Listening to: Mainly the static in my head
Reading: More like skimming
Watching: Paint dry. Fascinating, but slow.
Playing: Computer chess (yes, again)
Eating: bologna & whip cream sandwiches
Drinking: coffee, with a twist of garlic
I have been sometimes called to task for not being cordial enough to my critics. And there is some truth to that, which I am working to correct. But it's not the entire story. Here is a typical tone of a recent exchange between me and a member of DA named Moegaku. Moegaku doesn't like a recent piece of art I posted, which appears in my new book. I very much like it, listened to the comment, but disagreed. Judge for yourself:
(To add clarity to the following passage, please note that according to the first definition in Webster's Dictionary, the word "didactic" means, "designed or intended to teach.") insult?)
*moegaku 1 day ago
"His pose is very stiff."
*Christopher-Hart 21 hours ago
Don't see it that way, but thanks for the comment. That's the flat look, the retro style. Plus, he's standing straight, scratching his head.... No flexibility called for there.
*moegaku 20 hours ago
What I'm referring to is the fact that he's standing with a pair of legs that is suction cupped together. No one, not even cartoon characters, would stand like that unless their heels are together, like in a military pose, or something along those lines. But even then the "at attention" pose used by the military still uses bent knees because locking your knees in that way can make you pass out.
Now let's talk about fairly odd parents, particularly Timmy turners dad. If you google images of him, his legs are close to yours in that they also are "stuck together" but if you look closely at his standing poses, you'll see that the lines for his legs are convex, hinting at a slight bend in the knee. Your legs don't do that, and furthermore, the only curved line you've used on his left leg seems to hint at the convex curve used to draw a knee, which would make the top of half of his leg very short. Which isn't a problem, per se, but I don't believe you meant it to be that way and an artist needs to be able to control the choices they make in a drawing.
Now, as to retro style. Firstly, cartoons are an exaggeration on life, and in that respect we must always remember that cartoon figures ultimately stem from real anatomy. We must also take into account that the human body is very expressive. Body language is key to telling people about a character.
So, with that said, why should a character casually scratching his head have a lower body that is so ramrod straight? Certainly his expression tells me nothing. Is he thinking? Is he confused? Is his head just itchy? Neither his expression, nor his pose tell me anything. When people scratch their head, they may have the other hand on the hip, the may be leaning forward slightly, they may be hunched. They may even lean back a little. But very rarely do they stand in a way where the top of the body is relaxed and the bottom half of the body is so stiff.
Posing, I believe, is very important in cartooning, or any exaggerated style, because since you aren't constrained by all the limitation on anatomy and physics, you can really make a great impact. And yes, even with a character who is just standing.
*Christopher-Hart 16 hours ago
I could not disagree more. I like it just the way it is. But that's what makes life interesting. Thanks for sharing your (somewhat didactic) comments...!
El-Kaskade 15 hours ago
Somewhat didactic? Your manner of address is almost borderline mocking, and it's disturbing that someone in your position sees the discussion and analyzation in an educational way to be something negative.
And though you disagree with me, the only way to back your claims is to say that the retro style is "flat" and therefore doesn't need to lend any thought to posing.
Also, just because you are happy with the product, doesn't mean it couldn't be improved. For example, you're charging, what? 20 dollars for the book this picture is featured in, an instructional book. But instead of perhaps filling the page with relevant, instructional content with a full body character, you cut it off at the legs and stick a small block of text in the corner that doesn't really offer any advice except that the lines being smooth makes a picture look better.
Is it really so hard to just draw a character who stands like...well, how a person would stand? And once again, I'll say that I still have no idea why he's scratching his head.
*Christopher-Hart 11 hours ago
Geez, take it easy, you're getting all worked up over a toon! I heard your comment. I don't have to agree with it. But I thank you for sharing your thoughts. Feel better.
*moegaku 6 hours ago
I believe you're reading emotion into my replies where it isn't. Of course you don't have to agree, but you could at least explain your opinions with facts like I have tried to do in an attempt to discuss improvement. Instead, you dodge my questions, which I believe are valid points and then you try to belittle my opinions by acting as if I'm riled up and spouting nonsense in an attempt to dismiss me.
I can assure you, I feel very fine. I'm curious as to why you think I should take it easy, when all I've done is try to back up my opinions with some factual evidence. Would it have been better for me to just say that the picture sucks and then have no reasoning behind it?
I'll say it again, the pose is stiff and kind of odd, as opposed to that one picture you did of...I think it's a girl with orange hair and glasses. I believe that one was also retro style, but I think you did very well on the posing and made it believable while maintaining the style. That picture told a story on its on, with a personality that I find this image seems to lack.
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