Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - student project

01 Action Figures

It really pushed me out of my comfort zone to draw in contours, without mapping out the lengths of the body with cautious sketching, and as a result I was pleased with the movement of the drawing, this method helped my work lose its stiffness. The style is very different from my usual work, so I was surprised to draw this way (I usually draw in a more realistic or manga style). Developing the iterations helped to bring the character to life and give her a more badass expression.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 1 - student project

02 Action Figures from Memory

The perspective on the skateboard is off, but I think this adds to the charm of the character. Comparing her to the original, her arms are straighter and she is less hunched up, but instead of this taking away the dynamic action, I think it makes her look more in control and less concentrating on staying balanced on her board. It was really fun to see the style develop through the iterations, and she seems more interesting than the original version.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 2 - student project

03 Page of Poses

I was critical of my initial sketch as I don't like how the characters' faces came out, but trusted the process and used the following iterations to refine them. I love Tom's way of teaching, as the exercises were the first time I was able to draw people without judging my drawing skills, instead being curious about what might happen along the way. Drawing people in action gave me an admiration for athletes and I wanted to capture the netball players' determination and physical strength. I used washi tape to lay out the second iteration on paper.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 3 - student project

04 People in Shapes

After drawing my shape, I knew I wanted to make the long part of it into a leg, but wondered how I was going to fill in the top contour. Once I had drawn the head, I knew he needed a hat! I didn't change anything in the final iteration and just used it to neaten things up. I love how his legs are so long that his trousers don't fit, and yet he's curled up in a small way, sleeping peacefully. He might look weird if he stood up, but doing this project helped me realise that an illustration doesn't need to be accurate for it to resonate.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 4 - student project

05 Cutouts

This exercise was so much fun to do, and pretty magical, it felt like the characters danced right off the scissors. It's a very graphic style and unlike anything I've done before. I'm not sure if I'll use them for anything, but it was a great way to loosen up and explore movement.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 5 - student project

06 Exaggeration

I chose a giant hairbrush for this exercise, and it took a few iterations before understanding how the figure should be placed to make it work. Usually, I would explore this in small thumbnails and then draw out the chosen design, but doing it this way resulted in a more organic effect, just changing it until it felt right. This is also very different for me, and it surprised me that she didn't need any clothes in the end. It's a little embarrassing, but I still wanted to share her. I think she would look good in greens and blues, representing nature.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 6 - student project


I liked my little beefeater character, and because my shape didn't feel very balanced, I added a silhouette of London to the background, with some hand-drawn text. His hat and shoelaces were perfect for exploring inky textures.

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 7 - student project

I loved this class so much, thank you Tom! This is the third Tom Froese class I have taken and my favourite Skillshare class so far. I'm looking forward to going through some of the exercises again, both for warm-up sketches and creating full illustrations.  

Thank you for looking at my project, I hope it was useful.

EDIT: 17/11/20

I seem to make a habit of revisiting these Skillshare pieces, but I was curious to see how the dynamic figures would look in my new style. I kept the original sketches, and just coloured them in procreate:

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 8 - student project

Madeleine's Odd Bodies – 1 year later - image 9 - student project

Doing this helped to solve the final piece of my style puzzle. The characters never quite fit in my very detailed, painterly style before, and the clean/smooth vectors didn't feel right to me, either. When I realised I was drawing most of my work in this softer style and colours, I remembered these sketches and was curious to see how they'd look. It's like they were waiting all along! I just hope I can continue to draw dynamic characters in the same way.