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drawing furries

edited March 2012 in Do The Work
For our Reading With Pictures project, Russell is writing a script about a group of school kids on a Field Trip to the Chicago Art Museum. Bored with the paintings, they get excited about the hall of Armor and imagine themselves as knights in sword fights and such. He also suggested that we make the kids anthropomorphic animals. Those of you who know my work may recognize that their are like NO furries in my portfolio. So i have to figure out a style.

That shouldn't be too hard, right? And as I get into it, all sorts of questions emerge. Pants or no pants? People with animal heads, or Hanna Barbera style cartoons? Shall I deal with light and shadow, or keep them flat? A controlled smooth line,or my usually slop? Shall I draw the fur and if so, how much?

Plus, I'm trying to develop a colored style that I can use in lieu of digital coloring, which I don't enjoy much. I haven't been satisfied with the Pitt markers for this purpose. I like the brush tip, and I like many of the colors, but there's not enough range and they don't blend, and they are very intense.

So I've scanned in six attempts for your amusement, pretty much in the sequence that I drew them, so you can see the evolution, and here they are:

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As you can see, they are getting more animal like, and sketchier as I progress... EXCEPT, for a human mouth.
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Comments

  • I went out and bought some more markers after doing these, so I can extend my color range. But mostly I'm trying to stay with greys, browns and a few light or medium intensity primaries.
  • They next batch of drawings will focus on the kids wearing armor. It occurs to me that while they of course wouldn't be allowed to actually handle the armor, drawing them in it presents a nice teaching moment. "Why do they have armor on?" "Are they really wearing armor?" "Why did the artist choose to draw them this way?"

    Our story is going in the science/technology section, but there's no reason not to provide food for thought about the power of art, literature and imagination.
  • These look great, Marv. The hockey jersey the hare is wearing looks awfully familiar...

  • Russell is such a big hockey fan, I used a San Jose Sharks sweater just to pimp him over.
  • These are really cute. You might want to check out a similar-themed project from the British Museum (pdf):


    Yours actually looks more fun, though. 
  • AWESOME.

    I wasn't sure if you'd dig the furries, but I had a feeling you would. And these are great.

    But the Sharks? Really?

    Don't forget we need a teen visitor standing in front of SUNDAY ON LA GRAND JATTE in a jersey, for a Ferris Bueller homage....
  • Also, we are in social studies. But the teachable questions are perfect.
  • Sharks are my local team, hockey-boy. Not that I follow hockey much.

    Oops, social studies?!? Fakey science?!? What a revoltin' development this is! Oh well, any kind of teachable moment is a good one.

    Teenager, check. Actually the rabbit is kinda teenager-like. He moved to Chicago from Los Gatos and stayed true to his team.

    We need a grownup teacher too I suspect at some point? Or a guard?
  • Anyway, I'm out of town for the next few days, so nothing new until the weekend, but knights next, and then a page or two incorporating the kids into a museum, s to see what effects the change in scale has on the drawing.

    Y'know, drawing 5 inch tall characters on a sheet is different from drawing them two inches tall on a comics page.
  • edited March 2012
    Adults will include a teacher and the guard/volunteer/worker who teaches the kids about the armor and gets them daydreaming.

    Sharks it is, then. Works for me.

    And don't forget, it isn't exactly Chicago or the Art Institute of Chicago. It'll be Windy City or some such.
  • I dunno Jay, Professor Munakata looks pretty cool.
  • The cat girl in the green pants... That's Meredith, isn't it?
  • It can be. I'm not really going to make a great effort to make it actually look like her, and the bangs and glasses could have been my daughter Cleo at that age. And Cleo is nuts for cats (and monkeys). I'm thinking I may not do human hair on these though, it gets a little too weird for me. But I'll draw a cat girl with glasses and you can name her Meredith.
  • Actually, my favorite is the raccoon girl in the middle of the first group pic. She has the pink backpack and a girly shirt, but you just know she's a tomboy at heart.
  • It looks just like her. She saw it immediately. As for human hairstyles, that is up to you. I think it works fine without them. The other kids look great.
  • edited March 2012
    I liked the dog with the bows. She looks mischievous.
  • edited March 2012
    I always thought that Richard Scarry nailed furries: Images But you've done a bang up job too, Marv.
  • And then there was Omaha the Cat Dancer. Our own Mario Boon and Jorge Munoz do anthropomorphic animals from time to time. Perhaps they'll weigh in at some point.

  • I really like the colours.
  • Someone mentioned my name? 

    I wouldn't draw the fur on the arms and legs if you intend to make it kids characters.
    My take on Catanova was always: the characters are people who just happen to be in the shape of a cat, and not humans who are cat-like. That's the Blacksad approach. where the artist uses some of the tropes of a character's character and draws the corresponding animal (a cold-blooded killer= a reptile)

    I also wouldn't go the Donald Duck route where he doesn't wear pants!!
  • (Speaking of names, @marioboon, we need yours entered as first-name/last-name under "Edit My Account".)
  • One thing to be careful of is the common assumption that dogs are boys, and cats are girls.  Not that you can't do them the other way around, but you may want to make that bitch more feminine (a prettier breed? a little more neoteny?) because my first impression was of a man in drag. :) 
  • these look great Marv. I really like the color. So are you using pitt markers, or something else? I've always wanted to try the copics (the colorless blender works really well) but the overall cost just puts me off. anyway, looks like you have a great kid's book style going here. Eventually i want to do a cartoony kids book. It looks like a ton of fun.
  • These are all absolutely lovely. You missed your calling doing funny animal comics, Marv.

    (Remember kids: it's not furry art unless it's badly drawn erotica on Deviant Art. And it's not anthro unless it's a 1980s indie comic. The More You Know.)

  • I like the life's of the animals being assigned fairly randomly, that way, there are no preconceptions or racial stereotypes to deal with,
  • I was really worried about clicking on a thread called "drawing furries."
  • @pjperez - I'll admit, there was a part of me worried/curious this was going to be about a Dr. Sketchy's for the yiff set.
  • edited March 2012
    Moved this comment to a more appropriate thread.
  • I'm using the term furries deliberately just to fuck with expectations.

    Mario, the people with animal heads approach is perfectly valid, but I don't think its going to be my way.

    Jason, currently the opossum and the hare are boys and the others including the dog, are girls. You never knew a tall, pointy nosed girl in school?

    However, I'm not wed to any of these absolutely appearing in the story at this point. And I'm not completely satisfied with the clothing designs, yet.
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