Friday, September 10, 2010

On the Business of Stiffness

Even though I was brought up in the school of hand-drawn traditional animation, my drawing style has always been rather consistently stiff and rigid.  Everything's sitting in place and/or have very straight structural angles.  If you look at some of the old drawings on my website, you'll see 'em all over the place:




It especially comes out when directly compared to superior illustrators, like with my good friend Tim Haldeen.  During our downtime at a music video shoot, we kept ourselves entertained by doodling all over the rear of the set.

Mark on the left.  Tim on the right.

I still like what I drew, but Tim's perspective and line work suggest much more depth and structure than what I had to offer.  Sure, I threw some shading and a roll or two on the neck but if these drawings suddenly came to life, I have a much clearer mental image of Tim's character turning to look at me as opposed to mine.  We did this back at the beginning of the summer and it really got me thinking about the way I draw for the first time in years.  It's so easy to just keep coasting on what you know and I think I've gotten a bit lazy with improving my style.  It has barely changed since college and it needs a good kick in the ass.  I'm not saying that I'm going to overhaul it completely, but it'd be very beneficial to both my drawing and my animation to add more and more principles.
Yesterday during a staff meeting I got into some more advanced posing with a doodle which led to the more fleshed-out doodle below it.

loosely based on Jesse Laz

They're still super incomplete but I think they're a step in the right direction.  If I know what's good for me you should be seeing more of this in my future blog posts.

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