Monday, August 17, 2009

Cartoon College for Free

Hi folks.

I decided to do a private blog for the cartoonists who are really serious about learning to draw funny cartoons.

Obviously I can't give everyone individual notes, but folks like Rex, Mitch, Geneva and others who have shown aptitude and dedication deserve some extra hep when I have time to give it.

If you have been invited, it means you have already shown that you are serious by doing many of the lessons and applying the critiques. It also means I think you are very talented. The combination of natural talent and actual study of real principles will make you functional.

FUNCTIONAL is much more important than mere talent. It means you can get out of your sketch books and into actual cartoon making - with stories and characters and personalities and continuity.

There are certain skills that I need to make my kind of cartoons and here are the main ones:


This is number 1. All other skills will be made easier if you conquer this.

You need to be able to draw characters that can turn around in space and that have perspective.

Line Of Action:

Each character should have a definite direction in his or her pose. The construction flows along the line of action.


This is an extension of construction. It means you have a structured plan for
anything you do - a story - a character -a composition - a song - and then that structure has levels of parts that fit within the structure without contradicting or cluttering the main idea.


Your characters should fit within the background in a way that:

1) draws the attention of the viewer to what's important in the scene,

2) is appealing for its own sake

You should be able to see the overall composition easily, whether you have a lot of detail or only a little.


I like cartoons that look nice, are cute even when they are supposed to be gross or funny.

Part of appeal comes from good construction and drawing skill, part from natural flair and talent. The combination of the 2 is unbeatable.

Style- angles against curves- variety of shapes, asymmetry:

Style isn't drawing flat, like so many cartoon studios today think. It's having control over a variety of types of shapes, contrasts and the other principles of control. When you have control over everything, then your personal style can shine through.

Part of my reason for giving away free training is selfish. The kind of cartoons I make require these skills, and I can't afford to teach them during a production. Cartoon budgets go down every year and so I need people who already understand what I'm looking for and are functional.

I always want to do layouts in my cartoons - it's what separates my cartoons visually from so many others, but layout is mostly not done anywhere anymore. Nowadays, they just design the characters from a couple different angles, take them into Flash and then move the still pieces around like paper doll puppets. I can't make my kind of custom stories and acting using that system.

I need talented and SKILLED people to help. It's worth it to me to help out before a production begins, but it will be up to you to practice and apply and critique yourselves according to what you learn. I will give some critiques and everyone here can learn from each other's studies.

If you wanna be invited to learn all this stuff, then do the lessons that already exist on this blog and if you show lots of talent and dedication, I will invite you to a blog that is dedicated just to lessons and critiques.