Shannon's Schedule
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Bonus Resources!Tuesday Mar 20Tuesday Mar 27Tuesday Apr 3Tuesday Apr 10Tuesday Apr 17Tuesday Jun 5
TitleAnatomy from LifeImaginative AnatomyCharacter I - Design ConceptionCharacter II - Design RefinementCharacter III - Design CompletionCharacter IV - Facial Expressions + Action PosesComposition I - Basic ThumbnailsComposition II - BelievabilityComposition III - Line Drawing for FinalPainting I - TonalsPainting II - Colour SketchesPainting II - Final Painting
Assignments 1) Visit the links below in the resources, or better yet, attend a figure drawing class, to practice drawing some figures.

2) Choose your 5-10 best drawings, and draw the poses again, but using anatomy reference to try your best to draw in the muscles in their correct spots, called écorché drawing, see link in resources below for description of this.

No need to add shadow or much artistic style at this point, we are just working with line.

1) Warm up this week by trying the same exercise again, completing 3-5 different poses with anatomy applied to them.

2) Now, try drawing 5-10 simple line drawings poses from your imagination. Once you have these, do the same exercise, and try to add the musculature to them. If possible, even try to remember some of the muscle names and write them in.

If you are having trouble creating your own poses, think about a single story beat from a story, such as playing baseball, and all of the potential poses that could come from that. If having difficulty physically drawing the people, feel free to use as little or as much physical reference as possible (see links from first week).

1) Using previous week's instruction, begin thumbnailing some potential character designs. The character design process is very diverse, and there are many methods to getting started. A general pitfall that many beginners often fall into is to focus too much on the minute details too early in the process. For cartooning, it's most important to look at the larger character shapes, and consider whether the 'character geometry' is actually assisting the right character archetype you want to convey.

You can either use a blocking-in technique of getting a tool like a marker of watercolour paints to make a series of different large character 'shapes' and then add details with pencil or pen on top, or you can just sketch using a pencil. Sometimes the former technique, although more abstract, is more effective at getting you out of your familiar design tropes. It can be helpful also to try a variety of techniques of starting, to see what each one gives you.

Using a single or a variety of methods, create 15-20 different character thumbnails. These can be SUPER ROUGH! They should looks messy, not pretty, and their purpose is to convey the overal 'essence' of the character, before being further refined from their raw state to a useable design. This is your unrefined clunky metal that will eventually be made into steel!

2) Once you've got your 15-20 character thumbnails, it's time to refine them! Take your top 2-3 favourite general shapes, and try to redraw them into different characters. Try for variety! Don't just redraw the same characters that you tend to gravitate towards over and over. Think of different roles that need to be satisfied in the average animated film: hero, villain, mentor, sidekick, villain sidekick, friend, family member, authority figure / threshold guardian, etc. For more on this deep subject of archetypes, see resources below.

So, using those 2-3 favourite shapes you chose, expand them into 10-12 different alterations of various characters. They should still remain in quite a rough state, but more refined from just shape alone. We might see some facial details, clothing details, even some props, but these don't have to be fully worked out. We're still using our gestural skills to keep things rough and loose.

1) After considering Garth's input, continue to build your top two characters, which hopefully exhibit a different body type and personality, to challenge your common ways of drawing. Create up to 10 variations of each character. These can be sketches, but should be a bit more refined than last week, with some facial expression and personality present. Some of these sketches don't have to be full body, but just waist up or even face. The goal is to put your character through a variety of different situations, and make them act in different ways that will express their personality fully. For example, if you have a baker that is really precise and professional, imagine them reacting to a new employee that is new and very sloppy in their bakery - this would allow you to make the character very frustrated. Each one of these 'character sketches' will allow you still to change the character as you see fit. Try exaggerating different aspects of their face and body to different effects. If you ever get stuck, look up Pixar, Disney, or Dreamworks 'Character Model Sheets' online, the more specific the better.

If you'd like to do more, have at it! Keep trying to 'find you character'. This process is gradual, like forming abstract chaos into concrete forms. Even when you might draw a sketch that makes you feel like you've 'found' your character, continue on anyway! Push passed this, and continue makng alterations. Often the first attempt is not the best attempt, and the faster one gets comfortable with this idea, the easier it becomes despite the internal difficulty.

Also, write a character profile for your two characters once you begin to get closer to finding out what role they may play in a story. This document is in your folder under "Character Profile".
1) Bringing your favourite iterations of your two characters, try your best to make them into a final 'character rotation' introduced in the previous lesson. Aim to have a front, side, 3/4, and as a bonus, the horribly difficult 3/4 back view! That is all for this week, it can be tough. Good luck! If you need, there is a template called "Character Rotation Template' in your folder you can print out and draw your finals on to.

Keep in mind that each angle may have subtle alterations of the pose if it assists in providing a better design. Design > logic is the general key to this. For example, a character with a snout of some kind may require certain logical 'cheats' from the front view to improve the design.

1) Now that you have your two characters, we'll be focusing on getting them to pose and emote in a variety of ways. Create emotions (shoulders and up, but hand may be present if needed for pose) for these emotions: natural state, surprised, angry, sad. So in total, each character will have these 4 emotions each = 8 drawings.

2) If there is extra time, try putting each character in 3-4 action poses each. With this, as with everything else, consider different story sequences to put your character into, that will warrant this. Also think what poses may be important to convey different aspects of your characters personality, and give the viewer of 'full picture' of what kind of character this is. We should get a good sense of what your character would be like if we met them.
Create a variety of thumbnails from your imagination for scenes you would like to paint, could be interor or exterior. Focusing of shape and value primarily, not details. Use prismacolour markers, or some kind of blocky alternative.Pick your top 3 favourite thumbnails, and develop them further. Try 2-3 variations for each one, so there will be a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 9 total drawings as homework. With these refined thumbnails, you still want to keep forms very loose. You can begin to distinguish between what things are (foreground trees, middleground rocks, etc.) but just make sure not to get too lost in detail. If working with value (recommended) aim to have 5 values in each total (white, 25% grey, 50% grey, 75% grey, black).

