The Man from E.G.G.

A place to put my time-wasting doodles, based upon the exercises outlined in the "How To Draw Animated Cartoons" book by Preston Blair.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Progress of a sort...

I decided to really slow myself down. I ended up using one sheet of paper for two days:

I tried tracing the bear head to get a better feel for what I was trying to copy. I then drew some extension lines to guide my free hand drawing. (Fellow-blogger, klangley, suggested a similar approach. Just goes to show you that great minds (and otherwise) think alike!

I then moved on to the oval-based cartoon characters in the middle of the page. I drew six ovals in a row and then filled in the details. I should have spaced them out better, though, as the bulldog and elephant were kinda cramped. The hats were problematic for me, but I was amazed that I handled the elephant's trunk as well as I did.

Saturday, I decided to try to tackle those @#%! ears again. I still don't have a really good feel for them, but practice makes adequate (I hope!) On to Sunday...

Since the bulldog head got so squeezed on Saturday, I decided to give him more room on my next pass. I traced the head and broke it down into their components and then took a pass at it, on a larger scale than I had been working. (What's that black area around his eyes supposed to represent? Reminds me of Mack Swain!)

A minor epiphany: I was throwing everything off by drawing the eyes too big for the head! On my second pass I deliberately drew them smaller and it really helped.

I sketched out a few basic ovals doing this and then noticed I was speeding up and becoming really sloppy again! The tilt of the eyes suffered as well. I drew another "Barney" using the smaller eyes approach and liked how the face became more fleshy. Not on model by a long shot, though!

There's still lots of work to do, but after only a week, I am noticing progress of a sort...


At Mon May 22, 11:50:00 AM 2006, Blogger Andy Seredy said...

Hey man. I think your drawings are comming along great. Theres a ton of impovement that I can see just at a quick glance. One of the things a co-worker had mentioned to me was to stay loose. Who cares about the line quality, as long as you get the shape right? Plus, once you have a good foundation down, you can always go back and erase and put down more final lines. I'm still struggling with it because it feels a little sloppy, but it is helping me get through more drawings in the same ammount of time. One other thing he mentioned was to draw the construction VERY lightly and draw the final line art after you have all the constructions down. I am having an especially difficult time with that one. I realy just want to mash the pencil down onto the paper.

Your stuff is lookig great man, keep it up, and we'll all be cartoonists one day:)

At Mon May 22, 11:53:00 AM 2006, Blogger Andy Seredy said...

Oh, and one more thing he mantioned was to continue the construction lines all the way around the head to the other side. This helps correct and construction line issues you might other wise not notice.
Hope it helps,

At Mon May 22, 01:26:00 PM 2006, Blogger Craig D said...


Thanks for the feedback. I've adde you to my links section.

I'll try to do the barrell staves thing next time out. I started that way, but I found it distracting to do those dotted hidden lines. AND I GOT LAZY! Offered up as "reasons" not "excuses." More tonight!

At Tue May 23, 12:49:00 PM 2006, Blogger bardhol said...

Hey, you're doing great! It's nice to see someone else still following the lessons. Slow and steady wins the race, you know? Your chops are getting more righteous with every amount of practice. All the same, something tells me that this is going to be the Sinai Desert of our journey, as the rest of the lessons seem to deal with creating different kinds of characters and how to give them life, AFTER you've MASTERED solid construction. I've been having similar difficulties in that area, so take heart! The only thing for it is to practice.
...I've just had a funny/stupid idea. I'll post it on my blog.

ps--what are "extension lines"?

At Tue May 23, 12:52:00 PM 2006, Blogger bardhol said...

oh yeah- thanks for the link!

At Tue May 23, 03:52:00 PM 2006, Blogger Craig D said...


I had the same idea, vis a vis the Sinai Desert. I.E. Golly gee, if that glorious day comes when I figure out how to draw a circle, how am I going to parlay that into, say, animating Red Hot Riding Hood doing the hootchie-coochie?!?!?

Stay the course, I tell myself. One thing at a time.

My use of "extension lines" was that I TRACED that damned bear and then drew a series of parallel lines along a horizontal plane. I drew the next circle over these lines and then used them to help define where the features went. That explanation probably is of no help. Maybe I'll show an example in my next "real" posting.

Thanx for the kind words, BTW. KEEP SCRIBBLIN'!

Craig D.


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