Monday, March 29, 2010

A question from Robert

Robert asked, " I'm just in high school, and I was wondering what I could do to possibly prepare myself to become a storyboard artist."

Personally, I never went to school for it, but if I could go back in time, I definitely would have. It would have saved a lot of time and work, and it just sounds so awesome to be surrounded by students excited about art and animation. Art Center in Pasadena and Cal Arts are both great schools. If you are able to get into Gobelins in France, that is, in my opinion, the best school for animation in the world. Another good school is Sheridan in Canada. Other than schools, just study films and break them down shot by shot into storyboards. that's a really good way to learn. After you learn, studios have training programs where you can get in and learn on the job. TV also has something called a storyboard revisionist. You can basically just show up to any studio with a portfolio of storyboard samples and they will usually call you back and give you a test. Doing the test for the job is actually a great way to learn. I did several test for studios before I finally got a job. every test, I would take to someone in the industry and ask them to look at it and I would try to make less mistakes the next time. that is sort of how I learned to storyboard. Try it, make a storyboard portfolio and drop it off at Nickelodeon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Making a pose better

Someone asked about making a pose better. The biggest one for me is using the z axis. So many times all the parts will be straight up and down and don't go in or out. Adding a little head tilt also makes a huge difference.

Drawing from your head

Here is another one. Someone asked about drawing from your head, or drawing people in action. I usually imagine what I will put down one piece at a time or imagine the arm in a new spot and decide if I want to move it. i can't quite imagine the entire pose clearly like some people do, but I'm working my way towards being able to do that. For quick sketch, or action poses from life, I try to remember 1 or 2 important things and make up the rest.


Here is something I posted on the art center blog. If you guys have specific questions, post them here, or on the art center blog and I'll try to do really quick explanations like this.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Simple cartoon pelvis

Someone emailed me and had a question about drawing the pelvis of a character like mulan. This is how I draw a simple cartoon pelvis. In this case, I drew over an Andrew loomis drawing to show where it comes from anatomically.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Start by getting a clear 2 value system. The edges of the value can be soft firm or hard. After that, you can add half tone, core shadows, and dark accents. The key to making your drawings look solid is to have the shadow pattern relate to the contour. Sometimes you can't even see the change in the contour, but because you see the change in the shadow patter, you know it has to be there, so you look for it and find something you didn't see before.
Hey folks. My buddy Erik Gist started a cool forum. He asked me to judge a character design contest that anyone can join. Go over and check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

more life drawing

I definitely need a lot of work on my life drawing. It can be really hard to juggle design, form, and proportions. If I'm focusing on one, the others always come up short. Here, the design isn't too strong, because I was just trying to figure out what all the bumps were. Most of my studies have been in cartooning, but I really want to learn figure drawing. They are so different.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life drawing

this is just one way to start. It's how I usually start.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

cartoon arm connections

For me, connections and joints are the hardest things to draw. I like to group anatomy and think of bigger ideas. I think of all the anatomy going from the torso to the arm as one big squishy form.

A big thanks to everyone who sent in drawings

I got a ton of drawings and I tried to write back to most people, but sorry if I didn't get a chance to write back. There were a lot of drawings that I would give the same notes for, so I picked drawings that I applied to most of what was sent in. The biggest thing I noticed was shape design. Just make sure to go through your drawing and check for bad shapes and even spacing. I always do an even spacing check. Of course, if I show my drawings to someone better than me, they can always find ones I didn't see, but you just draw as well as you can and don't worry about it. Again, there is no such thing as a perfect drawing, you just keep getting a tiny bit better one drawing at a time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Paul Wee teaching at LAAFA

Paul Wee is one of the best figure drawing artist I have ever seen and he's teaching at LAAFA this next term. I already signed up! Hopefully I will see some of you there.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Draw over for Steve LeCouilliard

Here is a draw over for Steve LeCouilliard. Steve is a fantastic artist and does great comic work. The information below applies to page layout for comics as well. you want to lead the eye with gestures and shape design. As far as the construction mentioned here, most of this I learned from Charles Hu and kevin Chen. If you guys want to draw realistic characters I can't imagine trying to learn that on my own. You can learn how to draw cartoons, because the construction is much easier to see and there is plenty of how to books and reference, but for realistic figure drawing, there are no good books on the market. The only book that has a little bit of good information is figure drawing by Andrew Loomis. everything else is hard to find hidden secrets that only a few artist in the world know about. This is actually part of the reason I started this blog. this information is sooooo hard to find, and it can be soooo frustrating trying to find it. And in a side note, there is no such thing as a good drawing or a good artist. Every drawing can be better, every artist can be better. You just draw the best you can and try to keep on getting better. I constantly take my drawings to artist and they find tons of mistakes with them, or ways to make things better. It can be discouraging if you think you "did something wrong." That's not the case. You just do the best you can.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Draw over for Karl Essex

Once you have a strong understanding of form and shape design as Karl does, then you can focus on gesture. Gesture is just the flow of things. All the little pieces and details. things like buttons on a shirt or wrinkles all add to the overall flow and gesture. Make sure your details aren't randomly shooting gestures off to other places.

Draw over for Marco