Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Toy Drawing 5: Popeye Toy Turnaround

I can't think of a better drawing exercise for an animation student than to draw a toy of a classic cartoon character from different angles.I drew mine too big and cut off the feet.
I would love to see cartoonists start to use some perspective in their cartoon drawings speaking of feet.
Note that the bottom of his feet aren't cut off on a straight line like you see in many cartoons today. That's the worst (and ugliest) cheat I have ever seen in cartoons. It means anyone can be an instant cartoonist.
If you are going to copy this, I suggest you don't try to "fix" it or put it "on-model". Whenever copying anything for study purposes - draw what you see - and FEEL.
This has construction just like a classic cartoon character, but the proportions are different than the cartoons. And the shapes are more rubbery looking because it's a toy. Try to capture the feel of that (without shading).
These are the easy angles. If I see anyone who's done good drawings of this turnaround, maybe I'll put up the harder angles next.

Thanks to the few folks who put their spinach where their pipe-holes are!


Anonymous said...

I've been doing these studies like crazy and would love to show them but my freaking scanner don't work with vista.

Alex said...

Acually, I was given advice on perspective (in the feet) from one David Silverman on the same subject. How do you draw the line on feet flattened at the bottom for feeling of weight and feet that aren't cut off at a straight line?

And speaking of the feet you drew getting cut off at the bottom, my drawing professor is in the insistance that we have objects in compositions get cut off at the border for greater interest. Does that theory at all apply to our cartooning?

Anonymous said...

These seem interesting, I'll have to give them a go!

Which reminds me. I've been looking at my older body of work and although I know I can draw and mimic styles as well as do realism. I'm having a hard time of finding my own. I try to mix and match things from real life and fro a variety of existing things, but most of my work looks copypasted, in a sense.

What helped inspire you to have such a unique style? Doing caricatures, studying older artists and works?

I'd love to know if you have the time! I don't want to fall into the traps you've listed in your journals.

JohnK said...

I think you have a style CJ, but I wouldn't worry about that. Just learn to draw as many things as you can.

Niki said...

Speaking of these turnarounds, I was wondering, Is it OK if I put it off for a while? I wanted to study the style in Jonny Quest for a project and I don't know if the skills in this would be useful for it.

Oscar Baechler said...

By the way, in cartoon's neighboring industry of illustration, another blog I follow a lot is James Gurney, author of Dinotopia. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/

One interesting convergence among these two decades-long professionals and their blogs? Both of you promote extensive study of maquettes as a tool to understand form. And yet, throughout art schools, they'll have you draw live models and skeletons, but never maquettes.

WTF? In retrospect, it seems silly that I was never encouraged to use a physical representation of nonsensically shaped creatures, whether it was Bugs Bunny or a diplodocus.

Maurice M. said...

The "what the heck is this?" thing is a cheekbone. I worked on a licensed Popeye video game and I've seen a zillion images of the character, and from some angles they'd draw these line flat curves below the eyes. You see them more on Bluto.

zmerrill said...

Hm, at least this eases my study a little about trying to do what I feel. I have trouble with trying to be more "on-model" even with some of the Preston Blair stuff. But other than that, I understand basic construction.

LeoBro said...

My Popeye Toy Turnaround attempts. Too stiff?
Will try again tomorrow.

John said...

Cool, I'd better get to drawin'! But for now, here's my attempt at the last exercise - what do you think, John?

S. M. Denman said...

This toy is so cool! I tried doing some: here I'll have to try again since these didn't come out so great. the legs are really tough!

Zoran Taylor said...

Wow, it REALLY looks like he's flipping the bird at us in the first shot. Took me a minute to realize it's just his ear!

Nicolas Martinez said...

Here are mine.

Andrea said...

Niki, if you want to study the style of Jonny Quest, go straight to the source and look at the Newspaper Comic Steve Canyon by Milt Caniff. I think you can go to any good city library and find reprints of Steve Canyon and Terry and the Pirates.

RoyceAquatic said...

I found some disney figurines at a thrift store and am starting to do some toy construction, i know i need more work, any pointers

Donald Toy Construction

TWill said...

Howdy John,

Just finished my popeye studies, you can see them


Thank you for your time, and all of these lessons.

Jono Willis said...

Hi John,
here are my Popeye drawings.
Found here!

Here are my Popeye overlays for comparison
Found here!

Many thanks for this blog