Sunday, March 23, 2008

John K. Teaches Us About Negative Space Using Rocky and Bullwinkle

Over at his blog, all kinds of stuff, John Kricfalusi recently broke down the construction of two well-known characters, that of Rocky and Bullwinkle. He talks about how their simplicity is deceptive, and shows how construction is used even with UPA's simple style, but he also points out how negative space has an effect on the staging of a drawing.

When he put this drawing up, it was cited as an example of mushy construction. This is what John said about it specifically:

"Here is a picture made by someone not conscious of the usefulness and appeal of negative shapes."

I saw what he was talking about, but wondered what it would have looked like if the drawing had been drawn more, as John puts it, 'consciously'. Since I am trying very hard to learn from this man, I did what I believe he wants us all to do: try to evaluate the drawing yourself.

I immediately thought that, what I would call 'the staging', was jumbly and unnatural and I noticed that if Natasha was positioned slightly further back from the light and Boris were in the lower right, it would read better, plus there would be more negative shapes.

I very quickly sketched the basic shapes of the drawing ( and didn't get the proportions of the table right, ) though I don't know what John would say, but I felt it read better. Am I wrong?

Again, these are just my theories based on what John's been teaching. Sometimes stuff being 'too even' can get boring, but I felt that the original drawing was too jarring, so I went the opposite way. Tell me what you think, friends.

- trevor.


Peter Gray said...

Its good you are trying to learn...

It is a bit tricky to understand John sometimes...

I thought the man character arranged where you put him makes him look very small.when he was in the distance it didn't matter he was small the perspective worked then...

So needs a rethink about where Boris should go or increase his size..

Peter Gray said...

other than what I said you have got the shapes in a good order and good spaces inbetween. So you have learnt from John..

Moving the lamp has made it a lot better for example from away form hands which looked cluttered before in the original picture.

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Good call, Peter.

I'll try making Boris a little bigger. Thanks for the analysis!

- trevor.

Hammerson said...

Well done! The picture is staged in much clearer way, and there's lot of negative space between objects. I like it. Boris is the only problem here - he's too small, and his hat is making tangents with the wall edges. In my opinion (and I'm learning, just like you), you should draw him bigger, and move him away, more deeply in the background.

pop;yeah said...

aha, i just think the idea of taking the shade off of the lamp is kind of confusing.

Hryma said...

Thanks for your comment Trevor
(John K's toy blog).
Go Bullwinkle!