Life, Art, and Monkeys

My fancy pants new Light/Drawing/Animation Table

I love building things. I have a lot of furniture in my house that was made by me screwing random pieces of wood together. Not only is it extremely cost effective, but I feel like I've accomplished something. Of course, only in the past five or six years have my woodworking skills improved to the level where the things I've built don't collapse spontaneously. Since I've crossed that border, though, the sky's the limit!

Which is why I decided that it was high time I had my own animation table. The best thing about building something just for ME is that I can skimp on the overall quality like CRAZY and I don't care one bit. If it's functional, I'm a happy camper. Which very well describes the drawing surface I constructed for my office. Voila:

This awesome bit of craftsmanship is a piece of plywood painted white (pretty poorly because you can see the wood through a lot of it) with plexiglass slapped on top held together with a few bolts through both surfaces. An animation-paper-sized hole is cut out of the wood, and I stuck a desk lamp underneath to shine up through it. The animation peg bar I use to keep all my drawings steady is just taped onto the table (sometimes I don't even bother taping it) so I can remove it if I just want to do normal drawing. Altogether this nice new working tool cost me about $24. OH YEAH.

I love it dearly. Sitting and doing delightful keyframes as I did at school with paper and pencil is like living in a dream. I could literally do it until my eyes fell out of their sockets and (up until the eye thing) be perfectly content. 2D animation is absolutely my dream job, nothing like it.

On Wednesday (which interestingly is when I started putting together this blog post since I was so excited about the table and all) I decided to spend a great deal of time working on the all new design for Cloe. Something that helps me greatly in any design process is reference. So I found a lot of cartoon ladies I enjoyed looking at and taped them all over my desk.

Not featured in the image above is the stack of books NEXT to the table on the floor, with more reference and drawing instruction. It's a pretty large stack of books.


You would think that being a standard male human being I would quite enjoy being "forced" to stare at pictures of girls all day long while trying to do the new character model. It's really only logical that that would be true. And while it's certainly not my least favorite thing, it's not the walk in the park it would seem to be. After the initial eyebrow raise, I tend to just see everything as shapes and form and stop being very interested in the actual subject matter itself. And then I start having anxiety attacks over the fact that I suck at drawing females and this Cloe model is so important to me to get right. So all in all, it's not a great deal of fun for me. I guess that's why I need to keep practicing! The good news is it's coming along well. The practice is really paying off.

And speaking of practice, here is today's sketch, before I forget.
I have no idea how long this took me, but it was a good chunk of time. Maybe 30 minutes? Maybe 45? I don't know for sure because once I started drawing I totally forgot where I was and was absorbed in the process. It was actually a lot of fun. Drawing practice FUN?! Sweet! I've been waiting for that to happen! (It's a Poblano Pepper, by the way.) EDIT: If you'd like to see a simply colored version of this, you can click here to check it out on DeviantArt.

That wraps up another week! Wow, this one went fast. I hope I get more work-work done next week, because I've been so busy studying and practicing and learning that it was suddenly Friday and I didn't realize where the time went. Have a terrific weekend, everybody!

Comments (17) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Man it looks like you are pulling out all stops for the Cloe redesign. This is good :) .

  2. BTW this artist also had a problem drawing the female form but he found a way to overcome it.

    • Ha ha, indeed.

      The difficulty with that… er, “reference source” is that they do so much touch-up work to the bodies. So you don’t get true representations of what to actually draw. I have a few nude reference books, though, which don’t do any photoshopping, so that helps.

  3. Wow man, that sure is spiffy ;3

    Hahah if only I had room in my room I would totally stea- I mean borrow this idea and make one for myself >_>

    The pepper=awesomesauce
    I like all the little details on it and the coloured version is pretty cool as well. O8

    (PS: Is there a way I can change my Avatar/Icon on here? I mean the little Fred Icon is really adorable but is there a way I can maybe make it a little more me? I don’t mean to sound rude, but I like to stand out a little XD;)

    • Yeah, I keep forgetting to make that “How To” button on the front page! You’re going to want to go to and sign up for an account with the same email address you use here. Then, once it’s set up, it’ll auto-link to your FtM Account and change your avatar to whatever it’s set. Plus it will work with other blogs across the web, should you so choose!

      As far as the drawing table, I devised a way to make it take less room as well. If you attach it to the wall via hinges with folding legs, you can fold it up when you aren’t using it and it’s practically flat against the wall! It’s pretty slick, though now that I have the space in my office I just built regular permanent legs for mine.

  4. I don’t think Cloe needs to look like Jessica Rabbit…

  5. hey about when do u think part 3 will be done and i hope it has a-a-a-choooo hapy ending

  6. I wish school desk were like the one you made

    • Terribly cheap? Lol. I guess then they could replace them often, so kids would be getting new desks all the time instead of ones with carvings from old owners all over them.

  7. Your desk really inspired me so I’ve made my own 😀 I’m very proud of it 😛

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