Tuesday Tips SUPER WEEK - Feet
I don’t often have to draw bare feet, unless I’m doing Life Drawing. When storyboarding, the focus is generally not on the feet. They also are usually covered (shoes, socks), or just not shown on screen that much. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand their functionality and general appeal. Keep details to a minimum, unless the character uses its bare feet to grasp things or do things with them most humans don’t. The best example of pushing feet to an extreme degree of functionality would be Disney’s Tarzan (one of my all time favorite). Other than that, don’t draw too much attention to them, but find appeal in its shapes.
A handout I made for a coloring workshop I’m teaching tomorrow at CCS. TEACHING HERE IS SO MUCH FUN ALL THE TIME OMG OMG
markquestion asked: To expand on the prior question, do you have any tips on action poses. I'm having difficulty and need some exercises to practice with!
Pick the coolest pose in your head and draw it out! But it seems most everyone and their mom hate that answer, so allow me to attempt to expound on that:
It’s actually not difficult to make cool action poses-it’s more or less how you look at it and choose to portray it! Let’s take a generic action, like this badly drawn knave running
Okay, that’s some pretty cool action! But a principle in cartooning is to push, or exaggerate your poses and action. Let’s put some more conviction into his running!
Whoo, intense! Just by making him lean into his sprint, now the dude looks like he’s really exerting himself by running for his life, making the picture more exciting and dynamic. The same thing applies to other fundamental actions such as leaps, throws, and kicks!
This is another thing most people don’t think about, but explore different ways to depict your actions! Changing up the perspective and camera angle does contributes a lot to the mood and motion of a picture. Let’s demonstrate with running once again.
So by changing up the perspective and angles, even something as simple as running can turn into something more action-packed than a straight on view
Hope that helps somewhat!
Hey everyone! In some previous blog posts, I mentioned that I’m struggling with an injury to my drawing arm. Although I hoped that the problem would have totally gone away after more than a month of rest, it actually hasn’t, and I’m still struggling with it at this very moment. It’s actually been harder emotionally than it has physically. I’ve decided to go ahead and write a blog entry about it, not only to keep my followers in the loop but also as a cautionary tale to any artists out there who have not yet sustained an injury. If I had been more aware of the risks, maybe this would never have happened to me, so the very least I can do is try to help those who aren’t aware of the risks.
Taking breaks is super important for artists. I get the occasional scare sometimes when I experience very sharp pain in my drawing hand, particularly the area between the back of my thumb and wrist. For a while my wrist was always drawing at an angle on the cintiq and I’ve noticed a discomfort begin to develop so I reclined the cintiq to as flat as it can on the desk so that my forearm is aligned with my wrist making it easier for the blood to flow to and from my wrist. It has actually helped and I haven’t experienced that discomfort since. I also used to take on way too much freelance work before I started working in studios and now having an +40hr/week art job it wouldn’t be possible for me to take on more than 1 or 2 freelance projects on top of my studio job because i’m worried about overworking my wrist. I try to keep my weekends open for resting only and if I do work it’s just on personal art where I can take more breaks and not have to worry about putting in a lot more hours to finish and deliver good quality work. So to artists out there take care of yourselves, put your health before work. Do stretches when ever you can, try not to bend or curl your wrist while you sleep, assess how much work you’re able to reasonably take on and think about your health and mentality as well.
Anonymous asked: Hi Elsa! I am currently majoring in animation at a four year art school. In the future, I would LOVE to get an animation job, especially with a major studio, but I also wouldn't mind doing an illustration job if there was an opportunity. I guess what I'm asking is if it's possible to get a job as an Illustrator even though you majored in Animation? I hope I'm making sense... btw you and your artwork are lovely ^_^
Yes absolutely. If you want to freelance as an illustrator or be full-time that is totally up to you to make that happen. I meet artists at comic conventions who are animators at their day job but they illustrate books and prints on the side to sell online or at conventions and they also do gallery work. You can definitely be an illustrator AND an animator, it’s quite common.
Tuesday Tips — Asymmetry in facial expressions.
A lot of times, asymmetry will bring energy and movement to a pose or composition. More specifically, I feel like breaking the symmetry of a character’s expression is key to bring interest to it. Of course, there’s always a situation where there’s a need for symmetry. On top of my head, I can think of depicting a character who has an authority role, or the “undefeated champion of something”, or the “cold stone killer”, etc. So, a symmetrical facial expression usually means the character is: supremely bored, supremely confident, has no emotions, has a poker face, or is dead. Did I miss one? Symmetry in framing is also quite rare, but when handled by a master (Kubrick, Anderson), it’s undeniable. (If you have time, watch this: http://vimeo.com/89302848)
Now, back to asymmetry in facial expressions. In general, it’s a great way to flesh out a character’s thought process. What is he/she thinking about? What’s their goal?
I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg here. Way more tips to come in the future. Maybe next time, I’ll start to cover GESTURES.
Completely unrelated to the subject, I recently read a list of tips from movie director Sam Mendes. Here’s my favorite: “Try to learn to make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar. …”
Justin K Thompson
If any of my followers are currently students at Art Center I’ll be doing a talk with a couple of other alumni tomorrow night at 7:30pm March 6th in the Ahmanson. We’ll be talking about life after school and probably on how we each got into the industry. I will be joined by my peers who also work in animation and illustration. It’s open to students in any of the departments so come check it out if you can :)
Anonymous asked: Hi! I have a few questions, right now I'm struggling with optimizing my potential for artistic growth. 1. How often do you use reference? Should we always be using reference? I still am not used to feeling like I am "cheating". I know it's silly... 2. Other than figure drawing, how can I retain my artist studies better? Right now learning anatomy is going slow, and I was wondering how you approached improving your art. What's the difference from simply mindless copying? Thank you! <3
I use reference all the time. Much reference. All the time.
It’s not cheating because you’re using it for information to apply to your own art, you’re not copying it. Unless you’re drawing photo-realism, which is fine, you’re achieving something different there. When you start off drawing anything new you need to use reference for it, you will eventually get to a point where reference won’t be needed because you’ve studied it enough. Never be ashamed to do research in order to better your knowledge of drawing a certain thing.
There’s a difference between copying and referencing. Copying you’re concentrating on how accurate your drawing looks to the source. You’re focused on the accuracy and not as much information is being absorbed. When you reference you’re taking the information you see from the source and then applying it to your drawing in your particular way or style. You will learn more drawing figures from a live figure drawing session than you will from books or model pose sites.
If something is too difficult to draw, break it down to basic forms. Cylinders, cubes, just simple shapes. You can draw anything if you break it down to simple cubes, cylinders and ellipses.
Draw every day and have fun with it.
Anonymous asked: Since I saw you have amazing art when you gave a presentation to us OCSA Visual Arts students, I wanted to ask: What is a good way to practice drawing more varied faces? My faces come out either as twins or mutated aliens with no middle ground, and I would really love some advice on how to stop that. Please help!
Drawing caricatures of friends or celebrities is a good way to get a variety of faces down, first strive for a realism and then study their facial features and accentuate the ones that stand out the most and exaggerate the proportions when you draw the faces. Some people have round faces, some have more square jaws, others have larger ears than others and some people have fuller lips than others. It’s all about studying different face shapes and features. Also make sure that when you do go for more caricatured or cartoony that the head looks like it’s still wrapped around a skull and has structure to the form.
Go cafe sketching! It’s more informative to draw a person live than from a photograph because you can draw them quickly from different angles as they move around and notice the different planes of their face.
Draw young people, adults, old people, children and babies. Draw as much as you can every day and you will see improvement in your art over time.