Monday, January 18, 2010

How To Draw Cartoons!

Well, only touching briefly on the subject, to be honest.

I've been associated with Visual Arts Brampton for about 7 years or more now, and I can most often be found there on Tuesday evenings for the open workshops in life drawing. Visual Arts Brampton, or VAB for short, is located on the east side of Hurontario immediately north of Steeles in Brampton Ontario, just a short drive away from where I live in adjacent Mississauga. Keith Moreau runs this art studio that offers art lessons and open drawing sessions to the general public, and I'd like to encourage those in the Brampton area to come out and join us for some life sketching on Tuesday evenings, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. It's only $10 per session with no obligation to sign up for anything - just drop by when you're of a mind to. I've posted some of my more caricatured approaches to life drawing previously, which may be found here. I think I may soon be posting more samples, as I've got a ton of them stockpiled. Also, here are a couple of caricatures pictured below I drew of aspiring young artists who have joined us in past sessions.




Something else Keith and I have been starting to venture into is doing some test runs at cartooning tips on video. To be honest, they're pretty rough attempts so far, as nothing has been scripted at all and I have a tendency to ramble a bit in my somewhat awkward stammering way of speaking! But we're just trying out things in the hopes of developing it more down the road. Anyway, here is our first attempt at something pretty much on the fly that Keith's son Nick has videotaped and uploaded to YouTube for now. Funnily enough, although I'm quite comfortable standing up in front of a classroom full of students at Sheridan College, I'm pretty damn self-conscious in front of a rolling camera! No Oscars for acting in my future, I'm afraid...


28 comments:

Clean3d said...

THANK YOU for posting this. I followed along on a sheet of paper with a pen, and the combination of that, your explanation, and watching you on the video finally made a number of concepts "click" that had just been confusing rules before. I look forward to seeing any future videos you might produce!

I had one question: When drawing eyebrows, especially on women, how do you keep them from looking "mean"? Female eyebrows seem a little more angled downward/inwards, but I can't seem to draw them without making my characters look like some sort of villain. Any advice?

Thanks again!

CJ said...

I found a link to your blog while perusing through some older posts of John's.

And I must say your work and thoughts on the evolutions are really inspirational.
I'm a rather young illustrator, 21 to be exact. So I'm glad I've stumbled upon your work so that I may improve before I become an old fogy or learn the wrong way. ;)

I hope to see more stuff from you in the future. In the meantime, I'll practice your methods in my sparetime.

Happy drawing!

Willem Wynand said...

=) wow these are great, i really like the cartoony style you apply and still using solid construction =)
thank you

Pat said...

This is really, really GREAT! I hope to see more in the future! Thanks.

Lucas Ferreyra said...

Damn, you are good!

Mark Heng said...

Nice! Keep 'em coming!

Daniel Caylor said...

Hey Pete. These are really helpful. I really hope you make more of these, and make a series. I'd love to get as good as you!

Niki said...

Well your lucky to even be able to stand a classroom! I have taken public speaking twice because I can't do it!

Patrick McMicheal said...

Hey, Thanks for the videos...extremely entertaining and educational as well.
I love the caricature of Shannon....GREAT,GREAT work.

Thunderrobot said...

Thanks so much for posting these and please make some more. No one is doing drawing videos for some reason. I love the video format because I can see exactly how you draw through all the stages of the drawing. I can also see exactly where you grip your pencil, and how hard you press the pencil to the paper.

I don't have any drawing friends or instructors so this information is extremely helpful. Also thanks for going over proportions and how they fit into construction.

Visual Arts Brampton said...

While there might be no Oscars for Documentary Short Subject, each video's so far received an average rating of 5/5. No bad.

(I'll note that I was a little overwhelmed, opening the studio's inbox, finding people subscribing to our video feed. Thanks to everyone who did so!)

In the next week or so, we should have another two-parter available. Peter filmed a segment, drawing a rather stubby fellow running. There's just one little thing we need to do in post, and then it'll be up and available to all.

