Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Disney Model Sheet: OWL

I was about to write yet another post about an observational sketching book, but then I thought maybe I should post something fun and cartoony before the Thanksgiving Holiday. Well here it is, a model sheet of the Owl teacher from the Walt Disney shorts "Toot Whistle Plunk and Boom" and "Adventures in Music: Melody". Enjoy and have a great holiday!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

E.H. Shepard: The Man Who Drew Pooh

I briefly mentioned E.H. Shepard in a post I wrote about Hayao Miyazaki here in 2009. E.H. Shepard was an English artist and book illustrator who is probably best known for the illustrations he did for A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" series of books, which were published in the late 1920's. Shepard's drawings are charming, delicate, and exhibit an incredible facility in draftsmanship.

I recently purchased a book about him called "E.H. Shepard, The Man Who Drew Pooh" by Arthur R. Chandler. I haven't had the chance to read much of the book yet, but the text seems to be mostly focused on cataloguing the chronological events of E.H. Shepard's life and career. There might be a few gems of artistic knowledge or insightful quotes by Mr. Shepard in the book, but I haven't found them yet. However, one thing is for sure, the book is filled with quite a bit of his drawings which are definitely worth seeing for anyone who likes Shepard's work. I scanned in a few drawings from the book and would like to share them here.

This first drawing is titled Man with wheelbarrow, a pencil sketch done in 1924. It's a fantastic drawing, no analyzation needed really. It's well observed and beautifully drawn.

I apologize if the recent theme of my posts have been too centered around observational sketching/Life Drawing, which can seem like a boring subject, but it's a subject that I've been inspired by this year and I think it's something that we all could do a bit more of. Observation helps to inform our work and hopefully keeps us from being formulaic.

This next illustration is a Christmas card that Shepard made in 1943. There's a lot of great things going on in this illustration. The design and use of black space versus empty white space, and the patterns and textures he has used to create the "grey" areas, but I especially love the figure of the soldier holding the gun on Santa. It's a tremendous drawing.

Next I scanned a couple of rough sketches that Shepard did for The Secret Garden. It's nice to see some more pencil drawings, as opposed to the more common ink drawings, from him and to get an insight into his illustration process. The figures are beautiful, but I also admire how he indicated the backgrounds. There's a nice tree/grass vignette behind the girl in the first image, as well as another wonderfully rough and simple indication of the door and long gallery stretching beyond her in the second image.

Last but not least, here's a couple more charming observational drawings that Shepard sketched of a woman on a train. Again in pencil.

There's a lot more drawings than these in the book, but I wanted to present a few here that I thought were especially nice. I'll try to do another post later on Shepard and a few of his children's book illustrations from some of the less well known titles.

Maybe I have mentioned this before, but hopefully you might have noticed that I've been presenting the artwork on these posts in the 8 1/2" x 11" format where possible. So if you find something inspiring you can easily print it out. I am a little less busy at work now, so I expect I can do a few more posts on some other interesting books that I've picked up recently before the end of the year. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Robert Fawcett : Drawing the Nude 2

A few more quotes and images from the book "Drawing the Nude - The Figure Drawing Techniques of Noted American Illustrator Robert Fawcett" by Howard Munce.

"Memory drawing is a valid method, although I will neither advocate it nor analyze it in these pages. The danger of drawing by memory is that it can and does produce images which become a formula. Instead, I want you to concern yourself with looking carefully, and recording what you see at the moment."--Robert Fawcett

"The person who sits for your drawing can have any possible ethnic background, and this must be conveyed. It should be within your ability to record and convey personal physical characteristics to others. A model may be shy or brash, vain or modest, cooperative or lazy. Even these qualities are within your province, if you have taught yourself to observe and record."--Robert Fawcett

"We must also take it for granted that there are many approaches to the teaching of figure drawing--as many as there are artists with opinions on the subject. No single point of view can possibly be the last word."
--Robert Fawcett

Monday, 16 August 2010

Robert Fawcett : Drawing the Nude

The following quotes and images are from the book "Drawing the Nude - The Figure Drawing Techniques of Noted American Illustrator Robert Fawcett" by Howard Munce.

