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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Construction Under Construction

Why? Why do I keep spinning my wheels drawing these damnable circles and ovals? Why do I obsess over foot placement and the tilt of a head? Why do I keep drawing and re-drawing the same thing over and over again? John Kricfalusi explains in THIS blog posting:

If you wanna be good at [drawing cartoons], you need to learn construction, which is the form of characters. If you draw that flat stuff you will never have any control over what you do and everything you do will be accidental. Modern flat is nothing but avoiding the problem of learning to draw. Understanding and practicing form will open whole new worlds to you and give you much wider choices in your art.

Throughout my blog I've included sketches of Popeye in with my lessons. In my mind, this character is my "signature piece." As far as my memory goes back, I've been drawing this character. Since starting these lessons, I've been re-thinking his construction and how he is drawn at different angles and with different expressions. I've noticed as I get more into the construction theory, the better I can squash, stretch and such. I'm still not very good, but I am better than I was. Below is a Popeye drawing I did over a year ago (the color part) inset with some more recent sketches from my blog. Do you see any improvement? (I do!)

My point? Keep flogging those basics!

UPDATE ON THE LOST EXPEDITION: My family is still billeted in West Virginia awaiting repair to the van's transmission. The service man thinks maybe he can weld up the crack or hole in the transmission housing. We'll know better later today. Rescue plans are formulating in the background in the mean time.


At Tue Oct 17, 01:47:00 PM 2006, Blogger Mcnuggetinator said...

I'd definatly say these new Popeye drawings are better than that old one. The newer ones have better stroke quailty and seem more lively. Id strongly suggest for you to compare your drawings so you know what are your major recurring problems. And also could you explain exactly what you have trouble with construction? Remember: Shoulder, elbow, then hand.

At Tue Oct 17, 02:10:00 PM 2006, Blogger Craig D said...


I've been doing better, construction-wise, since you suggested the shoulder-elbow-hand method, so thanks!

I was simply musing here about John's comment concerning the importance of construction. My older drawing has all the "classic" Popeye details, but looks very flat. As I work toward re-interpreting this character using the construction principals, the results start to look more like a "real cartoon character!"

(Also, since I didn't have any new drawings to post this morning, I decided to cut & paste some stuff to go with the quote!)


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