Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tom and Jerry sketches

I've been practicing drawing Tom & Jerry lately. I plan to use them in an upcoming project of mine and I'd like them to look as accurate as possible. However, moreso than staying on model, I'd like to capture their manic energy that makes them so fun to watch.

Okay, enough of my jibber-jabber. I'd like some crits of these pics now if you please. (Constructive crits would be nice. Hint Hint!)


  1. Hey, David!

    Well, if you're looking to have T&J look like T&J as drawn by David Germain then, you've nailed it. Kind of like how "established" characters look when they're dropped into a FAMILY GUY or SIMPSONS episode.

    If you're trying to replicate the MGM T&J, these would need a little more work. Are you working from a vintage model sheet or are you pulling these up from memory? The model sheet route might help you get a more rounded, "classic" version.

    My two cents - hope that's the sort of feedback you were looking for!

    In any case, Happy New Year!

  2. Try drawing actual freeze frames from the cartoon, and using construction lines. It's super important if you want them to look exact, or else they just won't.

  3. Ehhh...I can't really say I'm very impressed. Sorry I can't come up with any constructive criticism, other than keep practicing.

  4. Hey David!

    The second pic of Tom probably comes closer than the others; although his neck is too thin to support his head and the top of his head looks a little "squashed" The one where Tom is looking straight at the viewer and smiling seems to have been inspired by some of the poses of the Grinch from Chuck Jones' adaptation of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas"(!)

    I used to practice drawing the classic MGM Tom and Jerry characters; but I often used my Tom and Jerry "Little Golden Books" (that came out in the early 1950's and were apparently drawn by MGM Cartoon Studio staffers) as a model when trying to accurately render their bodies and facial expressions. I haven't attempted that in years, and I never saved any of my sketches because I'm too self-critical(!)

  5. Craig D ~

    Yes, I'd like to get as close to the classic version as possible. But, I may have to incorporate a little bit of that "T&J as drawn by DG" type of thing. I'm planning to use them in an upcoming Censor Monkeys episode and it would be great if all these characters look as though they could exist in the same universe together.
    And also, like I stated within the post, I'm not so much concerned with keeping them on model but moreso trying to capture their energy and personalities. For instance, within every picture I gave both Tom and Jerry specific emotions and I tried to have them express those emotions much the same way that they did in the cartoons. I like to think I achieved that but I haven't read any comments attesting to that here.

    Oh, and yes Craig, I was drawing them mostly from memory. Every once in a while I'd glance at the cover art of either of the T&J dvd sets I have. (Sadly, some of that art isn't too good. On one Jerry's feet look like bones.) I do plan to watch the actual cartoons more carefully though. That should wield better results.

    Kali ~

    I did use construction to create these drawings. It's kind of hard to see because those lines are so faint and the rough-finished lines are quite dark. But if you look close enough at their heads you can see the cris-crossing lines used to place their facial features and whatnot.

    Josh ~

    I do intend to keep practicing.

    Zavkram ~

    It's funny you should see a bit of the Grinch in of these poses. I recently finished a Christmas comic featuring the Grinch. In my story, he stole Hanukkah. I should try and send you a copy of it maybe.

  6. Then I'd say you're very close to hitting it. I kinda got the feeling that's what you were aiming for.

    I'll be watching for TOM & JERRY MEET THE CENSOR MONKEYS! (A direct-to-DVD title if I ever heard one!)

    HAPPY 2007, D!

  7. I think you woul dbe much better off copying the characters straight from solid referance, first practicing there forms and model. THEN trying to draw them into poses of your own.

    I find that comment you made about not trying to keep them on modle but trying to capture there action and emotion, very contracdictory since the very essance of the character and the strongest emotion you would ever get out of the characters comes from drawing them as structurally correct as possible with a ncie pose and facial expression. how can u do other peoples characters in your own style and try to capture the same emtion from the original drawing? Your can't. you never will get those drawings as strong as the originals if you don;t understand what it was in the originals that made them strong in the first place.

    and I am willing to bet that if you were to try to start to understand why and how the artist was acheiving the poses and emotions of the originals, that it would start to be reflected in your own work cause you would start to understand that the original artist was drawing them that way for a reason.

    You obviously have the drive and admiration to think of someone elses work when you are drawing. why don't you try to lose the lie of saying your creating the drawing in "your style" and really try to mimic the genious of the artist. really when ppl are saying they have "style" its just a front casue they don't have the effort to really start caring about what they are putting on paper so they hide behind the "style" excuse. I know you from your blog well enough to know that you care ALOT about animation and history of everything that goes on, but if you really want to play ball in the same feild as the people you idolize, then lose the ego and the excuses and do your best to learn from them, and not to try to be one of them.

  8. really when ppl are saying they have "style" its just a front casue they don't have the effort to really start caring about what they are putting on paper so they hide behind the "style" excuse.

    Dan, you're absolutely right on this point. But, I should claify something.

    Craig D was the one mentioned doing it in "my style". I didn't (not until he did anyway). Believe it or not, I try to keep myself rather style-neutral so that I'm ready to draw anything from Tom & Jerry to Spiderman or whatever. However, a style just comes through all the time. It's like a case of Artistic Tourette Syndrom or something. The main reason I said this: I may have to incorporate a little bit of that "T&J as drawn by DG" type of thing is because I know that no matter how close I get to the MGM model, a style will come through anyway. It's like that with all artists really. Sometimes it's subtle differences, but other times they're as apparent as night and day. Therefore, there's no sense in fighting it. I'm not going to gripe that I haven't captured exactly what Ken Muse, Ray Patterson, Irv Spence, etc. did in those cartoons because I'm not any of those guys. I'm me. No amount of plastic surgery can change that.

    I definitely intend to keep practicing though. I think I've made a little progress in the last few days. Plus, I just printed out a pretty good model sheet that I found online. That should help immensely.

    Thanks for posting and good luck with your blog. B)

  9. avidvideoeditor2/12/07 10:19 PM

    Very Gene Deitch-era-like IMHO....

  10. dey r gud bt not useful 2 me coz i want jerry's face only

  11. Nice picture...i Like tom....^^

  12. Tom-and-Jerry is my favorite cartoons.I watch it most of the time.And why not these cartoon have made everyone alugh.

  13. ( THE CAT CONCERTO TOM AND JERRY ) is lovely cartoon and i also have tom and jery games and gif for children of world