Posts Tagged ‘drawing’

Homer and I wish you the best and scariest Halloween!

Monday, October 28th, 2013

UW_Halloween_2013_

 

Click on the cartoon to enlarge.

 

 

Drawing & Cartooning Class Taught by me, Andrea Zuill

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

FLYER_LOGO_ORG

Aug 9 – Sept. 31,2013, at the Escondido Arts Partnership Municipal Gallery, I will be having a retrospective of my art career.  That’s right!  I will be showing my oil paintings, quilts, fine art prints and children’s book illustrations.  And during this time I will be teaching two art classes in Drawing & Cartooning.  One is on August 17th, the second on September 14th.  For more information and to sign up for the class click here and the gallery phone number is  760-480-4101.

THIS CLASS IS FREE!  But, I would appreciate participants giving a small (or large if you feel so inclined) donation to Escondido Arts Partnership.

Please bring a sketch book and pencils.  The gallery will  have some supplies on hand just in case.  This is an all ages class and is perfect for people who want to draw but are terrified to.  It’s also great if you wish to loosen up your style.

Writers wishing to illustrate their books but feel uneasy with their drawing skills will find this class helpful.

 

 

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators / Los Angeles Conference

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

To enlarge click on image.

Day One of the SCBWI Los Angeles Conference.

I’ve been asked to write a report on this year’s L.A. conference. I haven’t written a report on something since I was in school and I will not even begin to tell you how long ago that was.   I also have the attention span of a gnat.  I know this doesn’t bode well but I will give it a try anyway.

The conference started off this year with a few words from Lin Oliver ( Children’s book author, writer / producer of family films and one of the founders of SCBWI).  A few months ago I got to talk to her in person and I’ve got to say she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.   She gave us a number of facts about who exactly was attending this conference.  And, here they are…

   There are 1266 attendee’s.

   38%  published

   62% unpublished

   There are 400 plus new attendees

   175 portfolios in the portfolio showcase.

   312 attendees for the writer’s intensive

   46 States are represented here, with the exception of both North and South Dakota.

   14 Countries are represented

   Approx.  988 women attendees, 192 Men and 86 Undeclared

   Some of the occupations represented here are Animal Communication Specialist, Auditor, Spam      Fighter, and Pickle Professional.

I haven’t check out all the numbers to make sure they work out but it does give you an idea of who is here.

The first keynote speaker was Laurie Halse Anderson (best selling children’s book author).  She talked about how the readers of our books are the most important of all readers of all (children).  She stressed the importance staying a child because “Growing up is a whole lot of Horse Shit”. And finally, she stated how important it is to sit around a campfire at least once in your life.

The next keynote speaker was Jon Scieszka (Children’s book author). His topic was Subversion, but his talk quickly headed in a different direction.  I couldn’t keep up with him as he told stories of growing up with his brothers.  But I do know that Jon and his brothers broke the youngest brother’s clavicle several times in his life.  Poor kid!

Laurent Linn (Dir. for Simon and Schusters  Books for Young Readers), always a conference favorite, gave nuts- and- bolts talk about how a book gets made from dummy to printing.  Laurent talking style is a mix of charm and no-nonsense and I find him one of the most informative of all the speakers. This talk was extremely good for people new to this business.

Finally, the last event of the night for me was the Illustrator Social.  It’s great to visit everyone but it gets so loud in the room that a bunch of us went to the hotel lobby to talk.  This hotel’s lobby is one of the best for socializing.  It’s filled with various groups of writers and illustrators experiencing the friendship and comradely that seems to come easily to people in the world of children’s books.

I know this isn’t the greatest of reports, but I’m tired now and don’t care.  So there!

 

Good Night!

 

You won’t believe it! A NEW free embroidery pattern!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

You know, you guys have put up with a lot from me over the years.  First, there was Oil-Painting Andrea, then Craft-Girl Andrea, Stupid-Story Andrea and now Children’s-Book-Illustrator Andrea.  What can I say?  I wear many hats and some of my hats are wee pointy things with glitter on them, but I digress.  I vaguely remember promising to give you, my loyal minions, a new free pattern every month (what was I thinking?) and that seems to have disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle of my life.

But guess what!  A free pattern has snuck in! Right under my nose too (it’s probably because of me having a cold).   And it’s topical!  That’s right, it is!  It’s an Easter Bunny.  Can’t you just image him hippity hopping into your house on Easter night and depositing his eggs?  Oh the joy.

So go ahead and have your way with him.  Make me proud!

You can click on the pattern above for a large view.

A Christmas Dog.

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Our dog is a Christmas dog. We try to hold off letting him know that it’s holiday time because he can get  intense.

Every year he gets the same three presents.  A large hard plastic ball w/ holes cut into it to reveal yet another ball inside, a small throwing ball, and a hedgehog that snorts and squeaks.

He has acquired the knowledge that during the holiday season people buy presents that they carry in shopping bags decorated for Christmas.  He also believes that the odds are in his favor that the shopping bags carried by strangers might contain a present for him .  It’s a number’s thing.

Unfortunately, one of our favorite parks to walk in is next to a mall.  There was a “incident” with my dog and some teens carrying home their Christmas shopping.  Luckily they got off with just a Nose mugging. (major sniffing)

My dog thinks that babies are boring.  He has no interest in them until Christmas because, let’s face it, stealing a present from a baby is like stealing candy from a baby.

And babies don’t  know how to play with a Busy Box properly. (I got him a Simon Game from a thrift store one year.  He loved it until it broke in about 10 minutes.)

