Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tommy's Lesson 1

I started by explaining the most fundamental parts of good cartoon drawing:

1) Construction:
I pointed out that the center lines that slice through forms are not parallel to the edges of the forms.
I pointed out that on a 3/4 view you see more of the side of the head and face than from the front view (which many young cartoonists don't realize).
Here are very simply explained facial mechanics. When you smile, you cheeks push up. When you frown they pull down. The mouth goes with them. So does the rest of the face, but to a lesser degree.

Rule of thumb: Whatever causes an action pulls everything else along with it. The farther away from the cause of the action a part is, the less it is affected.

Example: If you throw a punch, the fist is the main part of the action, but your arm pulls your shoulder and your back, your torso, hips and right down to your feet. Everything moves but to different degrees.
Here is a common mistake I see even among professionals. When you draw hairs, make sure they are on top of the form and don't cut holes into it.
Once you have a basic understanding of what construction is for, then you should learn to pull your forms along a definite line of action. This is so that the whole character portrays an attitude or emotion with body language.

A line of action is not merely a curved line...
A vertical "C" line of action is no line of action. If the head on shoulders are sitting on top of the ass, then the character has no direction.

A line of action is like an arrow. It has to point somewhere, forward or back. The chest has to be either forward or behind the ass. Remember: Keep Chest and Ass in different longitudes.

Another important concept" Lines are less important than forms. Lines are merely the borders of forms.
When drawing one line on one side of something, look all around the form so that you aim the lines to enclose a whole form inside.

I gave Tommy some exercises to study and practice after his first lesson.
Tommy's exercises and practice drawings after lesson 1.

Tommy hates drawing this baby. But I make him do it for his own good because so many characters use elements of its construction.

I recommend to everyone that you draw the whole page of Preston Blair hands. Hands are difficult to draw and learning their basic simple forms will subtract many years of misery from a cartoonist.

Tommy pays good money for these lessons, and has generously agreed to share them with other young cartoonists who want to unlock the mysteries of good cartooning. You can have them and more for a mere paltry donation. Of course you can have them for free if you are a dirty rat.

Here are some wonderful folks who are definitely getting into heaven.

Buy your indulgences here: