Currently browsing Posts Published November 2011

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Totally Figures

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Figure drawing class, day one. Although it’s definitely not obvious from today’s output, I think this class is going to help me a ton. Its most important feature is that it gets me drawing for three solid hours without distraction, something that my Internet addiction makes otherwise impossible. It’s also great to have immediate feedback from the teacher and the other students. Everyone is laid-back and encouraging, with varying skill levels, and range from a teenage boy to lady retirees. I was the only brand-new student.

The picture above was a 20-minute drawing, with a hitch: the instructor made me restart halfway through, when I got to the head (always draw the head last!) and it was partially off the top of the page. Even my re-do barely skirted it; my trouble keeping everything on the page has been well-documented on this site, and was definitely my biggest problem today. The teacher offered a helpful idea: Draw a little thumbnail in the corner to get a sense of where to place the features on the page.


This was a 5-minute drawing (in most of the timed drawings, I never got around to the head). The idea was to block out the major structure in colored chalk, then add charcoal.

I should add, we were drawing with something called “vine charcoal,” which is pretty cool, because it wipes off the paper fairly cleanly, allowing you to quickly correct mistakes or start over.


This was probably my favorite exercise, I guess because it’s essentially animation. 5 30-second poses of an action, scribbled out in ink. Once again I ran out of space and had to draw the fifth pic very tiny, under the second.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering (or considering a class like this): trust me, you immediately forget that you’re looking at a naked person. I think it’s a limitation of our brains; you can’t concentrate on a skilled task and be all “homina homina” STAMP STAMP *wolf whistle* at the same time. The model puts on a robe between poses, so there’s definitely no casual gawking.



Sarong Proportions

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Another attempt at figure drawing; hopefully this is just another example of something I can laugh at in a few months. My drawing class starts tomorrow.

The subject is formerly very hot, now very dead Dorothy Lamour. Forgive the poor facial likeness; sketching with a blunt piece of charcoal doesn’t really lend itself to details. Don’t forgive the fact that her legs are about half as long as they should be; one of my worst habits is compressing things as I get close to the edge of the paper. I do that with writing, too.

Cela Pue

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Didn’t have a very good drawing night; computer problems prevented me from animating, and some attempts at “realistic” drawing with charcoal were horrendous (doesn’t bode well for my drawing class in 2 days). So I broke the emergency glass, and present to you this cracked-out possible Frenchman.

Kicked Out

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Was stumped about what to draw tonight, so I turned to a friend for suggestions.

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Here’s lopsided Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhodes in “A Face In The Crowd.” If you’ve never seen it, check it out; you’ll never look at Andy of Mayberry the same way again. Here’s a YouTube sample.

Edit: ¬†Something was bugging me about this pic. I think it’s that I exxagerated one of his ears and not the other. ¬†Better?


It’s Tired in Here

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Just a little very rough animation practice. Actually, I just animated the first half of the yawn, but looped it back to the beginning, so as not to keep you in suspense.

And yes, I yawned the entire time I drew this.

Learning From the Best

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Okay, disclaimer: This is another blink and you’ll miss it animation, and I didn’t even animate it myself! But I wanted to study a Bob Clampett cartoon frame by frame, and applied 15 frames of his animation to my own character.

When I was a kid I would have killed to be able to study animation frame by frame. I think Clampett cartoons are the closest to what I’m trying to achieve, and the flexibility and distortion of his characters would be impossible to do with today’s standard cutout-style animation. As you can see here, when a character in a Clampett cartoon moves, he doesn’t just float from point A to point B; in fact, within the 15 frames (about two thirds of a second), the only drawing elements I could trace over (since they don’t move or deform) were Sam’s toes.


Hey Apple

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


Playing around with character ideas for my next animation; Chicky II suggested a guy eating an apple. I want him to be ridiculously excited about his fruit. Getting there.

Edit: New and improved hand.



Stupid Cartoonist Tricks

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Another one of my scribble exercises, as well as an excuse to try out some time-lapse video recording on my iPhone. It’s hard to tell here, but my third and fourth scribbles were done with my foot and mouth, respectively!

Hmm, now that I think of it, I wish I had reversed the order.

Music by Headcrab


Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


I had fun caricaturing Herman Cain, so I thought I’d try another one of one of my favorite stand-up comedians, Louis C.K., who I’ll be seeing live on Saturday.

Truthfully, I’m not thrilled with how this turned out, although I do think I got his smile right.

Like the last one, it was sketched in pencil and inked with markers on good old fashioned paper.