Oct 30, 2009

Fun Links

Hello Cartooning and Drawing Students!

This blog is used as a teaching tool, and has examples, information, and visual aids you can download and print, to help you improve your skills.

To easily access the class review blog posts, and drawing examples you can download, click on the Class Review category in the Blog Post Categories on the right, near the top of the blog.

This will put all the class review posts onto a single page, to make it easier for you.

Concepts talked about in the drawing class are reviewed here to help you as you improve and refine your art skills.

And, of course, there are fun things to check out, such as...

Castle Peak and Thunder Railroad

I'm not a huge Disney fan (I've been there so many times I'm Disney-ed out), but this is very impressive. Architect David Sheegog, a former Disney employee, built a remarkable series of scale-model Disney attractions in his back yard and has a wonderful site created by his 14 year old son to showcase his models.

They are pretty incredible: Cinderella's Castle, Big Thunder Mountain, locomotives and others, including scale model tourists and cast members! The pictures are nice and big to give you a good look at the detail, and there is even a fun video of the train rolling through the scaled-down park. Be sure to check it out!

Air And Space Museum Poster Collection

Want to take a look at graphic design from days gone by? Check out the impressive collection of air-themed travel posters the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum has put up on their website. These are incredible works of art, most typical of the art deco or art nouveau style of illustration. Posters were a powerful medium to convey information, since there was no television, color movies, and certainly no Internet back then.

Soviet Union War Paintings If you like fine art (or even if you don't), check out this incredible collection of paintings depicting WW 2 from the Soviet Union's perspective. There is some incredible imagery here; soldiers in the field, families left behind, even a depiction of Hitler in the bunker before he committed suicide. Much more powerful than photographs, these paintings are driven by the raw emotion and passion of the artists.

And finally, this picture is too cute not to share. It was sent into National Geographic, and every time I look at it I grin. The woman in the picture writes: "My husband and I were exploring Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park-Canada when we stopped for a timed picture of the two of us. We had our camera set up on some rocks and were getting ready to take the picture when this curious little ground squirrel appeared, became intriqued with the sound of the focusing camera and popped right into our shot! A once in a lifetime moment! We were laughing about this little guy for days!!"

Oct 3, 2009

Random Art And Cartooning Links

Check out these art and cartooning related sites if you have some time to wander the net aimlessly, in search of creative inspiration and enlightenment.

On the website Drawger, Lou Brooks has a fun gallery of tools that are no longer, or hardly ever, used by artists anymore. With the rise of scanners and computers, a lot of the mechanical devices that required skill and instruction on how to use them, have become obsolete. Believe it or not, I have used some of these tooks. I guess I'm showing my age. Click on the logo above to take you to this fun page. Each picture has a descripton of what the tool is for.

24 Hour Comics Day - October 3 2009
Each year there's an event in which cartoonists all over the world will be accepting the challenge of creating an entire 24-page comic book in just one day. Click on the link above to visit the official site for this event, and check out the links below as well:

New Mexico - A Flickr set of cartoonists laboring around the clock to complete their comics
Group Pool - A Flickr set of work from comic book artists participating in this event

Banned Books Week
National Banned Books Week, a movement sponsored by the American Library Association is dedicated to intellectual freedom in American libraries. The aim of Banned Books Week is to raise awareness of people who try to have books removed from libraries (and sometimes even book stores!) because they object to their content. Such actions threaten the very fabric of freedom we enjoy in this country, and silence views of writers who do not conform to mainstream thinking.

Why would someone challenge, or try to have removed, a book from a library? Because they object to its content and don't want anyone else to be able to read it. This forces their morality, views and, in many cases, intolerance, on the rest of society. People have challenged books because they were too violent, there were sexual references, or there were objectionable portrayals in the books.

According to the American Library Association, there were over 500 challenges in 2008.

In my cartooning classes I do not introduce politics, but this is an issue that directly affects artists because it is a form of censorship. And censorship, in any form, is bad for artistic freedom, and for society as a whole.

Censorship is the banning of speech, or eliminating any kind of material which may be considered harmful, threatening, sensitive or inconvenient. There are many different kinds of, and reasons for, censorship, but this event deals specifically with one person or group trying to have a book removed from a library so no one else will be able to read that book. If a book is removed, it silences the voice of the author, and interferes with your right to read what you want.

To find a book offensive or objectionable is not the issue; trying to keep others from reading it is the issue. People who try to have books removed from libraries often justify their challenges as good parenting, or, even more ironic, that it's their First Amendment right to challenge books. Their challenges are an attack on the First Amendment, not a support of it.

Check out the links below for more information on National Banned Books Week:

Why Banned Books Week Matters

The Banned Books Week Wikipedia Page

Celebrating The Freedom To Read

The Bubble Project

This is something different and fun. Everywhere you turn there are corporate ads on almost everything, a constant barrage of advertising, intruding into spaces that were once considered public, but which are now being taken over by corporations to advertise.
The Bubble Project transforms these intrusions of corporate advertising into public commentary using cartoon balloons with hand written messages on them. It's a way for the public to share their thoughts and opinions as a way to counteract the ever-increasing invasion of huge corporations, to take back the spaces in the name of the public.

The Bubble Project Home Page

The Toy Zone

The Toy Zone This is a very cool website that has galleries of pictures from all sorts of things; Star Wars sketches, images made only of food, bizarre motorcycle side cars, graffiti, images that look like photographs but are actually paintings...lots of good browsing here. A small number of galleries may not be suitable for children, just a head's up.

The Toy Zone

This is a guy who seriously needs to buy some canvas and start painting!

Scott Wade creates fantastic images on the dirty windows of cars. That's right, out of filthy car windows he creates these fantastic works of art. Check out the gallery here.

Twisted Disney Princesses

Illustrator Jeffrey Thomas has created a set of pictures of Disney heroines redone to look twisted, evil, and downright scary. They are awesome! Check it out HERE.