I really want to improve my drawing skills and it is my main focus at the moment, I have heard from many sources that life drawing is the best way to do this. I have been trying to do a few figures most days. At the moment this is just “nudes” from Google images but I would like to draw real life examples. I have been trying a number of different techniques and will eventually find a style that I like. At the moment I am playing with pen and marker as it allows to capture a pose in around a minute. I will continue to work on different styles and I am starting to read “Dynamic Figure Drawing” by Burne Hogarth (I will create a separate blog about the books/resources that I am using at the moment.. life1   I’m really not happy with the top figure, I think that I spent to long drawing the lines/outline and that I should have made more spontaneous marks, I think that this would have give the picture more life, and at the moment it looks the most two dimensional and “flat” of all the sketches that I have done recently. I regards to the second figure in the sketch above, I think that the body is “okay” and does capture what I was drawing, however I find the face to be very poor. This is something that I have found in the majority of my life drawing. My next element that I will focus on will be rendering faces and expressions quickly. life2   I liked this picture, I think that the body looks good and the minimum use of pen on the body means the focus is on the markers. Although my scanner is not very good at capturing the different shades and in real life there is more of a contrast between the colours. Once again the head on this figure is its main weakness. I originally had a small portion of her face showing, however it looked really poor and so I decided to “cheat” and cover it with hair. I think that the markers did allow me to render the cloth really quick and I experiment with them further once I start to concentrate on drawing fabrics etc.



As part of our creative futures module we have been learning how to use video recording and editing equipment. We used  HD camcorder and Adobe Premiere to edit the clips. Below I have posted a very short video that I created using footage of a college friend. I am also working on a longer more technical video and will post that in due course. Below is what I have made so far:



We are currently creating animations based on 3 of the principles of animation, see the link to previous post on this mini project  >here<

I started by working out the extreme points of the movement, and once I had thought about the movement of the inflatable dinosaur I worked out how it would move just as a ball. These diagrams can shown below: I paid particular attention to “bounce, stretch and squash” as I wanted to emphasise the fact that it was inflatable.


I was fairly happy with the movement of the ball so next I looked to add the limbs to the ball and animate the full character. Below is the key frames that I worked out for the initial test.


I took the drawings above and used them to make a quick animation, this would allow me to see how the movement animates and if it captures “bouncy/inflatable” movement I was looking for.

dino - test 1

I was reasonably happy with the animation, as a whole I think it animates in the way I was hoping. This test animation has enabled me to identify the elements/areas that need to be improved or altered. The tail definitely isn’t quite right and this will be addressed with a “tail test” animation. I also think the shift in weight between the front and back of the character is also too great and this will be slightly reduced, paying particular attention to ensuring the volume of the character stays the same.


Below I isolated the tail and animated it separately, I found trying to work out the tail and body at the same time very distracting.

tail test 1

I was happy with the above test and the next step is to add this tail to some new full body drawings. I will create another test animation with double the frames to see if it looks more “inflated” when running more smoothly and slower.



Below is a link to my previous post on the “Bus Stop” project.


I have decided that I am going to design a “Borrowers” style bus stop. I want to create the bus stop using household objects that could have been scavenged from the characters world. This objects must be easily identifiable in terms of scale and what they are. I have already sketched a few example below:


I liked the above design, it was a conscious design to cut the milk carton half way through the text, this makes it more believable and realistic to what would be real life.



I like this idea very much and this could be something that could easily made in the characters world. I would like to do a more finished version of this sketch but actually featuring “The Borrowers” book instead.



In the final piece I have already decided that there will be a mouse with a saddle in the foreground acting as their transportation, So I decided to do a quick sketch of a bus stop outside a mouse hole. I don’t want to take this idea any further but I do like the lamp as a lamp post and I may keep this along with the matchbox stool for the final piece.

I have decided that I want to create the final piece in the style of a children’s book. My tutor advised me to look at the works of Jake Parker and Shaun Tan as inspiration and I will create a post on their work very shortly.

I think for my final piece I will draw in pencil and then colour digitally.



layout idea idea



Just a couple of sketches, trying to improve my drawing. I am planning on filling a sketch book a month from now on.


life drawing



I start to try a new technique of life drawing, in the sketches below i used copic markers to draw the basic sketch and then add the values/shading. It was only after this that I added the pen. I quite liked using this technique as it was extremely quick.

life2 life3



PRINCIPLES OF ANIMATION – Overlapping action, Ease in Ease out and Arcs


I am currently studying the next 3 principles of animation, we are looking at 3 together as they are closely linked and difficult to show examples in isolation. It was suggested that I study Richard Williams’ “The Animators Survival Kit”, pages 48 to 60 deal with these 3 principles.


This is where several similar techniques are used together to render the movement more realistic, and that the character adheres to the law of physics. For example two parts of the body may move at different rates/times. For example a person with a very large stomach, the stomach will start to bounce several frames after the character moves. As with animals that have tails, as a animal jumps the tail will follow several frames later, and as it moves back towards the ground the tail will only follow several frames later. As seen in the diagram below:



The movement of the human body and most objects that move, objects take time to spend up as they do to slow down. Like an arm swinging, at the beginning it accelerates slowly, reaching its fastest point at the extreme (in the middle of the action) before slowing down again to reach its end. For this reason animators make the animations look more realistic by using more frames at this slower point and less at the middle. As shown in the diagram below:

what is ani


Most natural movements follow an arched trajectory, this can be seen in a limb moving, or  thrown ball following a parabolic trajectory. Movement doesn’t follow a semi circle arc, but parabolic arc, meaning that as an object speeds up the arc becomes more flattened and as it slows down it becomes more curved. As seen in the diagram below.

what is ani2

I am going to create an animation that demonstrates all 3 of these principles in action. In order to decide what we were animating we picked “scenarios” from a hat.

I picked out “A long tailed, long necked dinosaur” that is “filled with helium and slowly bouncing along the ground”

The first thing I did was search the internet to find some reference, below are several videos that I found on youtube.

Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur (1939)

Gertie the Dinosaur (Winsor McCay, 1914)

Jurassic Park

My next stop will be to design a very basic dinosaur character and start some animation tests.