050 character & animal design class with aaron blaise

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tom Oreb study, They Drew As They Pleased Vol. 4

This fever started last week when I received They Drew As They Pleased Vol 4: The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era. As I was going through the book I was responding to the artwork and being moved by it. I pulled my sketchbook out and I started studying the illustrations that stood out to me the most the first few times I looked through the book. I was so delighted with how my illustration turned out that I went down this rabbit hole of researching Mid-Century Modern illustration from the greats. I made a series of studies. My favorite from that night was this gentleman rabbit inspired by Tom Oreb's drawings.

Recently I enrolled in Aaron Blaise's Character Design class, which has been life-changing. The way I build characters has changed, and the fundamentals are so strong that the subjects I draw are coming to life even before they have their pupils drawn in. The minimal details and flow of character stylization have inspired me to look for different shapes in my compositions. I am very excited watching as my drawings come alive. I'm sharing some coursework or what I'd usually call class notes behind the jump. 📕🖋🎨✨

I usually end up splashing through Mary Blair's work, Tom Oreb, and now more recently Aaron Blaise. Aaron Blaise is responsible for larger than life characters that will always be a part of our society, at a global scale. I was browsing the shop for Photoshop brushes when I came to find his Character Design class. I thought about it for thirty minutes and took the plunge. It was a wonderful decision because this course has made drawing fun for me again. I was pressuring myself to bring my drawings to life and it wasn't flowing right. Now I'm excited to tackle all the exercises. I want to explore how far I can push my imagination to make very unique stylizations.  I will be studying the Animal Character Design course next. It's so nice to finally achieve the breakthrough I have been wanting with my creative work. Every time I make something I new now I gasp or squeak in excitement and hurry off to place the lines before the magic fades. I'm very excited to fill this space with all of the characters that will spring from my imagination!


I began drawing and re-drawing Disney characters, that's how I learned to draw in the first place when I was a toddler. The very first character I ever learned to draw was Mickey Mouse. I just loved the simple but very expressive stylized way of telling a story. My love for visual development fuels all my efforts and investments in eventually becoming the top caliber artist I dream of being. Now I feel equipped to paint illustrations that more accurately depict how I see the world.

The course has so far helped me to draw on a much bigger scale, which is nice. I am curious to see how application of these new techniques will change the look and feel of my illustrations.

Frost was feeling generous so I snapped as many pictures of him as I could for reference. Drawing my cats is one of the best perks of living with them. I always have models.

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