Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Composition 2 - Intersection


Jorge Garrido said...

Wow, Milton Gross AND Franklin Frazetta, two completely different cartoonists with different styles, using THE SAME PRINCIPLES OF GOOD DESIGN. People who write off John's lessons as him trying got turn everyone into "John K clones" needs only to look as this lesson and see that these are basics that can applied to ANY STYLE (Not that style concerns me yet).

I can't recognize the other three cartoonists. Shameful!

Milt's characters often look drunk and off-balnce so they interesect a lot! I wonder if he drew them off balance so they'd intersect and therefore give the image an "interesting and pleasing composion" or if it was the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I can understand why rubes such as myself don't use these principles, but when pros don't... look out!

This is yet another in a long series of amazingly cool, clearly written, amply illustrated with perfect examples, highly educational posts.

I can see elements some of my favorite artists like Al Williamson, Steve Rude and Jaime Hernandez also incorporate.

It's not so much that these are John K principles- it's that they're principles that have been around as long as there's been art, used to perfection.

Brett W. Thompson said...

Great stuff, thank you so much John!! :)

Hryma said...

I reckon I've seen a similar dog (in the first picture) in 'Firedogs' containing himself.
And do you ever sleep, when do you get time to update your blog all the time? I'm not saying its a bad thing, it's awesome keep it up!

Anonymous said...

If there was a noble prize for animation education, John would win it for this blog.

All types of artists can learn so much for these posts!

scot said...

The first image on the first page with the cat leaning out of the window pane seems to exhibit an slight problem where the lines of the window pane frame on the right overlaps with the line separating the cats face and waving arm. Granted, I am no artistic genius, but I found that particular element of the image a little difficult to read.

To be perfectly honest, I rarely see what I would describe as just plain horrible intersection in cartoons. Are you saying that many artists screw it up or just avoid doing it because they lack the confidence/skill?

scot said...

Responding to Jorge: People who write off John's lessons as him trying got turn everyone into "John K clones" needs only to look as this lesson and see that these are basics that can applied to ANY STYLE (Not that style concerns me yet).

I am not necessarily one of those people that think that John is trying to create a new generation of clones, but I do feel that sometimes John's attitude toward current cartoons is a little excessively mean-spirited. I laughed hard during at Ren and Stimpy, Boo Boo Runs Wild, and his Jetson's treatment. I cannot deny he has a fairly magical touch when it comes to animation but I also laugh hard while watching The Family Guy, South Park, or Home

My agreement with John lies in the fact that be that current cartoons are crafted together very lazily and the animation leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand, many older cartoons -- especially Disney's theatrical and Hanna-Barbera's TV properties -- well-animated/painted/composed or not bored the life out of me when I was a kid. I'd rather have watched some of the lackluster animated stuff like "The Alvin Show," "Bullwinkle," "Fat Albert," or "George of the Jungle" than "Cinderella," "Yogi Bear," or "The Flintstones."

On the other hand, I completely agree with John regarding his opinion regarding his thoughts on Bob Clampett. I have no doubt he made the most consistently good Looney Tunes cartoons. And while I rarely laughed while watching Beany and Cecil, as a kid, I never tuned away because it was always visually pleasing and rather musical in its visual flow.

I am looking forward to more of these lessons and examples just for the enjoyment of seeing an experienced artist and animator really giving some genuinely good advice and criticism of cartoons from yesterday and today.

Future Topic Request: I know you worked on some cartoons you completely hated. Are there any that you looked at after you were finished and as a cartoon fan you thought wasn't that bad, or heaven forbid, good?

Julián höek said...

is the dog from big house blues, the one that says "he is going to sleep" an homage to milt gross??

Anonymous said...

I was into mimicking comic composition between the ages of 9-13, then I got back into manga (much to the dismay of my mother and school teachers). I could knock up a decent panel with all the punches of an Iron Man, Fab4,etc but just not as flashy. I took one look at the few artists who have accomplished anything in comics and realised living wise I'd be better off as a lumberjack

Ryan G. said...

Hey John! I think you should gather all these ideas from your experiences and from your blog and publish a book that will be the new standard animation guide!

JohnK said...