"With practice, one comes to recognize what one is looking at as either primarily linear or tonal, and one comes also to know whether its structural characteristics are predominantly angular or rhythmic. It is upon this one bases the
statement, for that is what a drawing is - a simple, pictorial statement." --Robert Fawcett

"Bob Fawcett always simplified form in his drawings. He once said, "Economy in drawing is essentially the shorthand which develops in the excitement of the fleeting moment. It is the thing seen subjected to editorial exclusion." However, he tried to avoid slipping into superficiality: "One's study can be admired for it's beautiful line, but if that line is not expressing an understanding of the form itself it remains mildly interesting, but empty of content.""

" I am convinced that divisions of subject matter in drawing are arbitrary. Although largely devoted to the figure, my work has included subjects ranging from figures to still lifes to landscapes. Drawing is drawing. There is no such thing as figure drawing, per se. In writing this book, I seem to be engaged in a project which threatens to contradict that belief. Actually it will not. Although I am concerning myself here with the human figure, life drawing alone, in the background there remains my belief that an apple and a flower are equally difficult to draw, and a deer, perhaps only more difficult." --Robert Fawcett

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Murakami Yutaka & Yoichi Kotabe

On my last trip to Japan in 2010 I bought quite a few books. Here's a couple images from them. These are only two of the many artists I've found to be interesting and inspirational from Japan. Murakami Yutaka works in the field of illustration and Yoichi Kotabe worked in animation.

Murakami Yutaka

Yoichi Kotabe

I really like the simplicity, as well as the rough and organic quality in both of these artist's work. Hopefully I can get to posting more here about these particular artists as well as some of the other interesting artists and books I found in Japan as time goes on.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Peter Pan Model Sheet: Mike

Here's another model sheet I like from Walt Disney's Peter Pan. Some people might say he's just the typically cute and generic Disney kid, but I think there's a lot of great things going on in these drawings. The simplified indications of his body poses are very appealing to me. Especially when it comes to the shapes of his hands, legs, feet, and the way drapery of his pajamas is handled. There's a lot of nice contrasts between straights and curves, as well as the simple sides of the shapes versus the more interesting and complex sides of the shapes. It's interesting how the drapery of his pajamas tends to play a big part in many of these nice contrasts.

The drawings of Wendy here are beautiful as well. Unfortunately I'm not sure which artist at the studio drew these, but I think they're worth taking a closer look at.

On a side note, but an important note nonetheless, fellow DreamWorks story artist Louie Del Carmen has recently written a great post about composition on the Art Center Blog.

Here's the link:

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

2 Websites

Well, it's been quite a while since my last update, but I still have a lot more things that I'd like to share. It's just a matter of finding the time and making the effort to do it. Time management has never been one of my strong suits unfortunately.

I'm not going to make any excuses or promises that I can't keep this year though. Actions speak louder than words. All I can say is that I don't plan on abandoning this site any time soon. Subscribing to this blog will probably be your best bet to know when it's updated though.

I'd like to start off 2010 by sharing a couple websites that I've found to be pretty useful and interesting.

The first site is I realize that I've probably arrived late to the party on finding out about this one, but I thought that it's definitely a place on the internet that's worth taking note of as a research tool. Especially since I recently found a full version of the book Composition by Arthur Wesley Dow available for download on the site.

I haven't given up on my research into the design program at Chouinard, and this author was one of the people that was mentioned in the book Chouinard: An Art Vision Betrayed, as having had a big influence on some of the design instruction and people at the school.

The second site I'd like to mention is

DreamWorks has put together a great site with some nice interviews of quite a few artists who worked on "How to Train Your Dragon". I don't know how many people know about this site yet, but it's really cool. I found the interviews with Production Designer Kathy Altieri, and the film's Head of Story, Alessandro Carloni (who I was lucky enough to work with on the movie), particularly inspiring.