Trying to draw a cartoon hummingbird

It’s harder than I thought it would be!

I started using my usual bird-drawing style, and that turned out too realistic, so I tried to simplify it further by:

  • Removing all shading (pretty much), making all colours flat
  • Removing all the detail lines, except for the actual outline of the bird
  • Removed its itty bitty footsies
  • Going over the outline with a thicker stroke to make it more cartoonish

In the end it definitely looks better, but the proportions are still those of an actual hummingbird, so I may try exaggerating those next. Cartooning is tricky!

The current result:

Gum Gum Person sleeping: Coloured remaster

The original version of this sketch was for a prompt called SLEEP, and it’s one of the few featuring a Gum Gum Person where I was happy with the result, probably because most of the GGP is hidden inside a sleeping bag. And yes, I forgot to actually contour the body in the original, and decided to leave it for the colour version.

The colour version only refines a few lines, so it’s mostly unchanged. After colouring it, I had the idea to have the campfire projecting light, though perhaps unrealistically, since it’s just glowing embers. I call it art. Yeah.

Here’s the colour version:

And side-by-side:

Gum Gum Slingshot 2.0

Again trying to rework the original drawing prompt sketch, this time the prompt was SLING.

The original:

And the reworked version:

The biggest changes are pretty obvious:

  • Much cleaner line work throughout
  • The band on the sling has been changed from a simple black line to an actual band and coloured to highlight it better
  • I shortened the right leg on the swingin’ Gum Gum Person
  • I fixed the left arm and adjusted the proportions of the one holding the sling
  • The blue is now more of a sky blue and the black line separating the blue and green is no longer perfectly straight, more strongly suggesting an outdoor scene
  • Shading has been added, though I’m still not entirely happy with the shadows

Gum Gum drag racing, before and after

First, the original pencil sketch, probably done back in the 90s:

And my modern interpretation of it:

And some miscellaneous notes and observations:

  • I tried to incorporate the ZOOM!! text but never liked the way it looked, so off it went
  • I originally resisted adding the reins to the bananas, because I don’t see the Gum Gum People needing them, but with their poses it looks a little better
  • If I redid this, I’d have them leaning forward, like they were riding motorcycles, without the reins
  • I removed the dialog because it is now canon that Gum Gum People do not speak
  • The motion lines/puffs don’t seem to convey the motion that well, probably again due to the posture of the racers
  • The shadows are iffy
  • I slightly reduced the size of the background GGP, but they still look too close together?
  • The GGP in the back has bigger feet, but, uh, it’s just a trick of perspective!

Your Shoes Are Toast Human!

I decided to look for some daily drawing prompts to help grease the ol’ drawing, uh, wheels. Or hands, I guess.

Some sites essentially hide everything away until you sign up, or are weirdly specific, like “write something about your daily life…every day!” I live my life, I don’t want to draw it, too. Well, maybe a little.

And then there is, which gets points for the most on-the-nose web address.

But it offered this as its first random prompt when I visited:

And the would-be English teacher curled up my toes in horror at the missing comma. Or maybe it wasn’t missing, and Toast Human is a thing. Then I noticed “cloths” instead of “clothes”, using “their” and then “he” to describe the bulldog and, really, just how weird the prompt is, but weird in a wholly unappealing way.

Then I decided I don’t need to find a daily drawing prompt, I’ll just make something up. Take that, SEO-driven, AI-addled internet! I’m using my own brain!

Gum Gum chef: Before and After

One of the drawing prompts I did way back for Making Art Everyday was CHEF. I used a Gum Gum Person because of course I did, but I never liked the final result, and at least one guy in my gaming group said the apron looked like a dress.

Tonight I came across that sketch and redid it from the original. The only things that didn’t change were the colours.

First, the new version:

And a before/after comparison:

Drawing: Godzilla 1978

I was totally into dinosaurs as a kid, and Godzilla was a dinosaur. Or close enough. I watched all the Japanese Godzilla movies from the 1950s on the Tacoma station KSTW (channel 11). They aired as part of their Sunday noon SCI-FI THEATER. It was all the sci-fi schlock I could handle–and then some! So many terrible, yet amazing movies.

I drew a lot of dinosaurs, and in my 14-year-old mind, Godzilla would have absolutely been a tyrannosaurus rex if he had been a REAL dinosaur. So I drew him as such in 1978.

Below is a traced copy of the sketch. I tried to keep the line work as close to the original and I think I came pretty close, using the Narinder Pencil in Procreate, with an HB Pencil for the shading.

Why do this when I still have the original sketch? This was both an experiment and a nostalgic trip back to my hippie-haired youth. The nostalgia part is obvious, the experiment was to see how easily my hand could follow the lines I drew 45 (!) years ago, and, really, just to see what it felt like.

It felt weird. It felt weird not because it was dead simple to trace (it’s a pretty straightforward sketch), but because as I traced over it, the lines felt like mine, right down to giving Godzilla puny little arms that were still pretty ripped. And giving him a funny-looking snout that would probably work as the front end of a car.

And I still draw rocks pretty much the same way in 2023.

Anyway, it was an interesting way to reacquaint myself with some of my oldest surviving artwork.

And the original scan (this is not a great scan, I’ll probably redo it at some point):

I wonder if I should do a modern take on this…as an experiment.

Bonus: I tried to imagine how I might have coloured it back in the age of disco, and this is what I came up with. I think it’s pretty close:

Experimenting with geese

I’ve now got it in my head that I want to do one or more cartoon with geese, because they intrigue me and horrify me in equal parts.

My first step was to do a bird drawing of a Canada goose, but in a more deliberate cartoon style. This is my initial attempt, which I’ll refine as I go along. I’m using the most obvious joke here, they’ll probably get weirder or more obscure if I do more.