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|Jason Miller Design||
I jokingly tell people I am in shape, the shape is round, but a shape. Shapes are something we begin to learn before our first day of preschool. Thank you Sesame Street. Shapes are how we recognize and identify things. It is also essential to designing and building our everyday items we use. Remember Geometry class? Tangents, angles, radius, etc. all used everyday in the engineering world. Thank goodness in art all you need to know is just three basic shapes; the triangle, circle, and square. If you start with these three basic shapes, you can draw anything depending how you stretch and combined them together.
Lets do something simple like this doll. You can probably already see the shapes involved. But one of the important things about beginning your drawing with shapes, is that it will help keep everything in proportion and how it will be laid out on paper.
First lay out the primary shapes. I like to start off with the largest shape first then add on to it. In this case it would be a triangle for the dress. Then the head, arms and legs.
Second, Begin to what is called flesh out the drawing. Start adding a little bit of detail around the shapes to mold what the drawing will look like. Think of it as adding muscles to a skeleton.
Third, Add more detail and outline the drawing with ink or a think line. At this point you can erase any unwanted lines or use the methods shown in previous post using Grids and/or tracing paper.
Fourth, Finish the drawing as desired with color.
Then add more detail and background.
Very simple, I recommend taking photos from magazines and draw the shapes on top of them to kind of reverse the process. After a while it will become second nature to look at something and see what shapes it took to put it together.
Have fun getting into shape and check back here for more tips.
I have loved cartoons from the time I can remember my first Saturday morning. Who didn't waste hours of time with a big bowl of cereal in front of the TV until mom shouted at you to go outside and play. They were more than just some goofy characters that I was enjoying, it was the fact that someone was able to make a drawing come to life.
I consider drawing cartoon characters a specialty of mine when it comes to illustrations. I spent a lot of my childhood trying to draw my favorite characters; Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny and Charlie Brown. I still watch them today, from a artistic stand point of course.
There are tons of different cartoon styles. Computers have changed the way things are drawn and also styles change with time. But I also notice that some styles are coming back.
Here are just a few of the styles I sketched out using a cat to show some of the different types.
The Animated Character : This is the fun character that can take an inanimate object and bring it to life with almost human traits. Also, these types of cartoons will get a four legged furry animal up and running around like a two year old on a sugar high.
The Retro Style : This is making a come back from the old magazine ads and original cartoons. It is a simple style based on simple shapes, bold outlines, and flat coloring. This is one of my favorite styles because it is the easiest to draw, but also I think it gives the most silly expressions and spirit.
The Comic Strip : This probably ranks number one of my favorite styles. Something I have always wanted to do is to have a published comic strip. Simple and quick line work that is easy to recognize the character. Plus I am always fascinated that it told a joke in four panels or less.
The Super Hero : Not really what pops up when thinking of cartoons, but what else would you call men flying around in spandex, maybe wrestling.
So what's the point, besides showing off my inner child nerd. I have gotten request to draw something and the client will say they want it in a cartoon style. Even though I love these projects, I have to go through the process of getting the client to tell me what kind of cartoon style. Typically I ask them to send me a sample of what they like or I ask "Do you prefer Scooby Doo or Garfield?"
Be sure to check out more of my drawings at the Playtime Illustration page and contact me if you need a cartoon logo, children book, or other character design.
FYI, This blog is dedicated to my cat Shadow. He was a cartoon in his own way.