Tag Archives: drawing

Inktober, week 2!

That was 8 to 14 October 2017. Would you believe I’m still trying to shake this respiratory illness? Believe it.

Here’s week 2 of my Inktober 2017! This week was all brush pen.

#inktober #inktober2017 8. Crooked! A zigzaggy gecko.

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#inktober #inktober2017 9. SCREECH!! Could only be a cockatoo 🙂

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#inktober #inktober2017 10. Gigantic! A monstery thing gets a helping hand.

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#inktober #inktober2017 11. Run! A running chuditch copied not super well from a recent Twitter photo

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#inktober #inktober2017 12. Shattered. It's hard to carry eggs when you're a slime monster!

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#inktober #inktober2017 13. Teeming! As in "this weird frog monster's tongue is teeming with little friends"

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#inktober #inktober2017 14. Fierce! Even little creatures have a lot of front when they need it.

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Aside from Inktober, I’m back into soldering this weekend now that the weather’s fined up a bit. I’ve got two more kits to build at which point I get a voltage controllable sequencer and a clock manipulator to go with the contact mic and delay effect that arrived a week ago. DASYRAC gets better and better, yay!

I’ll see you next week for mysterious, fat, graceful, filthy, cloud, deep and furious Inktober! 🙂

Inktober, week 1!

It’s been 1 to 7 October 2017, which neatly overlaps with the first week of Inktober! It’s fun finally getting some practice in with the brush pen. 🙂

Here’s this week’s pictures, fresh from my Instagram account:

#inktober Day 1: Swift

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#inktober Day 2: Divided

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#inktober #inktober2017 4. Underwater. Back to trying the brush pen again!

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#inktober #inktober2017 5. Long!

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#inktober #inktober2017 6. Sword(fish)! More brush pen work.

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#inktober #inktober2017 7. Shy. Turned into a brush pen texturing test bed midway through 🙂

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See you with more pictures next week!

Inspired by the admonition that copying a superior artist’s work is part of a good art education, I’ve been drawing Preston Blair’s hands from my copy of Cartoon Animation. I’m spending about 25 minutes with each one: I try to sketch an overall shape and work detail in, suss out its proportions and how it all fits together. I usually draw my own hand in the same pose after a couple of attempts, and this is useful because I can see how the fingers are actually oriented. It makes the bumps and curves and other things in Preston’s version make a great deal more sense.

Slightly to the right of the middle of that bunch of hands, there’s a vertical fist with the fingers making an E shape and the thumb sitting on the right. That was one of the hands I attempted today, and I’m absolutely buggered if I know what that hand is meant to be doing. I almost stuffed my wrist trying to copy that pose, I can’t make sense of it.

Copying these hands can be frustrating – Preston Blair was really bloody good – but it’s sharpening my observation skills something fierce. One semi-downside is that I can’t let myself get away drawing crappily anymore – I can see all the mistakes and cheats and laziness in my own drawings, and I’m motivated to improve.

Now if only I could fix those mistakes…

So, uh, turns out digital painting is a whole barrel of fun that I had no idea about. Big ups to Krita and their MUSES training DVD. Well worth getting your hands on. Suddenly I’m way less bothered by the idea of texturing.

It’s the Easter long weekend coming up. I’m thinking I might bang out a short tutorial about drivers and expressions after a Twitter conversation I had today.

A short film from the universe of “The Quiet One” could soon be on the cards. Plotwise it’s the oldest story in human history – protagonist must overcome obstacle, failure to do so means grave consequences. Not that original maybe but I want to keep this brief. No more accidental feature-length projects. Learnt my lesson.

I’m still drawing cartoon hands. I tried some figure drawing again for variety and noted that my observation and anatomy skills are much stronger than before. The old art skills are coming together – very slowly, but perceivably. Improvement is nice to see, but I’ve got a long way to go before I’m where I want to be. Also getting more comfortable with that whole overhand pencil grip would be good too.


Tuesday Tips — Asymmetry in facial expressions.

A lot of times, asymmetry will bring energy and movement to a pose or composition. More specifically, I feel like breaking the symmetry of a character’s expression is key to bring interest to it. Of course, there’s always a situation where there’s a need for symmetry. On top of my head, I can think of depicting a character who has an authority role, or the “undefeated champion of something”, or the “cold stone killer”, etc. So, a symmetrical facial expression usually means the character is: supremely bored, supremely confident, has no emotions, has a poker face, or is dead. Did I miss one? Symmetry in framing is also quite rare, but when handled by a master (Kubrick, Anderson), it’s undeniable. (If you have time, watch this: http://vimeo.com/89302848)

Now, back to asymmetry in facial expressions. In general, it’s a great way to flesh out a character’s thought process. What is he/she thinking about? What’s their goal?

I’m just touching the tip of the iceberg here. Way more tips to come in the future. Maybe next time, I’ll start to cover GESTURES.

Completely unrelated to the subject, I recently read a list of tips from movie director Sam Mendes. Here’s my favorite: “Try to learn to make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar. …”


I’ve been drawing hands out of Preston Blair’s “Cartoon Animation” then critting myself on how well I copy the visual form.

Only in the last week have I realised that a book I’ve had in my possession since 1997 could have taught me so much more if I’d only bothered paying attention to it.

These hands are from page 29.

Meanwhile it’s 10:00pm and my neighbours are still hammering away at metal objects in their open garages. I have strange neighbours.