Currently browsing Posts Published November 2011

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Pizza Face

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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I’m the least political person I know, but I can’t turn on the TV without seeing this dude, so I thought I’d sketch his worried mug. Recognize him?

Don’t Crack the Bolex

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Hey look, it’s a home movie from 1978, back when my Dad was a chubby-cheeked Mexican boy, and I was a hair-chomping candidate for the short bus! Also, we were cartoon characters.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Super8real

Flour Power

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Animation students will sometimes start out animating a sack of flour; it’s a way of exploring squash-and-stretch without having to draw a detailed character. Of course, they usually put a little more effort into their tests, but hey, I’m sleepy.

Who Needs Fresh Air, Anyway?

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I spent so much time playing mad scientist on the computer today, I almost forgot to draw something. So…how `bout me as a mad scientist? I guess I should have put india ink in the beaker.

A Swingin’ Saturday

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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I’m getting better at forcing myself to sketch little gesture drawings while I’m out and about. Here are a few people in the park after today’s jog.

And here’s a gesture drawing as a proto-animation:

Swinger

Ay Que Mark

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Meet my oldest fans, Nana and Tata. No, really, they’re 193!

And believe it or not, I did find a photo of Tata smiling about that big:

Nanatatasource

Go Figure

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Gearing up for my figure drawing class in a couple weeks, using virtual models from pixelovely.com. Apparently most life drawing sessions start out with a few very quick poses (gesture drawings), followed by progressively longer poses.

I hate posting lousy stuff like this, but my hope is that it will help to provide some contrast with future attempts, and illustrate my progress. In the meantime, feel free to let loose with the pointing and laughing.

From the Face Facts Department

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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As you can tell from this lopsided sketch of my Dad, I haven’t had much time to soak up the knowledge contained in Tom Richmond’s “The Mad Art of Caricature,” but hey, it just showed up in my mailbox tonight. On first skim, however, it’s clear that it’s really going to help me step up my game.

Besides being packed with all sorts of caricature drawing theory, it tackles the fundamentals of anatomy–obviously the subject of countless books, but presented here with cartooning specifically in mind. For instance, you might not intend to ever realistically render a caruncula, but its existence should certainly influence the shape of your character’s eye.

Likewise, in eight colorful pages, Richmond manages to impart a ton of useful observations about hands, including why they’re such a challenge to draw, even for pros.

Hands

Anyway, I’m hoping to really dive into the book this weekend, so cross your complicated fingers that you’ll witness some improvement on the recognizable caricature front.

Welcome Back, Stretch

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Conan O’Brien (pictured?) is doing his show in NY this week, so I’m heading out to try to score a seat to tonight’s taping at the Beacon Theater, which is about 100 yards from my apartment. Fun fact: When Conan did “Late Night,” he lived just down the block from me, at 72nd and Central Park West (in a slightly larger apartment, probably).

Edit: Aww, didn’t get in. On the plus side, random Tuesday off!

Take That, Scurvy!

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

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Many animators use thumbnails as the starting point to their animation; here’s Glen Keane‘s take on it if you’re interested. These are akin to gesture drawing; you’re trying to accurately describe the basic lines of force and action, without worrying about detailed features.

Here I actually looped a five second scene from “The Public Enemy,” in which James Cagney introduces Mae Clarke to some citrus,¬†and jotted down what I thought were some of the key poses and actions. Then, because I’m all about mixing old and new, I timed it out using an iPhone app called Animation Timer, which notes the time in film frames every time you tap the screen.

Of course, the more I draw and observe out in the word, the better i’ll be able to make my characters “act.” In fact, today I took a few spare moments and scribbled thumbnail sketches of folks by the 72nd Street subway stop. Unfortunately, all I saw were people chatting on their cell phones, and virtually nobody wielding decorative slices of fruit.