Sunday, August 30, 2009


The one on the right I had the hardest time on, today. I couldn't make heads or tails of the way his face worked, and my results are less than stunning because of it.

In this one I was trying to push the line of action further again. The more experimental studies usually end up far yuckier than the conservative ones, but I think that's just part of growth. When I have more time I'll overlay and self-crit, but right now I am up past my bedtime.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Getting better and faster as I get used to these (they're off the same sheets I posted yesterday). They're really fun, I think I wanna try to draw all of them. Will probably draw more tonight, but right now I'm off to lunch.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Trying to loosen up / more Mickeys

Warning: this post is loaded with yucky drawings! Sadly, this is only a chunk of what I've done trying to figure out these very appealing Mickey drawings.

Early on I was trying to do a lot of quick ones in a little time, to loosen up and get used to it... Not stunning results but it helped to get going. Not really worth critting the early ones, though.

As time progressed I started to slow up a little and investigate more and more carefully.

Here's one a few drawings in, but still not good yet. I toned down the contrasts a lot and misread some perspective. Also, I noticed I have a natural habit of drawing HUGE HEADS that I need to be more conscientious about.

Here, I'm starting to get more warmed up. It feels more cohesive than the other drawings but still has a lot of toning down. Also, I REALLY messed up the perspective on those hands.

Cranium placement quite off. Hat not solid enough.

Getting better. The angle on the legs/feet was softened, though. There were other problems... I tried to exaggerate the angles (it's most noticeable on the top half of his body), but I don't think I did it very successfully. The arm is practically straight horizontal. The hand should be more solid.

This one was the most recent one I did. I feel like I'm getting the hang of doing these more quickly and loosely, but I still have a looong way to go. I hope to keep drawing Mickeys all weekend and maybe getting some of my own poses in this week. Wish me luck!

P.S. the overlay was sort of hard to see on this one, so here are my marks removed from it:

P.S. I like regular pencils a lot and it is a lot easier to do quickly and smoothly. I'm gonna buy some softer ones soon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finished Mickey

I really like this picture of Mickey. John's posted a few on his blog that are obviously from the same source, and they're all so fantastically cute. I am interested in figuring out this cute trickery and stealing it for my own questionable purposes.

I don't think I did too bad of a job! I checked my errors just the right amount of times, drew LARGE, drew with a regular pencil, had a really clear b/w print of the reference.

Of course, there are still some errors... the cane is at a slightly wrong angle, the viewer's left leg is too thin, there are some small accuracy issues with the hands, and I stretched the bow tie a bit. I didn't push the mouth shape far enough-- it just needs to be "more." More back, slightly wider open, etc.

There are some wrinkle inaccuracies in the main curtain shape, and I only noticed this upon scanning but I ACCIDENTALLY MADE EVERY CURTAIN FOLD VEER TOO FAR TO THE RIGHT. I am such a shmuck. I have no idea how that happened.

Also, pianos, particularly when they are submerged in darkness, are really hard to draw. I misinterpreted some angles again, there, but I was surprised how much easier the shapes were to handle with some good ol' hierarchy.

Maybe one day I'll learn to see angles correctly. Haha.

More Mickey

I got some more work done on Mickey between classes today! It was actually pretty quick, I didn't realize how much I had gotten done last night by placing everything so carefully. For the most part, not too many errors.

Of course, there are always SOME issues. The stool needs to be scooted up, I accidentally made Mickey's jacket too long, there are problems on both hands, and Mickey's eye needs to come out in space a bit more.

I thought earlier that the hat was probably off, but I couldn't see how. I now see that it was the piano that was placed somewhat improperly.

More to come today.

Edit: I feel like I'm cheating if I make too many posts in a day, so I'll just post this here:

EDIT/Important note because it's driving me crazy: The cheek is really messed up. I think I accidentally darkened the wrong line, or something. Ugh, either way, it is not right.

This was really... hard. Haha. I completely broke the perspective lines on the floor. They looked fine in my initial sketch, but I somehow messed up the angles during clean up... big-time. Urgh. I should have re-drawn the lines all the way through the TV when cleaning it up.

