Friday, October 5, 2007

Drawing theories








Here are some sketches I did a while back with the idea of doing a book of character design theories. It never happened so here they are anyhoo.



72 comments:

Steven Finch, Attorney At Law said...

You are an amazing draftsman.

Thanks very much for your insight and theories! Very inspiring.

Bob Camp said...

Thanks Steven,
I'm glad you like my stuff. Are you a cartoon fan?

Gabriel said...

I remember seeing some of those before. Another blog, i guess. Anyway, they're gold, I'll save them and try to learn something!

Thad K said...

Thanks for sharing these. I always have trouble with my own drawing and it's always nice to have advice from the masters.

Anonymous said...

Do a post on B kliban

Bob Camp said...

Hey Gabriel,
Yeah there's copies of these floating around. I hope they help.

Bob Camp said...

Hey Thad,
Copy lots of drawings until you can draw them from memory then you own them in your own way. Soon you'll be able to mix and match styles. Draw from life too. Good cartooning comes from caricatures of life. I started out as a caricature artist.

PCUnfunny said...

Bob I love the way you draw your lummox characters, ESPECIALLY that sales man guy in Ren and Stimpy.

PCUnfunny said...

Oh and stupid question, what is the best way to hold a pencil when drawing ?

James Sugrue said...

Dude, I'm heard you came to SVA in NY a couple of years ago, and I remembered you handed out these kind of drawings to some kids. I wish I could've been there to see you! You are one of a kind Bob. Keep in touch.

Kevin said...

I think you should still do a book on character design Bob. There's not enough good ones out there that are not Disneyesque. Love your Kurtzman influence. Good tip on the old Archie comics too. Those were great in the old days!

David DeGrand said...

These are great, thanks for posting them. I plan on printing them out and using them for reference, I really need to work on my construction and wrapping the features around the forms. I tend to draw flat a lot and these pages will help me more than you can know, they'll make a great companion to the Preston Blair book I need to dust off and learn from.

By they way, I still have the Harvey Kurtzman "Hey Look" book you gave me waaay back and it has been an ENORMOUS influence on me, so I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU!!

R. Banuelos said...

BOOBS!

Gotta love 'em!

Bob Camp said...

Hey PC,
Thanks, yeah the salesman character (who was created, I believe, by Chris Reccardi)is one of my favorites to draw. Actually your pencil question is a good one. I'll post something about it soon.

Bob Camp said...

Hi James,
Yeah I did several talks at SVA. If I was still in the area I would continue. I really enjoyed meeting the students. Thanks!

Kevin Langley said...

You're notes are great, I like to keep them close by when I draw. I'd love to hear more of your character design theories. I'll keep my fingers crossed that maybe one day we'll see them in a book.

Mr. Semaj said...

This is pure gold! I've been using construction and life-of-action for my cartoons, but they could use a lot more variety.

lquidstarzzz said...

I am glad you decided to share your theories.
I appreciate the way you explain character creation...you really should finish your book,or get paid for teaching. :D

Bob Camp said...

Hi Kevin,
Maybe I'll do a book someday. I think the days of the "Disney style" are over. There is so much new cool stuff being done these days to influence people. To me the key is having a wide range of style skills to draw upon as the need arises. Thanks!

Brothergrimm said...

Ha, Bob Camp's 'toon mechanics of a nude, running. That's awesome!

Anonymous said...

Do a post on B kliban

Julián höek said...

those are great!!
thanks for sharing your theories with us bob. i found a couple of these some time ago on the net and really became handy. i would love to see more.
adios!

Bob Camp said...

Mr. S.
It's OK to use realism as a starting place. It's essential to have an understanding of realistic construction to do cartoony construction. You need to exaggerate and stylize it. It's all about shape dynamics.

Bob Camp said...

Hi LS!
How you doin'?
Yeah I'm thinking about the book idea. I'd have to carve out the time. Teaching is interesting too.

