Thursday, May 28, 2009

Last Manga Cartooning Class for the School Year

Recommended viewing & reading: For inspiration, check out this comedy animation series: Azumanga Daioh - Class Album (Complete Series). The manga by Kiyohiko Azuma has also been released in one volume collecting the entire series: Azumanga Daioh Omnibus Volume 1. Both provide a humorous look at the High School years of a group of teenage girls in Japan, and the latter in particular features several good examples of yonkoma 4-panel comic strips and short comic stories. It might seem rather odd to Western readers that in Japan this title was published under the Shōnen genre (so it was aimed at young male demographics). Yet once localized for the American market, we would probably consider it a Shōjo title given its young female heroines. Regardless, this series presents a fairly entertaining view of Japanese school life and unique cultural experience.

For our last meeting of the 7-lessons cartooning course, we tried out some alternatives to the traditional wooden art manikins: articulated Spiderman action figures and some Japanese PVC figurines.
Japanese collector's PVC figurines while lacking articulation in general, they tend to be quite rich in detail and can effectively function as art reference manikins. Especially fantasy theme series, like these Capcom Furuta Onimusha traditional Japanese heroes and demon figures.
A student did some nice work using this ghostly samurai wielding two swords as reference, but I unfortunately did not get a picture of his sketch.
Drawing the figurines.
Pencil sketch.
Source reference: 4-armed zombie PVC figurine.
Pencil sketch.
Source reference: Tengu PVC figurine.
Finished pencil sketch after laying down the stick figure structure first.
From the color, I suspect this plump Japanese demon to be a type of mythological fox.
Yup, he is going to try to draw this demon fox figurine. Right after he finishes his snack.
We'll accept this head sketch as an initial attempt, but expect to see some improvement after the student works some more on his sketchbook over the summer.
Enjoy the summer break guys! I'll get around doing a group drawing based on your pictures soon.

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