Thursday, July 01, 2010

More Hair

Warm up 1: Bland slow Filmation style realistic study.2: Still stiff, but the drawing on the right is starting to loosen up
3: 1st drawing to begin to approach what I am striving for
4: Starting to get there, but I see lots of mistakes when I compare the drawings to the photos this way
Drawing real humans is a lot harder than drawing cartoon characters out of simple shapes (like that's not obvious)

I especially struggle with being able to see the subtle tilts in the head positions.
Translating those positions into 3 dimensional space is not what I was born to do.

I don't know why anyone would want to try animating this kind of thing, but it's good to study. The results of trying to animate humans never looks worth the effort.

Slowly but surely, some of this is starting to make sense to me. I'm beginning to see the logic in how hair styles form around heads and how gravity affects them - depending on their length and the style of the cut.

I'm having some trouble with the faces though. The way these are lit, it's hard to see the shadows that might reveal the subtle planes in the faces. Instead, I just see wide areas of flesh color between the features of the eyes, nose and mouth. This tends to make the features look like they are floating in space. Just like animated humans.

I'd probably learn more drawing ugly faces.

Things I've gleaned so far:

1: Longer hair is generally tighter at the top of the head and wider at the ends. Because it's lighter at the bottom. Hair at the top is being pulled down by the weight at the bottom.
In shorter hair cuts, the hair tends to spring up at the top, presumably because hair has some upward motion to it when it's not being pulled by stronger gravitation.

2: Asian heads:
So far I'm observing that they have wide and large cheekbones, small mouths and chins
Their lower faces give the illusion that they are longer than their upper faces (above the eyes)
The tops of the bridges of their noses are lower than what I would have expected.
Their eyes seem wider apart than what I'm used to drawing. Although maybe it's that us white people have close set beady eyes and too tall noses. Maybe we look like baboons to people of other lands.

All this could be illusory though because I am looking at models, rather than average people. I also think that these models might have been chosen because they tend to conform to western standards of beauty.

I would need to draw tons of people before I would swear to these generalities.


Anonymous said...

Drawing 4, i really like the expression you gave the girl on the left.

Why are eyes in profile so difficult?

Off topic - saw very expensive designer R&S toys in a store in Soho today...dunno why you'd want to see it, but here you go!

Kelvin said...

I like your sketches, as they are coming up nicely!

Well, here's a theory that I read up a while back that may help you: think of a human head as a 3d box and then if you wish to apply hair, then think of which direction that hair goes towards (on each plane of that box).

That theory works for many things, but mainly for lighting and construction! (And this theory is applicable to any parts of the body as well.)

Austin Papageorge said...

"I don't know why anyone would want to try animating this kind of thing, but it's good to study. The results of trying to animate humans never looks worth the effort."

I myself, who cannot draw, must say that if it comes to long hair, Disney might as well copy what Anime does.

Like this.

Look at the 50 second mark. In my opinion, Disney has never had such a beautiful wind effect on the hair they draw. They might want to stufy Miyazaki just a little more.

Kelvin said...

Oh, here's Tom Richmond, where he does a lot of stuff that you're attempting to do (and teaches them too)!

He also done a lot of good work that I find fascinating!

Noel said...

I don't get the impression of the roundness of the skull under the hair (compared to other people's drawings of this type), all your hair jobs are flat looking, you CAN use the strands and shading to describe the skull with the hair...maybe.

Zoran Taylor said...

"Drawing 4, i really like the expression you gave the girl on the left."

Yeah! It looks like almost nothing else you've ever drawn. And it's cool.

manuel said...

The second drawing is very interesting. You have applied too much of what you think it has to look like.
Please send/put up a better quality scan of the photo. - I'd like to give an imho analysis.

Anonymous said...

I think that once you become really good at drawing from the photos, have gotten used to proper head proportions, and applying what you've learned to your own work, maybe you could try gesture drawing for a few hours, like Pete Emslie does. Just a thought. I'm being really hypocritical here, because I've never done gesture drawing or figure drawing before in my life, but I thought that could help.

That fourth drawing is awesome by the way. I agree with Zoran. I've love to see more girls like like that in your own cartoons. There are so many possibilities.

JohnK said...

I don't think you should do gesture drawings until you have a good understanding of the model's structure.

Otherwise you are just doing nebulous scribbles that you get nothing out of.

Anonymous said...

I really meant to say figure drawing, as in the really careful studies of the human body, but I see your point nonetheless. Besides, I still need to keep practicing for several more years to get my basic drawing skills and fundamentals completely down, and even then, figure drawing nor gesture drawing aren't going to be useful in being able to come up with a solid cartoon drawing from my head and being able to turn it around and add expressions, which is part of the reason I'm avoiding animation school as an option in the first place.

I need to go somewhere that actually teaches the important stuff I need to know, but I don't really know where yet.

Marcos Gp said...

Out of topic, but you are going to love this!

Saskia said...

I like theese approaches to asian faces, I practise them a lot myself for a Project and its muchquite challenging imo :/

I found the work of japanese caricaturists extremly helpful, they give a nice insight with the comparison photos ...

Robert said...

These are really great. This is teaching me a lot about seeing shape and form in the people I sketch.

On another note, I don't know if you get this a lot but the new ads you have on the side of your page really slows down the scroll when browsing your site. I don't know if you can do anything about the type of ads you show but it's a little bit bothersome. However, it won't deter me from visiting your site regularly so you can ignore this if you'd like.

martinus said...

There's a japanese caricaturist, who is a master at simplifying and cartooning up a caricature.(I know that's not the point of this exercise) He tackles all kinds of crazy routes to achieve likeness. He is called Tomo Tabata.
I think he's the greatest caricaturist alive.

Erik said...

the last drawing worked out realy well John, ecspecialy the eyes and the mouth. maybe it has to be a little more simpler. but you're getting there

Joe Sparrow said...

I understand it's completely a personal taste thing but I find traditional caricature (is that what I should call it?) like this a little samey - everyone looks puffy, like they've been stung by bees. I can see how it would be a good exercise for anatomy, though.

RooniMan said...

At least your getting something out of it.