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I recently was rejected from CalArts Character animation for the seconed time. Here are a few samples from that portfolio and a link to the full one.
Based on a few critiques, I have been studying how to put Force into my drawings. Here are a few examples of my most recent figure studies.
I am seeking any and all advice for getting into calArts. I have wanted to be an animator since I was 6 years old. Now that I am 22 and recently had a near death experience(read my artist statement on my website for more info if interested) I now know I must make every effort to achieve my goal. Thank you to all willing to help.
I think you should include more gestures. All of the CalArts portfolios I've seen show a good deal of movement and have tons of gestures.
PS. Nice story btw.
Last edited by kedrew; March 21st, 2009 at 04:50 PM.
My Adventures at Ringling ^
Yea I'm focusing more on the gesture this time around.
Some stuff from my new sketch book.
Like people have said before, more gestures are needed. The first few images look more like an illustration portfolio. Animation portfolios all pretty much look a certain way, they want to see you can capture the movement of a body and understand how it works very quickly and confidently.
I'm going to echo what other people have said - put more gesture into your life drawings. Resist the incredible temptation to copy the contour of the body and instead analyze the general actions that the body makes. Pick up Glenn Vilppu's Drawing Manual and follow his instructions, starting with the basic stick figure and moving on from there. This guy has trained countless animators - he'll set you on the right path. Try not to dwell on drawing a pretty picture; focus instead on looking and analyzing what the model is doing, then communicate that in your drawings as best you can. Even stick figures can express an incredible amount of emotion - don't underestimate their power.
To be a successful animator, you will need to be able to turn forms in space as you will be required to draw characters from every possible angle in a multitude of different poses. So following up on the basic stick figure, next you will want to simplify the body into a generalized mannequin consisting of the basic building blocks = cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres. Use whichever system works for you - Vilppu, Loomis, Huston/Chen, the Reilly abstraction, "The Marvel Way", whatever - and draw mannequins until you drop. If you are having trouble drawing mannequins because you haven't mastered drawing forms in space, then cut back on drawing the figure and focus more on drawing just the basic building blocks in perspective. Yes, it will be a humbling experience to draw just basic volumes, but these are critically fundamental - you can't move on until you master them, otherwise you risk crippling your future work.
Here's a link to Kevin Chen's sketchbook, with lots of examples of how he uses the basic building blocks to communicate what figures are doing in space. Only after he has drawn in the general volume does he put anatomy and rendering on top.
Start your own sketchbook here if you haven't, and keep drawing. Good luck!
I agree with the gesture thing, but it's more than that. You need to focus more on capturing the life in the model, weight, tension, all that stuff that makes a drawing truly believable. Don't be afraid to draw through the form and try to exaggerate the twists and curves of the poses more. Try new things when drawing; your mission is not to copy the model, it is to communicate it, and there are many different ways of doing so. Experiment and explore! Maybe try some new media too, it will challenge how you think about the figure since you must represent it differently, and all this figure drawing is about achieving an understanding. CalArts likes risk takers. It's the people who take risks who become the innovators and leaders of the field. If it doesn't work out than you still come out on top because you've learned though it and can apply that in the future. Get outside your comfort zone and really push yourself.
Make sure that the things you send in have hands and feet. I'm not talking about "mittens" I mean fingers. They like to see that you have an imagination, so don't just copy what you see but actually play with color and things. You're drawing look kind of sad because they have no color, I don't feel like you had fun doing these. DID you have fun doing these? I would suggest if you have any drawings you don't like to take them and play until you do like them. Paint them, draw on them, cut them up whatever, it's YOUR art remember. Loosen up, maybe draw with your opposite hand or do a blind drawing! You get some cool stuff from blind drawings. They love mixed media especially collages. Focus less on accuracy and more on "is this interesting?" Give your drawing bird heads and robotic arms! I know a girl who got in last year burnt an image into toast! Be creative! Also exaggerate certain features on the models or make them interesting by giving them crazy hair or cool tattoos. When you submit a sketchbook be sure to include lots and lots of observational drawings of people and animals. Go to the mall and the zoo and just draw what you see. I suggest using a pen or something you can't erase because it makes you live with your mistakes and teaches you not to make them again. Don't submit cartoon versions of paintings, they want to see YOU what do you like to draw? Do that! When they pick up one of your pieces they should be able to tell you had fun making it. The number one thing I can tell you is do something that has never been done before. I hope this helps, cheers.
How come I can't see the pictures you posted Yoshic?