I find something about the overlay really jarring. I'm surprised how decently the puppets turned out, actually. I was really afraid of Beany, but he doesn't look too awful aside from some confusion in the mouth area; I don't think I made a good decision by representing his upper lip with that harsh line. Also, I think I misread Cecil's cranium alignment, because his eye didn't go where it was supposed to. It should probably tilt more to the viewer's right. Obviously the top of the TV isn't tight or correct on the right side, yuck.

I struggled a lot with this one. So many straight lines. Makes my head spin to do this sorta thing, which I guess made me set my mind out to do it. If I do enough it'll be less scary (and bad), is the hope.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mickey WIP

I'm gonna try to start beginnings of studies at night when I'm at home and I can check things, and then finishing them throughout the day, on the go. Anyway, this is probably stage 2, I did the background rough first and then did some tests to place the character right.

This one has some errors.

The hands, feet, jaw, ears, and cane needed some adjusting. I made some quick marks on my paper, and now I'm way past ready for sleep. I've got to get up at 8 tomorrow, but it's darn hard to get to sleep when I'm ready to draw.

Last two days' studies revisited


Whew. Drawing bigger was a very good idea. I'm drawing on niiice, big bristol with a regular stupid mechanical pencil and I love it. It's just easier to get out a gutsy, sensible drawing quickly. I'm also working on bringing my line quality back to something appealing and smoother. I'm no Chloe Cumming, but it's getting better.

Anyway, I started this while waiting for my exercise class to start (Yeah, I needed an extra credit hour or two, and I need to work to stay in decent shape). I could tell while drawing it that the arm was elongated, but I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, exactly. I erased and redid it a few times and fixed some related problems, but I wound up not totally getting it.

I was pleased to notice in an overlay that I pushed his chest out higher. I did pretty decently with the line of action, which is good. I still end up with a lot of observational problems, though (some rotated angles, some proportions, some placement). Also, as mentioned, I don't know what I was thinking with the punching bag.

The overlay wound up working seperately, which tells me that, if I were able to, I should have double-checked the placement of the initial big forms before going into detail. That wasn't an option at the time, but I gotta be more aware before I go into detail. Because Jerry's head was off, so were all of his details, and I think that's also the cause of (or perhaps an effect of) Tom's head being expanded toward him, so his eye mass could meet his Jerry's little fist. The arm was just an observational error. It isn't as gutsy as the original.

As I mentioned, Tom's face is puffed out to meet Jerry's fist, probably a result of me trying to make sense of the negative space. I'm thinking Tom's face was the actual issue, and it pushed Jerry back in space. It just throws off a TON, even though it's a relatively small mistake, having the cranium extend slightly leftward! Wow.


I started this one the night prior. I sketched it up REALLY quickly. It was one of those beautiful moments where things just come out of your pencil just right. It has some accuracy issues, but I was really proud of how darn fast I sketched this one out and made sense of the space. I think this is a good sign.

Overall, this one was more successful than the Tom study in terms of relative placement. Lots of issues with particulars, though-- I fancied the ground higher up than it actually is in the image. Everything that should be planted firmly on the ground is firmly planted on some imaginary surface a few inches above the grass.

Actually, the whole thing has weird stretching issues. The cactus, all the legs, Red's pants, and especially Red's head are squished vertically and, in the case of Red's head, stretched horizontally.

I'm going to do my best to get two done in the next two days, as well. I'm happy with this rate of productivity, I feel like I am genuinely getting back into the swing of it. I also feel a lot better-prepared for my own poses, so I'll be revisiting Tom soon. I don't even know if I'll use the old ones beyond the general idea, it might be easier just to start over.

I need to destroy my own stuff AFTER I'm done with it with a critique (and try to be more conscientious the next time around) rather than belabor over it and take a hundred zillion years to get stuff done. It's gonna take a hell of a lot of work to catch up to these other cartoon college students and I can't do it if I don't just bite my lip and worry about every study. So I've just gotta do. Do do do. Doo-doo.

