haha - those are wicked john. so loose - you two work great together.
I like that. It's nice.
Wow John! These are great! I love to see the underdrawing.. I can tell how fast you draw by the quick and spontanious yet extremely accurate strokes. So loose.. fucking awesome!
I like Katie's designs more than your drawings.You always make her girls' cheeks too pointed.Just an observation.....
hmm, you have been posting snips of these zodiac characters for some time now. i am torn between opposing opinions. they are nice designs for cute girls with fashionable outfits and drawn well. but if i didn't read that these young gals were gemini twins or if they did not have belt buckles with the symbol, i would have no idea that they had anything to do with the zodiac. i had a character design class in which we had the same assingnment. design wise i dont think these cut the mustard, but they are constructed well and look cute. i could not look at them and read their character, that is bad IMO
Those are some pretty freaky eyebrows.
sorry, but that's a really dumb comment
to elaborate:You can't teach character design. There is no formula. There are all kinds of reasons to design a character.Design is a rare gift that only a small percentage of good artists have. Some people are able naturally to put pleasing shapes together in unique arrangements. Katie is one of those tiny few rarities.I'll do some posts about designers soon.
great stuff guys! cute girls are something i need to work on. drawing them, i mean. i might get brave and try to clean up some of Katie's rough sketches from her blog archives for inking practice.
Who, pray tell, is Katy?
>>but if i didn't read that these young gals were gemini twins or if they did not have belt buckles with the symbol, i would have no idea that they had anything to do with the zodiac.I don't think Katie was trying to please tarot card reading nut jobs, but little kids who will be watching the show; and RELATING to the characters.These designs and poses are very appealing and fun.
>:3 !! Nice face expressions.
These drawings give me hope. I like how the different poses clearly show how their personalities contrast. This show must be your answer to Powerpuff Girls.
Amen!!!Design is a talent that can be harnest into a skill.You cant teach talent only skill!somebody should cut yo mustard!(mantoe)
pfft. girl drawings are always the hottest. =D
Beautiful line strokes, John, and an awesome drawing from Katie. I like how your designs differ from Katie's so well. You have these firm, strong lines and Katie's are more light and subtle, but solid all at once. The way you handle the forms on a character is super interesting. It's just too damn cool. May I ask what sort of pencil you used for this?
Dan Clowes was asked to draw Enid's sketchbook for the "Ghost World" movie and he turned down the assignment, saying something to the effect of "Get a girl to do it- girl art is different than guy art."So they got Robert Crumb's daughter, Sophie, to do it.Katie's art reminds me only very superficially of Sophie's. They draw nothing alike and I think their worldview is pretty different but I do see what Clowes was getting at, in that when I see Katie's drawings, there's something energetically positive and emphatically feminine about them.Even if I could draw worth a crap, and tried to put myself into that frame of mind, I'd only be able to approximate it less than successfully.She manages to distill all the good things about girldom and life in general and put them down as fun lines that are instantly eye-engaging.I think imposing your own John K. energy on top of that gives the designs a greater weight and structure, without losing too many of Katie's strengths.They are really loose-limbed, aren't they? They're almost boneless! I'd love to see them animated, to see what your movement theories based on Katie's designs are.
I like the drawings. I noticed that you and Katie have a different approach to the characters. Katie's version looks "cute and adorable", while your version has a "subtle sexiness" to them. Also, IMO, her sketches of the characters are rounder and softer, while your sketches of the characters are more angular.
cool drawings! i can see differences between the top and bottom drawings but i like em all and don't think that you have to be a girl (or gay) to draw em... katie definitely has got a different spin on em though, and she definitely draws girly girls... not just hot or sexy like say shane glines... she makes em fun and spunky. i don't know what mantoe's talking about i can read a LOT of character in these vixens. or does he mean that you can't tell instantly that they're called "the gemini twins"? as far as i know gemini means "twins" so ??? does he want you to put the friggin constelation on their chests?
I think its funny that Jon posted the comparisons as a way of showing that Talented Girl artists are a lot better at drawing girls than guys yet all the posts are still OMFG Jon your art is amazing!!!
Hey John, good stuff. Katie's designs are great.
Oh yeah... looking at Katie's color sketch at the top... zodiac schmodiac! They DO look like twins. They're into different color schemes, but they're so obviously the Gemini twins.Also I dig how their hair color matches their outfits.
If you are going to be doing further posts on character design Id be really interested to hear your opinion on Stephen Silvers work. From what Ive heard hes the best character designer in the industry, but your opinions deviate sharply from general consensus more often than not which is why I read your blog.Also even though we disagree strongly in our opinions of the writing on family guy and south park I wouldnt mind at all if you used their designs as examples on how to design characters
clarification....john, i did not use the character design class example to state that design concepts can be taught in class. it was just stated as that, a class i had to take that had the same assignment. it was mostly a storyboarding class anyway. my fellow students' assignments proved to me that design cannot be taught in class. you are the seasoned vet john, i am sure you know more about it than me.i have no problem with the characters themselves. i love kate's lines, shapes, poses, and energy. i can feel their personalities, but for the most part, i do not see relationship to the sign that influence them. your versions of her drawings are fine too, i agree that girls draw girls better than guys draw girls. i think the zodiac aspect can be shown more clearly. if they were just space girls with super powers i would have grimaced, but not brought up this point.>>>"I don't think Katie was trying to please tarot card reading nut jobs, but little kids who will be watching the show; and RELATING to the characters."im not asking for designs that follow any strict guidelines and maybe it is for a kids show. so let the kids learn about the zodiac as well as having fun characters to relate too. the characters are based on symbols and the symbols have centuries of tradition and belief behind them. also im not an expert on the subject, but i dont think the designs are for a tarot card deck they are for the zodiac signs. they are related, but different i think.as a cartoon art fan and fellow artiste i am offering another view for critique instead of gushing. there is always room to improve.
