Friday, 20 January 2017

New Video Courses Are on the Way

Hey, everybody..!
True - not a lot people to write to but the new video-course is on the way. It`s going to be more comics oriented and it shall deal with ... well, extraordinary humans with physical capabilities beyond the ken of mere mortals. You can guess that they are the comics heroes currently appearing in more than A LOT of spectacular movies and TV serials (including animation!) we have witnessed in the past decade or so; and more are coming our way.
Instead of whetting your appetite with a drawing from the incoming course, I`d rather tickle your fancy with the sample of the artwork type coming right after that in the third video-course. I hope it will make you wish to return and lean into the paper with your pencils - or into the tablets with your styluses.
Till then, stay well, creative and happy!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

What are you getting from an eCourse like GraphiteFantasy

WHEN DECIDING TO part with your hard-earned ca$h because of an online offer telling you what you are going to learn, it is important to know what are you going to achieve with that kind of gain - if anything at all.

Remember the old tune that had a verse, 'Now that we have found love, what are we gonna do with it' or something -- I`m paraphrasing here.

The method I am showing here is the same that I am regularly applying when I draw. And not only me, but most of the professional cartoonists - no matter if they were illustrators, animators, character concept artists, or comics artists. I call it 'structural construction' and it looks almost like 'sculpting in 2D', pardon the somehow nonsensical description.
 Copyright (c)MGM/UA, not part of my 'Cartoon Sketching' course

See, the whole point of the gradual approach to sketching and drawing is to observe the character[s] you are drawing as a sort of a cartoony stylization - no matter if it`s grotesque or with a tendency towards 'naturalism' that most people mix up with 'realism'. In cartooning there is virtually no realism at all, but the so-called 'constant shapes' and 'areas of certain changes', as defined by a Disney animation giant Milt Kahl way back in the heroic age of the medium. For instance, the trunk of a body consists of two constant shapes - rib cage and pelvis area[s] as constant shapes and the waist as the area of certain changes. The same with an arm - shoulder and elbow are areas of certain changes whilst upper arm & forearm are constant shapes - and so on, and so forth.

I`d be rich if I got a penny or a cent for every time I heard others telling me after seeing me drawing, 'Oh, you draw like you are sketching little robots' or 'Wow, you`ve swiped the method of a computer drawing'... Sorry, no - I haven`t. The very computer way of 'wire-framing shapes' is based on totally 'analogue' way of sketching structural shapes and constructing them into a coherent form that can move, do certain things and function as an organism -- or a mechanism in cases we are drawing wee robots or gigantic ones. Hmmm, come to think of it, human and animal figures are some kind of a biological mechanisms... We should keep that on our busy but scatter-brained minds, along with the fact that this particular drawing method almost instantly teaches us to envision our designs as 'faux 3D' and ready to be imagined from all sides and every angle..! That is hardly taught in art schools that relentlessly encourage almost exclusively the 'contouring method' only where students are made dependent on a live model and next to helpless when it comes to drawing from imagination, envisioning the drawn subjects from various points of view.

Copyright (c)LINGO Planet Media, drawn & coloured in SAI Painting Tool imitating paper artwork

Frankly, I do believe I am hitting the nail on the head with the down-to-Earth explanations and direct way of explaining stuff I am drawing before my students` eyes, either under a camera for my first 'Cartoon Sketching' course, or digitally with the screen video-capture program making a movie of my drawing process, applicable both to 'paperless' [digital] or analogue procedure with pencils, pens or brushes on paper that is in pre-production now. On the one hand it makes things simpler logistically but on the other hand there is - besides four fingers and a thumb - no time saving whatsoever, I`ve discovered; as the fact of the matter, it is going to be a longer process but luckily time is what I got in abundance at the moment so I am not holding my breath worrying.

Copyright (c)MGM/UA, not part of my 'Cartoon Sketching' course

So, we know where I stand concerning this matter - my abundant experiences from drawing tons of comics and illustrated picturebooks, watching drawing masters create before my eyes [that you can witness too nowadays thanks to the magic of YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc.], seeing animators give life to still drawings, animating myself and so on and so forth -- gave me the knowledge that I share with the breathlessly awaiting world. But what is that very world going to do with learning, in this case from me..?

It depends on every individual and his/her interests. I had students back in the day when I taught live to interested group[s] who abandoned my course wrongly thinking that I am gearing the gang towards comics, which wasn`t the case. I`ve never ever imposed my comics drawing background on anyone! My only goal was to encourage students TO THINK since I can`t teach anybody to draw..! And I mean this seriously - nobody can, to tell the truth bluntly. 

The choice rests upon each and every individual. She or he has the widest array of possibilities at his/her disposal, whether it`s abundance of video-game studios or online animation possibilities, comics publishers or online chances for that creative activity... or constant search for illustrators, concept artists or storyboard sketchers all over the place..!
 Copyright (c)LINGO Planet Media

The most important thing is, what do you want to do..? Where do you see your talent and the basic knowledge applied and offered? As for me, I offer constant contact with my [ex] students, being here for them to counsel and guide them towards their desired career choices because the times are so exciting and opportunities a-many... Therefore get aboard, 'Cartoon Sketching' is but a first step; other courses are in pre-production, already written and at the storyboarding stage. I dearly hope to inspire you and offer choices where to knock and on which door.

