Monday, May 16, 2005

How to Draw John Layman

Step 1.

Keep your lines light and sketchy. Draw a basic circle and divide it into quarters, give the dividers a little curve to enhance the roundness. Don't draw a perfect circle, aim more for a sort of cantaloupe-like shape, like one that has been dropped on the floor a few times.

Step 2.

Draw some gentle curves to fill out the cheek and neck area-- give it that nice doughy shape we all know and love. Use the cross-hair of the circle to place the guides for the eyes, there should be one eye's width between them. Place a rough shape for the ear where the circle and neck meet.

Step 3.

Add the nose, it starts thin at the top just over the eye and extends into a bulbous honker at the bottom of the circle. Detail the ear by envisioning how a small, mutated eggplant would appear attached to someone's head.

Step 4.

Draw in Layman's droopy eyelids and things really start to come together. Add some eyebrows. Don't forget the bags under the eyes to signify years of late night drinking and general personal abuse. Bring the cheek down from the nose, and then give him a wide smile. Try to imagine what Layman might look like while stoned on a special occasion. And by special occasion I mean any given hour of the day.

Step 5.

One thing that I have to admit is Layman always had good hair. Not as good as mine, of course, I mean a man can dream and all, but really. Give that mop a big swooshy shape he'll be proud of. In reality Layman has a freakishly large forehead, but it's best not to call attention to it. People will just think you are a bad drawer since they will assume no human could possibly have such a freakishly large forehead. Draw in his beady little eyes and make them extra glossy by including a large highlight. Sketch in a wide V shape to finish off his neck and suggest the outline of a t-shirt, which is probably for some lame rock band no one has ever heard of but Layman will insist is the Second Coming of Christ.

Step 6.

Clean up your drawing by erasing the guidelines and giving more weight to the detail lines, but keep it kind of sloppy to retain that sketchy "off the cuff" feel. Even though it won't hold up to any close scrutiny, it will give the passing illusion that you know what you're doing. Just like Layman's comics.

Step 7.

Share your drawing with friends, like, oh, say, by posting it on your blog that nobody reads. Watch in awe as your comment box is filled with praise of your skill to capture the likeness off such a handsome subject.

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