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inside a 14 year old's sketchbook (thunderobot's gallery)

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yeh i'm kinda confident.. :)


ok i made this sketch of a turtle.I want to know (before i ink it) if there is anything i can do to improve it?

and does it look too much like the grinch lol? :D



lol well as i recall yertle the turtle had similar hair am i correct?

say i was looking through these. do you scan them as the size you need them? or resize them when you're done?

just some of the lines look a little jaggy.


Cartoon Syndicate project

ohh good question lol

i re-size the HELL out of my original scans.

for instance the original scan size of that turtle sketch is 15.5 MB and i reduced it to 33.7 KB so it would fit on the page.

so yeah my stuff looks so much better but i have to reduce them to fit on this page.

you scan them in as color or b&w photos?

try scaning them as b&w line drawings or something(don't know about your but that's an option on my scanner).

8.5x11 paper will be somewhere around 2800 pixels wide 3500 something tall. but the file size will only be about 1mb. also you can shave a few hundred pixels off. i usually go to 2100 wide and 2800-something tall(can't remember for sure it's automatic). That will get you just under 1mb.

Just save it as a .gif file.

Be prepared when you open it the image will be HUGE! just zoom out and get to one word of caution if your pc isn't strong enough when you go to full color things may get really slow.(i had to use a crappy pc for a looooong time). in that case MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE MAGIC WAND AND SELECTION TOOLS.

I use paintshop(don't care for photoshop). and the way it works is, say you go to fill an arm with a color. well the program takes into account the entire image, even though you're just filling a section of it. so if your pc isn't the best. select the area with the magic wand. then the program only pays attention to the selected area. and the fills will go smoothly.

Also be prepared that when you go full color the file size will be aroud 15-17mb. also any layers you add will be the same. so adding layers, no matter how little may be there the file size will still grow by about 15mb per layer.(on a BAD pc that can kill if you add one by accident)

Now with the pitfalls of a bad pc out of the way.

once you're all done with your image and it's all colored and prettied up. Then you resize it to what you need.

now while you're working on it your lines will still be rough. but vastly smoother than if you scan it in at a smaller size. remember the more pixels you have the smoother your lines will be.

now when you resize your image this is when your lines will get paint shop has a "smart size" that i go with. i don't really under stand the bi-liner or bi-cubic options. There is also another option "pixel resize". if you choose "pixel resize" your image will look exactly the same small as it did large.

what makes your lines nice and smooth is "anti-aliasing". (with paintshop "smart size" does that). Anti-aliasing is basically the addition of gradually lightened(or blended) pixels on either side of your lines. or where one color meets another.

say you anti-alias a black outline. well at normal viewing it will look like a smooth black line. but if you zoom in you'll see pixels of various shades of gray along the black.

this is what makes your lines nice and smooth. and will move your work up another notch. =)


Cartoon Syndicate project

Thanks for the tips :D

i dont know how to anti-alias with the gimp though :(

finally i have a new drawing

Its a re-design of a character my uncle made(and the star of my next animation).

here is a sketch i did with my sisters new prisma colors.

a boxer sketch i did with my sisters prismacolors.


what's the gimp?

know anyone that can hook you up with paintshop or photoshop?(though honestly i hate photoshop)


Cartoon Syndicate project

the gimp is a freeware program thats like photoshop.

and no i dont have or know anyone who has photoshop or paintshop.(though i think i will get a tablet around christmas and i think it comes with photoshop elements.) :D

i messed around with photoshop elements the other day actually (i never knew what exactly was in it so it was neat finding out). I think youl like it, it is pretty good too. it has a lot of photoshop...elements! imagine that. haha.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

i reckon elemenst might be able to do what you need. i couldn't even figure out how to make my image i ain't never trying photoshop again. paintshop seems a lot more user friendly.

but you can't argue with free.


