The jury is still out there on the importance of being good at drawing for CG animation but to me, being able to quickly convey my ideas through rough sketches or a series of thumbnails is one more tool to a CG animator toolset therefore acquiring drawing skills should be one of our goals. It is also a great party trick! ;-)
I lived in West Africa for a while and there were many circumstances where I couldn’t pull out my camera but no one minded when I fired up my pens and pencils. My skills weren’t that amazing at that time but once I have a bit more experience with watercolours or maybe gouache, I am hoping to travel again for a month and fill up an entire sketchbook.
There are thousands of free sketching videos on Youtube but they are always too short or not exactly what I am looking for so $25 for looking over Jason’s shoulder and listening to his process is a bargain. It is also a great introduction to the great training Schoolism is offering.
The video is a bit less that 2 hours long and you see him sketching in the street and at his desk, demonstrating the importance of breaking down the subject into simpler forms and shapes, thumbnailling, crosshatching, digitally painting on a TabletPC, ballpoint sketching and applying watercolours.
On a minor note, each artist has their own style and I prefer cleaner lines to the more fiddly Jason uses when sketching, in the watercolours section he didn’t really explain his thought process and how he selected his colours however, I would still highly recommend watching those videos if you are trying to develop your sketching abilities.
You will probably need to register to access the website but don’t worry it is really quick.
My drawing category
I just came back from California and I am completely jet-lagged ;-)
This is the second time I visit San Francisco and Los Angeles but having been invited to visit some of my favourite animation studios made the trip much more special.
I had decided to focus mainly on my sketching skills this time and try to apply what I learnt during the past seven month. My knowledge in anatomy and proportion combined to 7 month of intense life drawing practice helped me to make the most of those very long journey on bus and subway. The Santa Monica/Downtown LA journey was probably the most fruitful since people tend to quickly fall asleep and not pay attention to that one guy with dark glasses and hat screwed on his head, frenetically moving a pen on a tiny notepad, in a corner, at the back of the bus ;-)
If I lived in LA, I think I would take the bus everyday, the passenger always presented amazing features to capture and every ethnicity and age range was on display.
Here are some drawings and pictures from my trip. I had brought some watercolours but eventually decided against using them. I didn’t want to ruin the sketches with poorly chosen colours. I need more experience with those however….. the reason why some of the sketches don’t have any shading, is because I still intend to colour them at some stage :-) I just found a great video tutorial with Jason Seiler that could prove useful. Jason Seiler/Schoolism
Forgive the poor line work, I was using a cheap Bic cristal and those don’t allow much thick and thinness. I had in mind to buy Glen Villpu’s favourite Namiki Falcon fountain pen but at $180 a pop at Flax, I eventually decided against it. It is only $120 online. Still very expensive for a fountain pen but the nib is really really flexible.
Here we go, that’s it. Enjoy
[ps] if you don’t know Matt Jones, check out his work, he has some really nice sketches on his blog