Lesson 9 * Appeal and cuteness

Took me a while to get through this one.

The lesson is here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2007/01/animation-school-lesson-9-_116873606139658339.html

Not all the copies I did are perfect but I can see and feel an improvement.

I can really feel it if I miss a day or two in between drawing sessions.

My goal at the end of taking the courses John has online is to become a functional artist.

Reading John’s blog I have found out that means the capability of drawing full situations with characters that make sense visually and are appealing.

Getting there might take some time, but that is ok.  I’d like to be able to draw my own stories in comic form that I have written.

I will start doing a pay as you go life drawing class soon as well as continuing the Preston Blair course John has.



Lesson 9: Model sheets * Fluid Poses

Here are another set from lesson 9.  This time the focus is on fluid poses.

Towards the end I was experimenting by holding the pencil in a different way to not go into pressing down so hard at first.  It was working for me, things felt more fluid that way.

I also got a kneaded eraser.  I never really liked kneaded erasers but at least there are no crumbs to clean up.   Also with it I can wipe the whole drawing and retain some faint lines to build back up on after.  Preston Blair mentions doing that it in his book.

Also, I was looking at some other people’s blogs who John has referenced on his site.  They are great:

Geneva : http://unlearningartschool.blogspot.ca/

Rex: http://www.rex-h.blogspot.ca/

Mitch: http://mitchoo.blogspot.ca/

Here is John’s lesson link:


Here are my drawings for this lesson:


Lesson 8 – Proportions affect design-Contrasts

The 8th lesson can be found here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2006/06/animation-school-8-proportions-affect.html

In this lesson John talks about one thing that makes cartoons cartoony- their exaggerated proportions.

He gives an example of a generic cartoon and explains that it is less cartoony than something with unevenness built into it.

The cartoony example he gives stretches the proportions of the animal so that the shapes that are important in identifying it as what it is are caricatured and extreme.

In the more cartoony example he gives, the basic construction is similar to the less cartoony drawing but the looks of the characters are very different.

John thinks the cartoons that are more exaggerated are funnier looking.

The proportions that affect design contrast that John lists are:




When several new variations are created based off of a generic design you get particular designs.  Particular designs are rare to find.

Lesson 6 – When Generic is a Good Thing

John K recommends learning how to draw cartoons that are generic rather than those with a particular style.

In this lesson the emphasis was on studying generic characters so we can key principles we have been learning without the distraction of style.

You can go to the lesson here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2006/06/animation-school-7-when-generic-is.html

Here are the drawings I did for this lesson:

Lesson 5a – Hands

This lesson in John K’s animation course centred on drawing cartoon hands.

The lesson can be found here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2006/06/animation-school-lesson-hands.html

I was kind of upset that I did not get the placement right in the copy of the Bob Clampett picture I posted last time so I decided to do it again before doing the hands.  I was just trying to get the proper placement here- I didn’t get it perfect but it turned out much better than before (the size of the heads of the cats were messed up).  I still need to redo the Wart drawing- (there is something wrong in my drawing around his eyes I think) and the other Clampett picture but I decided to move on to hands to keep motivated for now.  I’ll come back to these later I think.

Here is the redo of the first Clampett picture:

Here are the drawings of hands:

I started reading Chuck Jones’ auto biography.  It’s funny and inspiring because it shows how persistence pays off- it took him a while to develop his skills but he did it!

Now on to the next lesson,


Lesson 5 – Line Of Action, Silhouettes

I just ordered the book John recommends (animation 1 by Preston Blair) and I have been looking through it.

It seems cool, there are a lot of good examples of animation.  I am glad that the original book is posted online though since it is cool to draw characters you know (the one you can order has generic characters Blair created for the book while the online original book has a bunch of the MGM characters).

A lot of the books technical stuff I don’t really understand yet but I am hoping that John’s course will help me figure it out.

I have been working on my drawings and this lesson took me the longest so far I think.

Here’s the link for the lesson: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2006/05/animation-school-lesson-5-line-of.html

In this lesson we worked on line of action.  I have heard about it and even tried to use it before on my own drawings but admittedly I didn’t really fully understand it.  I think I understand it more after copying the examples in the lesson.

There was a lot to draw this lesson.

Also I did a search for Milt Khal on youtube after seeing one of his drawings somewhere on John’s blog.  Wow!  Check out this youtube video of an animation sequence he did for 101 dalmations.  It is amazing!  I can actually hear the character saying “Seven thirty!?”

Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQnPQ6QBHLE

Here are my drawings:

Line of action:

Correcting line of action drawings:

Disney drawings:

I struggled with getting the faces right in the Disney drawings.  Particularly the eye positioning for Wart.

Bob Clampett drawings:

Now onto part B of the lesson- hands.


Lesson 4 – 2 legged characters-full body

Here we go, now we are doing full bodies!  All of the characters drawn are derived from the pear shape – it seems like a pretty versatile shape for cartoon characters!

Check out the lesson here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.ca/2006/05/animation-lesson-4-2-legged-characters.html

Here’s my work on this lesson.  Some of the hands are a bit messed up but I looked ahead and there is a lesson on hands later.: