Week 1 - Beginnings

Hey everyone! What's up?

Just thought I'd start recording this new leg of my journey. I have recently taken a year's contract at a Mental Health Charity, working there 4 days a week. Have I given up on working in the Animation industry? Not a chance! The exact opposite in fact - I am more motivated than ever. I know that I will become a professional Character Designer and this decision I took was with that in mind. I realised that I am not yet ready for the Industry and the best way to address that is to invest in my development. The idea is that I am not going to actively look for work this year but rather spend the time and some of the money on courses to improve myself. 

There is an endless list of things I need to improve but by the grace of God I am actually aware of my weaknesses which puts me in a great starting position. Before I even take a Character Design course, I first need to improve my anatomy knowledge and my gesture drawing so that is what I have begun doing.

About a week ago I came across Taylor Krahenbuhl's old portfolio ( and I was just struck by how many different variations he was able to produce - see below:

TAYLOR KRAHENBUHL'S WORK

TAYLOR KRAHENBUHL'S WORK

TAYLOR KRAHENBUHL'S WORK

TAYLOR KRAHENBUHL'S WORK

I had been aware of my lack of anatomy knowledge before, but this made me think 'Okay, there is a secret this guy knows that I have never come close to knowing!' There was a revelation that it must be his understanding of anatomy which allows him to abstract things in a number of ways and it still look believable (of course he knows Character Design secrets too but it is underpinned by a confidence in what he is drawing). This was the catalyst for me to improve my basic understanding of anatomy which, this week I learned, was even more basic than I realised. Time to spice up my drawings!

I can't lie to you I have very little interest in learning the names of all the bones and muscles - I just want to know what they look like. These are some studies that I did during the week, I have simplified them for my own benefit:

anatomy studies 1 May 2018.jpg
anatomy studies 2 May 2018.jpg

Don't laugh at me, but I can already see how much I have improved since learning the general position of where thing are in the body. At the moment I am trying to get a general overview and later on I will return to specific parts. This week I have looked at the head, torso and arms and next week I will focus on legs, but I am aware that I will definitely need to return to heads and hands as these are key in figure drawing. These anatomy studies will of course be accompanied by life drawing and studies from other references to see how things fit together.

Until next time, God bless!