Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Style Memes, and the Important Stuff they can teach you about Character Development

So over at Deviant Art, some artists like making these little charts for others to fill out. The intent is usually to draw your characters in the style of another artist/character from a movie/book/whatever. They are called Style Memes and I think I'm in love.
Seriously, this is a great exercise for character design. I've noticed that younger artists tend to experiment more, drawing their characters (in this case) over and over again in different styles, different colors, different media and so on. Somewhere along the line we loose that enthusiasm. But it's great drawing practice and it's just plain fun!
I found the Avian Style Meme at Lizkay's gallery and decided to put our dear friend Squee through the wringer:

Avian Style Meme by ~babbletrish on deviantART

Huh... first time embedding something from DA. Interesting.
Here are my notes, pretty much somewhat longer versions of what I've posted below the upload, now that I have had more time to think:

Personal Style - Default Squee.
Now, I've been trying to move away from drawing these characters digitally, as it really doesn't suit them (it looks too "neat" after a while). Also, when I do draw in Photoshop, it's usually at a much higher resolution, so this was a bit of a challenge. (Watch somebody tell me that there's a way to download a 300 dpi version of these memes, whereupon I shall say, "d'oh.")

Marahute!!! - Hell and yes. Glen Keane is the man and Marahute is his Crowning Moment of Awesome if I have to pick just one. I also thought the idea of drawing a chickadee in Marahute's "I'm Being AWESOME" pose was comedy gold.

Pokemon - Weird how so much of this meme includes big influences on me. Also, drawing a Chickadee as a Pokemon is sublime. (My crazy Anime-only theory: The Pokemon aren't walking around "saying their names". The Pokemon, like the Chickadee, are *named after* the calls they make.)

Jeremy - "Secret of N.I.M.H." is my favorite movie of all time. Don Bluth may be the one artist here who influenced me the most. Thing is, I never noticed until just now, doing the research for this meme, how *long* Jeremy's legs are!

Kehaar - Almost-photorealistic Squee, which was great fun to draw. Also, who couldn't leave out Kehaar's signature line?

"Quest for Camelot" - Squee's reaction here is pretty much my own. Seriously, what a random movie to go for. Not knowing what else to do, I drew her in the style as that fluffy little falcon.*
* - No offense if you like "Quest for Camelot", but I... don't... The film is also part of a particularly strange family movie-watching experience. My grandmother loves Andrea Bocelli and "The Prayer" is one of her favorites of his songs. She also likes "Camelot". Grandma was delighted to learn that "The Prayer" was written for a movie that happened to be about Camelot (I think you can tell where this is going) and so we rented "Quest for Camelot" to watch together.
I will let you imagine Grandma's reaction when she got to the particular scene in which her beloved song appears...

"Asterix" - This is where it occurred to me that there aren't a whole lot of cartoons/comics with birds as main characters. It's our What Measure Is A Non-Mammal problem again. *sigh*

"Family Guy" - Uh... eh. Not a terribly big fan of this series. (This has been my Gross Understatement of the Day.)

"For the Birds" - Ha-ha, she looks kinda cute like this! It'd be a hell of a challenge to draw after a while, though.

Iago - Birds with human-like teeth freak me out. There, I said it.

"Animals of Farthing Wood" - Now, now, let's be honest here. I only know "Farthing Wood" exists because the European contingent over at TV Tropes keeps raving about it. It sounds fascinating. (The heroes include a fox, a falcon, and a *snake*?!? Awesome!!!) And it could be the greatest animated series ever made for all I know, but sadly, I don't know if there's any way I can watch it in America (Youtube only appears to have the opening sequence). Wah.

Griff - Is... is this meant to be a Meme for Gryphon characters? (Long awkward pause...) Oh..... :p

Now I just found out that there's also a Dinosaur Style Meme floating around. Hrm...


Addendum: Sketch of the Day, hot off the scanner!

Augh! Augh!!! AUGH!!!

6.16.09 Something quick and dirty for my fellow Celtics fans.

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