Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Forcing New Information To Stick In The Brain

I copied a couple of my HB Rubber toys to see what I could glean for future use. (HB characters make the best toys)
I took two characters and turned them to see what general characteristics they had in common,
and what features were specific to the particular design of each. Whatever they had in common might tell me about what happens to cartoon faces when rotated - and more, what happens when toys of cartoon faces turn in space. It's even more 3d than a model sheet turnaround.

A couple days later, I tested myself to see if I actually learned anything. Could I reproduce anything I studied? If not, then the study would be for naught.
I also wanted to know not just how to reproduce superficially something visual that I memorized - but more important, did I understand what I supposedly learned? The eye copies what something looks like on the surface, but it takes the brain to comprehend it. That's the trickier part for me. Why does something look the way it does? - not just what does it look like?

crappy one

I absorbed some of what I studied, but not completely, so I went back and drew the toy again, this time trying to get a more accurate copy and to ram the info into my brain.

Could I make a drawing that feels like a toy and not just a 2 dimensional drawing of the characters as they appear in cartoons? I'd have to have an understanding of what makes a character look like a toy.

I tried drawing toy versions of toys that don't exist to test my understanding.

They aren't exaggerated enough yet to satisfy my goal.

Plastic Toys Have Seams
Then I tried drawing what the characters might look like as plastic toys, which have their own unique properties.

It is my opinion that study and drawing practice is a good thing - but only if you force yourself to try to understand what you are studying - and then to apply it to original drawings that aren't copies of something right in front of your face.

Some day Bill and Joe will call from Heaven and let me design a bunch of Hanna Barbera toys - and in the wrong colors. Then all my studies will have had a noble purpose.