Friday, April 30, 2010

A Huge Tip

Most lines SHOULD be thick, especially your first lines, your gesture lines- any line that delineates different shapes. It should be thick, in fact thicker than you'd normally be comfortable with. The thicker you start with the better.

Why? It's a control issue- fine lines are a lot harder to make and edit than thick lines. No matter how thick you make your first lines, you can fine tune your interior lines a lot more easily.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Line Quality

I showed my some sketches for critique a year ago on an online forum there, a wise man told me:


Unfortunately I've never heeded this advice too well, as it's still something I struggle with. Some concepts I've been playing around with that give good results:

1. Keep a good grip- a 1.5" grip distance from the tip- esp. on outer contours.
-close in up to a .5" distance on details.
2. Slide into your strokes to keep a "thin on the edges-thick in the middle" sort of quality, dont hammer and stop from point to point.
3. Practice with brush pen.
4. I'm used to sketching with lines- in the case of improving line quality step back and instead sketch with dots, and render with lines. This is to say you figure out your proportions and everything with dots in a loose way, and you try to make all your lines high quality from the get go.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soft vs. Angular

And it hit me like a brick to the face . . . I draw waay too angularly by default. I think a lot of it has to do with my tense personality, but I'm gonna try and not draw like I usually do for a while, as playing up with variation between these extremes is a concept I overlooked for too long.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Random Tricks

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Designed Shapes

So I think that there is only one kind of shape in cartooning- and that's a designed shape. Unfortunately it's really difficult to draw a designed shape, because drawing a shitty shape is so damn easy. What is a shitty shape?

It's basically any shape that's easy to draw. A square, a sphere, circle, rectangle, an amorphous blob, hairy psycholined nonsense.

So one must mold a sense of not making a drawing easy and too undesigned. One must practice a design shape sensibility, and become extremely sensitive about the difference.
There are a number or reasons why a design shape is so difficult to draw:

1. A design shape depends on all other design shapes.
2. A design shape has number of definite lines.
3. By "definite" lines- they are not wonky- they are either a straight, a C-curve, or an S-curve. But its extremely difficult to draw a "real" S-curve, and not a wonky S-curve, so for now I say only Cs or Is.
4. There's always some kind of offset- a design shape does not have parallel evenly length-ed lines, because even lengths and parallel lines make a shape INORGANIC.
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING- a design shape leads your eye to where you want it to go.

Because you have five difficult criteria to juggle in your head to make a design shape work- I'd say putting a straight versus a curve is never a fluke; yet drawing squares and spheres is- because easy shapes are part of a child's geometry, they're shapes everyone knows. Designing Straight vs. Curves is more like an analytic proof in some college level math class.

Those Damn Spheres!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Random habits

The best phrase to say to yourself before you put down lines is "I know that . . . _____"
that way anything you draw is confident.