Bob Camp said...

Hey Brothergrim!

Bob Camp said...

Hello Anonymous,

I have to do some research for Kliban. He funny as hell fer sure!

Bob Camp said...

Hi Julian,
Thanks.
If I do some more theories I'll post them for sure.

Sherm said...

Thanks for posting these, Bob! I have a few really bad fourth-generation xeroxes of a few of these (they were floating around the studio grapevine), but this is the mother lode! You have always been very generous with your teaching.

Thanks and hugs...
--Sherm

Bob Camp said...

Hey Sherm ol'buddy!

So nice to hear from you. Thanks for the nice comments! I hope you are doing well.

Michael said...

Hey Bob. I'm a big fan of your work. I myself am a aspiring cartoonist. Could you look at these drawings and tell me what you think?

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/BLOTart/renstimpy1.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/BLOTart/renstimpy2.jpg

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e35/BLOTart/RENSTIMPY3.jpg

ryan said...

you've got some awesome fuckin drawings on this blog. N-Man, Spa Fon, & the drawings from your personal film project all seriously kicked ass.

Did you ever draw a series of Wackers Pogs entitled "Rat Pack"? I'm asking because I have these pogs and they look like your drawing style.

Jeff Gregory said...

Mr. Camp,
Always been a fan of your work. Just wondering-do you feel this exaggeration is as important in static character illustration as it is in animation? Or more important, even?

I ask because I tend to get more caught up in the little details of clothing and expression, and sometimes feel like I miss the boat when conveying comic action. Love to hear your take on this. Thanks.

R. Banuelos said...

I thought I'd throw this into here,
the note on the second picture about too "puppet" like; I read some notes on how to draw the Simpsons characters from the studio and they pushed the puppet idea. Explaining that the animator should think of them as 3D puppets, I guess it works for them but the more I read these blogs and watch older cartoons the more I get irritated while watching shows like the simpsons. I'm constantly thinking how boring it must be to redraw the same thing over and over again. The same Homer face over and over again, those same round pipe arms and pipe legs. I bet there are some funny Homer drawings posted on some layout artist wall space or in the garbage.

pouch said...

Thx so much! more precious than gold.

grfxmonkey said...

thanks so much for this. i'm going to hang this in front of my drawing table. great advice and very helpful. i would love to see more stuff like this.

thanks!

Tom said...

B. Kliban was married to cartoonist M.K. Brown. Everyone knew Kliban for his cat designs but M.K. Brown did the most hilarious one-shot little half page comic on earth for the 1970's National Lampoon, called 'Earl D. Porker, Social Worker' in which all of Earl's inanimate objects kept telling him how to live his life. Clasky-Csupo tried to adapt her stuff, using a different character, in some Tracey Ullman bumpers at the same time "The Simpsons" bumpers launched that empire but unfortunately Brown's style of humor just didn't translate well into animation. It was genius on the printed page, however, especially 'Earl.' Go figure.

Gregg said...

"Copy lots of drawings until you can draw them from memory then you own them in your own way."

This is probably the greatest bit of info I've ever read.

Thanks for posting, and for the comments.

Bob Camp said...

Michael,
I will be happy to look at your drawings!

Roberto said...

Great stuff you've posted, Bob. I really should apply these advice more.

Do a post on B kliban

Not to be mean or anything, but this reminds me of that Kliban troll who trolled on the Theory Corner. I'm not saying that the anon is that same troll. Here are some samples of what he did. http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-to-draw-when-sketchbooking.html, http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2007/09/uncle-eddie-live-on-radio-tonight.html (This post that caused Eddie to enable comment moderation. In this post, he admits that he's a troll. Much of his comments, including the ones with swear words and tons of caps, were deleted.), http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2007/09/thanks-to-john-kali-for-killer-portrait.html#links (his comments here were deleted, too, but another anon mentions him).

Matt J said...

