October 14th, 2010


Illustrating Techniques of the ‘Toaster’ Part 6 continued

Drawing a character such as Ralf Highmenhighmer here may seem easy at first. However when you realize that the characters facial expressions are limited, you start finding ways to deal with attaining the mood of the scene by using the other facial features available. Ralf’s mouth which resembles two donuts squashed together can be a challenge with more complex emotions when you really need a pair of eyes to aid the reader. His hair is curly but yet I draw it with direction to help with the expression; like with fright where the curls are drawn straight. There are few expressions where the reader would see Ralf’s eyes; Fright, surprise and knocked-out. Only these three expressions I illustrate using Ralf’s eyes popping out of his head, for it only further emphasises to the reader that this is an important mood/feeling/out-take.

Take an existing character of your own, subtract certain facial features and try illustrating some of the basic emotions I’ve drawn. Try directing the mood using the ‘Line of Action’ instead of directing with the characters eyes. Simple characters have limitations just like complex cartoon characters. They stop being simple characters when you have to convey shyness, when you don’t have eyelashes to flutter. However, incorporating the ‘squash & stretch’ technique to the character you can squash the characters head into their neck, much like a turtle would pull its head into their shell to represent the emotion of shyness.

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