Friday, August 17, 2012

People who Draw People

People who can draw people are the luckiest people in the world!  (Lame reference- I know!) At least they are to me, as I've always struggled with drawing figures.  Now that I've been tasked with a project that requires me to draw people- lots of people- I am regretting not spending more time doodling in my youth!  Not that I can't improve my drawing skills now- I can, but I do wish I'd started sooner.  I always admired my classmates who could sit and draw between (sometimes during) lessons.  I rarely attempted it- it drew too much curiosity from those around me, and I was too shy to let folks look at my attempts at the horses, medieval princesses, and the gargoyles I would be drawing- like I would occasionally draw at home (I was a rather romantic, day-dreamy child).  Although, somehow bringing a horse sculpture to work on before class wouldn't bother me- go figure!  I guess I've always been a little more at home with 3-D.

Before I prattle on too much more, I'll mention again that the project I'm talking about here is my animated short.  It is set in Ireland and involves a boy and a girl and a tremendous event, but that's all I'll say about it just now.  I'm happy to say the script is nearly finished- the rough draft, that is!  I need to run it by several people for review.  I'd like to have my characters designed and a few sample scenes drawn before I hand it over to my critiquers.

Anyhow, my latest attempt at improving my 'people skills' was a figure drawing class that ended last May (I mentioned it once before, here in this blog post).  Happily that did challenge me and teach me a few new things and tricks- though one of the important lessons I learned was that I needed to draw every day, and sadly, I've lost that habit!  I can see my regression in the images below, but I am determined to push on.  I know I can only devote so much time to each of the projects I'm balancing right now, but hopefully as I get better at my schedule, I can devote more time to each of them overall. 

Recently, I've been working on designing one of my main characters, a 20-something girl named Colleen.  She's rather quiet and reserved Irish gal who has bright green eyes & brunette hair.  I want the style of my animated piece to have sketchier lines- sort of like a darkened pencil test.  I've always loved to see clips of pencil tests of animated features- I think it would be grand to have a whole piece that evoked that same feeling!  Anyhow, here's one of my first real test drawings of Colleen.  I'll admit I cut off the legs because they just weren't coming out right!

I've been playing around with different hair styles.  I am leaning toward #1, as it is kind of what I originally pictured, but the versions with curls are fun- what do you think? (Ah, photoshop- how you are a help!).

And just to prove that I really can draw could draw people well, here are some sketches from my figure drawing class.  Of course, I have always done better drawing from life, so I suppose I ought not weight that too heavily!  In any event, the class was a helpful stepping stone toward getting this project done.  I hope to eventually bring more people (i.e.. real animators) into it, but if I end up having to complete it myself over 30 years, I will.  It's sort of like it was with the 'Blues Brothers,'  I'm on a mission from God. :)

Now back to masking horses!  :)

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