Friday, July 23, 2010

Does All This Human Drawing Help Cartooning?

Honestly, I'm not sure yet.
I'm realizing that I use a whole different type of thinking when I copy live humans (or photos of them) than when I draw cartoon characters and I haven't yet figured out how to link the two types of reasoning.
Boy I see even more mistakes when I compare the drawings to the photos after I blog them. Like many cartoonists I tend to shrink open spaces when I copy real things. I gotta try to fix that.

I find a lot of interesting subtleties in anatomy and perspective as I copy-but will remember them after the photos are taken away? Maybe if I did this every day for years.
I had a whole bunch of theories to go with these drawings, but it's too late at night and I'm beat, so I'll have to save them for later.
I don't see realistic proportions very well. I make the feet and hands too big.
One of the reasons I've been brushing up on human drawing is because I have to design a T shirt with Marvel characters on it and I wanted to do a sort of caricatured Kirby style. I'm already running into many problems to solve.

31 comments:

Wilson Ramires said...

Hey John, great stuff love how you caricature the body.
Regarding the link between live drawing and cartooning, I might be just stating the obvious here and you propably meant something else but doesn't live drawing help us to find new intresting shapes, helps draw better 3d shapes and how things fit together and also improves our observation therefore our visual skills too right??? Boy I berrer start doing more Human drawing...anyway all the best!

Wilson Ramires said...

Hey there John, great stuff loving the body caricature ;)
Regarding the link between live drawing and cartooning, I might be just stating the obvious here and you probably meant something else but doesn't live drawing help us to find new interesting shapes, draw better 3d shapes and how things fit together and also improves our observation therefore our visual skills too right??? Boy I better start doing more Human drawing...anyway all the best!

Trey Brown said...

kick-ass! id kill for a marvel shirt designed by you! is it a big group photo? what heroes did you have in mind?

Raffi said...

Have you ever made caricatures of political figures from the 1800s (Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, etc.)? Those are always fun.

Kirk said...

Great what's-her-face from the Inhumans, (yes?)!

Steve Hogan said...

Crystal's looking pretty chestacological.

Steve Hogan said...

Ironically though, John's cartoony version makes more anatomical sense than the picture they have on the site:

http://marvel.com/universe/Crystal

Gad said...

in my opinion
any kind of drawing helps cartoning

kurtwil said...

Nice stuff, and I'll bet that even if it's not immediately obvious, all your drawing practice is / will be enhancing your projects.
That little thing we do at night, sleeping, often helps knit all the pieces together.

Roberto Severino said...

Marvel gave you a job! Wow! Next thing you know, you'll be designing the characters on the next hip animated superhero show or drawing some comics for them. I hope they're actually gonna pay you damn good for your work and keep it that way instead of screwing you over like certain networks and companies in the past have.

How do you get that light blue Col-erase pencil to show up on the paper anyway like that? Do you just press harder on the pencil or tinker around with it when you scan the drawings? I'm already running out of my favorite carmine red pencils to use, and soon I'll have to resort to the few light blue pencils I have for a little bit, and I just hate it when I can't see the underdrawing as well as I do with the reds. I've got plenty of 2Bs though.

RooniMan said...

You'll solve those problems eventually. Just keep trying.

Eric Knisley said...

I think being able to draw real humans is essential to good cartooning. Knowing how real anatomy works allows the artist to manipulate those realities. I ran into a brick wall in my drawing in my late twenties, and the only way I could get around it was to take several years of figure drawing...it worked!

marcushelbling said...

I don't even read comics, but I'd love to see that shirt produced.

Paul B said...

Man, your drawings are awesome!
I like when you use thin and thick lines to show more depth in the features of the face, it really works!.

I WANT THAT T-SHIRT!

drawingtherightway said...

What I want to know is how do you know what shapes to use when drawing realistically? I know your supposed to simplify things when construction but sometimes it's hard to figure out what shapes to use.

