Currently browsing Posts Published April 2012

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I wish I had a lawn so you kids could get off it

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook


My mom has always said allergy season makes me cranky. Well, it’s allergy season, and boy howdy!

Pinup Practice

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I was doing some pointless experimenting with paper textures in Photoshop when I realized, hey, maybe I ought to do some actual drawing practice. My art class is on hiatus, so I’d been slacking/devolving. A few hours later, and here’s a sloppy Dorothy Lamour! (With an overlaid paper texture.)

Variable Bear

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

The Paper software I mentioned yesterday got me thinking about how a brush-like, variable-width line might help my comic strip seem a little less flat. Sounds like I’m letting the computer dictate my style, but presumably this is about how I’d ink with a real brush. What do you think?

Digitally Drained

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Okay, I’m not quite as grumpy as this guy, but holy crap, am I beat for some reason.

I drew this in a new iPad app called Paper, which may be one of the first drawing apps to approach the ease of sketching on paper. There’s no zooming allowed, but the translation between your brain and finger remains surprisingly intact–but as you can see, it also adds its own style to your scribbles.

The Mini Faces of Kerkel

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I did some digital inking over my red-pencil model sheet. Unfortunately I was in a rush to get to the pesky day job, so I’ll probably end up re-doing most of this. Gotta remember to stay loose when inking!

America’s Next Top Model Sheet

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I’m creating a model sheet for Mary Rae and Kerkel, in anticipation of the next batch of strips (Coming Soonishâ„¢). I’ve started with the all-important height comparison. Looking back at the first 11 strips, I realize I did something sort of clever without even trying: never once did I draw them explicitly standing on the same plane. In other words, even when Kerkel seemed a little too tall, their feet were out of frame, so you couldn’t prove in a court of law that anybody was out of proportion.

These model sheets will be mostly about achieving consistency, rather than a complete overhaul of the characters. However, I’ve decided to make a slight modification to Mary Rae’s hair; that pulled-back look was a pain to draw in the comic strip, let alone animation. Now I can indicate her hair in just a few strokes.



Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I went out and bought some plasticine modeling clay, to help me design characters that work in 3 dimensions. This Kerkel head is a little rough around the edges, but it’s enough to assist me in drawing him from any angle.

Marx Sketchbook

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

I couldn’t resist sketching 1950s Groucho as I died laughing at these outtakes from “You Bet Your Life” on YouTube.

Saturday Night Smackdown

Posted by Mark in Mark's Sketchbook

Well golly, this is still in a sloppy state, in so many ways, but I really need to move on to my next bit of practice (or maybe the 11-second contest if the April sound file appeals to me). I think I was fairly happy with the movement early on, but for me the hard part was keeping Mary looking consistent from frame to frame. I didn’t design her for animation, and if I really wanted to use her, I should have drawn a model sheet in advance, and really nailed down how she’s supposed to look from different angles.

Here’s an example of a model sheet, of that fish-lady from the Little Mermaid:


Obviously, as I get better at drawing, and better at planning, I’ll be better at animating relatively complicated characters like Mary Rae, but whatever I do next will definitely be more along the lines of Elmer Fudd, as I mentioned before.