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Cartooning Improvments

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  • Cartooning Improvments

    I've created this thread to talk about cartooning, and how we can improve them.

    First off, I have several questions.

    #1 how do cartoonists manage to have completly straight lines, or perfectly curved lines, no hand-drawn defects?

    #2 How does Woody do the hair effect? (the lines within the hair, to make it look more realistic"

    #3 How is chain mail drawn/colored? what textures?

    #4 How does Woody do his shading? (is it magic tool and then spray can?)

    #5 Is Woody left handed or right handed?

    Any other advice would be greatly apprciated, every art teacher I know has no more help than they can provide me.

    I thank all who have taken the time to read this, and those who have taken the time to reply.

  • #2
    maybe this will help answer some of your questions.


    • #3
      I can answer a few of those....

      I get straight lines with rulers sometimes, but for the most part it just takes a steady hand.

      #5 I believe he said he was left-handed at first but then switches to right.

      I don't know about the other stuff since I don't do computer art very much. | Real ID: email @ | Steam: ciarin7


      • #4
        heh, there deffienlty is a lot on that site, take me a few days to suck it all in.



        • #5

          you've created this thread to cartooning, and how we can improve them? Except... all your questions are about Woody...

          something doesn't compute.


          • #6
            how can you switch hands!


            • #7
              well, if you're right handed and you break you right arm or hand, then you'll have to learn to use your left.

              I think Woody switched because he saw most others were using their right.
     | Real ID: email @ | Steam: ciarin7


              • #8
                I've been web cartooning off and on (more off than on, unfortunately) for a while and so I hope I can provide some help.

                Woody is a very talented artist and has had some terrific formal training and professional experience. He mentions this in his FAQ. He was very kind to me on another message board - I appreciated his kind words of encouragement.

                While some folks draw on paper and then scan their images into computers, others do their work entirely on computers (like me). Adobe Illustrator software or some other art program enables you to make perfect lines, curves, circles, etc.

                I use Adobe Photoshop (I use a Wacom tablet and draw directly on the computer (and more often than not, it shows, heh) and Adobe Illustrator (only for lettering - I make my own messy lines, curves, circles, etc. as it's my style, such as it is...).

                Barry Smith of Angst Technology fame had an outstanding Cartooning 101 section on his website, but I think he took it offline while the site is currently under construction. Here's his link:


                Here's a link to a supportive website for aspiring cartoonists with a message board for posting links to your artwork and get feedback from. It's been a little dead (like my cartoon site, heh) but supportive nonetheless.

                The free service I use may or may not be accepting new toons (I haven't checked recently) but if you want to get free web space and do your own thing, you may at the very least get some ideas from here:


                Some people love keenspace, some people hate it. But at least it's a start and check out other aspiring cartoonists - some great, some not so great. Overall a pretty supportive group of folks.

                The only real advice that I recommend:

                1. Draw, draw, draw. And then draw some more. You will get better.

                2. If you can afford to take art classes (or are still in school) then take some general drawing classes and figure drawing classes (bonus if you take figure drawing classes at college level because usually the models are nekkid - although that may not always be a good thing...)

                3. Once you have a few drawings (the more the merrier), have people take a look at them and really listen to the constructive feedback. Don't be argumentative but appreciate what they are trying to convey to you. Sometimes it takes a thick skin to listen to feedback, but if you can learn from it, it will only make you improve.

                Good luck and I hope I've helped!


                • #9
                  Re: Cartooning Improvments

                  It would have been betterer to mail me and ask these questions that to post them on the boards.

                  #1 how do cartoonists manage to have completly straight lines, or perfectly curved lines, no hand-drawn defects?
                  I sketch my images then ink them, on non-textured, non-porous paper, with technical pens. I then scan the image into Photoshop at a higher resolution than the final product. I adjust the brightness and contrast so the lines are dark and crisp, while the background is white and clean. There are hand drawn defects, but the combination of all of those elements smooth out the slaws visually.

