Thursday, February 24, 2011

LINK/ARTIST: Spongebob Character Designs

Oh hell yes. I may be a Fine Arts major but I'm also pretty huge cartoon fan and Spongebob is one of my favorites. I'm linking to Robert Ryan Cory's character design work. It's a trip.
Here are a few quotes from his comments that I found interesting:
It really doesn't matter what supplies you end up using long as they feel comfortable to you. I mostly work on the cintiq now and even though my work is still has elements of this stuff just because it's how I feel comfortable creating under a deadline.
My advice try all supplies until you find one that is like an old pair of sneakers.
I kind of go through fazes , lately I've only been using technical pencils that way I don't have to sharpen and they are fairly smooth. I use a lot of old art supplies... I collect antique art supplies because I think the quality of lead is better. This one was drawn with a Dixon Thin-EX color vermilion. Those dixons are soft without losing the point that verithins usually have. Then the pencil I cleaned up with is a peacock blue verithin. I use col-erases sometimes but don't like the how muddy they can get, so mostly verithins. 
On my sketchbooks I draw with felt-tip pens specifically ebner faber boldliners and pentel flairs and if there is some color it's probably tria marker.
My character design stuff is all over the road because I go through fazes. I use a lot of verithins. I try to use old art supplies whenever I can because usually the lead is better. My favorite pencil to draw with is the Eagle Diagraph 817 sometimes switching to a dixon metropolitan for details because it has a slightly gray line.
 I'm waiting for the new show I'm working on to air on TV. It's called Secret Mountain Fort Awesome it will be on Cartoon Network in 2011. They actually don't censor my work too much. I look forward to sharing some new stuff soon.
Well all designers are not the same obviously...but what I can say is Design is Math. It's all geometry...some show it like Kellman and me I'm not so showy with my math. I'm more concerned with humor and will break every rule if I think I can get a reaction out of someone.
Here are some basics..
Whatever the most important shape is (the shape that defines that character ie a fat man's body) needs to be the largest mass. Collect the mass of all surrounding shapes and compare the two. The greater the difference...the better the design usually.
You can improve almost every design by favoring the outside line of big shapes and inside of small shapes when cleaning it up/inking.
Direct all details towards the the thing you want people to look at (usually the face).
It's cliche but just doing it everyday and being as critical about your own work and you won't realize but improvement will happen everyday.

 Good stuff. I'm really curious about Secret Mountain Fort Awesome now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PAINTING: Palettes

I’m going to break down some different palettes I’ve been using. This is numero uno, I’ll post more later.
Last semester, this was the full palette I was using in Still Life based on my teacher’s instructions. Any text in red on the image means the color is to be pre-mixed.

  • Colors are arranged from warm to cool and light to dark. It’s not entirely precise but personally I keep the white to yellow to red to blue pretty much the same on every palette I use. It’s a good idea to get into a habit of placing colors a certain way; it’ll speed up painting since you won’t be searching for the right color all the time.
  • The basic idea behind this setup is that you have at least one cool and one warm version of each primary. Hence the warm cadmium red and the cool alizarin crimson, the warm cadmium yellow and cool lemon yellow, and the warm cobalt blue and cool ultramarine blue.
  • At this point, I use a lot of hues (cheap versions of colors that are made from mixes, rather than the actual pigment) because I don’t have the budget to afford some colors. Some hues are better than others, though. I find that the cobalt blue hues that I’ve tried all pretty much sucked, since they were almost exactly the same as ultramarine blue. I’d say it’s worth buying the real thing if you’re going to use it. Right now, I use cerulean blue as a warmer blue instead.
  • For the green mix, I like viridian green instead of mixing it. I find it’s a good all around green and it mixes into a lot of different colors nicely. I’ve tried phthalo green but I found it a little too dark/cool for my taste.
  • For the brown, I used burnt umber instead of mixing. I’ve always liked the cool black I could get mixing it with ultramarine blue. I use alizarin crimson and viridian for another black mix.
  • Raw umber is another brown, but I find it pretty easy to mimic through mixing (green, brown and a little yellow ochre or something along those lines) so I don’t bother putting it on my palette.
  • I sometimes subbed dioxazine purple for the purple mix, but I find that color to be a little too powerful; it’s really, really overpowering so most of the time I’d mix my own.
  • Terra Rosa is a pretty strong color. I usually don’t put too much on my palette, or I use burnt sienna instead.
  • I usually base the warm white mix on the color of the lamp light so a lot of time it ends up being a cadmium yellow and white mix with a little cadmium red to make it a more orange since the light I’m using is warm in color.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ANATOMY: Useful Terminology

I’m taking 2 anatomy classes this semester and will be writing about it as I go, so to kick things off, here’s some vocabulary. A lot of this can be found on Wikipedia but it’s completely tl;dr. I’ll keep adding to this over time.

