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How to Draw Lively Poses - SpongeBob Tip Sheets

These SpongeBob drawing tips were prepared for a class at Nickelodeon in 2005. If you click on any of the images below, you'll see a really HUGE high-resolution version that shows all the details!
On Silhouettes and Clarity
drawing tips 01 Silhouette SpongeBob
One of the big problems with animation studio model sheets is that the characters are invariably standing in completely stiff poses that make them look like they've been cheerfully impaled on a titanium rod.
To help the storyboard artists loosen up a bit, drawings are clipped out of the storyboards showcasing the best of the comedic and dynamic pose possibilities. Most of the artists tack those pose sheets up on the wall, but they soon become little more than wallpaper.
These tip sheets were created to encourage artists to break out of the horizontal and vertical stiffness of the SpongeBob model sheets, and to show how a little bit of movement and action and acting can make the cartoon characters come to life.
If you want to learn how to draw SpongeBob, or how to draw any cartoon characters with a little more zip, I hope these drawing tips will give you some ideas.

Drawing Characters with a strong Line of Action
How to draw SpongeBob cartooning tips 02 Line of Action Squidward

Acting is Movement

How to draw SpongeBob drawing_tips_03_Line-of-Action Plankton

CLICK on any of the images to
view a really BIG high-resolution version

The page below illustrates that characters should use their entire body to help act out the change in expression

How to draw SpongeBob drawing_tips_04_Line-of-Action Mr. Krabs

This page below illustrates stiff non-acting (top pose) vs. dynamic, full-body acting (bottom pose)

How to draw SpongeBob cartooning storyboard tips_05_Line-of-Action Patrick and SpongeBob - Patrick has bad breath

CLICK on any of the images
to view a really BIG high-res tip sheet

Acting with the entire body...
storyboard How to draw SpongeBob tips_06_Line-of-Action-Acting Squidward

If you'd like to see more in this series, please leave a comment below!
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Update! Some very cool people left some very nice comments, so the next batch of SpongeBob Drawing Tips has just been posted HERE


More SpongeBob Drawing Tips

Spongebob Guide to Lively Poses by Sherm Cohen
Of course, I would still like to hear your comments on this series of posts, so please leave your two cents worth below ^_^

17 comments:

Daniel said...

Hi,
I like those sheets. I'm very interested in animation and always in search of pencil tests, scribbles, etc.
Cool blog anyway!

Sherm said...

Hi, Daniel...I'm glad you like the pose sheets. If we get a few more comments I'll start posting some more ^_^ --sherm

datter said...

Hi there, I blogged about your post (link pasted below) but the trackback doesn't seem to come through to blogger.

Consider this my request for any more of these you have kicking around. Great stuff, great blog and thanks for sharing.

http://finaldog.com/spongebob-tip-sheets/

datter

Sherm said...

Hi, datter...looks like your trackback finally came through. I guess it takes a while for the links to hook up!

Thanks for the comment and the link...your blog looks very nice! I noticed your post about Pentel brush pens. Have you ever tried the Mitsubishi / uniball PFK-205 or the PILOT SV-30KK-B ? They're both amazingly AWESOME brush pens! I use them all the time for sketching and for storyboard work. They're both available online at http://tinyurl.com/brushpen and http://tinyurl.com/brushpens

datter said...

Thanks for the tip, I'm definitely going to look into those. I'm a brush pen addict now. :)

Helmy said...

Thanks for the sheets, really really helpful. I'd like to see more about poses, shil, and line of action stuff it really helps to sell the acting!

Sherm said...

Hey there Helmy...Thanks for stopping by and leaving that nice comment. I'm glad to know that people like you and Daniel and datter are enjoying the pose sheets.

All we need is ONE more blog comment, and then I'll post the next set of instructional SpongeBob pose sheets, so keep those comments coming!

Julián Höek said...

keep those tip sheets coming!!!!!
thanks a lot sherm, these are awesose!
any tip for staging the character with good composition perhaps?
thanks again!
you pal
julian

Sherm said...

Hey, Julian... You just pushed it over the top! I'm sure glad to hear from you and it's nice to know this stuff is helpful. I will start prepping the next batch of tip sheets later today, and I'll have them posted soon.

Julian...you'll be glad to know that there are a couple pages on staging and composition in the next batch ^_^

Julián Höek said...

jooooy!!!

Ben Forbes said...

These are so helpful. I'd love to see more of these helpful tips!

Nyachu said...

Oh, these are just awesome! An excellent learning tool. I'm interested in animation, and I'm a bit of a pack rat anyway, so I found these extremely fun and helpful. :)

Patrick Seery said...

That's awesome! We are learning to do double takes at the moment, and your advice on movement = action is really going to help make my inanimate object give that big double take motion. Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

I like this guide, helpful :)

Flamin' Carrot said...

Sherm, I just found you and am tucking you into my favourites! Love vthis post to smithereens!

Matt B said...

Hey Sherm,

Very nice tips, I'm considering splurging on your Storyboard Secrets DVDs.
The cinematic staging and adding more dynamic perspective to blackgrounds / layouts reminds me a lot of that old Brad Bird / Simpsons PDF that's been kicked around the net, of which I always point folks toward.

Thanks for all the great shows and keep up the good work Sir.

All the best.
Matt B

Anonymous said...

this is gabe such helpful I can draw them all I want more lines of action and stuff