Sunday, December 11, 2005

Simon's Sketchbook Sunday: Ed Emberley

Several years ago I found this great book on cartooning at a yard sale: Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces. Its been handy in so many ways... I've used it as a teaching aid when I volunteer to teach cartooning at my kids' school. I've used it myself as a source of inspiration when designing characters.

But best of all, Simon has spent hours pouring through it and filled pages with characters either taken from the book or created based on the principles Emberley describes.

Here are just a few done on two sides of a single sheet.

I can see why Si glommed onto this book. Emberley's style is immediately appealing and the process he developed to create hundreds of variations using basic shapes is incredibly clever - yet impossibly simple! Any kid can create tons of fun character faces in minutes and I realized from looking back on these drawings that Si still keeps the principles he learned from this book in the back of his mind when he does his crazy creatures and freaky friends. We could all learn a lot from good ol' Ed Emberley!

A conversation over at The Retro Kid reminded me of Ed Emberley and one of the contributors over there kindly included this link to Emberley's website.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Illustration Friday: bluegirl

bluegirl, originally uploaded by leifpeng.

When I first started experimenting with the kawaii style this was one of the first paintings I did - and of course Wendy fell in love with it... and of course I sold it at my show.

I'm a cad.

But I tried to make it up to her - I did a recreation for her birthday at a larger size, and set it up on an easel at the foot of the bed so she's see it when she woke up that morning.

Of course, she loved it. But every once in a while she'll say, "and there's my bluegirl... Leif sold it on me!" with that accusing tone, like I sold her favourite childhood doll, or our firstborn child.

Ya can't win! ;-)

Simon's Sketchbook Sunday: joe&friends

joe&friends, originally uploaded by leifpeng.

What did I tell you? Once Si starts drawing a new character he attacks it like he's a character designer exploring this new guy until he completely understands him. Here's a random page I found laying around the house. There's Joe in the middle again and some funny, freaky friends. I love how Si's jokes are based on the irony of each character's situation: "Where'd he go?" asks the guy with nine eyes. "He's over there," says the little guy with no eyes!

Of course.