Animation Lesson — Two Legged Full Bodied Characters

Animation Lesson — Two Legged Full Bodied Characters, has to be the most difficult lesson so far. I created what I thought was a pretty good rabbit, but upon comparison there were a lot of inconsistencies between mine and the original.

Cartoon Rabbit

I redrew the whole thing and then made new comparisons. Not much better so it’s rinse and repeat, and again and again and again.

What I find hard about my correction method, (perhaps some of the other students or even John K (the instructor) have some advice for me) is that when I start to look for inconsistencies, I begin to draw without using the “construction” technique (ie. turning basic shapes into more detailed shapes) but in more of a straight ahead method (ie. Just moving lines to look more like the finished product). Am I tackling the problem correctly, or should I also go back to construction method again when making corrections?

Anyway through trial and error I’ve got something that almost matches up but of course it certainly won’t win any awards:

Cartoon Rabbit

I don’t even want to show you the duck, but at least I can say this was only the first attempt:

Cartoon Duck

And here is the latest version of the duck:

Cartoon Duck


Lesson 3 Part 2

animationIt took me quite a few attempts but even though it’s not perfect I’m ready to move on to the next lesson because I don’t want to fall behind. I started this one completely from scratch and I find it interesting how I kept making the same mistakes. I’ve pretty much cleaned up a lot of what was wrong before, but it’s amazing how the small differences continue to show up so dramatically in the animated overlay.


Lesson 3 Part 1

In lesson three, John asks us to overlay our drawings on top of Preston Blair’s and identify differences. Here are mine:

John K's Lesson 3

Any other inconsistancies that I missed?


More From Lesson One

Here are some different angles of the bear from the first page of Preston Blair’s book. I did this set this morning and I’m going to start lesson three this afternoon.

Cartoon Bear

animation Art

Cartoon Drawings

Here are some more drawings in an attempt to improve my cartooning ability. Compare these with the lesson page.

Cartoon Moustache man

Cartoon Grandma

What I find so rewarding about these particular drawings, is that instead of looking at an original image in any given pose and replicating it (something I feel fairly confident at doing), here I am taking an original pose and changing it into other poses—it creates a stronger feeling of ownership even though they aren’t my characters.

animation Art

John Ks Online Preston Blair Animation Lesson 2 – Squash and Stretch

I’ve been having a great old time this afternoon drawing my heart out and listening to Clay Kaytis’s Animation Podcast.

Here is my page of drawings from John Kricfalusi’s Preston Blair animation lessons: Lesson 2 – Squash and Stretch:

Cartoon Squash and Stretch


John Kricfalusi’s Online Preston Blair Animation Lessons

John Kricfalusi writes:

You can go to animation school, spend a $100,000 and not learn a damn thing about the basics of good animation drawing-OR you can buy a Preston Blair book for $8 and learn it all in a couple months. You pick.

Just about every cartoon being made today is based on the principles and style of cartoons made in Hollywood in the 1940s—Anime, Cartoon Network flat stuff—even the Simpsons. The only difference is, that some of the principles that make the classic stuff look so good have been lost. The new cartoons are all a degeneration of what cartoons once were—a superficial copy of them—even though many off the artists drawing today don’t even know they are copying—but copying wrong—styles and trends and principles of what developed from the animated cartoons of the Golden Age.

John feels that one of the best ways to learn is by studying master animator Preston Blair’s book, “Animation”.

I’m going to not only tell you about the Preston Blair Book—but I’m gonna guide you through it, fundamental concept by fundamental concept.

I decided to take a whirl at the first lesson, by drawing the cartoon characters from the book. Here are my first drawings:

Cartoon Dogs

My Sketchbook with images of cartoon animals

If you’re up to it, you can give the first lesson a try too. It’s easy when you follow the instructions.

backmasking Music

The Devil’s in the Details

I came across a  BoingBoing post about the so-called Devil’s Interval, a musical form suppressed by the Church in the Middle Ages.

The post also talks about a new heavy metal documentary which ties the Devil’s Interval, a specific kind of musical interval that spans three whole tones, with the history of heavy metal.

See the BBC’s report called The Devil’s Music (with mp3 examples), and if it floats your boat, the metal history site (with documentary trailer) Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey.

Oh, and for the record, I’m pretty sure Xeni was just joking when she said, “When you play Wagner backwards, it goes, ‘I LOVE SATAN’. But nevertheless if that’s what you want to hear…


My Playlist

  1. Adam’s Song
  2. Needle in the Hay
  3. So Alone
  4. Hurt
  5. Bullet with Butterfly Wings
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody
  7. Creep
  8. Deep
  9. Jeremy
  10. Motion Picture Soundtrack
  11. Today
  12. Suicide is Painless

I remember posting this list in 2006, I was feeling extremely down that day… I guess it was too subtle for anyone* to notice. Discovering this list again today made me wish I could go back in time and tell myself that life gets so much better. And worse. But for better or worse, life is wonderful.

*Ok, at least one person noticed. Thanks Sherri S.


Spumco’s Boo Boo Runs Wild

Fans of Ren and Stimpy will probably enjoy this Yogi Bear parody by John Kricfalusi. It’s a parody of the old Hanna Barbara Ranger Smith/Yogi Bear cartoons in which Boo Boo finally snaps after years of being such a straight arrow.

Get it while it lasts because knowing YouTube, this won’t be online long, once it gets noticed.

Rated TV7, which I’m guessing means for seven year olds? Well, whatever, it aired on Adult Swim, so your mileage may vary.