Saturday, October 16, 2010

Arnold Studies

Here's someone who actually has accomplished things-and is a real character on top of it.
I'm really starting to wonder how trying to draw realistically can help cartooning. The closer I study what things really look like, the more I realize how much more complex reality is than cartoons. That probably sounds obvious.
Some things just can't be captured in line alone, for one thing.
I have been trying to figure out the mechanics and structure of the whole mouth area and it's a nightmare of complexity. -at least for me. It sure has nothing to do with the way we cheat mouth shapes for cartooning.
I have the typical cartoonists' problem of drawing eyes and heads bigger than they are in reality. When I think of how many cartoon productions have tried to animate in a realistic style, my mind boggles at the pure futility of it. It's hard enough to do one drawing that's remotely realistic, let alone trying to move it in space.

I think cartooning is almost a completely different art than illustration, even though you sometimes see some overlap.

Cartoonists - at least the best ones- rely more on imagination than complex drawing skills. The kind of skills that great illustrators have must derive from some totally different otherworldly sense than what cartoonists create with.

20 comments:

Rooniman said...

ARNOLD! You've captured his massive build nicely.

Isaak said...

Do any writers influence your work?

A writer like Dickens basically transforms caricatures into the written word

Here is a good example

"took a survey of the man of business, who was an elderly pimply-faced, vegetable-diet sort of man, in a black coat, dark misxture trousers, and small black gaiter; a kind of being who seemed to be an essential part of the desk at which he was writing, and to have about as much thought or feeling."


If anyone could make the futile task of using a typewriter to write a cartoon, he could.

Pinky L. said...

I've been wondering about how drawing realistically could affect cartooning too; the only thing it's really helped me with is volume. Aside from that, I have trouble letting one influence the other.

Martin Juneau said...

Life drawing needs a better recognisition. This musclar caricature have strong shapes which is hard to detailed it.

Luis María Benítez said...

I find easier to draw realistic than cartoony. When you copy it's the easiest, but when you draw something realistic by your own, you must need a lot of practice of copying stuff and again, in the end the drawing is limited because of the border between right and wrong in realistic art.

But drawing cartoony. Giving something, a character for instance, a good appeal.... that's not easy.

akira said...

damn john, those are nice! i love the top one!

HemlockMan said...

"I need your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle."

Peggy said...

I figure, the more you know about the crazy little details of how stuff works, the more ways you have to be specific when you drop out 90% of the details and selectively exaggerate the few things you keep.

Jorge said...

Arnold truly was the greatest of them all! A personal hero and a great star to boot.

Piotreck said...

Hello Master John, Im a student at the Universidad de Artes Digitales in Guadalajara, México http://www.uartesdigitales.com.mx/ studying animation and for my exam i need to interview an animator to analize his artwork and to make something that is influenced by him...
The interview can be by via e-mail, via chat, or by telephone (i pay...haha) and i can send you my finished work.
Thank your your time, I will be waiting for your answer. Pedro Alarcón.

Mykal said...

In the introduction to one of the recent Prince Valiant releases, Mark Schultz writes about the difference between cartooning and illustration. He writes: "there is nothing 'naturalistic' or 'realist' about black lines enclosing, or surrounded by, flat fields of color. Our eyes perceive the world through subtle tonal shifts over great changes of depth. By any stretch, all graphic comic strip work, even Foster's, is a highly abstract translation of reality." He goes onto to describe how a cartoonist (which Hal Foster was by Shultz' definition) works in a kind of reality short-hand, relying on the viewer's mind to make a cognitive leap into a picture of reality. An illustrator, on the other hand, sees and portrays things in a "realistic" way, using those "subtle tonal shifts over great changes of depth." It is the visual shorthand of cartooning that fascinates me, and strikes me as the most interesting and beautiful of the two. I love how a good cartoonist can draw a basically straight line, and because it is of the perfect length and angle it becomes a human mouth – even though it doesn’t look at all like a real mouth. That’s just magic and those that can to it well are rare, despite how simple it sounds and looks (that’s the magic of it).

Adam said...

Interesting study between cartoonists and illustrators. I'm technically an illustration major, but find myself more into cartooning, while still practicing life drawing as much as I can. I try to relate structure and gesture as much as I can even when imagining new characters.

Rothello said...

Looks like Hemlock also caught the Terminator on TV the other night? Ha ha.

I'll have to say though, that that final Ahhhnald face sketch is really good; it really is a spitting image of him.

I think if you start learning how to draw realistically, it becomes easier to 'break' all the rules when you go into cartooning and the exaggeration that comes with it. I've never thought about it the other way around though!

Mr. Tat said...

What about Who Censored Roger Rabbit? That proved writing a novel about a cartoon was possible! ...but the movie displaces it.

Even with all the delicious detail on the steroid-induced muscles, lips still appear difficult to translate well. I'd take a squid with human teeth any day.

EatTillBurst said...

I've been trying to switch from a more cartoon style to an illustrative style myself. I think the biggest difference is just the time it takes to produce a single drawing. My copies/re-drawings of photographs and paintings look horrible usually, but I find I can get better results if I choose a single piece of detail and spend a long time on that. It's difficult to slowly account for every tiny deviation of form and shape in a large complex drawing, that's why it helps me to get used to looking really, really carefully at something as minuscule as a finger or single eye and then slowly draw it out, re-working it over and over to try and capture exactly what I'm looking at.

Thanks for writing for this blog all this time, it has proven immensely helpful to my own artistic development.

Dave Cropley said...

With Life Drawing I just figured - I've studied this forever to understand anatomy, form and motion for animation... now I'm just gonna draw what the hell I like! Sure is liberating ;)--> http://dmcropley.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/life-drawing-30_09_10/

Erik B said...

i think i have the same problems with
drawing people, i tend to overdraw some details like wrinkles or folds in the skin or other features like eyes or the mouth. I am verymuch a line drawer, its very hard for me to put the lighting in those drawings for the subtle accents

And when i start drawing cartoons again it feels like a relief!

Jenny Lerew said...

I think cartooning is almost a completely different art than illustration, even though you sometimes see some overlap.

Now THAT'S a fascinating line of thought that I'd sure love to hash out with you sometime!

MoshuZ said...

Pretty nice Arnold there =) i quess we all regocnized him on first sight

pappy d said...

HAH!!

I was channel-surfing last night & I recognised one of your Jersey boys from his caricature! I'd never seen that show before. Every time it cut to a new character, I'd remember his portrait & howl.