Thursday, May 04, 2006

Some drawing help from Vance...I think

I finally downloaded Firefox for my computer so I can type sentences with words that are bold or italic. Call me a goober but I'm excited. Anything that helps me be more clear.

I can also embed liks that work. Here is a tribute to Vance Gerry written by John Musker.

Here are some great simple drawing instructions from Vance himself...I think. Some of my current or former workmates might be able to tell us for sure. The cursive writing and drawing style lead me to believe it might be Joe Grant instead. In any case, this one is on "scale", a concept I never even thought about until I saw this handout. It's a hard thing to explain. If it's not clear to you, ask questions and I will try to clarify!





These last two are copies of R. Crumb's work to show his use of scale. Whoever copied them wrote "ugly but has great scale" on them. That's an amazing way to look at them. I think Crumb is an example of a great draftsman who's drawings aren't very appealing to me. Obviously, that's a personal opinion, it's a very subjective call. Someday I want to post a lot of drawings from artists that I think draw well but are unappealing. It would be great to start a discussion and see what everyone else thinks! It will be very controversial though, I am sure.


14 comments:

Per Hardestam said...

I'm following this blog every morning and I just want to thank you for sharing. I'm so grateful! Please continue and never end these lessons.

J said...

Hey Mark,
The idea of scale, or 'scaling up' is covered realy well in Don Graham's Composing Pictures as well. Its an interesting concept to try to consciously apply.Excellent stuff as always, thanks for posting it.

Scott LeMien said...

am i right in assuming 'scale' seems to mean, exaggerating the 3-d progression of an item or it's details to push awareness of it, even if it might somehow be a bit less realistic. As an example, I guess I could say a policeman's shirt/jacket can be black, but if you draw a larger than normal badge on him, and maybe give him more obvious buttons and and a collar that is white, you would somehow be pushing the 'scale' of it?

mark kennedy said...

Thanks for all the feedback!

scott-
Part of "scale" is that you simplify everything to make it's "function" clear. Making the policeman's badge bigger helps clarify it and show that he is a policeman. But I'm not sure why the collar and buttons would be bigger. They don't contribute to the idea of "policeman". Am I understanding your question correctly?

Scott LeMien said...

Okay, then why would, for example, since Crumb's truck has these giant tires, or even the exaggerated tire example--how is that making it's function clear? they look like balloons, are you saying their function is to be filled with air? Isn't their function subordinate to the truck or vehicle's design.

If you say so, then isn't the minutest function prone to exaggeration? Why wouldn't buttons, which hold a shirt together, not be exaggerated as well, as they seem to be in the first diagram.

I guess I don't really understand it. =(

floyd norman said...

Before I came to Disney and got involved in story, I had a background in comics and gag cartoons. For me, it's always about communicating instantly. Making things read at a glance.

Once in story, I continued this way of thinking about drawing. I guess it worked. Vance seemed to approve.

Jayenti Collins said...

i'm just a little lost too. this is the first time i've heard 'scale' used. so, it's simplifying to make the function of the object clear? is it also exaggeration like in the cartoon of the two people? do you have other resources or links about scaling so i could read some more about. you definitely peaked my interest!

J said...

The way I understand it, 'scaling' is just the process of using size to ascribe a heirarchy of importance to elements in a drawing. For example, baby eyes in cartoons are 'scaled up to emphasize their presence over everything else giving the whole drawing a 'cute' feeling. Same thing with Jessica Rabbits bust. Its 'scaled up' to to give her a siren look.

mark kennedy said...

well put, j.

scott- there's no right or wrong answer about buttons on a shirt. The point of scale is: a shirt can read as a shirt by it's shape, if need be. You don't NEED buttons to say "shirt". And if you do want to draw buttons, don't draw twelve buttons with four holes in the middle of each one! Just draw three big cartoony buttons - think Mickey's shorts. That way the buttons read quickly without the audience having to stop and figure out what they're looking at. Anything in the drawing with more detail will draw the eye and the audience will think it's more important. So be careful where you put your detail. And everything should be working together to sell the OVERALL story point.

And if you're trying to say "cop" draw the badge big and clear. Buttons don't contribute to the idea of a cop. A badge does.

But if the buttons are an important story element, then draw them with the level of detail that they deserve to sell the point.

Does this help?

Jayenti Collins said...

thanks! both j's and your clarification really helped! i think i get it now.

mark walton said...

I think you pretty much said it all. I just wanted to add that I have this weird morbid fascination with Crumb's work, that probably has at least as much to do with his draftsmanship as with how nakedly he puts his problems and fettishes out there, as well as combining crudely cute, funny retro-charm with barley contained rage and hatred for himself and the world. But his style itself is a fascinating contradiction - he lovingly, painstakingly (almost obsessively) inks in the shadows and half-tones on simple, happy, cartoony characters (making them too detailed, adding too many shadows and wrinkles, giving them an overcomplicated, unappealing texture) as well as more realistic and/or disturbing characters (sometimes giving the very crude, semi-pornographic, twisted, violent themes and pictures in some of his stories a beuaty and charm they really don't deserve). I actually got to see several originals of his, along with some of his rough pencil pre-sketches. What really surprised me is what a huge leap in sophistication, polish, and appeal his drawings made when they were inked in (often it's the other way around, where you lose appeal, energy, and spontaneity in the reworking of a drawing - happens to me a lot!)

Ed Gombert said...

Those are Vances drawings. He usually wrote captions that way. Joe Grant owned a greeting card company for years and Vance printed small edition books. Perhaps there is a connection there. Vance wrote with a more informal style and Joe wrote with a very tight style. besides, Vance's drawings were more appealing.

mark kennedy said...

Ed-
Thanks for clarifying!

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