Friday, September 27, 2013

Giant Dance Party Program

I created a program at my local library called Draw Out Loud where children are invited to hear a story then create an unconventional project based on the story I read.

Recently, I featured Betsy Bird's excellent and entertaining Giant Dance Party. After I read the story, we did some warm up exercises. I played music while the kids danced and when I paused the music,  all the kids froze into a pose. Then, one kid would hold their pose while the other kids ran to their pens and paper and sketched the posing kid. We had some good results:

Next, the kids traced their hands and feet, decorated them and trimmed out their colored hands and feet. They then used their cut outs to make up their own dances. Everyone created excellent posters, but I have to admit, the sideways tap dance was my favorite.

A bientot!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Character Design, Part 2

Last post, I introduced you to April Witherwell, a new character I created. Now that I have her 3 angles figured out, I thought I'd give her a little more zing.

I used the classic Disney flour sack animation exercise to get me out of my normal drawing routine. I love the "squash" and "stretch" terms that are used to add to "personality" to the flour sack. Fundamentally, though, it's about understanding how when you exaggerate one part of the anatomy what happens to the rest.

This is an excellent blog post about the topic of flour bag and how it is misinterpreted:

With this knowledge, I went back to April and painted her in my style.

A bientot!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Character Design

I've been drawing and writing a story about a girl who goes to a costume party. My main character, April, took some shape over the last month.

I got a great tip on character design from Kelly Light's fabulous workshop during the NJ SCBWI conference in June. She talked about using horizontal guide lines to help "rotate your character" on the page.

Kelly reminded me also to practice drawing from life. I've been doing sheets of eyes, noses, mouths, eyebrows, ears and faces from magazines, books and of course, life. Here's my "profiles" page.

I challenge you to design all your characters with all their angles, not just their the best poses in mind. And if you want to know more about April- why she's dressed up as a witch, where's she's going, what gets in her way . . . well, that's another post! A bientot!