Nicol3 said...

I'm creeped out. That looks a lot like Moonmaid from Dick Tracy, a character I've been doodling a lot in different poses recently (I have a literal hairball of sticky notes with doodles of her on my desk!)

In fact, I have a pose just like the one on the bottom right.

But..Marvel, eh? (Is it Medusa?)

'Human stuff' only helps me out when I'm drawing a live figure, like myself or another model. I can't really draw from flat images; I like drawing more from something I can walk around/see and understand the different dimensions of

Elana Pritchard said...

I know self criticism helps a person improve, but don't take it to the level where you start beating up on yourself. Acknowledge the positive as well- John yer AWESOME!!
You teach us so much.
Pat yourself on the back and smile.

Ray said...

That's one of the most creative drawings of Marvel Girl/Sue Richards I have seen since probably Kirby. So many people just copy what's out there already. Can't wait to see the shirt when it's finalized.

Joey Lee said...

Can you give examples of someone who has successfully bridged the gap between realism and cartooning. Because to me, i would say that you've successfully made that leap with some of your work.

Of your sketches, the one that pops out to me is the girl running. You drew the crap out of that shoe. I still tend to draw shoes like a giant mushy loaf of bread. Thanks for the inspiration.

Thiago Levy said...

I love Kirby but I have seen Kirby style caricatures. I never seen John K's Style Marvel characters. Hey I want to see an entire Marvel comic book by John K! Better an cartoon!

SparkyMK3 said...

John, have you ever thought of comparing Chuck Jones "Bully For Bugs" against Bob Clampett/Norm McCabe's classic "The Timid Toreador?" (the latter, original black & white version is on one of the Looney Tunes laserdiscs, just so that you don't have to resort to that horrible recolored print.)

They're both great cartoons, but for very different reasons. Think you could do a side by side comparison of the two cartoons?

smackmonkey said...

I'm really surprised that you're asking this question. Real life is possibly the biggest source of inspiration and subject matter for what animators do.

thomas said...

While you're into this it would be great to see you do a big celeb crowd scene. al a Jack Davis

JohnK said...

"Real life is possibly the biggest source of inspiration and subject matter for what animators do. "

Which animators are those?

jeffreyJack said...

It always bothered me that the mainstream human characters in most older feature cartoons (Snow White, Prince Charming, Gulliver, etc) are kinda boring and tedious to look at while they're surrounded by bouncy, rubbery misfits like the dwarfs or funny animals. Maybe they did it for contrast, but I really like it when your sketches (and your great cartoons) push at the outer edges of human form. Hey, humans squash and stretch too, right?

JohnK said...

The only explanation I can think of is that some animators are ashamed to be doing cartoons and wish they were doing more respectable films about real humans. Only problem is, it's impossible to animate humans and make them believable.

Guy said...

Cartoonists should certainly study how people actually look. Maybe if they did there would be less people drawing horrible toddler drawings.

Isaak said...

Why do the featured characters in classic Disney act like mannequins? Did Disney have a disconnect from basic human primacy? seeing the picture of So White kissing Prince Chawming provided more personality for the character then all of Sleeping Beauty did for Aurora. And I haven't even seen Coal Black.
Of course I am not sure the current characters's habit of acting like cocky morons is an improvement.

Adam Gunn said...

I like these a lot. My girlfriend especially likes the ones of that Twilight guy with nubby features.

I'll bet your caricaturing helps your cartooning- but maybe in ways that are hard to analyze or explain.

akira said...

awesome news! i dream that this is an inhumans t shirt design, that will lead to an inhumans animated movie! black bolt and medusa would be great to see, but most of all i can't wait to see lockjaw!!!!

smackmonkey said...

"Which animators are those?"

You. George liquor was partially inspired by your dad. The idea for Ren came from a silly photograph. Need I go on?

Real life is what we see every day. It's impossible not to be influenced by it. Sorry for the late reply.