Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Hair : Asian Girls

My "realistic" drawings are about as bland as bland can be. I'm ready for when Filmation starts up again. My goal is not to learn to draw realistically, but to understand why things look a certain way in general logical terms so I can then simplify and cartoon them.

I gave myself a double problem with these studies. I want to add some hairstyles to my pretty girl palette and am using a Japanese hairstyle magazine. So now I have to figure out how to draw Asian faces on top of having to figure out how hair works.
Yikes, here are some really warped faces below.

A good thing about the magazine I'm working from is that it shows the hairstyles from different angles so it helps me see what the forms are. (Tip: Try squinting your eyes when looking at a form that is made up of lots of distracting details like individual hairs) The most important fact I've discovered so far is that hair has to have a distinct form to look good. ...and that form has to feel like it's really partly made by the shape and position of the head.The drawing on the left stinks to high Heaven. I made her look like a Flounder - but I got something out of it. I tried taking the shapes I struggled to draw realistically and redrew them faster and simplified them into a more cartoony face. That drawing on the right, while not great is less strained than the study. It's a step toward my goal but there is quite a way to go yet.
I find that when I am studying something, I miss important elements. In this one, I made the face too wide. When I see the drawings next to the photo, I realize that the girl has a longer face and that her hair should be wider on the sides compared to the face area.

I share these nasty embarrasing drawings not to teach anybody how to draw realistic girls (which I haven't figured out) but instead to show students that there is a way to methodically force yourself to learn something that doesn't come easy. It's to analyze what you think you see, then to slowly draw it over and over again and see if it starts to make sense and later to try to cartoon it.


Paul B said...

I can see that your strokes are different, it seems that you lie down the pencil to make those lines. Why do you do this?

Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad, John. I've never really got the hang of female proportions and hair anyway. I always end up making their heads too big when I'm trying to draw cartoony girls or they end up looking ridiculously unappealing and devoid of the sex appeal I want the young ones to have. Girls are fascinating to study from in all sorts of ways, but they always seem to be a heck of a lot more difficult to draw correctly than their opposite sex.

I like how even after over 30 years of working in animation that you're still willing to push yourself as not only a cartoonist and an animator, but as an artist and still keep learning. Your drawings seem to get a 100 times better year after year IMHO, and that says a lot. I think a lot of good artists would start to stagnate in terms of their drawing abilities at your age, and then gradually decline year after year until their work loses the spark that it once might have had. That's a possibility that I really wanna avoid if I ever reach your age.

Obsessive Compulsive Cartoons said...

I really like your recent posts about the warmups.Just wondering and sorry if you had already mentioned it,but where would you recommend to start when you are doing a caricature of someone?

Isaak said...

What do you think of Avatar if you have seen it?

Also, I notice some pages say a certain number of posts, while the comment page shows a different number.

Thank you

Isaak said...

I meant the Anime show, not the Cameron movie.

Anonymous said...

oh John, I've been following your blog
from quite a while now,
and you don't know how useful i find in so many ways to read your posts. I've been doing some things motivated on your thoughts and posts.

While I really want to be a decent
and good animator, I find it really hard to realize the amount of things I have to know, to dominate before i can actually call myself an artist on these terms. And it's even harder considering that I live in a country where animation hasn't been developed in the traditional way, and it tends to reach for the 3D animation.

Anyway, I'll wait the next blog entries, they're mostly interesting to read.

I salute you Mr. K

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

Hey Mr. K, these are great lessons. Thank you very much. Especially seen as I only took up "life drawing" a couple days before you started these kind of posts.

Erik said...

aww asians are tough to draw...
i tried one when i was traveling by train until she figured out i was drawing her... she wanted to see it, but is realy wasn't that flattering.

i love the flounder face btw
made me laugh

carlo guillot said...

I'm currently working on face features (eyes, noses, ears) and then on face gestures, and my faces are really stiff. Watching your progress and your development, really made me feel better, cause I realize that when you are learning something, it takes a while until it comes second nature.

Jeremy said...

Thanks again, this really does help.

Joey Lee said...

"The more you learn, the less you know."

This is the saying that keeps repeating in my head everytime i visit this blog. I feel like i need several lifetimes to even begin to understand all the things that have been discussed on here. I don't know how to explain it, but the feeling is exhilarating and depressing at the same time.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to post everyday. I look forward to it like my morning coffee.

JohnK said...

"where would you recommend to start when you are doing a caricature of someone? "

Try starting with someone you know who is funny looking.

manuel said...

That second girl looks like one of those "has to be western looking" models.
There is actually a chinese reality-contest-docu-whatever that is called something like "make me western":
The candidates, average to not-so attractive looking guys and girls, undergo a series of surgical treatments to look like something resembling caucasian top models.

The warped forms in your drawings can be used in a cartoonier stage of drawing, to exaggerate certain expressions.

I love some of those calligraphic eyelashes.

Don't be afraid of searching forms with more and softer circling lines, the final line drawing, if any, can be put on top decisively.

Roberto González said...

I want to design a girl for a comic I'm working on and I did a very simple design, but I wonder if she would work better with a different hair. You're right, we guys just think in terms of face and body, and I have always problems with the hair and clothes. With the boy characters I usually use simpler or very surreal hairstyles, but real girls can have a pretty different range of hairs so you don't really have to create it, just look for it in the magazines.

David Germain said...

HA! Speak of the devil. I'm totally having trouble with drawing human hair in the comic I'm working on. I'm trying my best to make it look like many strands of hair without putting in too much detail (like you, I prefer a much more cartoony look over an illustrative look) but I'm definitely not 100% happy with the results. Hell, in some cases I'm not even 50% happy. I'll definitely be going back and touching up all the hair I've drawn so far thinking about all the great tips you've posted on here.

Thank you.

Zartok-35 said...

You're putting a lot of emphasis on the cheek bones, I see.

Isaak said...

On the topic of Asia, Ebert, in his review of the last Airbender, gave it a very low score and in fact said it should have been animated.

If you have seen the show, do you believe Clampett and his contemporaries would have liked the cartoon.

Great job at using realism without the flaws of Dreamworks, Pixar

Keith said...

"Try starting with someone you know who is funny looking."

In that case I'll be doing self portraits.

RooniMan said...

Keep it up.