Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Know I Can, I Know I Can!

Hehe so I was challenged to do a Mini comic by my art buddy Jerzy Drozd of Art and Story (an excellent free/premium podcast and web site)A&S is for the beginner and professional cartoonist alike. They have a 15 day "free to try" option an excellent option for those who don't want to commit to a subscription. And started recently is Supreme Boxed Sets! Art and Story Supreme Boxed Sets series will collect entire monthly runs of the premium content and Email to you for one low price!

You can also find their "free podcasts" on Itunes! Check it out!!!

And now, back to the show!

In my last office hour Jerzy game me a challenge/deadline of August 9th for my mini comic which is quickly approaching. The good news is I had things on the burner when Jerzy and I discussed my ongoing projects in our office hour (yes with your premium subscription you also get a hour of monthly office time to discuss your projects) for that alone the subscription is well worth it!!! (OK. OK! I'm REALLY done plugging)...

So as I was saying I have 16 days left and for me that isn't allot of time. Especially when things come up in my life like managing my men's hockey team and learning animation software! Yes. I have always had a love of animation and with the advent of all the animation software out there, I have been "slowly" going through the tutorials for these different programs... But, what about your mini comic JD? Yes. I am thinking that too! Especially since my office hour discussion was also about sticking to one tool for example (1-pencil and micron 2-pencil and brush 3- pencil and computer software) and one tool only to finish the mini comic (err I did forget to mention that?)

Distractions, we all have em. We all have excuses too (some people call em rationales). We couldn't function without excuses err I mean rationales ;)

So today I put down the keyboard and I pick up the pencil! This is my pledge to you my followers and to my fellow Storriors and to Jerzy!

Forget "I think I can, I think I can" from today on "I know I can, I know I can" and "I WILL"!!!

Here is an animation (The Flashlight!) I did in Flip Boom Classic with their trial software. Animation-ish is very similar and you can try it free!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Start Making Faces!

Fifteen years (or so) ago I met this artist who did story boards for Batman the Animated Series and we struck up an art buddy relationship. It was more of a email/chat thing and it was much more difficult to send picture files to everybody because cable/dsl wasn't readily available to everybody. So it was more a talk about process...

When we finally got together I showed him what I was working on and I could tell he was disappointed. It wasn't (he said) that my proportions were terrible but he had a problem with my character's faces... And what I took away from our meeting was that he couldn't believe my faces were so bad! I remember him saying this once or twice that to him "faces were EASY!" Well maybe they were for him or maybe he didn't like my style. I lost touch with him after the online board we were members of closed down and I didn't really want to see him face to face after what I thought was "harsh" criticism...

But Over the years I have taken his criticism to heart and concentrated more on faces. My faces have slowly improved through practice and another valuable lesson I learned. This lesson was reference. It was to make sure I had a mirror handy to help with facial expression. I think the mirror is an invaluable tool especially for someone who finds faces challenging. It is not as much about the proportion as it is the expression!

Recently I was doing a search for art/illustration books at my local library and came across this book:

Making Faces: Drawing Expressions For Comics And Cartoons (Paperback)

There is some great stuff about proportion and expression. I can't say it would be super useful to a professional but for somebody like myself (a struggling self taught student) it has been helpful in 1) pointing out how to use muscles in the face and 2) the neck position and muscles are also important in making a believable facial expression...

There are a lot of sample pictures and exercises and though not a long book if you can get it from your library or score a new or used copy for ten or so dollars then I think you would find it helpful...

So if faces aren't "easy"for you give this book a look. I think you can also look at some sample pages on Amazon

I have stuff going on at the moment including exercises for making comics and animating stuff in Anime Studio Debut and Flip Boom. One of the cool things is that I can apply things I learn to all the different areas of interest...

Keep on drawing and I hope you had great Canada Day and Fourth of July holidays!