Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Famous Artists Course: Folds Part One

I've been meaning to scan and post this forever...

Every good drawing book has a section on drawing folds. They're all pretty much the same. That said, the best one I've ever seen is from the "Famous Artists Course". Here is the first of several parts. Click to see these really big.

There are a few types of folds that are generally accepted among every artist, and the FAC lays them out just like every other drawing book, but for some reason the FAC version really seemed to be better explained than any other version I've seen. There are a lot of very clear visuals to explain everything.

This is the first section, which covers the basics, and probably won't strike too many people as all that extraordinary. The next part is where it really steps beyond what you usually see and really lays out a lot of good information I haven't seen before. I will scan that part when I get a chance.

I put folds in the same category as anatomy. You should learn everything about anatomy and folds and all the other nuts and bolts of drawing as early as you can; then these things become second nature and you can forget all about them, which means when you're drawing you can focus on all the really hard and important parts of drawing: getting the right pose, the right expression, the best composition and everything else.

Really, folds are pretty simple to learn and master, and the simplest suggestion of fabric and clothes is always the best, unless it's an important story point or something. The best drawn folds are those that help articulate whatever pose and/or feeling you're trying to convey and don't call attention to themselves or fight the more important parts of the drawing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Real Life Once Again Outshines the Movies (a 3 year old explains Star Wars)

(Sorry it's been so long since I posted...it's a long story. I can't explain just yet but I will soon...in the meantime, one more Star Wars related post).

A friend sent me a link to this video. Somebody videotaped their three-year-old daughter recounting the plot of "Star Wars" in about a minute and a half.

Once again, a shining example of why we should all take our inspiration from real life and not repeat what we've seen in other movies and TV shows. Have you ever seen a movie or TV with a kid in it as interesting, unique and entertaining as this real child is, just talking naturally and honestly? Of course not. Especially in animation, the characters that are supposed to be "kids" always seem to be little versions of adults, full of witty quips and one-liners for every situation.

When actors in film and TV talk about kid actors they work with, they always talk about how "grown-up" and "mature" the kids are on the set. Maybe that's why they always seem so uninteresting and unlike real kids, although more than anything, it's probably just the bad scripts they're given.

What makes kids so great, of course, is that they're free of the prejudices and preconceptions that we all have after walking around the planet for too many years and being subjected to so many influences. Kids see things with fresh eyes and they speak openly and honestly which is really amazing, which you know if you've ever spent any time around kids. Nothing will fill your life with turmoil, unrest, anxiety and a newfound zest for life like having kids. Or just being around them.

Anyway, this is just one more example of me admonishing you to seek out real life and draw inspiration from it, instead of parroting things you've seen on TV and in the movies. Maybe someday we'll see a child in a movie (and maybe even in animation) that actually is as interesting, bizarre and fascinating as real kids are.