Friday, November 20, 2009

Chuck Jones Drawings

All these great Chuck Jones drawings use the basic animation drawing principles, yet they are all uniquely his style.Construction, line of action, negative spaces inside and outside, clear staging, opposing poses, contrasts, organic...everything good

Some folks think that learning good basic drawing is a style. It isn't. The style is what you lay on top of the solid foundation - once you have one.

17 comments:

Kaiser Fate said...

Maybe it's redundant but I'd like to agree completely at this juncture that Style is what comes out naturally after you've learned how to draw.
It bothers me immensely when some of my friends who are aspiring artists (not very good ones yet) will agonise over finding a personal 'style'. They ask me how I came up with mine, and I tell them it didn't. It just kind of happened.
Meanwhile everyone is sitting around with contorted faces trying to lay down the wackiest or newest style they can manage when a quick look at what they're doing shows they don't know much about drawing at all...

The Blue Orange said...

This is really true for me...I was always worrying that I didn't have a style, when what I should've been focusing on was bettering my drawing skills. And now that I'm working on my techniques I'm finding that a style is developing naturally.

Maybe this focus on style is a result of all these new Flash based shows...they seem to focus primarily on creating a graphic visual look, so much so that other principles are left behind. Or has this facination with style been brewing long before these new shows?

Kaiser Fate said...

Blue Orange: It's been brewing since forever, but these shows have institutionalised it. Once upon a time someone who drew pictures like that would be lucky to get a job at ANY animation studio, but now they're all the rage!

Guy said...

The only kind of "style" I believe in is just yourself. Your natural personality, interests, tastes, feelings, etc. showing through.

The usual kind of "style" is just, well, stupidity. It's people who can't draw obsessing over picking up a few superficial, artificial traits to distinguish their skilless pile of cliches from other skilless piles of cliches. It doesn't mean anything.

If you want 'style,' learn how to draw. Style will show itself eventually.

smackmonkey said...

Jones' distinctive personal style was a good amalgam of solid drawing skills, an eye for "appeal" (though bordering on cute), and a unique viewpoint on his character's idiosyncrasies. Okay, he also hired some real greats like Maurice Noble, etc.

What passes for style these days seems to be nothing more than an unholy combination of an artist's shortcomings and habitual shortcuts.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

delicious!

Chris said...

Wow John, thanks for posting these drawings. It's so humbling to see a master's work. These drawings look even more solid than his cartoons, they're simply amazing. Do you have any more you can post?

Larry Levine said...

The key to studying the work of artistic masters like Chuck Jones, and our host John, is to understand what makes their style unique, and most importantly, indigenous to them.

Always study our heroes for inspiration, never emulation. If you understand what makes them creatively tick, then your own style will begin to surface.

Bob Lilly said...

Style is not a good starting point when it comes to learning how to draw. When we look a Chuck Jones drawings, we perceive "style" but that was of no concern to Chuck. He was just being himself and drawing. Gee, this sounds like a zen thing. The truth is that the great cartoonists get their style because they can't help but draw that way. They are not imitating anyone else at all.
I think that some cartoonists compare themselves a master like Chuck Jones and say, "I want to draw like him" This is unfortunate because at best they can become a second rate version of Chuck.
Compare what you will draw today with what you did yesterday and do it better today. This is how to get there. Become a first rate version of yourself.

R. Mutt said...

Chris,if you'd like to see more of Chuck Jones'drawings, visit his blog at http://blog.chuckjones.com and select the category: Image of the Day.

Whit said...

Chuck Jones' pencil work of the 1930's was a faint wisp of the masterful stuff on display here. Chuck never stopped drawing and got so good by the time of that 1950 Puppy model sheet as to achieve DIY sainthood. The much later dressing like Hal Holbrook served to entertain him and confuse onlookers.

SunshineFox said...

John this is off topic, but have you ever looked at the Joe Kubert Schools curriculum or have any opinions on it?

http://www.kubertsworld.com/kubertschool/KubertSchool.htm

Alishea said...

Hey guys, Do not be so quick to blame the individual amateur artists themselves- I attend college where many instructors pressure students into finding their "style" before they have mastered life drawing skills. As a student, you have to realize what JohnK is talking about. Draw good first-find style later.

great post!

Dorseytunes said...

Chuck made it look so easy. He could draw some goofy looking character, then turn around and whip up some anatomy like this...

http://blog.chuckjones.com/chuck_redux/2009/09/image-of-the-day-anatomy.html

Nothing but respect for him.

Guy said...

Hey guys, Do not be so quick to blame the individual amateur artists themselves- I attend college where many instructors pressure students into finding their "style" before they have mastered life drawing skills.

Style is certainly a thickly tangled web of dumbness.

I can't see what we'd lose by just eliminating the word forever. Too bad we can't.

David Germain said...

I've never looked for my own style of drawing. I never saw a need to. I never even thought about it until a year or so after animation school. Some of the recent graduates of that school started up a secret message board just for us (which was made obsolete by Facebook and other sites like that). People on there were organizing a "drawing jam" where we'd all draw some things and then post them online. One of them said, "I'd like to attempt David Germain's style". My first thought upon reading that was "I have a style?" I didn't even consider that until he brought it up.

Truth be known, I only draw for myself. I'm only trying to draw what I want to see, not what some head of a studio wants to see, not what John K wants to see, and definitely NOT what some stuffy critics want to see. I only want to come up with drawings as well as the concepts behind those drawings that I can be proud of. I definitely don't always achieve that. Quite often I finish something that satisfies me immediately but then a few days or even a few seconds later I see a whole bunch of mistakes that annoy me. Oh well, I just try harder next time.

Yes, I agree 100% with your assessment of Chuck Jones' abilities and the concept of "style". Great post as always.

Pat Desilets said...

Those are gorgeous

if you have more please post them!