Again quick

It's easy to sneak in time away from the computer... I'm happy to say that probably school has made me more aware of nooks and crannies in my time, so I am getting studying done (bit by bit), which is cool. However, my computer time is much more limited and frantic... I hope tonight I can come back and critique this and yesterday's drawings.

I can tell you right now that poor Red's head has been ballooned.

P.S. everyone in the cartoon college blog totally obliterates me. It simultaneously motivates and petrifies me. Good lord, do I feel like the runt.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Real quick

Biggest problem I can see right away: I botched the shape of the punching bag! What the heck? It's pushing totally the opposite way. I don't know how I overlooked that.

I know I'm late to the game with this one, but I had fun... Drew it between classes today and finished it this evening. I actually have a second cover study that I'm about halfway done with, maybe I can finish it tonight. Wish me luck, will talk more later.

Also, I am not only back to studying off of prints, but I am back to using just plain ol' pencil. It's messy but I missed its easy line.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I think I absolutely do better when I draw from paper. From the screen I end up with too many opportunities to zoom in too far (figuratively, not in Photoshop) and I end up focusing way too much on accuracy rather than good drawing. Sooo, yesterday and today I drew this more complicated Eisenberg character/BG study.

It's also much easier to critique it, because the mistakes are more "mine." Does that make any sense? Anyway, it comes out more organic.

Anyway, so I saw the angle of the image all wrong. What's interesting, though, is that the drawing makes sense on this new angle. It's still wrong, though. It's too sharp of an incline to the right. I have trouble in general making long straight lines, so this sort of stuff is tricky to me. Take note of the odd lumpiness of the sill. I'm trying to learn to get better at this sort of stuff without using straight-edges, because I don't like the look of that. However, neither does lumpy perspective.

There is also some off-ness on the details of the blinds. The doo-dad that holds them together and pulls them up (I have no idea what it is called) is too wide and not as tight as Eisenberg drew it.

The characters took me an aggravatingly long time to draw! I hate poor drawings of licensed characters. Whenever I draw one that looks somewhat off, it bothers me in the same way illegal bootleg T-shirts of Warner characters bothered me as a kid. You know, the types you find at flea markets and carnivals. Nothing irked me more, and when characters I know don't look right come out of my pencil, I have a tough time forgiving myself.

Anyway, I digress; Jerry's got a little bit of wonkiness going on. He doesn't feel as firmly planted on the ground as he should. His foot should be more forward in space, I think. As for Tuffy, he is actually seated further back in my drawing than he is in the actual image, and that throws his arm off. I had a hard time with that particular part of the drawing, too. His arm looks sort of like it's just floating stiff, not actually planted on the sill behind him.

Tuffy's face also looks incorrect; the details are too large, his ear isn't streamlined enough, he's looking in a different direction. Also, I misread the printout and made his tail a shadow. Sort of a dumb error, woops.

Some of the construction should have been more visible.

Hopefully I'll do another tomorrow. I have a few images I really liked printed out, and I'm collecting them in a folder so that I always have something to study handy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's a simpler Eisenberg panel, with a character and background elements. I'll do a more complicated one soon. I thought it made sense to draw a Tom, seeing as I'm working with him already.

I made some unscanned adjustments to this (the most obvious being the shape of the couch and the awful mistakes I made on the wall corner). Truth be told, I think my mistake one looks pretty ok, but it was inaccurate in describing the actual shape of the couch.

Wobbly lines... I think my lines are more confident than they were last winter, but I gotta stop being so jittery.

Argh!! I gotta stop getting frustrated, but I'm not doin' this right, lately. I've slowed down and started obsessing over detail accuracy, and it's making my stuff worse. I need to get back in the groove, I guess. Part of the problem might be that I've been doing the last few studies off of the monitor instead off off of a print-out. It's uncomfortable and more difficult to concentrate. Since school's starting up again, I'll have access to free printing, so hopefully that'll be fixed soon.