30 Nov 2010


Ive been asked by a friend to do a cartoon caricature for her Mam for Xmas which I thought was a fab gift and a good drawing exercise for me! Kay is an art Grad, she does Photography mainly but we used to go to Art together back in school so she will be good to work for as she'll be able to point out weaknesses for me to improve on.

The photograph she sent me was quite small but it was of her mum pulling a silly, toothy smile that she often does when she's done something 'wrong' or around things she loves; in this case her favourite horse.

As a double joke Kay wanted me to do quite a harsh caricature to make her look more horse-like and for comic value when she finally hands her the drawing for Xmas. As there was only 1 photograph to work from I scoured Facebook for a picture of Kay as they are extremely similar looking, hence producing the above cartoon of Kay.  Both have massively cartooney, almond-shaped eyes but are quite sleepy when not pulling a daft face etc. I figured this small study would be a springboard to not only loosen myself up but to get an idea of the similarity in features between her and her mam.

Attempt 1 from the photograph. I didn't put too much detail in the face but sketched the basics. I wanted to make the teeth large enough to be funny but not so large as to offend.

Attempt 2 went alot better. I spent alot of time on the eyes, drawing and correcting as I went along and added some nice curves to the cheeks and facial muscles. I also bowed the teeth a little and made the mouth area generally larger.

Attempt 3 was for my own enjoyment focusing on the teeth/ mouth even more and reducing the cranium. I can see where I could push this drawing even further. I do love the contrast between this and the 1st attempt I made, it shows development and my trail of thought in the process. The more I look at this version the more I want to convince Kay that I should use it instead of the 2nd Attempt which she prefer!

Next was the horse design! I made an attempt at a rough few sketches to get used to drawing horses, which I find really difficult usually but today I guess my love for drawing came back after weeks of not being able to! The 1st drawing was definitely what I wanted to go for in regards to structure and relative size of the cranium to the mouth area.

Attempt 1 of the horse was difficult getting the mouth at the sides even and right. He looks a little worried which I didn't intend. I do like the way I'm drawing teeth at the moment, I guess those Anatomy exercises sunk in! :) (Just to point out: the detail on the snout and forehead are patterns that her horse has).

Attempt 2 is slightly more rounded and I played with a longer cranium and knocked the iris off his eyes to make him look less doe-eyed. I like the angle of the white fur on his snout this time and the angle of the teeth.

Composition attempt 1 was more or less a trace I did before work to put the two characters together on the same page. There really isn't any sort of composition in this scene and I dislike it for that. I love the entire bottom-half of the horse's face but hate the eyes. I also think the more I trace Kay's mum I lose more of the details that make the cartoon look like her so I think I'll have to be careful of this and stick to referencing the photo and that 2nd caricature.

Composition attempt 2 went alot better its a bit more together but again I have issues with the mum looking less like herself. I prefer the mouth and her teeth in this cartoon but after Kay mentioned she wanted her mam on the left side I think my drawing went to shit as the photograph is looking to her left. Here I had to improvise and make her look to the right. This works for composition I feel but I am regarding this attempt as an extreme rough*. The horse is also not what I wanted facially; I think I need to thin his cranium, lose the thick eyebrows or stick to the 2nd design.  His body is my usual Bugs Bunny/ Jon K style I know! But I liked how I handled the hoof holding Kay's mam and his thrusty chest and butt-cheeks!


 I got annoyed that the more I drew Kay's mam the less it looked like her so I went back to the photo and had one last go reducing the size of the cheeks and more of a softer look for the teeth.


My Internet attempted to foil my plans today and it did so by procrastinating its connection causing me to put back me applying for a job as well as sending the 1st inked draft of Kay's cartoon for approval. Suffering from a stinking chest infection and runny nostrils, the problem was finally rectified after 6hours of sulking, 3 cups of tea, 6 biscuits, a mug'O'pasta and some kicking of the modem and whining and pointing at the router..

Its definitely not the best ink-job of my life, this was a particularly nasty task as I had some major problems with Toonboom today (more things to add to the nest of circuitry hell!


1st draft of the coloured version:

I think I will change the following: The Hooves are too much of a greeny sick colour, the tail/tone, possibly add some more brown and yellower tones to her face and add more of the horses brown tones to her hair. I also need to erase the bottom of the drawing to make it less 'straight-edge' or simply move the composition up and erase this. I think I like her coloured top best and the hoof texture, just not the colour.


I really am crap with colour especially when choosing a background colour to frame my characters. Im not even entirely convinced by my choice of vector brushes for the stars and strings but here goes anyway:

Colour choices:

 If I had to choose I'd probably say I liked this one the best or the last but I honestly think someone else could do a much better job! :P

 I didnt want to go for typical blue, green or red or anything garish but something a little more pastel and subtle but I will have to see what Kay suggests!


