Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lunch Doodles

I was having lunch with Eddie and Sandra and telling them about some great new nature shows I've been watching called "Wild Australia". There are a lot more marsupials than just the regular ones we all knew about. I used to think marsupials were an earlier form or mammals than the rest of us, but the specials seemed to infer that we aren't so sure anymore. I wish I knew the answer!
When I doodle mindlessly I tend to play with proportions and design more than when I try to on purpose. It's a good trick for loosening up and breaking conservative habits.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Get Toonboom's Animate Program cheap today

Hey if you want to get a good animation program cheap I just saw that "Animate" is on sale today.) They aren't paying me to advertise, I just get emails from them every time they have a sale.

I switched from Harmony to "Animate" because it's not only way cheaper, but it's easier to use. Well "easier" is relative; it still has some screwy tools and menus - like "copy and paste" doesn't work the way it does in every other program on earth.

But I've been showing Uncle Eddie how to use it and he is all excited about how quickly you can animate something and see it played back with beautiful lines and stuff. It is definitely a lot more artist friendly than Goddamn Flash.

I may be doing a workshop soon for people who would like to learn how to cleanup, lay out, animate or assist in my style, using "Animate". I'll tell you about it as soon as I work out the details with Taafi.
Toon Boom Animation: Toon Boom Animate Professional Animation Software

There's the link above.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Where Should You Keep Your Excess Strings?

Ever wonder what to do with all that extra string that's piling up all over your house?
Thank God for cartoon string holders.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


conservative skills even radicals should strive for.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I tried putting white highlights in his eyes with white out. That crap never works. So I had to go in and try retouch some stuff.
Well there you have it. Now back to animating.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Neutral Colors

Ok, time to get at the neutral colors...
Neutral colors are colors that are not primary or secondary colors. They are colors not easy to name because they are much more subtle blends. "Brown" is the simplest form of a neutral color but even "brown" is usually too harsh to use as a main area of color.

Gray is neutral too, but there are many tints of gray. Add a touch of blue for a cool gray, a touch of red for warm gray, etc...Grays, tans, earthy colors, creams and a myriad of shades can be found in nature and not in enough cartoons (not since the 40s anyway). In the cartoon world trees are thought to be "brown" with "green" leaves. Which is why so many cartoons have unsubtle pure brown and green trees - and blue skies. If you actually look at any trees, very few are actually "brown". Again - the psychological danger of thinking of art in terms of the simple words we use to describe things. Words are crappy artists. Eyes and brains make better pictures.

Here's a wonderful painting of trees made with subtle neutral colors:

What color is a fart cloud? "brown" comes to mind, but I would rather use more subtle grayed brown-ish colors. And some olive green tints and fumes suggest a particularly rancid odor.
All these neutral colors are tinted in various color directions, some towards the yellow, some towards magenta, etc. Using a variety of tints enriches every fart.
I do Stimpy's nostrils in brownish colors - but over top of the blue shades. Blending the two color groups harmonizes them by lessening the contrasting hues.
I'm using cooler colors for his eyelids - grayed blueish, purplish colors to give a subtle contrast to the warmer gaseous part of the waft.
"Delta Brown" is more gray than brown. I'm using it for the darkest deepest part of the nose-hole.

I'm using "Cinnamon Toast" around the rim of his nostril, just to make the orifice that much more delicious.
I can never remember what color Stimpy's eye mask is. You've probably noticed it changes all the time. Perhaps it changes with his emotions.

OK, it's almost finished.

Next step is to touch up the lines and add some more shades and to make it look worked.
Let's give a special thanks to my all time favorite dream pet with the gorgeous neutral colors and Clampett -like appeal and proportions.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Blue Nose

I always bugger up Stimpy's nose. I can never get the right kind of blue out of a marker.
The names of the colors and the colors on the label tend to lie about what color the ink actually is. COLOR TIP: Don't be influenced by the names of colors on your paints, markers, crayons - whatever. Test each color first and judge it by your eye and taste.
I have the worst luck in finding good light blue markers. Stimpy's nose is mainly a "middle blue" - a blue that is neither tinted with red, nor green. But most of the light blue markers I can find are either light turquoise (blue with yellow) or light blue-violet.
-I put my base color down first -the lightest blue I can find.
Then I find the closest thing I can to a "middle blue" that is neither dark, light, nor tinted to the red or yellow. Unfortunately, the one I used is slightly tinted to violet - or purple. I use the pointy part of the tip to draw lines around the borders of the other colors. (If I used the wide part of the tip, it would likely bleed into the lines and make a Godawful mess)
Then I use the broad flat tip to fill in between the edges. I have to go over the whole area in circles a few times to tamp down the streaks.
It still ends up kind of blotchy, but that's what I get for using markers instead of learning to paint like a real artist. I left a strip of the light blue at the bottom of his nose to make an underlit effect.
Now here comes my theory again about how to make colors look rich and deep -as opposed to monochromatic. Since the middle shade of his nose is a neutral blue (pure with no red or yellow tint) then I will make the shadows and highlights in opposite tints,
I went over the highlight at the top of his nose in a light turquoise (blue with yellow tint)

and then did the opposite for the underlit part of his nose. There I am tinting it towards purple (blue with some red in it)
Now, after I did all this and not got exactly the blue I wanted, I found a perfect middle blue - a prismacolor called - "true blue".
And I found an even nicer one by Copic - the super expensive brand. But too late!
I continue to go over the underlit part with purple tinted blues out of sheer frustration while I try to figure out what to do next.

Next: Coloring the areas that use "neutral colors". -or colors from nature.