Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Poses to Study

I haven't posted any new lessons lately because there are so many on the College blog, but here are some good drawings you might be able to get something out of.

You can see the excellent construction and hierarchy in this close up of Tom and the mice. The whole pose reads well, the characters are solid and all the details wrap around the forms.


In a wider shot of the characters, they have less detail in the faces and the larger forms become even more important. The quantity of lines in a drawing have nothing to do with the quality of the drawing. Where the lines go and how well they describe a form and pose takes much more thought and skill. Eisenberg is a master of using a very few lines to create dynamic and descriptive attitudes that register in our minds instantly - and that's what is most important in animation images.
Milt gross uses clear staging and posing. The characters' poses are not the same as each other; they are "opposing" - balanced and contrasted against each other.

Make the poses balance against each other to create beautiful art, as well as tell the story

Gross differs from Eisenberg in the small details-fingers, patterns on pants etc. Those aren't strictly "constructed" 3 dimensionally. He uses some license, but it isn't anarchy. The most important part of the picture is well thought out. There is logic and planning to it - and some construction, but he's harder to analyze than a classic animation cartoonist like Eisenberg.

Nevertheless, some of my star students have attempted it:

I like very much the characters of Milt Gross, they are very appealing and visually interesting. It reminds me the drawings from another genius cartoonist, Guillermo Divito.

Verbal Analysis:
-All flows through line of action.
- BIG Head!
- Short legs
- Little body
- Little eyes
-Eyes have slightly diferent directions
-There's lots of space inside the head
- The smile is higher than the eyes.
- Big collar and straight, in contrast to the curved shapes
- BIG Tie
- Little hat with a complex and very interesting shape
- The features that sticks out make and interesting silhouette

- Defined Line of Action
- Big Head
- Big Chest
- Skinny legs

- eyes occupy a small portion within the head
- One eye is slightly bigger than the other and they don't follow the direction of the head (this is very subtle)
- broad forehead
- Big nose
- Big chin
- The ear doesn't have the tipical cartoony ear shape.
- Some features sticks out making an interesting silhouette.
- LOTS of negative space inside the head.

I think next I will try some of my characters using the things I've learned here. Sometimes I have "happy accidents" in which I'm close to achieving the appealing of Milt Gross characters and I think doing these studies, I realize that these characters have things in common that make them look like this.

My comments:

split the heads into two shapes
(or 3) and neck if it's there

I just noticed you have the man leaning forward slightly but Gross has him leaning back slightly

the back of his skull should be west of the back of his foot.

Thanks to those who have contributed and I hope you find some help here:



Oisin O'Sullivan said...

Nice. I love Milt Gross.
I'll try and draw some of these soon. Thanks Mr. Kricfalusi

Luis María Benítez said...

I'll follow these exercises. Very useful stuff. Thanks!

David said...

Hey did Aaron Springer make Special the Pussycat completely on his own? Or who else worked on it? I just watched it on youtube recently, it's great!

RooniMan said...

Stuff like this makes me hopeful.

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

Hooray! A new lesson and more poses to study!

I'm going to go start right now!

Calvin said...

Thank you for all the lessons you post here. I can't tell how much my drawings have improved these past few months just by following the lessons in your college blog.

I'll post my progress in a blog soon if you don't mind checking them out.

P.S. I've also grown a greater appreciation for many of the Cartoons you talk about in your blog. And Bob Clampett has become my all time favorite cartoon director as well.

And for those who have yet to donate, please do so! There are a lot of money hungry jerks out there that charge up the a** to give you far less information then the stuff that John presents for free. If anything, at least buy some dope gear or dvd's.


Anonymous said...

So we shouldn't start copying too much from Milt Gross unless we already have a solid grip on construction? Some of my studies even to this day still look kinda loose, and not so focused on looking solid.

I really should get to drawing right now. This stuff is why I wanna draw good cartoons one day.

kurtwil said...

More cool stuff to help understand posing and construction. It truly inspires me to try drawing animation again instead of now using mostly CGI tools (Toon Boom improvements are further incentives). Thanks, JK!

Not trying to hijack anything but am curious how many folks here use the rough out > blueline > flip over > semi-cleanup > cleanup process Disney animators used?
These days I usually skip bluelines but flopping poses proved very helpful for studying construction !

Christine Gerardi said...

Thanks John, I really appreciate the lessons.

patrick sevc said...

Thanks for posting this! Studying Milt Gross is quite a doozy!

King of [Silent] Cartoons said...

Totally unrelated, but did you see the sad news, John?


Peter Bernard said...

The Milt Gross analysis is fascinating! I think I like Paul's versions better haha just kidding (but only barely).

Anonymous said...

By the way, look at what they've done to the Looney Tunes now. I hate how they can't just leave the original cartoons alone. There's no point in making something like this since most of the Termite Terrace directors and animators are gone. Clampett, Avery, and Jones are rolling in their graves right now.


Craig Something said...


Scroll down to find "The Looney Tunes Show"...

Trevor Thompson said...

Aaron made Special in college and John only did a voice.

Martin Juneau said...

Those Milt Gross pictures are fascinating yet very appealing designs. And i remember reading those Tom and Jerry comics as a kid and the drawings and formula was like a inspiration what comes to the cartoons series Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks. (Except the "I eat that meeces!") We having some issues on French of this Tom and Jerry comics but are now rare to find today.

Now, i see a new Tom and Jerry comics series who duplicated the original Hanna-Barbera cartoons and the result is a duplicate to those modern Looney Tunes comics i seen in the 1990's.

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