Kongregate Developers Blog

'Animation Throwdown' Live Drawing: Why Not Zoidberg?

Unfortunately, we had some issues with the live stream, so the video is choppy, but it gets much better around the 10:15 mark. Please bear with us!

This week we're posting a video from a live drawing session we had with one of our artists from our game Animation Throwdown: The Quest for Cards. Frank Harmon, one of our senior artists on the team, talks about his artistic background and process while drawing Zoidberg from the show Futurama.

Frank elaborates on:

  • His preference between Photoshop and Illustrator, and why he uses Illustrator for this project.
  • How to line, color, and shadow a cartoon character like Zoidberg.
  • What "pathfinding" is in Illustrator, and when it is useful.
  • Frank does a self-portrait every year, and unveils a helpful trick in drawing oneself.

Frank's advice:

If you want your character to be memorable, or recognizable, try to present as much of their character as you can just through their silhouette.

It really helps a lot to emotionally invest yourself into the character that you're drawing. It's essentially a self-portrait that you're drawing. You're trying to get the mental mindset of this thing. You're trying to figure out what their emotional state is and how they operate, which is doubly fun if they are a cartoon character.

On why it's important to draw every day:

You can't rest on your laurels. You can't assume that this is the best that you can be. You have to be like an athlete, where you are always seeking to improve yourself.