Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Watercolor Wednesday 10

I am endlessly amused by critters with stout, rotund bodies on stilt-like legs. As I drew this picture it became a laundry list of things that, for whatever curious reason, I think are absolutely hilarious.

A list of them follows:
1. cyclops!
2. pathetic little wisps of hair
3. CHEST HAIR (funnier on scrawny little guys, but still funny otherwise)
4. fancy shoes
5. apprehension
6. tall pants with suspenders

This picture was also an exercise in figuring out which pens work on my crappy handmade paper. The answer: most of them, except for the ones I want to use. Thanks for that, paper!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not-So-Brass Knuckles

Feeling thuggish today? I was highly amused after finding a whole slew of unrelated products designed after a lethal weapon. These items are interesting concepts, especially since brass knuckles were designed to fit comfortably in a fist. There are plenty of things out there that we need to hold comfortably for extended periods of time, and re-designing tools after a pre-existing, highly ergonomic weapon seems like the proper way to be inspired.

The Knuckle Brush

Bourgeois Brass Knuckles by Chromoly

The Umbuster by Srulirecht

Umbuster case

Soap Knuckles by Spye

Punch by J.C. Karich

Mug! at Thabto

Next time I want to bring out some of my inner thug, I'll be sure to keep these aptly designed items in mind!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sketch Sunday 10

This weekend, to avoid the stress and hassle of finding parking (and actually parking) in San Francisco, I took a long relaxing ride on the train to meet some friends there. I was recently inspired by Shane Glines' cartoon pin-up girls, and sketched a few big-headed, long-legged girls on the way up. The train ride was very bumpy, but luckily there were many stops along the way. During the bumpy part of the ride, I would draw the rough underlying sketch with my red pencil, and then quickly overlay a few strokes of pencil lineart at the stations.

In addition to being a foxy lady, the girl in the sketch above must also have some serious muscles, because that pose looks pretty difficult to hold. It was really fun to draw curvy legs on these ladies, which is probably why I drew them a little longer and more slender than usual. One of the main reasons I like drawing girls over guys is because they have a lot more accentuated curves. This makes the poses much more dramatic and gives their shape much more depth.

So why are drawings that are grossly disproportionate compared to a normal human body still acceptable as cartoons? I was thinking about this and realized how many cartoon characters have giant heads, big eyes, or long slender appendages, and I began to wonder what kinds of proportions work, and which ones don't.

I was reminded of the sensory homunculus, which is used in psychology and neurology to depict which body parts require the most neurons to sense. In cartoons, however, it seems to me that the body parts are exaggerated based on how they are perceived. For example, since people pay a lot of attention to the details of another person's eyes, it does not seem unusual for cartoons to have larger-than-normal eyes. I think that the length of the arms is compared mostly to the length of the legs, and not to the size of the head or body, which is why Dee-Dee's and Jack Skellington's arms and legs are long and slender, independent of the size of their heads or bodies.

Anyhow, these observations are simply based on my own drawing experiences and not anything more scientific. If you have any more interesting insight or details, please share!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Watercolor Wednesday 9

After painting the carrot guy for the last watercolor wednesday, I decided he needed an overly confident friend! And, uh, a rudimentary background. Featureless voids make me uneasy!

For this entire week I've been getting ideas for paintings just as I drift off to sleep. It's the worst thing ever because they are burned into the back of my mind, even if they are terrible or half-baked. Angry cactus guy (above) is the result of one of those late night ideas, and I assume he's scowling because of how hastily he was painted! This is an approximation of the painting process:

1. Sketched out drawing. Was pretty okay with it.
2. Suddenly developed violent hatred for sketch, scrapped it altogether.
3. Whipped out watercolor paper, scrawled out a totally different composition.
4. Started painting, began to realize the darker shades of green were totally not working out the way I wanted them to.
5. Put painting out of my line of sight. Glanced at it once in a while, hating it from afar.
6. Finished painting by adding spines and little details here and there.

Once again, the moral of the story is BE PATIENT, STUPID. I will learn from my mistakes someday! 

What typical process do you usually go through for a painting or drawing?