Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ALP: my drawing journey

Hi, it is week 11 in China and it is about time to compile my drawings and look at my progress. I am currently doing cartoon animation for my exchange program, and it is supposed to involve a heavy load of drawing, but somehow, I think we have done about the least drawing among all the groups. Sure, I drew quite a bit for practice and for assignments, but the drawing level also reduced along the way. You'll see. 
We started out wanting to do a story with animal characters because we thought animals were rather easy to draw. But no, they are not. Maybe the cutesified version is easier but the more elegant and classic way is not. You have to take into account their body structures and we were involving 8 different animals in this story. So, that is 8 unfamiliar structures we would have to study if we wanted to draw them. The drawing on the left may look great, but apparently, it's wrong.

Plus, the Professor wasn't impressed with our story.

Okay, scrape. 
We changed our storyline and it involved people this time. And, our leaders suggested using those big-head-small-body kind of character style to draw because the body structure is easier? I have no idea, actually because I found it equally hard. You still have to care about body structure and proportions. I can't seem to draw the face shape nicely too. Plus, it is still kind of tedious to animate these kind of characters also. 
The Prof wasn't impressed with our drawing style. He said we should create something unique; it did not have to be nice or perfect, just different.
So, scrape. 

The Prof actually wanted something simple and weird-ish and he wanted to simplify our job since we only had less than 2 months to work and we hadn't started on animating. He wanted us to just use paper-cutting method where you cut out the paper and move it and take pictures. 

So, the leaders asked me to draw some weird characters. I tried. I did it once, twice, thrice, many times. I just didn't know what they wanted. Then, they showed me Tim Burton's characters and so I just copied that style and they were happy. whut. 

That's how they decided on the final character (in the header) for our animation. This process is  not as simple and condensed as this. I'm just summarising. 

Even though the drawings have become so simplified, I still wouldn't say I haven't learnt anything. We had a couple of drawing lessons, and the teacher said that our body parts are all made of cuboids. Meaning that, you can draw a cuboid and draw your body parts from there, with the cuboid as a guide. Actually, pretty much everything is a cuboid. Then he taught us how to draw interesting scenes by varying perspective and zoom(?). Yeah, that was rather fun while it lasted. 

I still don't get how to sketch nicely. I usually get my desired line with one stroke, so I don't know how to give it the nice sketchy look. When I try, it looks too overboard. Bleh. 

Don't look down on simple drawings because a lot of famous cartoon characters are made from a few simple lines. Think hello kitty, pusheen, miffy. You just need the right shape. Maybe.