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 31, 2006

'Nother Attempt At Bugs

Well, here's that pose again. As I said before, I really like this silhouette. Maybe some day I can do it justice..?

H-a-a-a-ppy Hallow-e-e-e-e-n!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Other Character Poses

Another part of this Lesson, IIRC, is to practice drawing other characters and silhouettes of same. I grabbed my copy of the Joe Adamson "Bugs Bunny - Fifty Years And Only One Grey Hare" and went searching for model sheets.

Phew - there are a few tiny copies of classic model sheet in there amongst the palsied, death-rattle Jones & Freleng full-page drawings. So I selected a nice pose of Herr Bugsinheimer Bunny and had at it. I also came across an animation drawing of an early Daffy pose and did that one, too.

I will try to do a silhouette of the Bunny pose as it has a lot of great negative spaces and what-not. Maybe I can swing it so he doesn't look like he has rickets!

Keep doodlin' my fellow bloggers - See ya Monday!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shoulder + Elbow + Wrist = Bunny?

Looky, looky!

Another Bunny!

I'm working on the Shoulder (for Line Of Action), Elbow (Underlying Shapes)& Wrist (Details) method of drawing this character. Seems to be helping - thanks, Gabe!

I concentrated on the placement of the extremities and the minimization of tangents.

Initial verdict: Improved results, but I still don't "own" this pose.

More to come...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Battlin' Tool-Bunny!

I had been dreading the moment I could no longer put off drawing that pugilist Rabbit. Well, the inevitable has happened, so here it is:

Well, as a first attempt, I did better than I thought I would. I started the drawing too close to the top of the page, so the ears really suffered. I was pleased that I managed to place the hands and one foot in their proper places.

I kinda blew it on the face. And I radically mis-placed the one foot. (Hah- so much for rabbits' feet being lucky!)

At right is another shot at it. I didn't realize how badly I miscued the L.O.A. until I was well into it. It looks like Tool-Bunny is going to fall backwards. I'm worried about the tangents his arms seem to fall into.

Well, I'll keep at it. Maybe I can make a decent finished drawing of this sometime before Thanksgiving...

(HERE is why I call this the "Tool-Bunny!")

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The On-Going Crisis - An Update

Well, the stinkin' transmission has been fixed and I've just gotten word that the lost expedition which is my family is officially on the road back home! They should be getting in around 8:30 tonight.

Sorry about the lack of drawings. I was busy last night and I'll be busy tonight helping to unload the van and to re-settle the refugees.

With any luck things'll get back to a more even keel and I'll be back in the drawing and blogging groove really soon.

The touring party returned home Wednesday night at 8:00! HUZZAH! I now return you to our regularly-scheduled cartooning blog...

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.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hey Look - More Lesson 4

Well, look who's back! Hey, everyone it's Goosey-boy, boy, boy, boy, boy!

Yeah, big deal. I'm just working away at copying some more Blair characters and such. No big revelations here or anything.

With any luck the wife & kid should be back sometime today. I'll bet it's a long time before they take off on a road trip again.

Hope you all had a good weekend.


EDIT: Further update on the intrepid travelers! My wife, daughter and "Aunt Dee Dee" managed to spring the van from the service station in Buffalo on Saturday and made it to their mid-way point destination, The Quality Inn in Beckley, WV on Sunday.

Monday morning, the van refused to budge! A call to AAA brought the tow truck, which hauled the patient to the only full-service shop in town.

Oh, did I mention that everything had to be unpacked from the van and brought to the hotel room?

Did I mention that the room was infested with ants and that all that crap had to be hauled to a different (one hopes vermin-free) room?

Early indications are that all the transmission fluid has leaked out and the question remains how much will it cost to fix and when can it be fixed? Our stranded expedition party isn't exactly dealing from a position of strength here, to say the least.

The provisional plan is for them to stay put, as the cost of renting a vehicle to get home is more than an extra night at the hotel. (And then there would be the logistics nightmare of retrieving the van!)

At least the Donner party can take hot showers and watch cable TV, which is something the residents of Buffalo, NY cannot currently do. (Oh, and there's a laundromat in the hotel, so the pile of dirty clothes can be attended to in the mean time.)

Oooh-la-la, as the French have been known to say..!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Some More Lesson 4

What can I say?

I tried drawing another one of the "screwball" characters last night and didn't exactly nail it, but I didn't totally blow it, either. The snout was too big and the bottom part sticking out of the jacket (belly/legs) weren't quite right, either.

Well, I have a couple more family-free nights in which to sketch, so let's see what I'll have come Monday morning. A "Good Weekend" to ye all, says I.

UPDATE: As I had mentioned the wife and child have been out of town visiting relatives. Relatives in Buffalo, NY. So here's the scorecard:

The daughter has a cold.

The Mother has a cold.

