First, before the Blog a few items of interest:
1) I want to invite you to join my new group on Linked in: DRAWING MANGA & CARTOONS. It's for people, like yourselves, who want to network, publicize their art, and look for opportunities to exchange ideas:[link]
2) Does anyone have the time, or interest in starting a new DA group with me, on How-To-Draw techniques and tutorials? O'm looking for someone technically able to do it, who can devote the time to make it successful, and who also can stay involved in it.
3) Can anyone please tell me how to advertise a drawing contest on other groups? I've got one coming up, where I'm going to give away prizes to the top two contestants.
HERE'S THE BLOG:
DRAW LIKE A BEGINNER
I'm often asked if, as a professional cartoonist, if I actually draw the way I teach other people how to draw in my How-To-Draw cartoons and manga books. Okay, I'll explain, but promise to keep it confidential, just between you, me and the internet. What a person wants to know when they ask this question is whether or not I start with the basic shapes and guidelines, which are so plentiful in my books. In other words, is there some kind of secret shortcut I am using while, at the same time, trying to keep the rest of the proletariat from advancing. Granted, there may be some paranoia in my interpretation of the question, but nonetheless, the answer may surprise you.
To explain, I first need to tell you how I teach. In a nutshell, I blend classical art training with contemporary styles of pop art in a way that's easy to follow, which gives the reader a foundation. If you just teach style, without foundation, then the reader can't take what he's learned and apply it to other styles and characters. I also developed a method of simplifying more advanced techniques, so that the reader isn't forever vanquished to "Start-With-A-Circle"- Land. As a result, the artist starts to draw better, sooner, and creates more contemporary characters, which reflect the ever-evolving styles of manga and cartoons.
I have found that this not only works for students, but works for me, too. If you watch my How-To-Draw videos on Youtube, you'll see that I start with a modified head shape, onto which I add the guidelines before beginning to draw the features. Is this mere habit, like going to the refrigerator every 20 minutes to see if there's something new in there? (You know you're really desperate when you check the frozen foods section more than twice.)
The basics always remain necessary. Cartoons and manga are mainly based on line work, without shading. That can make a drawing look flat. To compensate for the flat appearance, we need to emphasize rounded shapes and curving lines to create a 3-dimensional look.
So for today's takeaway, I'm going to quote a wise friend, who once advised me in this manner:
"If you don't leave the basics, you'll never have to go back to them."
See you next week!