- Nick

Pete Emslie said...

Wow - thanks to all for the very positive response! I guess I'll just have to get more comfortable in front of the camera and do some more of these after all. I must admit, I'd love to see this type of video demo by cartoonists that I admire as well. Bobby Chiu has one on YouTube of MAD veteran cartoonist, Mort Drucker, that was conducted by the brilliant Stephen Silver. Unfortunately, it's brief and essentially a teaser to sign up for the course, but what's there for a free preview is still fun to watch and gives some great insight into Drucker's methods.

As I said before, the couple we've videotaped at VAB so far are just tests, not scripted or well thought out on my part. I'm wondering, though, whether that's really important, as watching it in playback I'm thinking that my ongoing narrative of simply speaking my internal thought process may be better than trying to create something overly polished and professional. The rawness of the thought process actually may be more beneficial to anybody trying to learn more about how drawings are created.

Again, much thanks to Nick Moreau for being the dedicated videographer on this. We'll try to do some more of these in the weeks to come.

Andy J. Latham said...

I won't spend too much time repeating what others have said, but these are fantastic Pete. I really hope you do more. Videos are such great things to learn from.

Thanks soooooo much for doing these!

Frauenfelder said...

I'd happily pay to see more videos like this. They are awesome.

tobor68 said...

pete, you could be reciting the phone book for all i care. watching someone draw well is just amazing.

you remind me of watching mr. dressup draw pictures when i was a kid. it was what got me into drawing in the first place.

keep it up!

Sjoerd Schokker said...

Hello mr.Emslie,

I just had one question... In the videos about face proportions, you use a pencil that I've been looking for for ages!!! Could you please tell me what kind of pencil it is?? The points you mentioned in the video, just made it a lot more clear to me, thank you for that!! Hope to be hearing from you soon!!

Keep it up!!

Jonathan Coit said...

Thanks Pete and Keith!

Speaking of Visual Arts Brampton, I might venture back there after school is done to get some drawings in and buff up my portfolio. I am glad to hear things are still running well.

sinner said...

wow! amazingly done! it's exciting to see works like this, transforming real persons into a caricature. though I am connected with music video production I still do appreciate works like you have. I can how talented you are! I want to share this my site with you-->music video production

Mars Cabrera said...

Mr. Dressup , Ernie Coombs- draws straight on , usually starts off with a line anywhere on the paper and for some reason magically transforms into a train, a monkey whatever-- it's usually hard to make out at first.. kind of how Aragones does his cartoons , very fast and direct tho aragones tend to be more distinct.

Pete here is more precise and has his own flavor - the way the Great Masters do it, Pete is a living legend! not saying Mr Dressup is lesser talented - his style is just different - very minimal construction. but, I guess - how they explain stuff is kinda similar - very clear!

Fantastic videos!!!

[B]ehram said...

Ahh Pete you looking sharp as ever. These be some valubale lessons, it still goes through my head everytime I draw.

rod said...

Great!

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Thanks! This stuff is great!

Mitch K said...

Fantastic, Pete! Thank you!

Rick Roberts said...

Thank you for these invaluable lessons Pete ! I have request if it's not too much to ask; Please do a lesson on drawing heads in multiple perspectives and angles. :)

Pete Emslie said...

That's a really good request, Rick. I'll try to cover that one in the next round. If anyone else has any specific requests, I'm happy to hear them, as I don't have too many definite ideas on what I'd like to shoot next.

Rick Roberts said...

Thanks Pete ! Drawing the head in different angles can be quite a challenge; It's hard enough getting the proportions correct.

Rick Wright said...

Nice work and great tutorial Pete! Thanks for sharing!!

PetFoodGuy said...

I tried some of the exercises and found them very helpful. I had seen some tutorials before on Youtube but yours was the first "real" lesson I followed. Great posts.

I also found this DVD on Amazon very helpful:

How To Draw Cartoons