up, so I'll be checking my proportions in PSP as I go. Sorry. No Photoshop here yet. Hopefully, this'll keep me more accurate from the beginning. Since I'm pathetically bad at copying professional drawings...

For this first attempt, the only thing I felt good about was that the head was almost perfectly rounded.'s a start. I'm not nearly as good as most of the students in this course, I fear...not that I have any intention of becoming a professional animator, but I'd like to at least not be a crap artist anymore.

This second attempt makes me want to pull my hair out. I fixed some things, failed to fix others, and wound up creating brand NEW problems. The problems I've listed on the image, but the good things are:

-The left ear and left eye are virtually perfect. Left ear needs a slightly more rounded top, but the size is perfect.

-The size of the mouth area is right, as is the height of the eye area.

-the length of the smile is perfect.

-The horizontal axis is a little off, but the vertical axis is correct. Yay for me.

I feel so much better about this attempt. No, it's not perfect yet, but it's much, much closer than the first two! The placement of the axes was correct, the sizes are almost all right, the muzzle is mostly just fine, and the smile is perfect. On the downside, the ears are noticeably too big, if placed correctly, and the nose, eyes, and eyebrows have all migrated too low. Still...this is good enough for me, for now. I will try the little bear again at the end of the first page of the lesson, and see if my observational skills have improved enough to allow me to make a more perfect copy.

For tomorrow, my goal is to draw, check, and perfect half of the "egg heads." That could be quite a bit of drawing, so I may have to modify it as time allows, but I'll get done with as much as I possibly can. I hope to get faster as I go and learn how to copy more accurately the first time. Later!