Dec. 3rd, 2011-- UPDATED CHALLENGES!


Love creating artwork but you can't find that extra-little push you need to get going? Looking for a community of artists to share your progress with? Want to press your foundations and aesthetic choices to the max?

Look no further! Open Crits is now a WEEKLY DESIGN CHALLENGE that will push you to get back to your foundations to enforce well-rounded drawings. All artists are welcomed, though for now the assignments will be geared more toward animation-themed work.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hurl Non-Prompt Post

Hey there, this is Hurl, the demented squirrel. It is just a random piece done recently for no specific reason. I had the initial idea of having a little squirrel running around with the mouth of a hippo and decided to go with it. I got inspired to do this after I watched a video on of Bobby Chiu giving a tutorial on character design. I initially wanted it to be more realistic-looking, but it came out more cel-shaded-like, which I took a liking to. Originally done in pencil then colored in Photoshop. :)


  1. I do see the hippo mouth and it's a interesting and horrific combination. That seems to be intensified with the high contrast in the coloring. The texture reminds me of a woodcarving and at first it almost felt like it fit with the prompt, because I could see this as a spirit carved in to wood that would eat kids at night if they didn't behave or something.

  2. Haha - "Hurl the Demented Squirrel". Catchy.

    I understand how Audrey means with the wood-carving look. It definitely has that burnt quality, and I believed you used the Dodge and Burn tools in photoshop, right? If not, I'd love to know what technique you used! ^_^

    It definitely is a jarring image and idea, but I feel it could be pushed quite a bit to make it stronger. It would be nice to see him closer to a profile, or push the head a bit so that it falls into 3/4, away from the body, to clearly see the jaw shape and the teeth defined and silhouetted. I believe the same can be said for body. I LOVE the idea that he is clinging onto the acorn, and that this face is so gruesome, like he's saying " TOUCH MY ACORN AND I'LL BITE YOU IN THE FACE WITH MY HIPPO TEETH MUTHA F**KA!" Haha - a paraphrase. =P

    But because he is so scrunched up, it makes it very difficult to see edges in his body, and his mass, like where his tail and body end or begin. There was a very great couple of artists who taught me (and quite a few people on this blog) a wonderful technique called "Blacking out the silhouette". Take an image you draw, and either imaging it completely black, or actually black it out(which actually is MUCH more effective for seeing the silhouette). If you can clearly read all the emotions of the character, the mood, and the point of their pose WITHOUT having to look at their face, or see any details, then you've made a successful, clear to read image that anyone can relate to.

    Image is accessibility! =D
    Here are some amazing artists who excel at really keeping the silhouette clear!
    (I also just want to mention the silhouette thing, in regards to the pose, because it's super important as animators to have clear, well defined poses. So sorry for the long, drawn out talk! Hehe ^_^ <3 )

    Milt Kahl--

    John Kircfalusi-- An awesome artist who knows his stuff, and posts some pretty rad work (not his own, and his own) on his blog:

    (Here's a GREAT example of blacking out a silhouette-- You know who these characters are immediately! )