 

On Christmas morning we have to make sure that our furry boy gets one of his presents first.  Otherwise we have a lot of whining and nose pushing.  His technique for opening a present is almost surgical.  He really would rather not tear the paper.  I’d like to believe that he appreciates the effort we took to wrap him a pretty package.

Since he doesn’t like destroying the wrapping paper, if a present is too difficult to open he will whine until we start it for him.

Once his presents are open he is in doggy heaven with the same 3 toys we have gotten him almost every year.  We have tried other toys and snacks too, but apparently they were yucky.

For at least an hour on Christmas morning we have this (see below).

Like I said, he’s in doggy heaven.

 

 

Let’s play a game.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to draw characters.

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Let’s begin by getting your mind and psyche in the right space.

If you use my tutorial I want you to:

  1. Sketch a little bit everyday, for at least a month.
  2. Allow the sketches to be crappy.  In fact, I give you permission to make crappy drawings.  How’s that!
  3. If you are sensitive about your work then don’t allow anyone to see your practice sketches.
  4. Repetition is more important than perfection with my tutorials.
  5. Use bold long pencil strokes and give yourself permission to lose control.
  6. When you let yourself lose control you are actually pushing your boundaries.  You are learning new things.

 

 

 

Here it is super quick:

  1. You know those generic cartoon expression images  in “How to Draw Cartoons” books?  Copy them over and over until you’ve got them memorized.  Be able to draw them without looking at your samples. ( You can find a bunch of sites on-line that have these cartoon expressions.)
  2. Now collect images by your favorite artist and copy them over and over.  And, while you’re copying ask yourself questions like:  What makes this character  so cute?     How does this artist handle eyes or hair or the body?     How does this artist show emotions with his/her character’s face and body language?  Study the art!

      3.   Draw your favorite artist’s characters over and over until you can draw them by memory.

       4.   Now play! Sketch and sketch.  Make cute images, silly images, and sad images over and over. Don’t second guess yourself.  Allow yourself to make horrible drawings.  Use idea’s you’ve seen in other peoples work.  Or maybe start with another artist’s character and change it.  Morph it into your own charater. Got a stupid idea?  Draw it.  Wind up drawing something you like?  Save it but keep drawing, and drawing, and….

If you do these exercises you will learn a lot about the vocabulary of character design and at the same time teach yourself what you want to see in your own characters.          

 

Here are some of the people I have learned from:

Hyperbole and a Half – (This site proves that you don’t need to be the most realistic artist to be awesome)    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/

Patrick McDonnellhttp://muttscomics.com/default.aspx

Bill Watterson – (He doesn’t seem to have an official site)   http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/

Peter Reynoldshttp://www.peterhreynolds.com/dot/

Looney Toon Cartoons.  You can find many of them on YouTube.

Here are some of my favorites:

What’s Opera, Doc? – (Sample ) http://youtu.be/KTYQmHr9Myg

Witch Hazel – (Sample)  http://youtu.be/gYtgsLnEl38     (Sample)  http://youtu.be/Wej1LoOzaLY

Drip Along Daffy – (Whole Cartoon) http://youtu.be/FhS-n9qpWRI

The Unfinished Tiger. How to loosen up your drawing style.

Monday, November 12th, 2012

A lot of artists/illustrators wish that their style was looser and more fluid. They want their characters to be expressive. I might be able to help or at least let you know what I do to add life to my art subjects.

Draw from memory. I know that sounds scary but it works.

Let’s take the tiger I am currently working on. I’m still not satisfied with him but he’s getting closer to having the right feel. I first started by studying photos of tigers. I do some basic sketches so that I understand what a real tiger looks like. Second, I study how other artists have handled their ideas of what a tiger is. Have they drawn their tiger with a big forehead or little?  Small eyes or large? etc… When I think I understand which characteristics I might like to have in my tiger then I start drawing without using any reference except what I have collected in my brain.

The drawings I do are fast, but clear. I only work on one pose at first. I don’t worry about different angles or poses, because I am just getting to know who my character is. So I draw and draw and draw, the same pose over and over making minor changes. Because I am drawing the character over and over my pencil lines become more relaxed. My pencil knows where to go.

So far I am not satisfied with my tiger. Sometimes it only takes a couple pages to get what I want, but ones like this tiger I ‘ve done at least 20 pages of sketches. Often I get tired and can’t “see” the character in my head anymore so I take a break. I will also review what I have already created and it’s not uncommon for me to spot things that I like in early sketches. I will try to incorporate anything that I liked into my next sketches.

Once I have gotten the character just the way I what it I will continue to draw he/she several times to memorize every detail. By this time my lines just flow with confidence! It’s time to start drawing the character in various angles and positions. But by now I really have the character’s image deep in my mind and it’s easier for me to feel that they are real.

Does this work for “realistic” work?  I think so.  Instead of relying on tracing paper to copy and redraw a image, try just drawing it over and over.  Make changes as you go until you get what you want. Because you’re getting to know your illustration so well your sketches will show increasing confidence.  Increased confidence will create fluid lines.  Fluid lines give life to a character or scene.

One last tip.  Spend some time drawing from memory with NO model at all.  Draw a person, a room, a toy,  etc…  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just keep drawing it over and over making corrections.  Keep trying to draw from your memory and see how much you can remember.  Two things will happen, first you’ll be surprise at what you can tease out of your brain. Second, your work will take on a look that is true to your personality.  Pretty awesome!