Monday, June 01, 2009

Student Copies Of HB Characters

Here are some drawings by Becky. She has a very strong personal style of her own, but has chosen to go back and practice some classic cartoon construction to supplement her already impressive talents.
These Preston Blair dogs show that she has a good grasp of hierarchy - making the details subject to the physics of the larger shapes. She also has a very natural flair for nice linework and appealing shapes.

I think she actually had an easier time drawing 40s style characters than the HB style, which at first glance seems simpler.

Becky drew a really cute Quick Draw above, but the proportions are different than the drawing she was studying. Obviously when I draw HB style, I change the proportions drastically too, but that's after first trying to learn the way they are actually designed and constructed and using that as a stepping stone for experiments.

HB isn't merely drawing flat or with no rules. The best HB artists - like Ed Benedict, Dick Bickenbach and Harvey Eisenberg knew and used the old cartoon animation principles and just applied them in a (superficially) simpler way. They cheated the odd little thing for style, but not everything.

When studying anything, it's usually best to be conservative and anal about it - to try to get your studies as accurate as possible - and to understand how something is built and why it looks the way it does. So you can tell the difference between stylistic license and mistakes.

This is great practice and the more someone analyzes their studies and makes adjustments, the faster they progress.


Professor_chai said...

Thankyou John! Your critiques are really helpful! I'll draw some more stuff soon to show you!

Isaac said...

Lacks construction?

Niki said...

I've been studying the plans from the animation course at the animation archive, but I'm only doing them to learn those shapes to use, so I can do covers knowing what to draw. I haven't measured them side by side, this post makes me feel like a loser! But it still motivates... I'll get back to my work, I hope this way is ok for now.

Chloe Cumming said...

Go Becky! Oh crap I need to study more.

Willem Wynand said...

wow these are really nice =) very well done to all =)

drawingtherightway said...

Hey John hope this isn't too much off topic since it deals with construction: I have a question about this video I found on youtube here's the address

if you have time watch it about at the 2:20 mark. it shows an animator from the 30's animating mickey mouse. He starts by drawing a circle for mickey's head, but from there it appears he draws sorta straight ahead. He draws the mickey's muzzle and then draws eyes, ears, etc, but it appears that he hasn't drawn any guidelines on the form or a line of action. Now I suppose its possible he's tracing a drawing but it doesn't look like he is.My question is once animators become experienced enough, do they usually use shortcuts like this by skipping steps? Wouldn't this be frowned upon especially at the Disney studios?

Jack G. said...

Wow, really good.

Always good to read a critique.

Does that mean my didn't cut the mustard? this mess:

Hammerson said...

That's Becky Dreistadt's work, right? I've been following her at deviantART for more than a year and she's truly an amazing artist, one of the greatest new talents in my opinion.

She did a really nice job with Preston Blair dogs, they look very solid and "meaty". I love her HB attempts too, especially the last one where she constructed and transfered into linework the dinosaur from painted cover.

Raff said...

Very, very inspiring. I've been working on short-order sloppy stuff for people lately and this encouraged me to get back to basics and clean up.