                  #2 How does Woody do the hair effect? (the lines within the hair, to make it look more realistic"
                  It's no more than what you see. I draw lines in the hair.

                  #3 How is chain mail drawn/colored? what textures?
                  This is different for everyone, and each person should develop their own style. Otherwise you'll just get accused of stealing someone elses form.

                  #4 How does Woody do his shading? (is it magic tool and then spray can?)
                  Layers. And the Airbrush set to multiply. Of course there is more to it than that. But, I'll keep my coloring secrets thanks. Those two pieces of info should help get you started.

                  #5 Is Woody left handed or right handed?
                  I'm right handed.

                  What the others are referring to is the fact that I was left hand dominant as a child and even started writing left handed. In the first grade however, everyone else was writing with their right hands. Assuming I was doing it wrong, I switched hands. The older you are the harder it is because at an early age our brains aren't completely hardwired yet and you're not so bound by years of habit.

                  So, the answer to "how do you switch hands" is quite simply... put the pen in your other hand and keep doing it until it works.


                  And, no amount of training I have received has ever helped me. There hasn't been a single teacher/professor, since I started drawing, that has shown me HOW to do something or actually influenced my work or the way I produced it.

                  The only real way to learn and improve is to draw and keep drawing. Doodle in your free time. Sketch when you've got nothing better to do.


                  • #10
                    That's exactly how I did it. as far as 2d media, I didn't learn much from my art teachers. One of them flunked me when I didn't do it her way, and the others were ambivelant. The only thing I got from art classes was the free supplies, lol.

                    One art teacher did actually influence me. He's pretty cool. He was my sculpture teacher. He didn't actually teach me how to sculpt, he let me figure it out on my own. But he did help me learn about the different types of clay and what you could do with it.

                    In fact, he let me use a blow torch on some of my pieces, which I thought was hella tight.

                    It's too bad I can't scan my sculptures to show you. Maybe I should take some photos of them sometime.

                    I actually sold some of my sculptures at a gallery. Alls I can't say is, thank god for rich people. I was happy to get a few hundred dollars for my work.

                    I think that was the only time I've ever been able to sell anyhting other than tattoo designs.
           | Real ID: email @ | Steam: ciarin7


                    • #11
                      I have no formal art education. Last art class I took was in HS. I dont count the complete joke of an art class I had first semester of college. *tries to suppress the memories*


                      • #12
                        I was an art minor in college and took art classes in high school and honestly, they didn't help me much either. It wasn't until I moved out to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art College (yes, that annoying commercial on MTV) to study 3D Modeling and Animation that I actually learned some practical applications to drawing.

                        1. All the spiffy art programs (for mac, pc and silicon graphic systems)
                        2. And probably the more important of the two: In my life drawing classes, I really started to understand the concept of perspective. Probably something that most pick up naturally or from better art courses, but it took like 20 years before I really knew how to understand and truly "see" the things I was drawing.

                        Other than that, doodling carried me throughout my entire education and very boring business meetings.


                        • #13

                          Most of the art on my site was the product of doodling while being bored out of my skull.
                 | Real ID: email @ | Steam: ciarin7


                          • #14
                            My method for doing chainmail kind of sucks, because it's time consuming and the outcome is only so-so. I draw a crapload of tiny circles in pencil that look to be about the same diameter and just leave them un-inked. Then I color it in. I wish I had a colored in example to show, but alas, I do not (maybe later). It usually looks ok before color, but after coloring it gets pretty assy looking....the chain links lose their definition.

                            Gah, I need to get my art page up and running again.

                            My teaching, too, was doodling. I made a couple comics way back in the day (read: I think maybe 4 years ago?), but they were more graphic novels than anything else. I did a horror-fairytale version of "Rapunzle", as well as a small fantasy one about a blind girl and her sister. They were so lame, I think I burned them.


                            • #15
                              Whoa. Your chain mail looks like something out of one of those olde time tapestry history booke thinges, Velenka. It's neat.
                              i'm riding on a blind unicorn
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