Question About Cartooning

sgt scruffiansgt scruffian Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Artist's Corner
So I am an amateur...cartoon...artist? Enthusiast? Someone who is trying to draw cartoons, but who is not good at it at present. One of those. I was curious, what advice do you pros out there have for drawing the same character over and over again? It is something that has always eluded me. I try to draw up expression sheets for characters and they never look like the same guy. I gather this is probably because the shapes that I use to create them never come out the same, but I'm not sure how to make that happen.

Here is a little expression sheet I did just to give you guys an example of what I'm talking about, as well as give you something of my own work to maybe help us figure out what exactly I need to improve on to achieve this goal.
(A great deal of the trouble here is specific to the fact that I am new to Wacom tablets and drawing with them kind of hurts my hand and never seems to come out right, but I still have similar trouble drawing the same thing multiple times with any medium.)


sgt scruffian on


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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    drawing on model takes some practice. I would practice drawing the simple shapes in basic perspective first. The big problem is your head is changing shape, from bean-like to oval-like to tear drop-like. You want to build your guy on solid consistent forms, really thinking about them as three dimensional shapes. This is a good exercise for it http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/09/top-cat-turnaround-toy-construction_19.html

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    McJohnstableMcJohnstable Registered User regular
    Dont be afraid of construction lines (a cross shape on the face to plot where the nose etc is), if you work on paper, draw construction lines in a red or blue pencil, then ink in black over the top: you can use photoshop to erase the coloured pencil lines and preserve the ink. And Iruka gave you fantastic advice just there. ^

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    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    Every cartoon character can be built in triangles, squares or circles. Practice using your whole arm to get the rhythm of shape manipulation. A lot of notable animators like to streamline their artwork, but that really depends on the style of the cartoon more-or-less.

    Also, be confident with line quality! Don't go over the same line twice, it'll usually flatten/kill it.

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    McGibsMcGibs TorontoRegistered User regular
    Also, character design, and how they relate to other characters in the scene is extremely important. Make sure each character has unique and readable design elements so the reader can connect those elements to the character.

    Even if Batman looks totally different in each panel, you can still tell it's batman because he's the dork with the pointy ears.

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    sgt scruffiansgt scruffian Registered User regular
    Hey guys, thanks for all the helpful tips, I really appreciate it :)

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