Thursday, October 24, 2013

Simplicity: Drawing a Kitty Cat

In looking over some of the very excellent animators' blogs I continue to be impressed at the essence of simplicity in design.  I'll try imitating that simplicity.

For instance, to draw a cat start with a very simple shape, like so:

Add a blocky kind of head with big ears...

Fill in the eyes, mouth, nose, whiskers...

...and add a little tail.  One kitty!

Here's a side view.  Start with very simple shapes:

Choose your colors and color it in.  Add some shading... actually, I'm not sure what I'm doing with this...

I guess if you slap out hundreds of these simple little drawings it becomes a way of life.

Monday, October 21, 2013


Well, it's been about a month and a half.  I got real busy at work.  I had a bad cold.  I had several things I had to take care of.

But mostly, I lost my direction and I'm only now picking back up the thread.

Something I notice about most the great cartoonists' blogs... none of them are afraid of simplicity.  Quite the reverse, they thrive on it.  So I thought: here's a good way to back into learning.  Learn to simplify.

Now, this is the type of "squiggle" I used to do back in high school (many, many, many years ago).  I never thought too much of them because they were "easy" and "quick."  Quite the opposite - or so I thought - of what "real" cartooning ought to be.
I used to do thousands of these "squiggles" when I was a kid. 
But what many of the great cartoonists seem to do is to take very simple ideas like this one and run with it.  Imagine, you can color it in:
... you can really tweak the colors: can shade it if you're so inclined and give it a 3-D effect:
OK, maybe I overdid it on the shading...
... slap on a background and viola!... not a half bad lil' cartoon.

This whole exercise took maybe half an hour... and that was mostly fiddling around with the colors.

Any bean or kidney shape can be a swell cartoon character.  Although it feels like a return to bad habits... well, what can I say.  Maybe somewhere it says cartooning should be quick and fun.

I am inexperienced enough to admit: I have absolutely no clue.  Just draw.  Don't fixate.  Draw!

Well, I guess it's back to my squiggles.  By the tens, the hundreds... the thousands.

Moral of story, don't be afraid to simplify.