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.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dog Gone! It's Vacation Time!

Here we go! My last pass at drawing that dog before I leave for a week of vacation! Meh. In honor of what would've been my Mom's 76th birthday, I drew some Popeye heads. (Given the results, I'm not sure it's such a great honor.)

I've included how I remember she used to draw Popeye for me as a very young youngster. Her formula was to draw two number threes (3) facing each other. Add a nose, pipe and hat. Voila, it's Popeye The Sailorman! Now, she never really drew anything else. I'm pretty certain she simply sat down with one of my Popeye coloring books while I took a nap and figured out how to copy one of the pictures, just to delight (and silence) her precious li'l Craig and his reapated demands to "Draw Popeye! Draw Popeye!! Draw Popeye!!!"

That's it for now, fellow scribblers. Gotta work on the tan base, don't you know? See ya soon!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Time-Wastin' Doodles

I've been sucked into the vortex of vacation preparations and quality time to actually follow the body-construction lesson has been practically nil. I stayed up an extra hour to draw last night, but was so exhausted, I decided to just doodle some stuff. There's a few images from my ancient copy of "Tex Avery, King of Cartoons" a couple half-hearted Blair-Dogs and a couple of Billy-subs-for-Daddy (Family Circus) style broadsides.

Tonight will be my last chance to actually "do" anything with this lesson before I go incommunicado for a week-an-a-half. I'm not expecting that anything worthwhile will be achieved, though. And believe me, I have set the achievement bar to an all-time low.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Part of This Unbalanced Breakfast!

Yep, like a naughty boy I didn't do my homework last night, but tried to speed through it during breakfast.

I thought I was doing pretty good until I checked my final results against "the template." Once again, the hind legs were too short. On the plus side, I think I'm starting to "get" the body mass thing.

Did I mention my daughter is now on a "Dora The Explora" kick? Sheesh - everyone's a little bi-lingual feminist critic!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Simply Fascinating!

What else can you say about someone trying over and over and over to draw the same cartoon dog in the same neutral pose for an entire week? Well, maybe I'm using the word "fascinating" as a euphemism, here. (By the way, the blogspot editor is acting funny on my end this morning, so I'll carry on as best I can.)

As you can see, I've been waging war on my utter inability to capture the proper proportions, angles, foot placement, etc. of the figure. Also, I've been trying to give weight to the character, so it looks likes something other than a balloon from the Bizzaro-World version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I think I'm going to concentrate on pulling all this together in a concerted effort to actually make a finished drawing of that damned dog this week. That is, Draw a decent face, add fur, etc. etc. I'm going on vacation next week and I'd like to at least get THAT far before I go out of town.

That's it for now, fellow doodle-bugs! Keep drawin' and keep bloggin'!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Out Come The Drafting Tools

Yep, I pulled out the ol' rolling ruler last night in an attempt to gain some further insight into the construction of that doggy. There's a 20 degree tilt to the center line of the torso, by the way. I've made progress in that I'm missing the target by mere feet instead of city blocks. I still don't "grok" the whole concept yet, but I'm hoping that repetition will help burn this into my brain cells.

The weekend black-out approaches. I'll have fresh frustration to post Monday morning. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh, Man...

Wow. Oof. Wait a sec. Oh, man, I just got the wind knocked outta me. Huff Puff.

Did I get sucker-punched by this lesson! Not much to say, except I have a whole, long ways to go before I get off this page. These lessons will undoubtedly come back to haunt me should I ever seek public office. Well, let's see Karl Rove draw these stinkin' circles!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

AM Quickie

Blogger dan left the following comment: "You might want to focus on drawing your lines at the correct angles; I try to do this by looking at the original subject most of the time and only looking down at my drawing to fix proportions and details."

You'd think this was so obvious that it wouldn't bear stating. But the fact of the matter is, I don't spend enough time looking at the image I'm supposed to be working from. Good catch, dan!

I didn't have the opportunity to draw last night, but I did doodle out another pass at the dog construction at breakfast. I spent most of the time looking at the model and not concentrating on making "perfect" ovals, etc. The result? Far from perfect, but the proportions are starting to fall into place. I'll be working on this more tonight.

Monday, June 19, 2006


1. FRIDAY. I was lamenting about my inability to draw that dog's head in a left-facing attitude. Fellow-blogger, "bardhol" suggested that I select a character figurine and look at it to analyze how it is drawn. Then I should hide it and try drawing it from different angles, after which I could pull the toy out of hiding and compare it to the drawings.

Here's an apocryphal exchange between me and Mrs. Egg.

The scene: 10:00pm, Friday night. Our 2-1/2 year old daughter is finally in bed and the adults now have the house to themselves.

WIFE: (Warily) Well, what do you want to do now?

ME: I want to play 'hide the toy.'

WIFE: (Brightening) Oooh, now you're talking, big boy! I was afraid you were going to stay up half the night drawing your stupid cartoons... again!

ME: Um, well, actually...

2. SATURDAY. I next turned my attention to drawing a few dog heads that I hadn't previously done. Yes, It's the official "kiss-off" to this, the third (though labeled as "2") page of the Preston Blair book. An ominous portent of things to come has been included.

