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Thread: Crits on Cartooning work

  1. #14
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    Cool. Just downloaded it. I've been doing stuff in his "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth".



    EDIT: So I just realized some stuff. I game Hewlett as an example, but perhaps a better one would be Pendelton Ward or Kate Beaton. Maybe something crossed between the two. This realization brings up a bigger question for me. How do you differentiate between style and skill? Is Kate Beaton "bad art"?

    It certainly doesn't look like the the typical Disney/Tex Avery examples you see in animation textbooks. Personally, I don't want to have that look either. Okay, so maybe I wouldn't go as far as "Hark a Vagrant" but that seems to bring up a legit issue.
    Last edited by TheDonQuixotic; May 6th, 2012 at 05:49 PM.
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  3. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDonQuixotic View Post
    EDIT: So I just realized some stuff. I game Hewlett as an example, but perhaps a better one would be Pendelton Ward or Kate Beaton. Maybe something crossed between the two. This realization brings up a bigger question for me. How do you differentiate between style and skill? Is Kate Beaton "bad art"?
    I would say that if a cartoon is successful, then the viewer likely never thinks to question the cartoonist's draftsmanship. No one is saying that a cartoonist needs to show off their skill at realistic drawing to validate their work.

    To me, both your cartoons and observational drawings simply read as "learning how to draw". It's apparent in your decision making. The drawings lack substance because the decisions you make are uninformed and undirected.

    I'm no cartoonist, but here's a paintover with a few points:
    Crits on Cartooning work

    #1: The issue I have with this face is that it doesn't communicate anything. You're breaking the face down into simpler shapes, but not shapes that signify anything particular.
    #2/#3: Both lack impact. Think of every character as their own composition. Where's you focal point? In my paintover of #2, it's the guy's chiseled features. In my paintover of #3, it's the contrast between his balding head and his squinty features. Keep this in mind when creating caricatures as well. Henry Rollins has a noticeably larger neck than the average person, so why would you draw him with an average size neck?
    #4: I don't know how to read that guy's face. There are curved lines that seem to suggest that he's fat, angular lines that say he's thin, and a few lines that don't recall any real world facial characteristics. In my paintover, he's fat.
    #5: This one I actually think is good. He reads clearly as being ape-like. But as a point about draftsmanship, there's no reason that he should have a full cheek on his right side, and a big cavity in place of a cheekbone on his left.

    I'm not suggesting any of my redlines are the "right way", just making a point.
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  5. #16
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    So your first was refd on that Henry Rollins photo... I must say you haven't learned to see things well. Practically every feature is way different than the original, making your drawing a dull face and the original was so interesting and had a very different expression.
    Practice, I guess. It doesn't matter how long you drew faces, you need to practice them much more.
    You need quicker, bolder strokes as well and you need to draw a lot in order to get there as well.
    And you do something strange with hair. It's hanging from the head, flowing strangely, random, uncertain, the opposite of good cartoon hair. If you don't know how to draw hair, look at some good reference.
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    Though it's more towards the sort of Disney style you're not interested in, you should check out Rad How To - it's a great resource on how to apply structural knowledge in an energetic, cartoony way This post in particular makes a strong point.

    You mention Pendleton Ward and Kate Beaton as examples. Well, a lot of the appeal of their art comes from a strong sense of design, expressiveness, energy... they're all somewhat nebulous concepts, as is appeal itself. Kate Beaton especially makes fantastic use of line, flow, gesture (though maybe not in the sense you'd normally think of it)... Their work is simplified to the point where it makes the most impact and, as Grunler points out, your work right now is missing that impact.
    Last edited by Revidescent; May 7th, 2012 at 06:33 PM. Reason: I accidentally some words
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDonQuixotic View Post
    How do you differentiate between style and skill? Is Kate Beaton "bad art"?
    Kate Beaton's great because she's really funny. Part of it is in her writing, part of it is in her off-the-wall history-and-literature-nerd ideas and part of it is in her ability to communicate story and emotion through drawing. She's a lot better technically that you seem to realize.

    If you want to improve as a cartoonist, draw some comics (and post them online for feedback). The story, and how you tell it, is the important thing. Once you actually start telling stories visually rather than just drawing heads, it will be immediately apparent what areas you need to be working on.
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  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giacomo View Post
    Kate Beaton's great because she's really funny. Part of it is in her writing, part of it is in her off-the-wall history-and-literature-nerd ideas and part of it is in her ability to communicate story and emotion through drawing. She's a lot better technically that you seem to realize.

    If you want to improve as a cartoonist, draw some comics (and post them online for feedback). The story, and how you tell it, is the important thing. Once you actually start telling stories visually rather than just drawing heads, it will be immediately apparent what areas you need to be working on.
    That's a good point. And I actually do think she is good, I'm just trying to understand why I think that.

    Having the context of story etc is important. I think you make a good point.
    Quote Originally Posted by Revidescent View Post
    Though it's more towards the sort of Disney style you're not interested in, you should check out Rad How To - it's a great resource on how to apply structural knowledge in an energetic, cartoony way This post in particular makes a strong point.

    You mention Pendleton Ward and Kate Beaton as examples. Well, a lot of the appeal of their art comes from a strong sense of design, expressiveness, energy... they're all somewhat nebulous concepts, as is appeal itself. Kate Beaton especially makes fantastic use of line, flow, gesture (though maybe not in the sense you'd normally think of it)... Their work is simplified to the point where it makes the most impact and, as Grunler points out, your work right now is missing that impact.
    Thank, I'll check it out. I'm also going to try and understand what I can do to improve my line stuff.


    Quote Originally Posted by Grunler View Post
    I would say that if a cartoon is successful, then the viewer likely never thinks to question the cartoonist's draftsmanship. No one is saying that a cartoonist needs to show off their skill at realistic drawing to validate their work.

    To me, both your cartoons and observational drawings simply read as "learning how to draw". It's apparent in your decision making. The drawings lack substance because the decisions you make are uninformed and undirected.

    I'm no cartoonist, but here's a paintover with a few points:


    #1: The issue I have with this face is that it doesn't communicate anything. You're breaking the face down into simpler shapes, but not shapes that signify anything particular.
    #2/#3: Both lack impact. Think of every character as their own composition. Where's you focal point? In my paintover of #2, it's the guy's chiseled features. In my paintover of #3, it's the contrast between his balding head and his squinty features. Keep this in mind when creating caricatures as well. Henry Rollins has a noticeably larger neck than the average person, so why would you draw him with an average size neck?
    #4: I don't know how to read that guy's face. There are curved lines that seem to suggest that he's fat, angular lines that say he's thin, and a few lines that don't recall any real world facial characteristics. In my paintover, he's fat.
    #5: This one I actually think is good. He reads clearly as being ape-like. But as a point about draftsmanship, there's no reason that he should have a full cheek on his right side, and a big cavity in place of a cheekbone on his left.

    I'm not suggesting any of my redlines are the "right way", just making a point.
    Thanks Grunler. The paint overs help a lot. Thats a lot of what I'm having trouble is visualizing the differences people are talking about. There are a lot of little points I'm forgetting, and I think that having them pointed out to me helps. They all add up in the end.
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