Monday, August 24, 2009

Here's the goal - to make your own poses


There is a purpose to copying good cartoon drawings: it's not just to be able to make a good copy of something that's already been done.It's to learn the underlying principles and procedures that went into the good drawings you copy.

These are good copies, because they use the same procedure that the original artist did.

If you truly understand the underlying tools of good cartoon drawing, then you should be able to make your own poses using characters you have learned to copy well.

John studied and drew the comics above (and more of my exercise suggestions) and then tried his hand at creating his own poses of the characters:
These tell me that he didn't merely copy by eye. He used his head to figure out how the drawings were achieved. He learned the principles and then applied them to his own creativity.
This I think is missing in cartoon schools, especially when it comes to life drawing classes. The schools encourage you to do certain exercises - like life drawing, but don't encourage you to learn anything from them that you can apply to your own drawings.

Some people are good at copying things that are in front of them, but are lost at making original drawings look good.


John is doing the exact right thing. After you learn something through study and copying, then APPLY what you learned to your own poses. It helps to use characters that you have already learned to draw from the copies, not to design your own - because your own designs may have built in flaws.

24 comments:

Chris said...

Excellent, John! Funny, too!!!

Mcnuggetinator said...

Hi, John! I've been a long time reader here. I started reading ever since the cartoon drawing course was first created and did all the lessons back then too. My improvement has been phenomenal and I just wanted to leave a link in hopes of getting accepted into your cartoon college to further my skills while getting more guidance.
http://mcnuggetinator.blogspot.com/
Thanks for all the help you've given me so far!

Kyle said...

Something Ive always had a problem with. I'd say I'm pretty good at copying what I see, given enough time, but doing fresh poses, not so much. How would you even go about teaching something like this?

I guess you kinda don't do you? you have to get a feel yourself to see what works and what doesnt.

Matt said...

I don't know if it's just the raw talent that shows so much in a pencil sketch that makes it more appealing to look at, for me, but there's nothing like a good pencil drawing. I could look at stuff like this for an eternity.

diego cumplido said...

What about my "Porky punching Porky" pose? By the way, I'm sure you're sick of all of us oportunists who want to get into the cartoon college, but, I've been doing some cartoon excercises for the last two years and I'd like to know how I'm doing. I'd REALLY appreciate some feedback to keep going. CLICK HERE.

TJ said...

Hey Mr. K. This comment is in regards to your cartoon college post. Here are some of my attempts:

click here

Thank you very much. I love your blog.

Geneva said...

Wow!! Very cool new drawings!

J C Roberts said...

I think I like his expressions better than the original cover versions.

A vital step in going from copying poses of a character to creating poses of that character. If you don't know how every part connects to the whole form, you can't convincingly pose the character without flat, awkward poses that drift in proportion.

I tried to apply this to Bugs, who I've actually never seriously tried before the other day, and do a pose without referring to anything but what I picked up doing the first one. The line of action seems tame but as far as fitting the pose to the character's proportions, it seems close.

Pick up pie...

Jeff said...

I'm happy I stumbled across this blog. I'm going to buy that Preston Blair book and get crackin'!

Josh said...

Great Work John...you are truly talented which is so well reflected in your blog...I am glad I came across your blog.
Just stumbled and submitted your site to http://Viralogy.com. Hope you get some great traffic from it. Your blog is here http://www.viralogy.com/blogs/my/34153

JoJo said...

Here's the next one.

Niki said...

I guess my first comment didn't get here because of my internet.

I really like how you posted this, cause I figured this out around the time of your last post. I've started to try it now, I've got one done for Mary Blair. and after I paint it I'll show you.

Brown-Acid said...

Holly crap i dont think ive ever been taught this part of drawing b4

I Gotta try it

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Hey John, I've done something a little like that, with Ren and Stimpy...
Tjeck it out:)

http://thomashjorthaab-sykkostuff.blogspot.com/

- Thomas

Ricky Earl said...

Hello John, wonderful post as always. However, what happened to yesterday's post? I started reading it, but decided to save it for something to read over breakfast this morning and it's gone!

Pilsner Panther said...

From now on I'm going to just sit back and observe. I can write skits that are funny enough, but I'm unable to draw much more than stick figures (I've tried). I also suspect that I'm a lot older than the average participant here.

Mr. K. has done a great thing by transforming his site into a free art school, but I sort of don't fit in if all I can do is make comments. And that is all I can do.

That said, whenever you aspiring animators are stuck for musical ideas, there's always Pilsner's Picks!

www.myspace.com/pilsnerspicks

Also free, and it's the result of a lifetime of record collecting and music scholarship by Yrs Truly, and some very hard work by my wonderful volunteer assistant, Ani. She's only 20 years old... 17 when she started helping me put the whole meshugges together— the same age that a lot of you are now. "Why, these kids today!"

If you want to animate, say, a character's walk by musical "beats per foot," you can find something over there that just might work. For example, a Jelly Roll Morton piano solo like "Pep." How does he play even and odd numbers of notes in every other bar, but somehow it still works? That would be one tough assignment to animate a character to, even if you had the sheet music to read from.

The answer is probably that Jelly Roll worked in a lot of bars...

The videos of all the old-time comedy acts are also really good lessons in timing.

Happy scribbling (or Scribner-ing).

Pils

John said...

Wow! This has made my day, thanks John! It's very good of you to take the time to look at my work.

And thanks for all the nice comments here too, you guys rock!

I'll have more stuff up soon.

JohnK said...

"Hello John, wonderful post as always. However, what happened to yesterday's post? "

Hi Ricky


sorry about that . it was an accident. That was part of "The Art Of Spumco" book. I meant to post it on a private blog. The book will be out next summer full of pictures as well as funny stories.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Awesome John:)
Thanks for posting some of the book... I can't wait:P...
I've tightened up my constructions, as you adviced, would be nice if you'd take a look, and comment...
I also have a question, how do I get invited to the cartoon course?
Maybe my drawings on my blog are enough, but I'd like to know:)

Cheers
- Thomas

Zypsiollia said...

Something you drew for me about 18 years ago or so, give or take. I don't know if you remember her or not, but my friend Cindy "Dove" Cowart met you back then at a Con and you drew this for me. The whole thing is a story that I'm still bitter about, but thought you might like to see this
picture of Ren
.

Jeremy Cardarelli said...

Right on target, excellent work John! Keep it up!

SquirrelyWrath said...

Herein is my latest stumbling block. I have a hard time creating poses that look decent or have the energy I want to convey. Especially with the really high energy dynamic characters I want to use.

JohnK said...

Hi Thomas


I've checked your blog every day for the last week. I think you have talent. To get into the college blog, you have to do the exercises on this blog and get to the point where you have all your basics down pretty well.


Like construction, line of action etc.

You are skipping that stage and going right to creating your own poses of my characters without first learning how they work.


You gotta do the sweat part first!

Your pal,


John

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Okay, the sweat part first:) I'll do my best pal:)...
Is there some sort of deadline?