Red Background and more cow-printage:)

Really not too sure on the richness of the red but if I went a bit more pastel with the colour it would be pink instead of red, her mam's fave colour. I think I might experiment with some grey-tones instead of the orange/ yellow glow framing the characters. I think I find this background too consuming and the characters have become a little lost in vibrance.

Less richness on the red and some subtle greyer tones. Still not happy!

This green is a little cold and doesnt pick up the very warm tones in Kay's Mam's face at all. The browns even seem colder than what they are with this background. Not a fan.

 This turquise is alot nicer to look at. It blends with the composition but doesnt dwarf the characters or under-tone them.
Red really wouldnt be my ideal choice for this comp. Its too rich and the lighter I go the pinker it seems to be but will have to see what Kay thinks!

More to come soon!

4 Nov 2010

Sketch Book Page 2

 This is my effort for today! I really think sometimes bad drawing happens when the paper isnt a very good quality. Im not trying to fob this off and blame it on paper but it is cheap, thick and rips under too much pressure so maybe I should go back to old-fashioned expensive card/ paper or cartridge for safety.
My task for myself today was to master the facial muscles and skeletal form then take a picture of myself (without a flash), draw the muscle and skeleton detail in photoshop, record, then have a go at drawing the photograph, free-hand, without referencing the anatomy book, and have a crack at communicating what Ive learnt about the muscles in the face over the last two days. As it goes, Ive run out of time today but I definately want to complete this task so this page will be updated with those drawings soon!

This collection of drawings could be better with the benefit of the paper being raised on an easel or drawing board. I'm aiming to sort out a new desk and prop my lightbox on top of it in the next few days so I think it will help with my accuracy and give my drawings more roundness.

Watch this space for more face!

I spent most of the day obsessing over The Clash's lead singer/ song writer Joe Strummer, watching interviews and just falling more and more in love with him. I planned to take a picture of my face and draw over the top of it in Photoshop but I found this snap of Strummer and couldn't resist, as sick as that may sound. He was the most beautiful and insightful person who ever lived.

 I did cheat alot with this and referenced my anatomy book but I think If I had gone with the flow of his facial construction this could have turned out better. I particularly like the naked Layer in the centre. Looks like a zombie.

Oky I'm not finished with this one but I wanted to get it posted before work so here's my working progress:


I quite like the line-work minus the photograph in the background. Its a bit creepy which I like but it also shows me the areas I did well with and the areas where I probably made it up or assumed how the muscles would look from that angle.
 The other version I felt was too dark so I lightened up the highlights of the lines and posted the new outcome.

Still a way to go yet but side-profiles and more to come!

Before I went to work on the 11th I started drawing the skeletal and muscular detail onto a photograph of me /side profile. Looking at it here I can see a white squiggle on the temple and may add a few more of these to make it look a little more cartoony, not sure yet. 
So anyway! Im not entirely sure that I have all of the elements correct. I havnt been able to do much of the skull or muscle detail without peeking at the Anatomy book and even that confuses me at times.

If anyone is an awesum Anatomist or knows where these elements should be then please feel free to re-draw in red over the Jpeg below it would be much appreciated! :)

 This I quite like after removing the original photograph from underneath it. My lines are, as always, very out-lined and heavy. I think with the next drawing I will attempt a different style and make it look softer.  I did add a sponge effect in attempt to soften the lighter areas but the line work is still extremely heavy and I think Im beginning to make dents in my Wacom! 

2 Nov 2010

Sketch Book Page 1

New start, new email address and new blog! This blog will be used purely for my musings and sketches as they occur to me. I feel in my last blog, Juzzybunni.blogspot.com, I mixed casual with formal and its so far gotten me nowhere business-wise.  I feel if I separate the two, use this blog for my sketches and new work as well as the odd rant or two, then I can work on tidying up my previous blog and use it for my animations or animation-related work only.

So here it is! I will start with a few sketches I have uploaded from my previous blog and I will be adding new material over the next few weeks! Enjoi and watch this space!

 Caricature of a friend in Bakshi-style

 Preston Blair Dog
 A few random life and anatomy studies

 A-level War-Pig gouache, acrylic and oil painting

Ralf Bakshi character timed copy

 1st caricature of a friend

My character for 3rd year film 'Chester'
 A caricature for a friend who had injured her leg
 Harley Quinn copy
 Marvel and a few bits of life drawing studies
Tattoo copy/study

 Me/ Punk design
 Preston Blair hand studies

 Bakshi's Marigold
 Ann Summers models

 Caricature of myself by myself.
 Fantastical caricature of myself and a friend, using Disney's Fantasia style and my own.
Random doodle after I squashed a fly with my peg-bar. I was pretty ratty that day!

The old me. But still me