Character development (Exercise)

Collect as many examples as possible of different characters.  I have got some human characters from newspapers and magazines. Next I had to catalogue these characters as types and create my own category headings: children, children playing, women, and men.





I got some books about drawing cartoons so that before I start the character practice for this exercise I could warm up with some cartoon characters in individual styles.

When I was cutting all these characters out I released that I am interested in some cute cartoon characters from Disney which are very popular and famous in the world. One of my favorite characters is Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi. He is such a funny and cute figure which left a deep impression on me. I also collected some pictures from websites and pasted here now.

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There is a video which is the character Thumper repeats his father’s words after being asked by his mother “What did your father tell you?”

I like the line “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all”, as well as “Eating greens is a special treat, that makes long ears and great big feet. (aside to Bambi) But it sure is awful stuff to eat. I made that last part up myself”.

For the Disney character they are awesome, adorable delicate and stylish characters. For the Bambi cartoon film I can’t believe that they made excellent figures in 1942 when everything had to be hand drawn and animated.

My husband recently bought me 2 classic DVD which are Bambi and Frozen for my collection. I was amazed at the film  Bambi and also interesting the new animation of Disney on Frozen which is a recent film.

So for this exercise I am going practice a Disney face figure “Elsa”.

This is the video I found from website which is how to draw Elsa from “Frozen”

I began as a brainstorm from Disney characters and a beautiful lady’s figure.


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Draw my character from the front, from the side and from the back. I draw the outline of Elsa’s figure first.


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Then I have tried a little bit colour on my Elsa figure.

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I have tried another character who is Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi.

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Overall I think I am not that close to the Disney style yet. Some things like the characters need more indicate and refinement.

Some problem like I failed the side view on first sketch, Elsa’s eyes’ oval are too big and haven’t left any space for eyeballs and maybe I have to draw some shadows to improve my characters.

I think this is a quite interesting and useful exercise and I could do with the practice as much as I can. Unfortunately my this assignment’s deadline is past already so I have to rush to finish drawing now.


Visual distortion (Exercise)

This exercise is designed to push me through a deliberate process of stylisation. To Tackle it with an open mind and be prepared to adapt or adopt some of the approaches that I discover.

I begin by drawing a cat which is called Youie and she is my brother in law’s cat. So my ‘real’ drawing as below:

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My second drawing using no more than five lines.



Next I  made a collage, with blueberries as her head, a butterfly as a ribbon, flowers as her body, raspberries as her front legs, broccoli as her back legs and rosemary as her tail. It’s actually a surreal and a bit chaotic body.


When going to the next step, produce a drawn version (not a tracing) of my collage. When drawing, edit and select from the collage being aware of the properties you want to create a strong character.

I was struggling here because I had no idea how to create an image with fruits, vegetables, flowers or insects. I was thinking about to creating a fruit salad with a cat shape, then to put somebody with this dish on a sunny beach which has a lounger, sun umbrella etc. I did not feel that this was a strong idea. Finally I changed my collage a little bit. I added an orange bikini kit on this cat then  use this lazy and relaxing cat shape to create an image of enjoyment on the beach.


A rough sketch,I changed the cats colour so that it has stripes. A relaxing cat with an orange bikini on looks a bit funny. Then next I need to refine it.


In my final picture I changed the colour of the cat to a ginger (Tan) one. This gives more of a sunny feel to the picture. I had introduced the images of playing on the beach giving the impression that the cat is relaxing on holiday. I used a beach ball and gave the cat a drink to increase the impression of relaxing. Maybe the cat is a little drunk.

I am generally happy with the finished picture but I feel that I could have made the cat fit better in the chair.

A tattoo (Exercise)

For this exercise, I am going to pretend  a friend has asked me to design a tattoo for them based on the word Mum. He would also like me to make it into a greeting card that he can send his mother. (What a good idea for Mother’s Day).

Researching the history and conventions of tattoos and body art.

British Tattoo History Museum

The British Tattoo History Museum moved to its present location in August 1983. The collection began in 1975 when museum founder Lionel Titchener opened his first professional tattoo studio. Items bought from an old curiosity shop in Oxford were displayed in a small display case in his new studio.