Yeah, Jasper the Pup is stolen from Pooch the Pup.

akira said...

i just want to make sure i'm getting the tangent thing... on page 9, in the panel with the penguin and the big fat guy, it seems like a lot of the intersections are tangents... especially the penguin's arm and the man's chest. could this drawing be strengthened by moving the penguin's hand to be framed in front of the man's face or nose, or moving into negative space between their heads? also would his arm intersection be improved if it didn't continue the line of his "bottom"? and would it be better if the man's feet were separated, or more crossed? i guess i should try drawing it differently and see if it looks better.

Mitch K said...

I'm reading and saving all of these manuals... I've been waiting a while for them to show up on the internet. I've only seen a few pages until now!

Anonymous said...

I do like those examples of cartoons.

Anonymous said...

It seems that composition of a panel or scene helps give the staging of the art a flow of movement. The flow of movement on a page or screen helps tell a story visually. Like, a good song or poem flowing word to word. Composition of staging art flows the action.

Stephen Worth said...

I just posted a parallel to this post at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive Blog. It's the first part of the chapter on elementary composition in the Famous Artists illustration course. Check it out...

Fundamentals of Composition Part One

Stephen Worth
Animation Archive

queefy said...

Thanks j00 for these.

Wicks for Candlesticks said...

The examples that are on there make the lessons a bit clearer. Most art books have some boring square figure outline to illustrate the theory. Frazetta examples are much more fun. Now, to actually hammer these methods through my old skull.

-David O.

GG said...

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Free Tenacious D: In the Pick of Destiry sneak peek dvd with purchase of any dvd.

Anonymous said...

Tenacious D are moderately funny

Eric C. said...

Hey John, I got a question. I've noticed that most comic strip drawings are what you consider "Flat" and sometimes doesn't use any sort of contruction. But now a days, like the Peanuts gang and Garfield, are not only very populair but hollywood stars. Like Matt Groening and The Simpsons.

Matt considered himself a poor drawer and developed his own style but not really taking from any particular sourse it doesn't seem.

He mentioned that after seeing Rocky and Buwinkle, he relized even though the drawings were crappy, it was more of the writting that anything else.

What is your theory on that John?

What comes first in your point of view?
Good Drawings, Good animation, Good writting or all at the same time basicly?

_Eric ;)

P.S. I've also heard that Monty Python is one of your influences. What do you take from Monty Python or british surreal humor?

Please Respond.

Russell H said...

>>I can't recognize the other three cartoonists. Shameful!<<

The cartoon at the bottom of "page 7," the one about "Grandma Wortle" is a "Toonerville Folks" panel by Fontaine Fox. Fox is a good example of this, as he typically put his characters and scenery at oddly skewed angle.

The panel of the spacemen menaced by the silhouetted monster at the bottom of "page 10" looks like a Wallace Wood panel from an early '50s E.C. book

EIBass said...

This is a great post, Short and sweet, packed with more info than I realized at first glance. I wanted to thank you and Steven Worth for another great lesson. I suck at Composition and framing so this post and Steven's over at the ASIFA Blog are right up my alley.

Now that I've read this post I look at the online comic I did and see so many examples of bad composition.
Be warned do not click the the link above if you find toilet humor, naked hippos and poor use of framing offensive.

Thanks for the lesson.

Space Bambino said...

you're driving art schools to bankruptcy with these kind of posts!
yet, it would be great if you could name some of the authors and their strips used as examples
i specially loved the frame with the guy shaving his back

Anonymous said...

John! Hey it's Dave from MORTIFIED... long time no speak.

I can't find your most recent email address so i am contacting you here. Anyway, we just produced our debut animated short ( and I thought you might want to check it out. Maybe you will think it is swell enought oshare with friends. We have book coming out soon too.

Hope all is well with you and your yodelling.


Elisson said...

I see someone beat me to it, picking up on the Fontaine Fox panel from Toonerville Folks.

Anonymous said...

Atomic SEO I really like this blog when I first signed up here i wasn't sure were to post...

Sir Bud the Eight said...

Hey, John K,
I've been dying to get your opinion about the neo nick cartoonists such as Fred Seibert, Eric Homan, and Dan Meth. What do you think of them?

Thank you,
Longtime Fan,
Alex, MN.

Elana Pritchard said...

I am going to try using these principals for my next painting.