Sunday, July 31, 2016


Start with a few normal drawings then drastically elongate the legs without elongating the body. Experiment with multiple station points.
Try the reverse. See what happens.

How 'bout a male model with disembodied legs and stiff, over-size BVDs? You simply don't draw the upper half. Do a number of sketches on a single page. Make it funny.

BTW: that's not my drawing above. 

The BVD model changes and emerges wearing two pairs of puffy pants so they get really thick.  The shirt, on the other hand, should be small and tight.  Glasses and fake nose if possible? 

The model should walk around in wide circles, presenting his back sometimes. On some excuse he should bend over and pick small things up. 

Another costume change. High stepping walking models would be nice for this exercize.

Some people are really good at this. 

I can think of some situational sketches using high leg walks. In one the girl does the funny walk into sc. and casually talks to her boyfriend, who's reading the paper. The doorbell rings and he gets up to answer it, doing an even broader funny walk of his own. 

Or...a lonely, alienated young man walks thru a crowd of extras (the same two models do all the crowd poses after the major poses are done) and everyone in the crowd does the same funny low-kick walks. He's the only one doing high kick steps...he's just out of sync with the society he lives in.  He thinks "If only I could meet a girl who was just like me." Well, he does meet her, and she's alienated from the crowd, too. She's a high kicker just like him, doesn't work out. They can't abide by each other's hats. 

Well, it was just an idea.

Try some back shots. See if you can do some acting with the back. Make it funny. Be ignorant. See Jim Carey's back poses in the Elvis post I put up recently.

Try giving a female model the kind of proportions Freddie Moore used to like.

He liked thin women with slightly thick arms and short legs. If her skirt is thin use a fan to blow the skirt and hair.

Also try some low-rent, cheesy poses.

Make fun of classic art school posing. 

I might be going too far with this one...funny in-air running and jumping poses (short poses) using under-arm ropes to support the model. Hmmmm....Naw!...most ateliers aren't equiped for it.

If you do figure out a way to make this work, I recommend that the male model wear an old, thrift store suit. Suits wrinkle funny. Oh, and have a fan on all the time for the model's sake.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


So far we've talked about actors as art school models and dancers as art school models...that leaves only one more category that needs to be covered....

...FUNNY models.

If you're an artist and you're interested in comedy just imagine the giant strides you could make if you had funny models to work from: models who get it, someone who isn't offended if you exaggerate some anatomical flaw.

A good teacher will bring props to class that might heighten the effect: glasses, funny wigs, fake buck teeth, etc.

It would be fun to team up two draped models who have opposite personalities. An overbearing Marie Dressler-type (above) would make a great foil for a Mr. Meek-type (like me, above).

Grouches make great comedy models because they're good at reacting to things. They do great slow burns when someone does something stupid in front of them, and when they finally yell it's massive.

Hero types are fun to draw.

They could stuff their shirts with towels to get a funny physique.

Legs are always funny...even mens' legs...if they're wearing the right pants.

With baggy pants models you could tell a funny story using only leg part of the model's upper body would be visible.

Skinny legs would also work.

So would sexy legs.

The male model every cartoonist would like to have drawn was Eric Campbell (above), the villain in Chaplin's best shorts.

Sigh! The Campbells of the world are probably hard to find....or are they?

This (above) is what Campbell looked like when he was offscreen... a real nice guy, not at all like the bad guy he played in the films. Maybe you know a nice guy who can be converted into a good villain model.

A draped two model session, male and female, offer great posing possibilities.

They make for great romantic scenarios, too.

Just make sure they're different heights.

Haw! Here's a sketch idea for two models: the guy stumbles on a coin-operated robotic love machine and decides to try it. No, no, no...nothing obscene happens...but the girl's hands caress his head, play with his tie, squirt him with cologne, empty his wallet, etc.

I've already mentioned this but it bears repeating: nothing I've suggested is meant to displace classical figure drawing. The picture above makes an eloquent argument for the classical approach. I just think cartoonists would benefit from both types of drawing session.


BTW: here's a fascinating animated short about art models. Many, many thanks to Kelly Toons for the link!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2016


For the kind of model session that Theory Corner cartoonists might like, I'd I like to see a catwalk made of collapsible tables.

The model would walk on that.

If the model was a dancer, even an amateur dancer, that would be great. 

Of course the catwalk makes possible a dance that's also a walk. I see the individual poses as lasting no more than three or four minutes. I kinda like the idea of overlapping some of the drawings to get the effect you see above.

A catwalk makes it easier to do funny walks and eccentric dancing.

There's no end of funny walks.

Some walks and dances look better when more than one dancer does them. No problem. You just sketch in the clones after class.

Two models can become eight, as in this dance of Fosse's: The Rich Man's Frug."

Or one man becomes three. The choreography for a session like this could be improvised or planned. Me, I'd love to think of moves  for sidemen to do.

Poses involving animals like horses are no problem. You draw the model-driven rider poses then add the cartoony horses later. 

Or the cow.

If you had two models doing different walks at the same time you could combine the drawings in a sort of collage.

Remember to bring some tape.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Art school figure drawing tends to take place in all-purpose rooms that are just big empty spaces.  Me, I'd prefer to draw in a room that has more character, like the room above. What a beautiful space! I see what looks like a church pew and nautical windows. Wow! A platypus!

What interests me especially is that storage loft (above). It suggests a low, shallow gallery where students who prefer it can draw looking down on the model.

Here's (above) an Italian life drawing room from the 18th Century. It's an interesting idea but it's too inflexible for my taste. I like a room that can accommodate the unique seating preferences of each student and which allows space for innovative instructors to try out new ideas. 

You never know what some teachers are going to try. 

I also like the idea of a runway (above), like the kind fashion models use. I like to draw walks and acting situations, and fold-up tables would be perfect for that. 

If the room's layout permits then it might be nice to have perspective in back of the model sometimes. A two model session where perspective comes into play could be interesting.

Students themselves make a good background for the model, which is one reason I like to see students surround the models when possible. Sometimes its more fun to sketch the students than the model!

I like ateliers with plenty of beams and rafters for attaching lights. It's amazing what a lighting savvy teacher can do. Here (above, right) the students are lit and the model's dark. That's a great idea! On the other side of the room (above, left) the students are dark and the model's lit. In the same session you can move around and experience both!

Haw! As a fantasy I toyed with the idea of students drawing each other en masse, but that's a dumb idea that wouldn't work in the real world. 

Some variation of it might work, though. As a one-time novelty I could see students, fully clothed, drawing the other students facing them across a table. Or maybe there's a model behind each row of students so they could look past the person facing them to a real model. 

What would be the value of that? It would lie in the inspiration to be had when seeing another rational being martial his skills to draw something difficult in front of him.