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cartooning/illustration...I just don't get it...

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Let me start by saying that I’ve done a fair bit of life study. Most of what I’ve done has been in the form of charcoal portraits. I’m a little slow, but considering how short of a time I’ve been doing art (sporadically over a couple years or so), my portraits usually come out looking like the subject.

What I don’t get is sketching, and by extension cartooning/illustration. For as well as I can do a portrait or still life, I’m the worst sketch artist, and cartooning is beyond me.

For example, take Calvin and Hobbes. His head is the size of his entire body. A couple of zig-zags make up his hair. Yet, the whole thing together makes a visually coherent character.

Or, take a look at this:

(it’s not mine, I found it on deviantart)

It reminds me a little of Sprout, but anyway…

That scenery wouldn’t really look like that IRL. Instead, it’s a very abstract presentation of a reality. You can even see variety in species among the trees.

Realism, I can do. In fact, I only learned realism because I wanted to learn illustration and it was recommended that I start there. Illustration, I can’t really wrap my head around. I practice, and everything comes out looking like a pre-schooler drew it. What am I missing? Any advice?

 
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I believe every good artist was never taught to draw…

So that leaves you basically stuffed.

 
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As someone who was never taught a lesson about art, I’ve always found cartooning more natural. I guess I had to study the way cartoonists drew, sort of like how you study realism techniques. I just copied them and drew the same characters over and over until my own style started to come out of it.

Thinking back on it later, they always say that shapes are a very big deal. Using basic shapes is very useful in cartooning. Other then that I guess you just have to exaggerate features and draw a billion copies of it until it looks good :-P

 
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Cartooning is like Pre-School drawing but very exaggerated. You could have big eyes, weird ears… It’s unrealistic but in a funny way.

 
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I guess all I can suggest is practice, keep practicing, you’ll learn your own style and techniques as you do.

Most cartoons are just a bunch of shapes put together ;P.

 
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Advice:Passion.If you don’t have it,then you drawing will usually suck,more or less.

 
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I’ve found that drawing is just something you’re born with. I, myself, am only good at sketching and doing art (like tags/signatures) on a computer. I doubt I could ever really get good at other types of art.

 
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i like comics there so fun to look at except i would hate to draw each character in each panel. and no it must of been a a pain 4 bill wattersont to draw in the calvin and hobbes strip about the duplicator

 
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I remember my grade school buddy always drawing cartoons, and he had this very exaggerated bizarre style. I asked him how come he drew like that, and he said that’s just how they were put together in his head, so he had to put them down the same way on paper. I recommend you draw things the way you see them; stick to your own style!

 
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A good tip is to not over-construct your drawings when trying to do something like cartooning
you have to relax and realize that in your head, you already have all the necessary knowledge to put things together like perspective, composition, depth, and so on, so in stead of measuring out the space between the eyes and where the shoulders go, etc, just do a basic block-in and then do your inking from there.

Helps, of course, if you have access to ctrl+z, but that’s something else entirely. I’ve always been jealous of people who can make awesome stuff from scratch and just free-handing an entire portrait with no prep behind it.