Monday, August 31, 2009

Jack Hamm: NOT Screwing Around.

So I picked up a couple of books, y'see, about drawing -- because I like to do that (draw), even though I feel more and more like I've hit a plateau and less and less like it's worth it to keep trying. They're both by a dude name of Jack Hamm, and -- you know what?

They're AWESOME.

Cartooning The Head And Figure and Drawing The Head And Figure are, simply stated, replete with instructional tips. Every page is crowded with examples, step-by-step instructions, diagrams or just plain practical wisdom. Next to these books, even the best modern drawing instruction books look sparse.

The trouble is, it's easy to pick these up while browsing and dismiss them outright, because the style of the drawings is quite outdated (they were written in the 1960s). I know this to be true because I almost gave them a pass, until I stopped and looked at Cartooning a second time and noticed how freaking dense it is. Styles may change, but techniques? Not so much. I haven't seen so many different methods for quickly sketching out the human body is one place in...well, ever. Sure, all his people look like Susie Homemaker and Fred McBreadwinner, but -- who cares how they're dressed? And anyway, human anatomical proportions have been the same for...what, how many millions of years?

'Course, Ol' Jack may not have agreed with me on the "millions of years" thing. Seems he didn't hold much truck with such nonsense.

Anyway, yeah. These books are good.



...seems like I ought to have more to say, but...I guess not.


Picture a guy who owns a boat. He loves that boat. He keeps it waxed and clean, the rigging is always ready, the sails are bright and colorful, all the little bits and bobs are polished.

He puts on his funny little captain's hat, hops aboard, and does a quick check of everything. He's done well; this ship is fit to sail. A huge smile spreads across his face.

He unfurls the sails, sits by the tiller, and...


He's in the desert, and his ship is tied to a rock.

Well, THAT Sucked.

I had a reason for going silent, but it was not a very interesting one nor was it a good one (probably). Mostly it was a grumpy, whiny, snarly one and you really don't want to know it.

Now, here's what you do want to know: I'm back to blogging, I will blog in English, and I'm going to talk about a guy named Jack Hamm.

Not right now, though. Right now, my break is almost over.