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Tutorial: Construction by Morpheus306 Tutorial: Construction by Morpheus306
Ok lemme explain, not too long ago a friend of mine asked me to look at a picture he drew of Lisa cloud surfing like in Tale Spin so this was in response to that. But I think it accuratly portrays the basics of character construction. Here is a tutorial I wrote about it here...
On the left you can see how I constructred the figure, this is how you should treat your subjects. Always think of them as 3 dimensional forms with volume and wieght, never as just a flat image. This is what will bring a sense of relality to your drawings. Even the most stylistic and flat characters are drawn this way. See how I drew thru each form? I actually drew her legs and how they connected to her body, how the kness would bend, the ankles, everything is connected to the central body just like ours are. Getting good animation drawings is very tricky and you have to have a firm knowlage of how the body works inside and out, as well as physics and acting. Chuck Jones had a great saying that went "Every artist has 1000 bad drawings and 1 good one so the faster you get the bad ones out of the way the quicker you get the good one," which has a lot of truth to it. No one is born knowing everyting there is to know about drawing, it's a skill like playing the piano or building a house. The more you do it the better you become. Anyway back to the drawing, during construction I thought of the story I wanted to tell. I showed how Lisa is in a very extreame situation, one that she clearly isn't used to and how she's dealing with it. From the way she's holding the bar, standing on the board, her posture, expression, all these things convey to the viewer a story about Lisa. I know this may seem like a lot to have to think about when all you want to do is doodle, but you're already thinking of these things without even knowing, you just have to learn how to apply them. All I thought about when I was drawing this was "how would Lisa react to this situation?" now of course all characters are different especially in the Simpson world, Bart is obviously going to act different to cloud surfing than Lisa is. This is where the actor in all of us comes out, as animators we become the character. Know who the character is that you're drawing and become them on paper. Convey your emotions thru them to the audience(the viewer). Always remember character first details later; ever wonder why three circles make you think of Mickey Mouse? It's the symbol of that character that people instantly reconognize not what kind of buttons are on his pants. Ok I've rambled enough...the right pic is obviously a cleaned up version on model, and for those of you out there don't fret about model with these characters. I draw them everyday so I'm familiar with all the tricks and rules but that doesn't mean you should give up. Practice practice practice, that's the bottom line.

*and as a note, this can be applied to all styles of drawing not just Simpson drawing. The Simpsons are copywrited by Matt Groening.
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Adept-eX Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
Well, this really is useful. Thank you! =)
YellowRaichu Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I just can't help at loving Lisa's expression. She looks hilarious! Well done! :D
OutsiderGirl95 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
cool _:`D
JuniorGustabo Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2011
Very good.
luismario Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2008
I'm learning a lot from you.
Thanks for this, I'm gonna practice, practice, practice.
H-SWilliams Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2007
you have such great bits of advice in your artist comments :)
SupaStix Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2007
Really useful and great description, too. :D
Andevrit Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2007
Nice tutorial!Thank you very much!
thelordcommander Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2007
Unfortunately I didn’t find you tutorial very helpful, honestly it only furthered my confusion. What is getting to me is the question of how you pictures turn out looking so much better than mine when we are both using the same body construction technique? How are you able and how do I fail at giving characters that 3-D feel with volume and weight? I guess what I really want to know is, and before we take this discussion any further I would like to know, what specific flaws do you see in my drawling style?
Morpheus306 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2007  Professional Filmographer
The biggest difference between you and me is experience. I can see you want to better yourself and that's a huge step toward being great, but the fact is I've been drawing way longer than you. The more you draw the better you get. Ever try playing the piano like List for the first time? Not so easy right? Well after you practice and practice you get better, drawing is no different. I draw for 8+ hours a day 5 days a week, and I've been consistantly been doing that for over two years straight. Don't force yourself, you'll only get frustrated. I learned how to draw Simpsons from the people that created them and I work with them everyday so of course I'm going to be more familiar with them than people who don't work there. On top of that I went through 4 years of art school as well as many other courses througout my life. So don't get disscouraged, you may not be great now but you'd be suprised how much you improve the more you do it. Hell I couldn't draw as well as I can now even just a few months ago. Look at those Kiomer pics I did, big differnce right? If you have the passion to want to improve, you will.
Juanele Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
wow this is excellent, specially the description! thanks for sharing your knowledge
oarriaga2001 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007   Traditional Artist
That tutorial really helped me , Dane. Ii really became of good use. I'm not drawing that much now, but instead I'm having lots of history core courses. I do draw, but on my own, and ofcourse ost of it is life drawing.. Next semester is where the fun is suppose to start , I hope. Anyway, Remember that molly I drew with Lisa on this same pic you are refering too. I would appreciate if you could make a tutorial of how to draw her as a teenager. I'm working on a project based on a talespin story, and if you do this for me I will really appreciate it.
joshyartist Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007  Student Digital Artist
There is a simpsons handbook about 40 bucks at borders that has a whole bunch of constructions of the characters of the simpsons and such and various sketches and everything like that did you contribute anything to that at all? just curious as i will be purchasing said book very soon :P
Garlar Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2007  Hobbyist
Drawing is SERIOUS BUSINESS. I still have a lot of problems at dong tridimensional stuff, looks like I can picture it, but not put it on paper properly... OK, LET'S GO AND DO 1000 BAD PICS! THANK YOU CHUCK JONES!

What surprise me is that Lisa is even managing to stay on the board without losing it =D
DMajorBoss Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007  Professional Writer
And I thought that drawing was difficult before...still, with confidence and practice can go quite a ways these days.

Thanks for sharing.
NeterG Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007
Nice to sometimes read a tutorial about “think” and not about “do”.
Loved the Chuck Jones quote :)
I guess It was also him who said “a good animator is the one who tell the most with the fewer lines”.
Hirumi-Tan Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007
wow! drawing cartoons is difficult XD
MelissaDalton Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2007  Student Digital Artist
Wow. I haven't seen tail spin in so long. XD
Awesome job too btw
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Submitted on
November 10, 2007
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