Anterior: front.
Posterior: back.
Superior: higher, so towards the head.
Inferior: lower.
Medial: inner, towards the center line (called the median, of all things).
Lateral: outer, away from the center.
Proximal:  the end of a limb/bone/part that is closer to the root (torso), such as the base of a finger.
Distal: the far end, further from the root (torso), such as the tip of a finger.

Dorsal: 2 uses. The top of the hand/foot, or the back.
Palmar: just like it sounds…the palm.
Plantar: bottom of the foot.

Flexion: movement that decreases the angle between two bones. As in flexing your bicep or bending your knee.
Extension: increases the angle between two bones. The triceps is an extensor.
Abduction: moves away from the centerline, like lifting your arm out (laterally).
Adduction: moves towards the centerline, like dropping those arms back down.
Pronation/Supination – These are forearm specific and have to do with the way it’s rotated.
Pronation: palm down or facing back (posterior).
Supination: palm up or forward-facing (anterior).
Tendon: connects muscle to bone.
Ligament: connects bone to bone.
Cartilage: like soft bone. Found in the nose, ears, between vertebrae and on and on and on.
Fascia: the saran wrap of the body. It’s found everywhere and basically holds things together.
Bones – Will be expanded, here are just some broad categories and examples.
Long Bones: femur, clavicle. For movement.
Short Bones: carpals. Limited movement.
Flat Bones: scapula, hip. Mostly protective.
Irregular Bones: vertebrae, patella, hyoid

Joints – I’ll expand this later. For now, these are the types.
Ball and Socket

Monday, February 21, 2011


So touch is a crucial part of how we relate to the world around us. It affected the progression of drawing through history and it visible in the way people first learn to draw. Color, too, is categorized by people in a similar way as shapes are, but they can't be lumped together. You can't really feel color, you can only see it, and even though Harold Speed lumps it into the same discussion on touch (Chapter 3, Oil Techniques and Materials), I don't see how it applies. It has more to do with how the brain works and the differences between the two hemispheres. 

So when an inexperienced person is asked to paint a red apple they'll reach for the red without really looking at the colors in front of them even though the actual color of objects fluctuates enormously depending on the lighting. They'll paint the shadows as a darker red, when in fact there's tons of other color in them. I mean sure, the apple's still red and going to be painted with red but there are many other colors involved, especially in the shadows. 

It's due to the left brain categorizing things as they appear in "standard lighting" (kind of vague, you know what I mean). So we know that such and such object is this color and we remember it that way, along with that shape and texture we learned from our sense of touch. It's pretty much a system to put a name to all the information hitting our senses. It's completely necessary for language, which is centered in the left hemisphere. 

The right hemisphere processes and understands visuals in a more pattern-based way and doesn't categorize like the left hemisphere. Learning to see (read: draw/paint) is a lot about learning to use that side of the brain. Sure, you won't have a name for that color, but you'll know what it is.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

LINK: Google Art Project

Really neat. Not much to say about it other than it's worth setting aside a bit of time to look through the museums' collections. In some ways it's even better than going to the museum since half the time, you can never get that close to the paintings anyways. I'm just hoping Google keeps adding lots of paintings.

Seriously, though, try zooming in on a painting and tell me that isn't crazy.

Friday, February 18, 2011


  • The space between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the pelvis (at the ASIS) is about two, maybe three fingers in size. Skeleton models have a much larger gap because there's a metal rod in their back. I'd like to see what they'd look like as a real person.
  • The back of the skull lines up with the very back of the rib cage.
  • A lot of the drawings in Richer's Artistic Anatomy were drawn from a black model but they replaced his head with a white guy with a mustache. That mustache always cracked me up and I'm a little upset it was all a lie. Damn 19th century prejudice ruining my fun.
  • Other mammals' spines connect through the back of the skull. That obviously doesn't work with people since we stand, and that's why the spine connects from the bottom.
  • Hold your arm out and you can see that the upper arm can be divided into thirds: 1/3 from the elbow to the triceps, 2/3 the triceps, 3/3 the shoulder. Neat.
  • The scapula is about 1 head's width and to make things even better there's about 1 head's width between the two scapulas.