Friday, October 12, 2007

Drawing tips

I got a post from Michael where he showed me some funny drawings he did of Ren and Stimpy.
I thought I might put my answer to him up here thinking that it might be helpful to you other nice folks

Construct your 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. Also keep in mind that the characters will have to animate. This meanss you must plan your staging around the broadest poses. 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.

Here is the pencil holding theory. If you draw like you write then you are using the dozens of small muscles in your hand which are pushing and pulling on the pencil while you try to draw a circle or shape. Experiment with different ways to hold your pencil. Think of it as a wand.

Don't get too caught up in the details of the wrinkles etc. It's good to know how to do these 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. (use your own characters if you can) Ren loses it and reacts. Stimpy gets a happy beating. 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.

Don't fall in love with any drawing ever. if it looks bad to you (listen to the small voice) then draw it over. Don't trace it or you will repeat the same mistakes. It's like playing the piano. It's all about practice not about putting on a concert.

32 comments:

david gemmill said...

good tips. i agree that keeping the general shapes and context in mind is more important than laboring over minute details that might muddle up a drawing,or someones approach.

Bob Camp said...

Thanks David,
Hey I checked out your blog. You draw funny as hell. And your animation is killer. Doormat indeed!

David DeGrand said...

Hey Bob, thanks for posting these great tips, I'll definitely be taking a new approach to my drawing after reading these.

By the way, I've always been curious, what was your very first job in animation? (I hope you don't mind me asking)

Bob Camp said...

Hi David,
My first job in animation was at Rankin Bass on Thundercatsm ('86?) as a designer. I did characters, props and BGs. I also worked on Silverhawks, Tigersharks, Karate Kat, Mini Monsters and Street Frogs while at Rankin Bass.

David DeGrand said...

Awesome! I remember most of those shows as a kid, great stuff. Thanks Bob!

PCUnfunny said...

Hey Bob thanks for the great advice. I posted some simple expressions and poses on my blog.

David DeGrand said...

Just wanted to say thanks for checking out my blog and for the nice comments, it means a ton coming from the incredible Bob Camp!

lquidstarzzz said...

I sent u' sumpin. read 'yer email.

diego cumplido said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin Langley said...

Thanks for taking the time to post these tips. I'll have to try out the exercise you wrote of.

Brothergrimm said...

I love that last paragraph. I have such a terrible time getting up the effort for redo's. I may not have fallen in love with the drawing, but I expended so much effort that to screw up is like getting to that "point of no return" in sex and then hearing your mother's voice in the kitchen as she unexpectedly drops by.

Looney Moon Cartoons said...

Sage-like advice. Unfortunately its easier said than done. I will try my best to follow this advice.

michael said...

Thanks for taking the time to critique my drawings. Those are some very useful tips. I'll definetly start implementing them in my cartoons. Thanks.

Bob Camp said...

Hey PC,
I checked your blog and the blue lines are kind of hard to see. It's OK to start with a blue pencil but you should darken your line up.

PCUnfunny said...

Bob: Even when you enlarged it ?

david gemmill said...

bob - thanks! i think my animation skills are better than my drawings skills but i'm trying to get them to match up. haha. of course they go hand in hand. your blog is awesome, tons of great drawings. I also really like those character designs notes, they really emphasize the most important stuff that i and probably others tend to forget it. i hope you post more!

Bob Camp said...

Hey David, thanks. I hope I have time to post more.
Cheers!

Bob Camp said...

Hey Kevin. Glad you like my notes. There's so many good people out here sharing ideas. I wish I had a resource like this when I was starting out.

Bob Camp said...

Ha Ha, BGrim! Funny comparison. I could tell you some stories!

PCUnfunny said...

This is sn OT question Bob but did you watch REN AND STIMPY ADULT PARTY CARTOON ? If so, what did you think about it ?

David Scott Smith said...

You sir ... have way too much time to blog. Is it prolific or is it profuse HA! Regardless, it is precisely why I am going to link you. I will also download all of the brilliance you post ... learn from it ... then sell it.

Now for your French lesson. Repeat after me:

"Bonjour, je suis l'Amérique et je suis venu
pour acheter vos mères maison."

JPGR said it best wayback in '69 ... 'Get Back'

Bob Camp said...

Hey PC,
No I didn't see the show. I honestly could'nt care less about it. I had my fill of that stuff years ago. From what I understand, it speaks for itself.

Bob Camp said...

Hey Dave you old bastard!
'sup?

PCUnfunny said...

Bob: I see.

David: Neat-o blog !

Pouch said...

Dave> ahaha

Roberto said...

OT question: Have you heard about Bob Jacques's new blog, the Popeye Animator ID?
Popeye Animator ID?

On topic: These drawing tips sound very valuable. I liked how you took the time to post these.

Roberto said...

Here's a better link. The last one had two "https."

http://popeyeanimators.blogspot.com/

Bob Camp said...

Hi Roberto,
Thanks! and thanks for the link.

R. Banuelos said...

These lessons are great, thanks for taking the time.

grfxmonkey said...

more great advice. i've been sketching like mad since i've been reading your drawing advice. great stuff.

Bob Camp said...

Hey R; Banuelos,
Glad you like the info.

Bob Camp said...

Hi Grfx,
Glad to help. Keep on a sketchin'