Sunday, February 4, 2018

A.B Frost's Characters

My biggest tip for character designers is don't look only at the work of your contemporaries.

If you want your style to be fresh and original, dig up other sources. You might enjoy the pen drawings of A.B. Frost (1851-1928) in his book "Stuff and Nonsense."


Big mouth, little eyes, little nose, and some knobbiness at the joints.


Squatty shapes all built around the round belly. Cross-hatch textures add interesting flavor. 


Long, flappy shoes on the old guy. Hat drawn with lots of wear. Stick legs on young makes them look fast and light, but the payoff to this joke was that the old guy beat them in a footrace.


Long legs and clear silhouette on this old codger. The opaque glasses fit with this artist who doesn't believe Muybridge's photos and still paints the hobbyhorse pose:

Said this artist 'Now don't you suppose
An intelligent man like me knows
How a horse ought to go
Yet you say I don't know
And believe what a photograph shows.
----
A.B. Frost's Stuff and Nonsense is available in a reprint edition.

4 comments:

Bruce said...

I'm always surprised when I offer this same advice to people and they don't really want to hear it, especially those younger. It's almost like it's an embarrassment for some people to consider the works of the past, be it drawings, music or movies. There's so much to learn from and enjoy. I thrive on it!

I'll have to find some more works by A.B. Frost. Love his characters and line work !

Warren JB said...

Number two - any relation to Carl Fredricksen?

("I also enjoy media made pre-21st century," he hastened to add.)

Unknown said...

Thanks; I've seen Frost's work in anthologies and enjoyed it tremendously. Appreciate the link to his book; I've ordered a used copy for my art library. -- kayrs

Tom Sarmo said...

This is great--thanks! Btw, a big section of well-reproduced illustrations by Frost can be found in the book The Complete Illustrated Works of Lewis Carroll, used copies are available on Amazon. Also, check out The Lost Art of Zim: Cartoons and Caricatures. It's full of great character works by Eugene Zimmerman--a contemporary of Frost
http://www.picturethispress.com/the-lost-art-of-zim-cartoons-and-caricatures/