Sunday, March 29, 2020


and his friends

Friday, March 27, 2020

Caricaturing From Memory to get design ideas.

I watched a beach movie the other day. It starred Dolores Hart and I wanted to caricature her.
It also starred Yvette Mimieux who I wasn't as familiar with.
She, like Dolores, has a very unique specific look. Certain features struck me.
The next morning I tried drawing them from memory.
I didn't capture Dolores (the 2 on the right) very well at all. I tried Yvette - it doesn't totally look like her since I wasn't staring at her head in front of me, but I got some design ideas out of my faulty memory anyway.

The most notable features I remembered were:
A very angular Head Shape. Almost a tall rectangle.
Wide sad eyes.
A nose shape like a little bell.
A big wide smile.
A short chin.
My first sketches were conservative but when I did some more they got a little looser and simpler.
I also remembered her unique proportions:
A thin torso.
Very wide hips in contrast. 
Long legs.
I like doing caricatures because I discover new features and shapes I can apply to character designs so that they don't all follow a standard animation design pattern.

I just googled her and see where I missed some facial features.

I'll take another stab at it later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

80s Cartoon Nostalgia

Here's a bunch of sketches recalling many of the types of cartoons we worked on in the 1980s.
I remember that all the characters in the humanoid shows had flesh-colored eyes.

I once asked my supervisor why. He explained that it saves money because it takes 30 seconds longer to open a bottle of white paint.

That gave me an idea I eagerly shared with him. Why not save even more time by painting the whole character flesh colored? Maybe even the backgrounds.

The model sheets in the 80s were very expressive too. You didn't have to make up any because they came up with all 4 of a character's expressions for you and all you had to do was trace them.

Styles and trends appeared and went. One trend was to save ink by instead of drawing 2 complete eyes you could meld the 2 eyes together kind of like a simple cell in the middle stage of reproducing itself. They also had to have the name start with 'S'.

One thing that many shows had in common whether they were action-oriented or comedy laff-riots was an evil villain. The villain was always pure evil and lived his life just for tormenting or devouring the main characters. When I worked in HB's development department helping create new shows the writers always stressed that you had to have a foil - or as they referred to it in their professional lingo - the 'Reggie Character'.

Another trend was the "lumpy-style" show. Claymation was popular in the 80s so the Saturday-morning cartoon studios tried to emulate them in 2-d form.
These lumpy stars had to have a dim-witted sidekick - preferably something slimy that you see on the sidewalk after it rains.

Good times, good times....

To see some more click here:
80s Classics

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Random Breakfast Doodles and Comps for Ref

I draw lots of design experiments and random doodles each morning in the hope I can build up a design reference palette for when I need a quick character designed.

I do caricatures of people I see in the news like this gal with the unique lips and then try to make variations that are more cartoony.
These below are inspired by Vera Ellen, a great dancer from classic Hollywood musicals.
I did them from memory the morning after I watched a movie that she starred in.
They don't quite look like her but I got some ideas about her facial structure that I can possibly use later.
 Here are a couple simplified librarian variations.
 Some simple UPA-ish doodles.

 Asian ladies.
 A news reporter and a couple stylized fellows.
 A hair style I saw a woman on the news had.
 More UPA-ishes and another librarian.
I have a hard time simplifying women to the point of matching my very simple and abstracted 50s UPA style men.
 More Asians.
 Some boring sketches
 You know who...
 I like marsupials. How about you?

A woman of color.
 Random poses

Lots of the doodles don't amount to anything but the ones I think might be useful later I save and comp them into reference pages of similar design ideas and styles.