But first and foremost, please look deeply inside you and know where your artistic heart is. After that, only sky is the limit. See you soon, Stargazers!


Sunday, 25 September 2016

How Ella Got Her ToyPalz

AT THE BEGINNING it was as most of the comicbooks-related things are supposed to be; my 'partner-in-crime' and me considered a comics serial and asked ourselves, who should our special heroes be and I said 'superheroes'. My partneresse, a lady teaching English and quite good with writing, video shooting, editing and directing supported my enthusiasm but insisted on special qualities which would make our ultra-humans different from the rest, fighting good or evil fights or plainly struggling to survive in the overcrowded world we common people call 'comics market'.
So, surprisingly quickly we came to the idea of children as superheroes, with a female lead based on the younger version of the co-creator lady & writer/partner plus her puppy-love, athletic teenage blonde boy and the pudgy brain of the group with glasses, unkempt brown hair and the looks borrowed from me when I was but a boy, only a geek and not a nerd. We went after the cliche of disfunctional ordinary orphans accidentally put together, but who realize they got special individual powers which function marvelously - only if they are together and NOT bickering, which was a herculean task to achieve, we envisioned.

The above design W.I.P. was successfully used as a Tee-shirt design for a local charity project concerning children at foster care, we relentlessly shared it a lot online for the breathlessly awaiting world and...
... and that was it. Not a single splash nor narrative page was even sketched out, the cover illustration ideas were elusive, but not as the very root problem -- The Script. No, we weren`t exactly in trouble not knowing what to tell as a story, but the coherent whole of a narrative eluded us, just action fragments sparked in our discussions every now and then...

In our creative Dynamic Duo, I happen to be the one giving up easily - 'Oh, it`s all in vain, we`re all gonna die, what`s the point, what shall we have for dinner...' so the multi-talented partneresse proposed I illustrate test papers for her school of English; I started to envision even a booklet, like a classbook for inspirational teaching and after several ideas were transformed into a treatment-form it hit us like a ton of bricks: why would we use the project as a textbook for a limited audience if we can turn it into a...

... illustrated picturebook for young readers..?

So, we worked further on those treatments, two of which were transformed into a storyboard form upon which I was to base my illustrations for the book[s].

The 'superhero girl' lost [for a time being..?] her two partners-in-heroing, got a name - Ella - and gained a team of plush toys that come to life when the time is right for adventuring, detached from the originally intended action comics stories.

Ah, comics... far from being unhappy or creatively dissatisfied, I missed the form and specific storytelling nuances of the medium so I have to admit that I pressurized the inspiration for Ella into trying the Ella & ToyPalz concept in the form of a comic strip, with gags in single tiers like those appearing every day online or still in the newspapers. The intrepid English professoresse and business partner budged in and offered several ideas that I have dully shaped into 8 tiers - strips that I only penciled and skipped the inking phase thanks to the Photoshop magic, darkening the lines digitally  and cleaning-up the messy result, adding the old-fashioned 'Ben Day' dot-screen effects and computer lettering into the drawn balloons as the part of the original art. See, I am resistant to the modern practice of leaving 'mute' panels and/or pages with lettered balloons added digitally at the later stage.

                                             Penciled strip above, with 'fake inks' below & lettering

I have to admit that this was the kind of art in general - and for Ella in particular - that I enjoyed the most, but the Doom Of The Gag Ideas loomed above us, as did the mutual agreement that we must not spread ourselves thin without assistants we couldn`t have afforded... so we decided to leave the done strips aside after sharing them online and exhibiting them on several occasions printed out enlarged, along other art and cartoons.
The comic strip experience gave me more self-confidence and hints how to approach the art further down the path.
So, where are the restless Ella and her gang of toys..?
For a time being, only in one finished Christmas story published digitally on Amazon, with a summer tale almost finished and many more awaiting the decisiveness from Yours Truly engaged at the moment with preparing the second video-course about cartooning, with the first one alive, available and mentioned elsewhere in this very blog.

Yes, my business partner Danijela and me are signing our wee titanic tales as 'Veronica Lancaster', still dreaming that our Ella & ToyPalz shall find a way to the hearts of readers craving exciting tales of friendship, adventure and achieving anything eager honest mind could come up to.
Hope to see you in funnybooks, Stargazers... and who knows, maybe even in strips... and comicbooks too..!                            

Tuesday, 20 September 2016


My CARTOONING Course is UP & running at Zenler too! Join in and start drawing! WELCOME!

Monday, 29 August 2016

'Cartoon Sketching' UDEMY Course is LIVE! the link to free coupon! It won't be there for long! So, if you wanna give a great present to your friends or yourself, now is the time!

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Ella`s Xmas Ride is on Amazon now!

That Time of The Year... Again.

©LINGO Media

The first adventure of Ella with her friends is already available as an illustrated storybook! 
GET IT!*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Artwork is thoroughly digital - Wacom Intuos4 and Sketchbook Pro, with some colour Photoshop tweaking. I really hope to go totally paperless for Ella picturebooks, comic strips and other artwork.

Happy holidays, folks.