Sunday, September 13, 2009


Not really a lot new since yesterday. Just thought I'd post the pages I did today from Preston Blair. I think I'm getting a lot closer to on-model, but with the eggheads it's pretty tough. The complete characters, like the bunnies or squirrels, are a lot easier to get straight.

Tomorrow I start my first full week of classes, which should be interesting. First class of the week has all the first years in the same room, the only time of the week we get to do that. The rest of the time, we're split into groups of less than 20, which I must say makes the learning process a bit easier. It's much less difficult to interact with the instructor when there's less people competing for his attention. In any case, I expect things to pick up very quickly from here. Gonna be a fast ride.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On with the show

So school has begun, although not exactly a great start. They suddenly changed my schedule, so I ended up missing my first Enviro class. Not to mention, where I didn't have an 8am class before, I've got one now, which means I have to get up at 5:30am on Wednesdays. To go to a 4-hour class. Followed by a 3-hour class. Followed by a 2 1/2 hour life drawing session. Yaaaaay!

But in any case, the rest of the week has been mostly talk-talk with precious little drawing, although at least in Animation Drawing class we've started in on the 12 Principles of Animation. So that's positive. So coming off of that, we've got two main tasks to accomplish, starting right away. Read Illusion of Life, a cornerstone book of animation, and study Preston Blair. And for an artist, "study" means "draw". It's your hands that do the learning.

So here are a couple of pages I did today of Blair's eggheads. I'm getting a bit better at capturing the forms as I go along, but with most simple things it's actually quite difficult. I'll be working them more tomorrow, trying to get closer to what Blair drew on pages like this. Expect to see a lot of this sort of thing over the next few months. And, hopefully, a bit of improvement as I go along.

Wish me luck.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Books & Books & Books!


Well, not four hundred, but a lot anyhow. Even though I already had six of them, and even though I bought some used and thus got a discount, I still ended up spending CDN $330 on the things. It's hard to be an art-book-aholic.

Anyhow, here's the rundown, from the top of the pile down:

Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling
Perspective by William F. Powell
Timing for Animation by Harold Whitaker and John Halas
Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair
Draw the Looney Tunes (no author given)
The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards
The Art of Animal Drawing by Ken Hultgren
Drawing the Head and Figure by Jack Hamm
Creating Characters With Personality by Tom Bancroft
Anatomy A Complete Guide for Artists by Joseph Sheppard
Vilppu Drawing Manual by Glenn Vilppu
Building Construction Illustrated by Francis D.K. Ching
Human Anatomy for Artists by Eliot Goldfinger
Drawn to Life Vol 2 by Walt Stanchfield
The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams
The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnson

Whew! And if that weren't enough, that brings my personal library of art books to 76. And goodness knows, I'm probably not done yet.

Oh, and since it's Friday, blogger law requires I post a picture of a cat. Far be it from me to argue with the law.

Wait'll they get a load of me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The thrill of discovery

One of the wild things about art is you can be taught and taught and taught, but in the end you gotta figure stuff out yourself. And in the end, when you have this epiphany that totally turns around how you look at's exactly what you've been taught and taught and taught all along.

Case in point. I finally, after a year of school and a summer of pretty constant practice, figured out what I needed to do to make my drawings come alive. Simply put, I needed to stop drawing what characters look like, and start drawing what they're doing.

Now that might not sound earth-shaking, but trust me. To me it is. And then I look around, and it's exactly what I've been reading from some of the big names in the field. Walter Stanchfield. Mike Matessi. Glen Vilppu. Preston Blair. And the list goes on.

So here's tonight's life drawing, trying to put that into practice. I've got a long way to go, but I've already come a long way, so it's cool.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Eight Days

You know what's wild? I start school on the same day that 9 comes out in theatres. Totally can't wait for that. And the Ottawa Animation festival is coming up soon too, so I might get a chance to see Cordell Barker's new film, Runaway, and the release of the Astroboy movie a week after that.

It's a good time to be into animation.

But school's creeping up fast. Tonight was the last Sketch Night of the summer (they don't happen during the school year), and tomorrow will be my last Wednesday night life drawing for a while. Gonna be a whole new kettle o' Pisces, starting in a little over a week.

Only one pic for you today, a bone beast girl I made up tonight. Her name is Darla, ain't she sweet?