Sunday, May 24, 2009

Doodle Penance: "how to draw ware wolf"

This week's "Doodle Penance" is the product of a search for a fairly simple bit of information: "How to draw ware wolf."

I think I know what this Googler was looking for, and as usual I'm surprised we haven't talked about it yet. I mean, Doodle Penance has featured information about lycanthropy before, but we've never mentioned the most important connection between contemporary cartooning and the children of the night.

I refer, of course, to the fact that Chris Ware, author of ACME Novelty Library among other fine cartoon publications, undergoes an eerie transformation under the light of the full moon. Here's a little bit from his sketchbooks that describes the process:

I bet you didn't realize that several panels in "The Graveyard of Forking Paths" were swiped from Chris Ware, did you?

Mike? What have you got this week?

—Well, it so happens that Chris Ware has already drawn a wolf in his characteristic circular style, as seen in his Fairy Tale Road Rage contribution to Little Lit (click here to see it), so I thought I'd simply show how to draw that. That Ware wolf looks more or less like this:
Now, you can tell at a glance that most of this image is easily reproduced using the Ed Emberley inventory method. Almost every element can be found among the simple shapes below:

From left to right, that gives you the basic shape of the skull; the oval nose with its small circular highlight; the "therefore" symbol (three dots) for the wolf whiskers; the squashed C (or "Pogo nose") for the snout; the medium circle for the eye; and the leafless black tulip for the pupil.

However, these simple shapes will not suffice for the most complicated part of the Ware wolf: the black cap of the fur, ears, and cheek. Frankly, that shape is too hard to draw unless you are actually Chris Ware himself. Fortunately, there is a work-around. Simply capture a famous cartoon rodent and scalp him, then pluck off the ears to leave the roots of the ears to serve as convenient wolfish tufts, thus:

You can simply discard the remainder of the rodent in a convenient receptacle:
This method works well to provide the necessary impossible-to-draw shape, but it has its own "drawbacks" (if you'll, heh heh, pardon the pun!). As with any tissue graft, there is the risk of rejection by the host, so you'll need to administer a strict regimen of immunosuppressant drugs to avoid afflicting your drawing with the hellish outcome of a scalp-rejection:

And that's how to draw Ware wolf!


Bully said...

A great cartoon and an arroooo! Hooray!

Isaac said...

I thought you might get a kick out of that, Bully!