Cartoon Syndicate project -I recently discovered Kaite Rice.I really love her woman and i certainly want to take a few aspects from them and combine it with my current style.This sketch was just a quick attempt at immitating her style.

tell me what you think?

ok i changed the girl a little and then collored her with prismacolors. :D

ok i changed the girl a little and then collored her with prismacolors. :D

Yeah, I like it very much, you can really see an improvement from your sketch to the final version.
By the way, I also recently discovered an illustrator who gives me much inspiration for drawing women...
anothoer style, but her drawings are more than amazing!!!

thanks for the link :D i like her woman but they are a little realistic for me.They are really nice though and they have great proportions.

Thanks for the comment on my drawing as well.

well, practicing even a wee bit of basica anatomy can do wonders for your art.


Cartoon Syndicate project

I like Katie Rice's work. A great place to start for inspiration. If you want a crit, I would say work on your line quality. This is a tough one. Pretty much everyone when they're around your age has a bit of an uncertain quiver in their line. Some self-taught artists never quite get rid of it. I found what helped me a lot was drawing on an easel in life drawing classes. That helps you learn to draw from the shoulder through your whole arm, rather than just the wrist. When I look at your lines, they're a bit feathery and laboured. It looks like you're putting down a new line every few millimeters. It takes a lot of effort to draw this way. You wind up making a lot more decisions.

If you use a quicker looser line, you wind up simplifying the amount of decisions you make in your drawing. You wind up going swiftly from one key point to the next, rather than dragging the line along, not really sure where you're taking it. I know there is always the fear that you will lose control and the line will go wonky. Look at it this way. It's a quicker way to draw. In the journey from amateur to competent artist, there are thousands of bad drawings that need to be made before they start gettin good. A looser approach will get you through these faster.

Incidently I just looked through the thread, and it seems your older sketches have more sharper, more confident lines. I don't know if this is due to the medium you are using, but I think it may be that since you've started getting more into character construction, working on the form more you get the habit of putting down lines that aren't all necessary. This is a good thing, to a point, since focusing strictly on clean outlines can lead to ignoring the underlying problems in the shape and form.

Anyway, it's always a tough balance between all the various principles that make up a good drawing, so I'll leave it there. I like the general direction you're heading in, and I think you've got some good ideas in your designs. Th the steady effort you've been making is impressive. Keep that up and you'll go far.

deadsquid -ohh im not against doing a few realistic drawings I ment more that im just not a huge fan of realistic drawings(as a fan not as an artist).

ant-eater-Thanks alot for the tips :D .Yes i really need to work on my inking hopefully if i take some of your advice ill get better.I think my older drawings may look better because i used to not take up my entire paper.I would use maybe an 8th of the paper and now i use as much paper as i can.I think if you only are inking an 8th of a piece of paper your lines are closer together and are easyer to ink.

Again thanks so much for the tip's. :D

seems your coloring is coming along. now what i'd like to see from you is a lot more full body pics/designs.


Cartoon Syndicate project

Some nice choices overall. I think the colour scheme works quite well, even if you were not happy with it. He really looks sad, nothing ambiguous about that. As someone else has said he looks like he's just lost his job. I'll bet you were really feeling the emotion as you drew.

If I were to focus on one criticism, I would say put a little more thought into the construction. The general eye shapes are a little awkward, and this winds up distorting the shape of the bridge of the nose. That's the bit between the eyes. Many cartoonists leave this out or reduce it, because it can get in the way of the eyes, but if you look closely at the eye shapes they use, they often hint at it's form.

In fact getting away from construction, it's well worth studying how different artists handle eyes. On the most basic simplified level you can get a lot out of very simple shapes for many different expressions. The classic upturned U shape for example makes a good starting point for happy eyes.

Dead Squid-thanks,I generally dont like full body shots because i have nothing for my characters to do unless im making an animation.Most poses to me seem akward and the fact that i cant make backgrounds only worsens the situation.I want to make backgrounds but i dont see me making them without a tablet.Any suggestions on body shots?

Ant-eater-thanks,lol to be honest i cant understand what you just said.I actually made the nose before i made the eyes so if the nose looks distorted to you it was purposley distorted.