Two important purchases in the late 70’s formed the basis of the museum today. The first purchase was a small box of brass tattoo machines that were acquired from tattoo artist Vic Shipton of Romford when he decided to retire from tattooing. This also included a large colour design sheet signed and dated C.B. Davis, Grays Inn Road, London,1904.

This was an important addition to the collection as Charles Burchett Davis was the brother of famous tattoo artist George Burchett. Soon after another important addition was the purchase of a whole collection of Burchett-Davis designs and photographs from the family of C.B. Davis of Southend on Sea.

Friends of Lionel Titchener started to send in items for the museum collection, one of the first items were small Japanese bone hand tools donated by Jim Silles of London. They also have a Roman tattooing tool dating from the 4th century. The collection is situated in a small room behind the tattoo studio – and again due to lack of space, an extension is planned for 2000 to extend the museum to allow more items to be displayed.

The most recent addition to the collection is a set of Samoan, bone hand tools, kindly donated by the late Su’a Paulo Sulu ap’e. And a further set of Japanese hand tools donated by Hori Yoshi III.

Early in 2002 part of the British Tattoo History Museum will be on loan to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. Skin Deep Opens 22 March 2002 Beginning with Cook’s first encounter with the tattooed people of Tahiti, the exhibition follows the spread of tattooing through Europe and looks at its role in contemporary fashion.

The History Of The Mom Tattoo

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Tattoos have been around for ages. It has been proven that the pharaohs in Egypt and their queens even had tattoos. Throughout the years of tattoos there have been several trends starting the stopping and starting up again. However, there seems to be a bit of a mystery to when and why the good old “Mom” tattoo began. One tattoo artist said that he wasn’t quite sure how the popular trend really got started but was told a story by his mentor and how the “Mom” tattoo came to be.

The story that he was told goes something like this, an Irish sailor had gotten a tattoo after being exposed to the natives of New Zealand in or about the 19th century. The tattoo he got was a heart with a saber in it with a banner that said “Mother”. The idea was from an Irish drinking song in which the singer says that he “saluted father dear and kissed me darling mother” before he left home for the first time to earn a living.

Whether or not this tale is true remains to be seen. However, it is probably safe to say that some sailor or servicemen was the one to start this traditional type of tattoo as tattoo artists refer to them today. You can see the traditional “Mom” tattoo on all sorts of people, but they are most popular with servicemen, bikers and men in general. But some woman have even been know to have a “Mom” tattoo of their own, but woman tend to go towards a less traditional way and come up with some sort of cute design with the word “Mom” or “Mommy” in it.

Are “I love Mom ” Tattoos Still Popular?

The time-honored “I Love Mom” tattoo is deeply ingrained in our culture celebrities such as Sean Connery, Kelly Osborne and even Bart Simpson have one. It seems the iconic bright red heart, encircled in a banner ribbon emblazed with “Mom,” has been around forever, and according to tattoo artists, it isn’t going anywhere.

“Of course people still get them done,” said Bryan Randolph, an artist at New York Adorned Tattoo Parlor in New York City. “It’s a classic.”

WWII history

The “I Love Mom” tattoo first became popular during World War II. As they traveled around the world, U.S. Navy sailors got tattoos to document their achievements and memories. Tattoo parlors began to pop up near military bases and patriotic tattoos came into vogue, according to John Gray’s book “I Love Mom: An Irreverent History of the Tattoo.”

Aside from wanting to express their patriotism, the homesick sailors started to request “mom” or “mother” tattoos as a sentimental reminder of home.

Norman Keith Collins, who earned the nickname Sailor Jerry while in the Navy, designed the “I Love Mom” tattoo, according to a book of letters between fashion designer Donald Edward Hardy and Collins titled, “Sailor Jerry Collins: American Tattoo Master.”

After his discharge from the Navy, Collins made a name for himself as a prominent tattoo artist in Hawaii, and he created many recognizable “Sailor Jerry” tattoos that are still used today, such as hula girls and blue sparrows. Collins died in 1973, but his unique artistic style can still be spotted on today’s popular fashion items, including Converse sneakers and Ed Hardy clothing.

“The tattoo is definitely more popular this time of year,” said David Beadle, a tattoo artist at Mom’s Tattoos in Austin, Texas, who himself is planning on getting an updated version of the traditional “mom” tattoo this Mother’s Day. “Anytime mom is remembered, the tattoo’s popularity picks up.”