The "check engine" light came on in the van and it is at a repair shop.

Buffalo has had a freak snow storm (yes, in early October) wherein 2 feet of snow has fallen. Power lines are down (150,000 without electricity). Tree limbs have been snapping like toothpicks. There is a driving ban.

It is unlikely anyone has put a priority on getting to the repair shop (driving ban, don't you know.)

They lost power at noon on Friday (the 13th, or course!)

There's been a failure at the water treatment plant, so now they have to boil their water before they use it

Sound like the family might be extending their stay for a day or two.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Lesson 4 Screwball Types

Not much to say here. I was doing OK on Mousie until I realized I had mis-placed his out-stretched hand. I think I've mentioned before that cartoon hands are a real challenge for me. There's a whole lesson on that coming up, though.


Monday, October 09, 2006

So I went back and re-read the Lesson #4 syllabus. One item I missed was that I should measure out my characters in "heads" to get the proportions right. Well, you can see from my results, below, I didn't exactly nail it on my first try. Undaunted, I continued experimenting & drawing "roughs" of this pose.

Then I tried making a concentrated effort to pull it all together. Unfortunately, I started drawing too close to the left-hand side of the page, so the one arm suffered. Then... well, I kinda lost it "Shining" style.

Another part of lesson 4 was to try drawing some of the "screwball" character types. So that's what I did...

I still have to work on getting a better feel for foot and leg placement. I'll keep trying...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Time Enough, At Last?

Ah, yes. Remember the Twilight Zone episode, "Time Enough At Last"? Here's our pal, Henry Bemis reacting to the happy news that he is the sole survivor of a nuclear holocaust. You see, Henry was a mousy little guy, who worked in a bank. His only, simple joy was to read, yet his life was not his own. Then the bomb dropped and he was even more alone than ever.

Oh yeah, there's plenty of furniture and food left amongst the rubble, as we can see here. But what to do with the days he has left? The loneliness! The purposelessness! Then the BIG DISCOVERY - he finds the ruins of the public library! Amongst the ruins are enough books to keep him happily reading for the rest of this life and well into the next! Have you ever seen a happier person? At least on network TV?

Now, why do I mention all this here? Well, my wife and daughter will be going out of town to visit relatives for the next week or so. And I suppose that in amongst the surviving library books there could be a copy of Preston Blair's "Animation" manual. Now, if enough paper and pencils have escaped vaporization, Henry and I can work on our Line of Action lessons until either the Sun goes supernova or the family returns home.

Whichever comes first.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

P.S. In the cheap irony that was a hallmark of my beloved Twilight Zone, Henry smashed his glasses and spent the remainder of his days in agony, because he can't see well enough to read without them. Oh, well...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oh, Do You Think That's Important?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Line of Action Plus Other Planes

I was once again staring at that Goose/Duck page in the Preston Blair book whilst choking down my burnt bagel this morning and I had a flash of... of... I dunno, something. I scribbled out the following page to try to formulate whatever it was:

Yes, the s-curve defines the character's line of action, but once again, it was throwing me off. Then it hit me that the legs and feet help to solidly anchor the character to the ground and should be part of it. They add extra planes and angles to the character that I was missing. I called this jagged thingy the "line of tilt!"

I can't wait to actually have some time to try some actual, thought-out sketches using this supplemental idea. Most likely another dead end, but who knows..?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Picasso - Pico = ???

I saw a quote from Robin Williams in this weekend's paper that I wish I had cut out. It went something like, "If you find yourself violating your standards faster than you can lower them, then you have a problem!" Ouch - ain't that the truth!

I hacked out what I thought was a passable version of that goose (duck?) last week and was going to move on. Then John K had to open his yap about influences and (shudder) skill an' all. I was somewhat dissatisfied with my posing and full-figure drawing before this. Now I am in an absolute cartoonist's nightmare panic! I've been trying to work on the L.O.A. and solid-shape aspects of Mr. Gander (Mallard?) and I've only managed to make matters worse! Damn you, reality! Damn you to Heck!

I felt slightly (but only slightly) better after I had drawn the goose (duck?) in the upper left-hand corner. Then I went and blew it with the next try.

To make matters worse, my drawing time is going to be under severe restriction during the first half of this week. The good news is, from Friday on and all through next week I'll have more time and a significantly quieter study environment. (Yes, the wife & kid are going out of town for a week. "Woot!" as you young folks say.)

On influences: A lot of the blow-back from John's comments had to do with folks who think they have a "style" because they slavishly (and unsuccessfully) try to ape a certain other "style." I'm not conscious of doing that, other than trying to copy the Preston Blair examples and be as bland as possible. If anyone notices that I'm blatantly copping any given school (Anime? UPA? Disney? Bluth? Certainly Not!) please pipe up. And, as always, I'm open to suggestions and tips.