Yo Bob! The 'Monstre a Paris' Production team are trying to contact you. If you're interested can u email me?
matt_jonezukATyahoo.co.uk

Good to see these theory sheets again-i didn't get the top one from you.

Michael said...

"Michael,
I will be happy to look at your drawings!"

Thanks. I don't think the links that I posted worked so here they are again.

1
2
3

Bob Camp said...

Hi Michael,
I looked at your drawings. Very funny and extreme. I can see how you like to make the drawings as over the top as possible. Now try to construct the drawings from the ground up. Think about the big shapes and the expression. What is the point of the drawing? What story point are you trying to convey? Think about the thrust of the action, the shape dynamics between the characters. Draw the entire figure standing on the ground keeping in mind their center of gravity, the force of the action/expression and how it relates/effects the other character. Don't scratch at the lines, use quick confident strokes and draw with your whole arm not just your fingers. Don't get too caught up in the details od the wrinkles etc. It's good that you do these well but thats just skin and you need to work on the bones. A good exercise is to come up with a short story. Like Ren comes home and finds Stimpy doing something he shouldn't. Ren loses it and reacts. Do thumbnails first to work out the gags, expressions/poses etc. I know that's a lot but if you want to try it I think it would help.
Keep up the good work!

Bob Camp said...

Hi Ryan,
Thanks man.
I think those pogs were done by Carey Yost and maybe Joe Orrantia.

Bob Camp said...

Hey Jeff,
Exaggeration is important if you are trying to do funny drawings for animation or illustration. It's about caricature really. Look at work you like then examine it closely. Compare it to other work you like. Develop a knowledge of styles. If getting caught up in details ia a problem then limit how long you spend on a drawing. Focus on fast rough funny drawings.

Bob Camp said...

RB,
As for the puppet thing, the Simpsons is a whole different ball of wax. The drawings have to be on model always. It's more about the writing than the drawings or animation. They just have their own way of doing things. They are doing something right for sure.

Bob Camp said...

Pouch and GRFXMonkey,
Thanks for the nice comments.

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Bob Camp said...

Thanks for all the nice comments;

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J.E.Daniels said...

Thanks for the inspirational theories Bob!
Always loved your work.
Hope you don't mind I linked your post to my blog.
http://jedaniels-adventures.blogspot.com/2007/11/drawing-theories-by-camp.html

william wray said...

these are great Bob, always nice to be reminded.

Tom said...

Bob,

Wonderful stuff! Any suggestions on books that might help someone with zero drawing skills who would like to become a better doodler?


Tom

Tim Griggs said...

Bob, your style has facinated me since six flags.

BirdMan said...

Hello, Mr. Bob Camp. I am starting a Cartooning related club at my high school. Would it be okay with you if I use the pictures from this blog post to teach my club members a few things about improving cartoon drawing (my vice-president thinks I could break copyright laws if I make copies and hand them out to the future club members)?

Dr. Josh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Josh said...

Mr. Camp

You are one of the reasons I started drawing cartoons before I even knew your name.
I am a young/ not so young guy who has just got into animation after many years of the disturbing and dangerous world of cartoon strips. But I got bit by the animation bug. Any advice for a guy who loves drawing and is being trained to be a computer animator?
Btw if you ever need a young go getter on a project I make a hell f a cup of coffee.

Dr. Josh Barone

Flogistix said...

I really like the your art. .I envy those who are good on art... I wish I am one of them..
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Unknown said...

You have a very inspiring way of exploring and sharing your thoughts. It is very uncommon nowadays, lots of sites and blogs having copy pasted or rewritten info. But here, no doubt, info is original and very well structured.

Erik Butter said...

Hi Bob you draw very tight, some of these drawings remind me of Chuck Jones in his good days.
You should put this in a book, since we can use a new type of Preston Blair kind of book. I think it's going to be very helpfull for a lot of cartoonist/artist.

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