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How I sketch Homer by Morpheus306 How I sketch Homer by Morpheus306
This was a quick tutorial on how I go about making my sketches when I was on The Simpsons, or for any drawing. One thing I always tell people is to not worry about the end result, focus on the pose and the story you're trying to tell. Every pose has a story, weather simple or complex. The way a person stands can tell you a lot about that character, but this has more to do with character design than just drawing bodies. I added a pic so you can see my process.
1. When drawing a body I always start with a line of action, it's a guide that will help you flush out that perfect pose. Of course you also want to think about what emotion you want your character to have, and the line of action will express that. Oh and I almost never go with my first sketch, I always make several sketches until I find the right one.
2. From there I start roughly sketching out the torso, arms, legs, etc. Nothing detailed just yet, I want to get the right feeling for the pose before I start adding details. *notice how I pushed the 2nd pose to get more emotion.
3. When I'm happy with the way the body feels I'll add hands, feet etc. For me the hands and feet are an extension of the arms and legs, all flowing together. Remember bodies need to have fluidity. I also start to fix model problems like proportions and what not.
4. Still sketchy I start adding face details because I might want to change the body a little if I see the face. I also start to "commit" to my lines, meaning making them more refine rather than just quick strokes. This makes the drawing for solid, but notice how I'm still sketchy. Oh and always draw through your forms, example: Homer's sleeves and body, I draw the whole circle not just where I think it should go. *The lines on the floor is a little trick I use to help my characters feel grounded, or like they're actually standing on something. It's just a quick 2 point perspective and with it I can make any changes to make him feel like he's standing.*

Normally this would be the last part of my job because we don't clean up the drawings, but from here you can take some tracing paper and clean up the drawing. You can see in my clean up that I had to adjust his model because his body was looking a little to big. That's basically it in a nut shell. This is how I make any drawing, weather simpsons or not. Everyone works differently so just keep practicing and you'll find something that works for you.
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Venomrabbit Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Certainly looks very helpful but for some reason I still have a fair bit of trouble with posing and such.

Or drawing in general really.

It's like that feeling you might get when you can tell something's off but no idea why or how to fix it? I might just be hopeless.
jpox Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013
very nice demonstration!
CatsTuxedo Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's a pity that your drawings for the Simpsons characters couldn't be as lively as your regular stuff. Animated sitcoms have a way of not applying classic cartoon principles like that.
Morpheus306 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Yeah I agree, but one thing I learned while on the show was that it wasn't about the flair of the visuals, it was all about the writing. Because it's a sitcom our drawings had to backup the witty dialogue and situations. Also, because the show had been on for so long there was a science to drawing the characters that everyone followed. We weren't allowed to do anything with the characters other than what they told us ie. squashing or stretching the forms. Go look at :iconshakabraw: work, he was on the show with me. Thanks for all the comments!
CatsTuxedo Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No prob. :)
That kinda thing is the reason I generally don't like animated sitcoms (along with a lot of other animated shows these days); that method of pretty much tracing off model sheets goes against the whole point of animation and its principles, that is to create entertaining but functional character acting and movement that is otherwise impossible in any other medium. I feel that as long as you can recognize the character, they'll always be "on-model". However, that shouldn't be interpreted as "draw sloppy", hence the importance of the exaggeration and other classic cartoon principles that you apply to the rest of your gallery; cartoon drawings should have life and energy while still having a sense of weight and power to them. Sure, tracing model sheets is easy, but you might as well be doing the show in live-action that way.
Morpheus306 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2011  Professional Filmographer
I agree with you 100%. One thing I learned though is that the big wigs don't see it like that. All they see is this $$$$ so they don't care what it looks like, as long as it makes money. But I do love the old Simpson eps, and not just because of the models. The early writing has always been brilliant. Until people find a way to blend good animation with good writing AND make money, this is what we have.
Lupy-the-Rabbit Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2012
The Simpsons actually seemed a bit more animated in the earlier seasons. How did it get so stiff?
Adultanimationman Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2011  Student
Homer had witnessed the horror of there being no donuts at the all you can eat donuts restaurant.
mariobros123 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
cool, i'd like to draw homer simpson as good you do =)
Mokuu Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011   Traditional Artist
Hey man, big question for you -

How do you apply this technique to two characters interacting?

Do you need to have both of em flow into each other- Action line wise?
Morpheus306 Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Wow very good question, with multiple characters each one will have it's own line of action. But the trick is to use them in a convincing way to tell a story.
If you're talking about two characters that are physically touching each other then yes, one solid flow would be needed. I'll do a drawing to show what I mean. Your goal is to guide the viewers eyes to what you want them to see. But be careful, you don't want your picture to get too jumbled. Great question!
teddybearbones Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2011
Nom. Delicious thought process :)
JoshawaFrost Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
This is great!! Thanks for this!!
nasakii Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great info. I love seeing other people's processes.
CartumanBrasil Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Student General Artist
Thank´s for sharing your process with us! ;)
chaosangel424 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011
cool, how do you get ride of the framing lines
Morpheus306 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Well I did this in Photoshop so it's as easy as doing the dark lines on another layer or just knocking out the color lines. But if this was on paper I would simply do the final lines on another piece of paper. That way there's no mess.
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Submitted on
June 26, 2011
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