Currently browsing Posts Published October 2011

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Spendy Software, Day 1

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another day, another underwhelming animation of waterfowl with an inexplicably expanding cranium. (Animation is HARD!) But it was my first attempt at producing something in Toon Boom Animate. I pulled the trigger on buying it after watching an extensive tutorial online that pretty much demystified the whole program for me.  I had tried the “Personal Learning Edition,” a free version that doesn’t allow you to export your work, but I wasn’t sold on it until yesterday. As much as I liked my homemade Photoshop templates, this program was designed from the ground up for efficient animation.

Anyway, this one is based on an example on page 170 of “The Animator’s Survival Kit.”

Early Birthday Present?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I knew I wouldn’t make my usual deadline for posting tonight, so here’s a pic of me enjoying the heck out of the the animation software that I bought today.

What Most of My College Notebooks Looked Like

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another troubling peek inside my brain via random left-handed scribbles turned into faces.

Pensive Pulp

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Sometimes by Thursday I’m nearly sapped of mental energy. Got some big ideas for the weekend, though.

Hee Heee

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Long day; figured I’d just do a quick sketch of Dave. Unfortunately, by the time I quit, Ferguson was on. Yaawn.

@StarbucksSteph Living Up To Her Name

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

My apologies for my strict adherence to the “all cartoon characters have crossed eyes” crutch.

(Cue Steph unfriending me on all major social networks.)

Legit Stephanie for reference:


Edit 10/27: By popular demand, here it is with her eyes uncrossed. Okay, they’re still a little crossed. I realize I have a problem. I can quit anytime.


Like Looking in a Mirror (After Sniffing Glue)

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Ah, the caricature. Seems there’s no easy route to grasping it; like everything else, it’ll just take practice. Before tonight’s attempt, I watched some YouTube videos by this kid Sycra Yasin, who makes everything look way too easy. He seems to have many different approaches to caricature, but the one I latched onto was breaking the face into geometrical planes. For example, here’s evidence, roughly traced from a photograph, of how I earned the childhood nickname “Squarehead”:


Of course, you wouldn’t really sketch it out like a creepy kabuki mask, but the point is, breaking down a face like this gives you a sense of why certain features fall in certain places, much moreso than the typical cartoon method of tacking 2D features onto 3D spheres.

That’s not to say I got it right, but I feel like I’m making progress. And I’m eager to learn about other methods of approaching caricature (paging Aunt Susie).

Also, I’m too close to the current subject (and he keeps eating all my food), so if you’d like to volunteer to be amateur-caricatured, let me know.

Nothing Much, Just Hanging Out Topless with a Sea Monster

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

The great thing about classic art is that it gets a pass for weird shenanigans that in modern times would get you banned from the Super Bowl halftime show. This here is “Andromeda and the Sea Monster” by Domenico Guidi.

As usual, my attempt to render details in a little sketchbook with soft graphite proved to be a bit muddled, but then again, even the statue seems muddled when you first walk up to it. And definitely crazy.

Time For a Sandwich

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Since I took two naps today (is that a symptom of something?), I figured this guy would be a good subject for practicing with my new nib pen. I definitely lack confidence when using permanent ink (no Ctrl+Z!), but truthfully I’m happy that I’m able to create a line.

Back when I was a kid (I really hope this site isn’t starting to sound like granddad’s storytime), every resource on cartooning recommended India Ink and nib pens and brushes. There was no such thing as digital inking, of course. So I was really frustrated that I couldn’t ink to save my life. I don’t know what the heck I was doing wrong, but I remember leaving vaguely inky scratches on the paper. I wasn’t much better with my fancy Rapidograph pen, which quickly became permanently clogged from disuse.

So, ironically, now that I have absolutely no need to ink the old-fashioned way, I’m finding it’s not that hard. Kid me would despise 21st-century me.


I think I picked the wrong paper, though. We have a bleeder!

Snow Tan

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Here’s a quick digital drawing of my niece in her Halloween costume, which was designed by my mom!