3. SUNDAY. Yes, even on "Father's Day" there's no rest for my spastic cartooning pencil. I've decided to move onto the four-legged character page. I'm completely at a loss, here, as you can see. How to do this? Draw all the circles and ovals and then fill in the connectors and details? Draw pear-shapes and retrofit said circles? I will be doing extensive off-line drawing experiments as I get a feel for this new discipline. Oh, yeah, note to self: Buy flowers for the Missus. Yeah, that oughta smooth over everything...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Schematic Views

Yes, I'm still fighting the battle of the dog. I tried to tackle that dynamic, open-mouthed view and really had a rough time of it. I had an epiphany: Left to my own devices, I'll draw a character facing right. My life-long Popeye doodling is almost always a right-facing 3/4 view.
I've heard that in most cases, when someone is asked to draw a cat, they will draw it facing forward and when asked to draw a dog a profile view will be drawn. I guess I'll be working on the basics of rotating character views and drawing "odd" attitudes this weekend.

Wish me luck, folks!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How to draw dog ears...

Fellow blog-art-student bardhol made a nice comment about the ears on some of my dog sketches, so I thought I'd show you how I do 'em. (As if I was in the position to tell anybody how to draw anything!)

I simply rough them in as if they were flat, folded ribbons sprouting from the dog's skull. Then I "round them off" when doing the finishing details. This doesn't work for every possible situation, but it's helped me.

The "perfessor" has spoken! (As you can see, my ol' pal, Satan, the Devilled Egg is unimpressed...)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Wearin' of the Grin

As you can see, I'm obsessed with this one head. And as you can also see, I haven't "nailed" it yet. Owing to no drawing time last night, I worked on this one during breakfast time.

I blew it on the eyes. Wrong size, wrong tilt, they don't follow the contours, etc.

Also, I've noticed I have trouble drawing the right half of the head (the dog's left side). I remember Katie Rice saying that she tried scanning and flipping her drawings as a test to see if they looked right. I'm too chicken to try that. It'd be like putting a pressure gauge on a flat tire. I already know the air pressure is below the suggested manufacturer's recommendations!

I'll try to carve out some drawing time tonight and see if I can improve on this...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dog's Head Revisited

What did I do this weekend? Why, thanks for asking! I drew more dog heads!

The first three I drew on Friday were done using guidelines and carefully measured base components. I noticed that I didn't quite peg the grin on the third head; it wasn't broad enough. I free-handed a fourth head "just to see what would happen." Big mistake, as it was at that point my nemesis, The Devilled Egg, reappeared!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm working from my own copy of the Blair book, which has the "revised" generic characters in place of many of the MGM model sheets. I noticed that the dog head in the earlier version displayed a noggin that looks liked it is based on a slinky. Both John K and Preston B stated that the head ovals aren't supposed to distort, but these examples seem to bend all over the place. No value judgment - just an observation.

Saturday and Sunday saw me trying to draw various other heads sans guidelines. Some were better than others. I may just go back to using the rolling ruler for a couple more sessions until I get some more drawing chops. They're kinda like training wheels in that I can't wait for them to come off. And I expect to fall down and go crying like a little baby to my Mommy.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More Heads, Agnes

I once again had limited drawing time last night, so I concentrated on only one dog-head. Again, I used construction lines to aid the underlying construction shapes. I look forward to working my way through this page in a similar manner.

Also included are a few thumbnail sketches I did this morning before running out the door. The weekend black-out approaches, so I'll be posting more come Monday morning. Have a great weekend, folks!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Head Goes Squash, Head Goes Stretch

Is it a sign of the impending apocalypse? Yes, I've moved on to Lesson Two!

Yes, friends, I've dared to make those two drawings of that dog's head. I noticed Preston used some dashed guidelines in demonstrating this principle, so I used 'em, too! In fact, I also sketched in some perpendiculars to help me keep the construction ovals in check.

I don't want to strain myself with self-administered back-patting, but I feel they turned out pretty good for a first pass. Even with all the rigidity of the guide-lines, I managed to retain some looseness in the final drawings.

And since I got one positive bit of feed back on my ancillary doodling, I've included some more here, The pros call it pandering. I call it, well, pandering as well...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hey Bulldog

I decided to revisit the bulldog head. I drew this one this morning at breakfast time. I saw a drawing on a blog where the guy really nailed that weird "Mack Swain" zone around the eyes and I wanted to try it again. Maybe I'll "loosen up" and give it a few more tries before going onto the squash & stretch page. "No big whoop," as Linda Richman used to say.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Droopy... Droopier... Droopiest

Well, gang, I spent Friday, Saturday & Sunday grinding away at that Droopy head. As mentioned earlier, the construction of the head is very straight-forward. The challenge, as always, is to tame the proportion and to get a dimensional feel to it. I noticed that I got myself so wound up and "tight" that I ended up with some very grade-school looking results.

In an attempt to counteract this, my last two sketches were very loose and light on "finishing" details. That helped me, I think.

Well, that's my week-end wrap up. A few more of these sessions, I'll move on to page three for the facial squash & stretch exercises! Can your heart stand it?!?!?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Droopy Is In The Hizz-ouse!

Another abbreviated drawing session last night, but I did manage to take a flyer at the Droopy head! I made notes on what the construction looks like and why it "works" for me. I'll be working on refining this head by getting the proportions right. I'll also keep in mind that I want a dimensional, solid feel as well.

Thanks to the kind folks who replied to my other frustration-filled rants. My fellow bloggers know just how wonderful it is to get feedback!