To clarify: the nose goes all the way from the tip up to the eyebrows. The bridge of the nose is the part from the eyebrows between the eyes. If you wear glasses, they rest on the bridge. In other words, there is nothing wrong with the nose you have drawn, just the empty shape above it where in real life we have a bridge.

Many cartoonists just draw the end of the nose, and either leave the bridge out or reduce it. You have left the bridge out. This is a perfectly okay thing to do, but when there is a wide gap between the eyes, you can't draw lines that overlap where the bridge would be. To give you an idea of what your drawing looks like to me, look at the area between the eyes in your drawing, and try to visualise what the bridge would look like if it were there. To me it looks kind of swollen and distorted.

ok now i get it.I guess you are right but i generally dont like drawing bridges because it limits the kinds of noses you can draw and thats one of my favorite things to draw..

thats a pretty cool drawing. good emotion, and your line quality is definatly improving. i would have to agree with anteater about the nose, though. it ruins the construction of that part of the drawing.

i also agree with deadsquid about the full body drawings. its not just about emotion within the face, but throughout the whole body, and i think it would be good for you to practice that. and you said that they come out awkward, well then keep practicing! heh, shouldnt just avoid it all together.

anyways, your doing good, i definatly see the progression in your drawings. keep it up!

thats a pretty cool drawing. good emotion, and your line quality is definatly improving. i would have to agree with anteater about the nose, though. it ruins the construction of that part of the drawing.

i also agree with deadsquid about the full body drawings. its not just about emotion within the face, but throughout the whole body, and i think it would be good for you to practice that. and you said that they come out awkward, well then keep practicing! heh, shouldnt just avoid it all together.

anyways, your doing good, i definatly see the progression in your drawings. keep it up!

thanks Brien

Ill try to do more body shots,any casual pose ref's you can show me?

Hey Thuderobot. Just wanted to give you a quick thumbs up. I can see the faces of your imagesare becoming more and more expressive each time. Keep it up. :)

HAHAHA I wish I had the intertron when I was growing up.
My God Awful WebComic

Heres my current work in progress.I think its fairly close to being finished except for the hand(which needs ALOT of work).

maybe shorten the extended arm a bit too.

nice progresss.

"who wouldn't want to make stuff for me? I'm awesome." -Bloo

ohh yeah thats what i ment by ''the hand needs alot of work'' I just wasnt thinking and should have said arm instead of hand.(my brain dont work good some time) :D

You've come on a bit with this one. The face feels like there's more structure to it.

The biggest problem here is the outstretched arm and hand (I think you know this). If you are having difficulty with hands (I often do), what you can do is try to find a good hand model sheet. I had a photocopy of the one from Preston Blair's book stuck on my wall for years. Bit by bit it will sink in, and if you're really stuck, you can sometimes just copy them straight off.

thanks ant eater that sounds like a great idea. :D

I actually took a picture of myself in this pose so im using that as a guide.Yesterday i fixed the hand and i will post the picture again once its finished. :D

sorry i been away.

the only way to get better at full body shots is to draw them. even if there's not much for the character to do. even if you just sketch them in basic poses.

same with backgrounds. you don't need a tablet. just sketch a simple scene. maybe a clearing in a forest, some trees, maybe a stump, bushes. backgrounds won't just happen for you. you have to practice them. having a tablet won't make you a better artist. drawing and drawing and drawing does that.

and making sure to practice your perspective. because sometimes no matter how hard you try, you have to use it.


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oh and real quick. hands are a tricky thing. really fun once you start gettig the hang of them though. heck even if you draw them in a very simple manner it can still be tough getting them to look just right. but keep at it an' you'll get there!


Cartoon Syndicate project

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some sketches just to show you that im alive and well. :D

Wow !

Alrighty . I envy you, lol, im fourteen too :D n ur sketches are great. How long you been sketchin for ?

lol i started drawing(for real) about 9 months ago.I was tons worse then and im not great now but thanks alot for the compliments.

pm me and ill show you some of the first drawings i made about 9 months ago. :D

can i see your sketches?