John, these are great insights into Katie and your's design process. I love how you have the "fluid" girl coming out of the sink. Freaking brilliant.
>>From what Ive heard hes the best character designer in the industry, <<who is he?
he did the character designs for the shows Kim Possible and Danny Phantom and just about every new kids show I see has "character designer: Stephen Silver" in the credits.His website is Silvertoons.com
Wheres the Katie progress post? I remember you said you were going to do something like that.
Good drawings, but I'm afraid I'm not to crazy about the characters...By the way, what were those drawings with Tenacious D in the labcoats from? I expected them to be in the Classico video.
Those Katie designs look so graceful. They look like they are light as a feather but solid enough to kick major ass. You almost got it John, especially in the "she is soft and flowing, she drips" pic.-David O.
wow montoe, hes just showing the twins as an example of well designed characters and from what I can interpret youre saying that you like the art but dont think theyre similar enough to the astrological sign?Theyre twins and they have the gemini symbol on their t-shirt. Thats enough for me zodiac wise.Im pretty sure the only people who will be offended that they dont portray the "centuries of traditions and beliefs behind them"(?) are wikipedia editors
>>Stephen SilverOh Lord I had to look it up. Danny Phantom and Kim Possible. Yikes.
Nice inks. Wish I was doing that for a living (however much pay it entails)
Stephen Silver is the dude who has made a career out of stealing Bob Staake's style, like so many others today.
Kurenai said:Stephen SilverOh Lord I had to look it up. Danny Phantom and Kim Possible. Yikes.Youre an idiot
The guys one of the best artists alive all the "he works in the industry today? He must be a hack!" comments are pretty funny.Silvertoons.com check out his portfolio, man can draw
bob staake? ultrastylized neodeco crap.blah blah blah, hes just ripping this guy off, typical internet goontalk
every single drawing by staake in that portfolio looks the god damned same, hes exactly what Jon talks about when he derides artists whos goal is to develop a style.Every drawing looks like it was lifted from a readers digest from 1993
Those are awesome, you two really compliment eachother. I just saw the weird Al video and it was funny. Thanks Joel for the interesting Ghost World scoop, cause man I love that movie.
"every single drawing"? C'mon. Leave the sweeping generalizations to John K.
Out of curiosity I thought I'd heck out Silver's work. I went through his sketchbook, and I'll give him credit for one thing, he has bored indiference down to a science. Every face on every page is registering the same blank non-expression. Good luck getting a performance out of any of these "characters".Animation means literally "to give life to" where's the life? where's the joy? Cartoons are supposed to make you happy, aren't they? these designs would be great if you were animating a funeral scene, or a row of bored attendees in a lecture hall.I will give him one very large compliment--he does handle a pencil very well, Everything looks very clean and professional, but there are no suprises in his work. all of his characatures look like they where cribbed from any number of books on the subject. His Elvis is a direct steal from a David Lavine.If this is the state of the art in character design, it's no wonder there are so many cartoons on the air that feature bored slacker teens hanging around school hallways or the local mall.
So, is this from the upcoming girls kids show that you've mentioned about?Plus I've noticed that you have done things for older kids andmature adults. Like Ren & Stimpy, any plans for family entertainment._Eric
Steven Silver is talented, but his designs tend to be flat and angular, so they don't animate well and they turn in space awkwardly.When John talks about today's cartoons being formless, I think of Steven Silver.
"Form of... an eagle!" "Shape of... water!"Except it looks like Gemini 2's primary role won't consist of being carried around in a bucket so 1 can dump her on fires.
John K is the only person whos opinions on Silvers stuff Id care to hear, the comments by the basement level artists are as insightful as the comments on a youtube thread
Man, you guys just love to bitch about anything that hasn't flowed from John's tee, don't you.Truth be told, Spumco isn't paticularly that great at character design. And the few great ones that HAVE appeared, weren't drawn by John, but by Jim Smith, Lynn Naylor, Gabe Swarr or Chris Reccardi.Sure John could take any character and create a zillion fantatic poses with that design. He's fantastic at that...hands down. But when it comes to creating a character that is by nature, an interesting design....I don't think so. That's why he idolizes people like Katie, or Ed Benedict....because he can't do it himself. Sure he could analyse it and break it down for you in posts on his blog. He's done it. The evidence is in his pitches and show ideas he's posted. Dirty Pussies...Wally Man...Slab and Ernie?? Boring!Heck....one only has to look at the new R&S. Sure....great poses...but UGLY design. So before you rip on every character designer in the industry that isn't John, take an honest look at the man who's opinion you are panting for.Or just go ask someone who knows...like the other spumco design wizards I mentioned earlier.
John, I recently watched "Class of 3000" on dartoon Network, three was a short segment within the show where the characters very reminscent of Katie's and Your's styles. Did either of you do something for the show. Overall, ths show looks alright, I see what they are going for.Did you have anything to do with it?
awesome sketches john!
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