For next class you'll be picking your favourite one, and will begin developing it into a line drawing.

As a bonus exercise: Find some animation backgrounds that you really enjoy. Some helpful terms for searching: "visual development" "background design" "animation layout" "concept art" "background layout".
In this week, you'll be picking your favourite thumbnail from the previous week and developing it into a final line drawing. If you'd like to choose two, this is also a great idea. If choosing multiple, pick a variety so that it will demonstrate your breadth of design (perhaps an interior and an exterior). Make sure to pay careful attention to line quality in this week (your foreground elements will be a darker line than your middleground, and so forth for the middleground to the background. This helps create a very simple sense of depth. Even if you will not be using lines in your final artwork, this stage is critical in production to get an accurate, clear sense of what the scene will look like.

In terms of tools, this is up to you. If you want a nice variety of thick and thin lines, consider picking up one of the Pentel Brush Pens (Pentel Pocket Brush - permanent, or the Pentel Color Brush - non-permant, but a better weighted pen). Otherwise, there are also Faber Castell India Ink Pens, which are great because they're permanent.

In this exercise, it's recommend to work on a paper at least 11" x 17" in size. Any small, and you'll begin to sacrifice some detail.
This week we will begin adding values to your finished line drawing, on a separate paper. For each of your line drawings, make 3 different tonal renderings of the background. In doing so, you'll have the opportunity to change the time of day, the lighting, and more importantly, the mood. Try a range of different options for each artwork. These tonals will give you the foundation from which you will apply colour in next week's class.From your composition, create 3-4 sketches, using all gathered reference material to help inspire you. Consider changing the lighting and colour in each thumbnail. These are not final paintings, just colour sketches.Create your final painting based on your best colour thumbnail, and Garth's feedback.
Garth's Input- will correct any anatomy and also instruct on any area that was especially troublesome
- will check overall proportion
- will advise on how to make figures look more structural and believable
- same as previous week, except that if you create your own imaginative poses, I will look deeper into any issues you may be having to try and spot reoccuring 'problem areas' to advise on.- will check to see if you're understanding the purpose of the exercise: to stay rough and focused on larger shapes and general details versus specific ones. Nothing should be too refined in this week's work.

- will check to see if there are any anatomical problems and will suggest different ways to cartoonify, various anatomical pieces.

- will advise on general character aesthetic / design and give feedback on what characters, to me, are the most believable and relatable.

- will see if any characters aren't working, and why.

- will continue advising on which aspects of your character designs are working or not working.

- will continue to check on anatomy.

- will look at whether the various alterations and your character profile to see if they match, and if not, how they can match more.
- Garth will check all aspects of your character in their final rotations: their final design, their believable anatomy, their technical accuracy being placed into a rotation.

- will suggest any alternate ways forward, if he feels some areas need additional work.
- Garth will check your facial expressions to ensure that they're convincingly conveying each of the various emotions.

- will also check poses if you had time to complete them.
- Garth will be checking to see which compositions are effective and will give tips for how to make them even better.

- Garth will also advise on which ones he think would be best for the portfolio.

- If doing the bonus exercise, he will suggest any additional artworks that agree with your subject matter and style.
- Garth will check your line quality to ensure it provides a good sense of depth and overall aesthetic.

- Garth will make sure that all of your details are clear, and not too noisy (sending attention to the right areas of interest).

- Garth will provide an alternative design arrangements for the scene.

- Garth will provide ideas for the next stage of the work - tonals.
- Garth will check to make sure that the right elements are emphasized, and that the composition works.

- If needed, Garth will change the areas of interest to improve the design.

- Garth will adjust the values so that the overall piece isn't too dark or too light overall.

- Garth will check to see if any additional elements will need to be added to direction the interest in the right direction.
Resourcesécorché drawing:

figure drawing site 1:
figure drawing site 2:

3d anatomy resource:

- same as previous week- there's so many resources online for character design it's hard to list, but generally, there's a pinterest board that is very diverse and vast (sometimes too vast). Don't get lost in it, but the link is here: same resource: same resource: same resource:
Bonus Resources!Book: "The Practice and Science of Drawing" by Harold Speed
Books by George Bridgman
Book: "Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist" by Stephen Rogers Peck

Whole buncha' additional resources:

Keep reading Harold Speed's book! It can be a bit dry, but it has gems all over.

Another one to passively read throughout the course is 'The Art Spirit' by Robert Henri
Book: "Character Design from Life Drawing" by Mike Mattesi
Book: "Creating Characters with Personality " by Tom Bancroft
Book: "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell (not for drawing, but to help you think about character archetypes throughout the history of mythology and religion.)
Notes for Garth- reserve 10 -15 min to introduce next week's assignment- reserve 10 -15 min to introduce character design thumbnailing- reserve 10 min to talk about character profile and next week's work- reserve 20 min for character rotation intro- reserve 10 min to introduce next week's work


If you have any questions about any week's work, add a comment in the week's assignment box. To do this, click on any box and press Ctrl + Alt + M (if Windows) or press Add Comment in tool panel at top. This should open a box that will allow you to type your question. Always start your comment typing @gar ... it should autofill my name or email, click this. This will actually send me a ping on my phone so I can attend to your questions as soon as possible. This said, if you have many questions, I may take a while to get to them. We'll try out this function and see if it works or not. Keep in mind that our mid-week check-in is also a great time to send me questions that I can answer in video.
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