Saturday, October 31, 2009

How to draw caricatures and cartoons, Lesson 1a:


  • Don't sketch!
Draw each line once. You have to get it right the first time.

If it's wrong, don't try to fix it. Just draw it again.
  • There are two separate areas that you'll be improving at the same time with this exercise: The quality of your line, and the accuracy of your observation.
You need to draw each line once. You need to draw it in the right place. And it needs to go from thick to thin to describe forms and shadows.
You need to be able to instantly gauge the size, shape, and distance of the features to each other, and the size and shape of the head relative to the features.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

How to draw caricatures and cartoons, Lesson one:

If you're going to learn how to draw caricatures and cartoons, you need to start by drawing this, the Most Average Guy In The World.
Grab a marker and paper. No pencil, no eraser, no underdrawing. Draw this guy exactly as he appears. If you can do it, skip ahead to the advanced lessons. If you can't, do it nineteen more times.

I make all Cartoon Vegas employees go through this exact exercise.
"Why should I do this?"

Three reasons:
1. Drawing a caricature is a process of constantly measuring sizes and distances against each other. Having this perfectly average head to call on will give you a strong framework on which to hang the infinite variety of people you'll be drawing.
I drew this in a minute and ten seconds. This face is lodged deep in my brain. If you practice this face until it becomes effortless, you'll make it your template for all other faces. Your hand will want to draw this face. If the person you're drawing has a big chin, You'll instantly judge how much bigger it is than this chin. If the person you're drawing has ears that are a little small, you'll instantly judge how much smaller.

2. At Cartoon Vegas, we don't do any underdrawing. We don't do any sketching. When someone sits in front of us, we just grab the marker and start.
You need to get very, very comfortable drawing directly with the marker. And it's hard. It's difficult enough trying to get a smooth line in the right place without worrying about varying the weight and not wobbling while you do it. Drawing this face over and over again is a crash course in line quality, placement, and control.

3. It's a test of you.
Drawing this face twenty times is boring. It's frustrating. It's not as easy and fun as you think it's going to be. And it's just the beginning.
No one will stick with this unless they really love to draw. No one will stick with this unless they really want to gain the ability. You'll find out just how dedicated you are.
Everyone makes mistakes. Most people make the same mistakes each time. When you've got twenty drawings of the same face, you can look over them all and find your common weaknesses.

Don't throw away that drawing you just made!
It's terrible, right? Embarrassing?
Save it! Hide it in the basement, and dig it up in a couple of years. You'll be entertained and amazed by how far you've come!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We had a phase where everybody was making elaborate and creative "out to lunch" signs. This was my best. Definitely click it for a better view of the details.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In September and October we had a LOT of events. Andrea and I went to Maryland, drew caricatures at two county fairs and painted two murals. Then we went to Missouri, drew at a literature festival and gave a workshop on comic book creation. We had three events in Vegas while we were gone. Amanda worked at one wedding and one Elvis-themed company party. She got to draw ten guys dressed as Elvis at an Elvis Last Supper. I'm pretty jealous. And Joseph handled a raunchy birthday party for a 30-year-old.
I'll post some of the Elvis pics when I get my hands on them. Here's us at the meet-the-authors gala from the Literary Festival, and here's Andrea at the Great Frederick fair, on the rainiest, gloomiest day!

Friday, October 23, 2009

I've been working on a kid's book for the last month or so. It's called Yalu and the Puppy Room, by Brian Yates. It's being drawn in almost my usual caricature style, so it's pretty fun work for me.
It's also awfully cute. Great for the portfolio!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Here's just another one of those things you see in Vegas... Indian tourists and giant, giant porn. I challenge you to show me the same thing anywhere else in the world!