Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Day 3 - real pen and paper

I couldn't be bothered to get out the graphics tablet today, and there's something I still really like about sharpening a proper pencil and making marks on paper.

After yesterday's foray into 3 dimensions I thought I'd try the cubist approach (remembering that Olympic mascot Cobi) and do the 'nose to the side, eyes on the front' thing.

After much scribbling and bringing the tracing paper trick back into play, I couldn't really make it work. I think it's at least partly a matter of courage - being bold enough to stick those eyes in the wrong place. Like playing a discord in music, it sounds wrong if you don't do it with enough courage, but great if you go for it.

Anyway, this is the version I like most, inked in. I've added arms this time, with Disney style anthro hands or paws. I can see this one standing up. I might give this some colour at some point.


  1. I know exactly what you mean and nothing screams this more (for me) than looking at Dick Dastardly from Wacky Races / Catch the Pigeon.

    His face is always drawn in profile and the mouth seems to be set in the wrong place because it's also in profile but in the centre of his head. But somehow, if you don't look too closely, it works.

    I'd never considered it was cubist, but I suppose impressionism is closely related to cartoonism.

    The drawing is very good, but there's something kangaroo(ish) about an anthropomorphisised sheep. Possibly it's the body shape that's doing it! Try bulking it out a bit more.

    And as for using pencil & paper for experimenting, I'd do the same. The pencil signifies planning and testing out designs in my mind. I've tried roughing out digitally and while it's possible it still feels too "straight" and formal.

  2. No, I know what it is,.. the head's coming out of the top of the body. Pull it down a bit so the shoulders are in-line with the eyes.

  3. I do see what you mean, I suppose a kangaroo is very similar to a sheep in face & head, and posture is going to distinguish one from the other.

    Bringing the head down is the opposite of what I was trying out here. Think Disney where the characters are so anthro that they're almost human figures - it's only things like noses, ears and colouring that make them the particular animal they are.

    I'll try what you've suggested though, and play with this one a bit more. I've had a comment from someone saying they like the face - and with proper mouth and eyes, there's plenty of room for different expressions (+ eyebrows maybe) and perhaps slightly different faces on the different characters.

    PS - on Dick Dastardly, there was a play on over Christmas about Terry Thomas, who played the 'cad' character in many films. They dropped in the fact that he was the inspiration for DD, and so over Christmas I watched Those Magnificent Men and there he was - they changed him very little to turn him into DD.

    1. It's about now that I'd advise you to google "shaun the sheep" and see how Aardman go about it. They successfully alternate between natural and anthro models.

      But the one thing you will notice is the head is set lower into the body (similar to how I'd described in my second post).

      I've also noticed the head orientation is very different. You've drawn it horizontal, whereas Aardman keep it vertical.

      Also I think you can make an exception for the right hand arm and have it coming from behind the body (rather than out of the wool) Looking at examples (inc DD) the limbs don't seem to follow the same rules as face elements.

  4. Instead of real pens and paper I used to use a Mime pen and annoyed people but they could never detect any drawing errors....

  5. I bet the jokes were really hilarious too!