Monday, April 5, 2010

Book of Blair

Preston Blair is the number one source for an aspiring artist to learn the principles and design of animation. However I could recommend many other books that have their own uniqueness in teaching artists that don't have exactly the same principals or style as Blair. Like (The Aniamtors Survival Kit) by Richard Williams but that is a another topic.

Blair is a versatile artist from his days working at the conservative parlor of Disneys to his more vivacious years at MGM working under the wing of creative genius Tex Avery. While I commend both studios places like MGM especially under Avery's unit gave artists more room to express creativity to their hearts content. While Disney was a bit more restrictive and had his own personal vision on how things should be done.

This was not from the book Cartoon Animation I still studied Blair through watching Red Hot Riding Hood and its sequels. Watching the dance steps and poses of Red really gives you a hold on the character and their anatomy.

Proudly I didn't trace any of it all free hand and all from studying frame by frame something I couldn't have said ten years ago.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Outcast Characters

I have heard some animators are not very happy with the Tude characters the industry makes to market products to kids probably the most embarrassing of which is the renovated Alvin and The Chipmunks. One way artists can avoid going this direction is not trying to make the most detailed and attractive character possible or trying to make them reflective of popular culture but instead try making your characters grotesque make sure they have no self-esteem and they have nothing to live for but they live life as anti-social people. Outcast characters go against all the rules of Attitude characters. One might ask "Outcast and Attitude characters are the same thing"? Not exactly depending on how you draw the character will reflect whether it has attitude or not. Like I said try making your character as grotesque and messed up as possible.
I didn't intend to put much attitude in this character he is more of an outcast it might have backfired.

This second drawing is definitely anti-social and goes against all the principals on how to make a character with attitude. You can tell this guy is secretly dying inside and can't handle life much longer.This kid looks like me and many other people when we were in our pre-teens trying to survive gym class. Not much attitude but a kid that has been a victim of dodgeball and other rough physical education sports. I always disliked the kid that took Gym to seriously. I might empathize with this character a bit.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Imitating Winsor Mccay

I know I'm pretty bad compared to Mccay who is in my opinion one of the most elaborate illustrators of the 20th century. Though it is essential for artists to copy their favorite artists until they can develop a style all their own.

Despite Mccay's intricate detail his drawings are quite stiff and don't to have much flow of action. His pioneering animation efforts seem to be more like moving paintings without the expressions or wackiness of Fleischer, or Warner.Bros. His cartoons simply lacked personality.

Here is another one of my attempts to copy the Mccay look. You decide whether it was a failed attempt or not.

I admire Mccay for his revolutionary visual style which pushed people like Disney to try to depict lifelike animation though no one in the cartoon industry could surpass his technical level in animation for the next twenty years after his animated efforts. Despite how Mccay is probably one of the most technically advanced artists of the 20th century he was a working class cartoonist never reaching the success of studios that would succeed his work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Informal Introduction

My drawing skill is pretty good but I always hope that you don't judge someones talents or merits as an artist always based on their drawing skill. There's an element of good writing and creative direction as well. Although good drawing skill is what gets you hired at the end of the day.

I have been drawing for years but not until recently have I began to define my style which very loose, edgy and very much inspired by people such as Don Martin, Fleischer, Richard Williams, and the gang at Termite Terrace basically traditional slapstick artists if you will. I believe that for a good drawing comes a good gag to go along with it. The drawing should explain itself and you don't have to elaborate on it.

In a nutshell I spent my chilhood on Looney Tunes, Popeye, and reading MAD Magazine. As I got older I began doing excessive research to find out the time line/history of animation and several animation studios unearthing articles, books, and documentaries.