Still popular

“I Love Mom” tattoos are timeless because they make such a sweet, universal statement. Men and women of all ages get them, tattoo artists say.

“We get at least one person every month coming in to get that tattoo,” Beadle said. “Everyone gets them, from ages eighteen to eighty.”

“‘Mom’ will never go out of style,” Aviva Yael, co-author of “No Regrets: The Best, Worst, & Most #$%*ing Ridiculous Tattoos Ever,” said in an interview with the The A.V. Club, an entertainment publication. “Everybody loves their mom.”

I have done my search and find some useful samples from websites:

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Then I am going to do my spider diagram and some sketches.


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I was thinking about 3 roses with the words “I love You” one word on each rose. Then wrapped up with a ribbon which has the word “Mum” on it. I haven’t got any of tattoo on my body because it is very painful when the processing is ongoing. So I decide only to design a sample of my design. Using my last doodle on the right hand side of paper.

I used a couple of heart shapes doodled on the sketching paper. I am going to improved my design. The first one on the top heart I just draw around with a  fine line before I crossed over to join the bottom two “M.”  Then I draw some flowers to fill up the middle area of the design.

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This doodle is a bit rough that I should improve it digitally  to make its lines and shape more tidy.

For the Mother’s Day card I probably to use the 3 roses with 3 words “I love you” on each rose then the word “Mum” on the ribbon which to wrap up the 3 rose  branch.

A menu card (Exercise)

For this exercise I have been asked to provide an illustration for use on the menu of a sophisticated, quality fish restaurant – one in a chain sited in major European cities. The menu uses fresh ingredients and the ambience of the restaurant is modern, bright and contemporary in design. Any food depicted needs to be visually appetising.

I will be very happy to do this exercise because the fish symbol is very interesting sign in China and Asia. So I searched the website which explains the fish meaning in Chinese ( The Hidden or Implied Meaning of Chinese Charm Symbols).

The Chinese character for fish (yu 鱼) is pronounced the same as the Chinese character for “abundance” or “surplus” (yu 余).  The fish symbol is, therefore, frequently associated with other symbols and Chinese characters to symbolize the wish for “more” in the sense of “more” good luck, good fortune, long life and children.

The carp fish is a commonly seen visual pun because the Chinese character for carp (li 鲤) is pronounced the same as both the character (li 利) for “profit” and the character (li 力) for “strength” or “power”.

The goldfish (jinyu 金鱼) is a symbol for wealth because its first character (jin 金) means “gold” and its second character (yu) sounds like jade (yu玉). Goldfish also symbolize abundant wealth.

As for these samples you probably have seen them before with Chinese characteristics: kirigami/papercutting, ink and wash painting, batik and seal engraving etc.

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So I am going to draw some sketches and to be inspired for the creation of this exercise.

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I have used the name Fish Bar as an example for the restaurant name.

I have done a collage with some colourful paper pieces from a magazine. I used the hole punch to get some small circles and cover the middle of the fish as scales of the fish and some bubbles. I like its eye but had to redraw the line around the fish to match all the scales.

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Overall I like all the fish I have drawn. My original idea was that I thought  maybe to design a pattern of a batik with lino cutting, but this collage made me happy enough. But I need to refine it a bit more on it.


When I cutting it right size square I released some area are bit empty. Sizes 120mm*120mm and 4mm*4mm. I think it is not looking refined and expensive. The look maybe good for children.

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So I am going to choose another idea which is the fish shape with few fork, knife, spoon and tea spoon, which I sketched earlier in my Fish Bar sketches. Now I will practice lino cutting at size by 100 mm*100 mm. I knew the word fish bar need to be flipped horizontal by photoshop.

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Size 100 mm* 100mm

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Then the final piece size 40 mm*40 mm

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I used prussian blue for the pattern. After having stamped on the paper I have chosen these two for my this exercise. I prefer the colour and the pattern I think I they can look sophisticated even though they are not delicate images.  The fish body with the forks, knifes and spoons look very empty. There is a big spoon and a small tea spoon in the front of the fish. If I can use flip vertical before I design it they will look better as the mouth and eye of the fish. I think that this is a contemporary design I am not sure I wanted to experiment with an antique look.