Launch Day! Pose Drawing Sparkbook + Facebook Gallery


It’s finally here! The official book launch for the Pose Drawing Sparkbook kicks off today at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank. My wife Jennie will be joining me at table XB06, which will be out in the tent. Here’s my location on the floor plan (click to enlarge):

Map-My Location

If you’ve already pre-ordered the ebook, by now you should have received a download link via email. As for the physical book, you can pick up your copy from my table at the Expo. Otherwise, as soon as I get back from the Expo we’ll start mailing out orders.

If you are new to the party, you can learn about the Sparkbook, read excerpts, and order a copy through my studio store,

New! Sparkbook Gallery on Facebook

I’ve also created a gallery on Facebook where anyone can upload the drawings they are making from the Sparkbook prompts. No purchase necessary – you can get started with my free download of 100 sketchbook ideas taken from the bonus section in the back of the book.

Happy sketching!

Book Launch and Workshop at CTN-X


It’s almost here! The official book launch for the Pose Drawing Sparkbook will happen at the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, November 15-17. My wife Jennie will be joining me at table XB06, which will be out in the tent area right across from the big live demo area in the middle of the tent. Blue Sky and Sony Animation will also be under the tent so I’ll be in very good company. Here’s my location on the floor plan (click to enlarge):

Map-My Location

If you are one of the hundreds of people who have already pre-ordered a copy of the physical book, either through Kickstarter or from my studio store, you can pick up your copy from my table at the Expo. Otherwise, as soon as I get back from the Expo we’ll start mailing out orders.

If you ordered an ebook version (either the basic or expanded) we will send you a download link on or before November 15.

I think this book has the potential to be a terrific tool to help a lot of artists put more life and personality into their drawings. Haven’t ordered a copy yet? You can read a few excerpts and place an order here.

Workshop: Be Your Own Boss (Freelancing Tips And Tricks)

For the third year in a row I’ll also be giving my presentation on freelancing and talking about the business side of being an artist. I’ll be speaking on Saturday, November 16 at 4:00pm. Unfortunately registration for my workshop is full but if you are unable to attend shoot me an email and I’ll send you a free PDF containing my notes from the talk.

Online registration for CTNX closes on Friday, November 8. Grab your tickets here.

New Pose Drawing Sparkbook Ad

"Pose Drawing Sparkbook" Ad for CTN Animation Expo

(Click to enlarge.)

I’ll be officially launching the Pose Drawing Sparkbook at the CTN Animation Expo in November (although you can pre-order now). I just submitted this ad for inclusion in the conference book that will be given to all attendees. It was a lot of fun to work up these sketches.

If you work in (or want to work in) the animation industry, the Expo is a must-see. Tons of terrific speakers, exhibits, booths, and networking galore.

In addition to launching the Sparkbook I’ll also be giving a workshop called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. Sign up when you register.

Come See Me At The CTN Animation Expo


Once again I’ll be attending the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank Nov. 15-17, and I can’t wait. It’s always a great show and one of the highlights of my year.

For the third year in a row I’ll be giving my workshop Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks. It’s a 45 minute presentation full of business tips for artists, to help you work smarter instead of harder. You have to sign up ahead of time to attend and I think there’s a $5 fee for the workshop, but I’m told it’s been expanded from a fifty-seat room to a 100-seat room due to the popularity of my talk in past years. The talk is on Saturday, November 16 from 4:00-4:45pm.

I’ll also be launching my brand new book, the Pose Drawing Sparkbook – a tool to help artists put more life into their drawings. Last month it was successfully funded on Kickstarter and pre-orders just keep coming in. I’ll have a table at booth XB06, located in a tent they are setting up outside the main entrance. Stop on by and pick up your copy.

Early registration for the CTN Expo is now open. Come on down – you won’t be sorry.


Notes On Gesture Drawing


Last November I attended the CTN Animation Expo in Burbank, CA, where I gave a lecture on business tips for self-employed artists. Towards the end of the conference I attended a late-night gesture drawing workshop hosted by Dave Pimentel. For about an hour or so a costumed model (the terrific John Tucker dressed as a hobo) struck some wonderful one-to-five-minute poses while we sketched furiously and listened to Mr. Pimentel walk around the room sharing his pearls of drawing wisdom. It was all very inspiring. One of the downsides of living so far away from California is that I rarely get the opportunity to attend a life drawing session that puts the emphasis on character and acting rather than anatomy and realism.

I was thumbing through one of my sketchbooks and came across my drawings and notes from that night (Sorry for the poor scans, blue pencil is not scanner-friendly). I had jotted down several notes from Mr. Pimentel’s comments as I drew and thought I’d pass them along. There’s some great advice for any cartoonist or character designer to keep in mind while he draws:

  • Think *shape* with your gestures.
  • Focus on four things: acting, expression, character, and movement.
  • Push the poses!
  • Draw from your shoulders, not your wrist.
  • Center lines are a crutch. You don’t need them.
  • Contour lines are OK as long as you are defining a shape and not just contour for contour’s sake.
  • Don’t draw the model. Draw a *character*.
  • Never draw the straight, literal pose. Push the angles!
  • Stare at the pose for ten seconds, study it, and then draw until you need to look again.
  • Think about squash-and-stretch as you draw.
  • Think in giant swoops from chest to toe.
  • Find all the angles you can squash and stretch.
  • Think about adjectives as you draw.
  • When indicating hair, sketch in the direction of the haircut.


And finally, my favorite tip….

  • Put the “life” back in life drawing!


Come Hear My Presentation at the CTN Animation Expo

The CTN Animation Expo is without a doubt a “must-see” event for anyone interesting in working in the animation industry. On Nov. 16-18, 2012 hordes of animation lovers will once again be descending on the Burbank Marriott Convention Center for three days and nights of animation goodness. There’s still time to register if you’d like to attend.

Just like last year I’ll be giving a presentation on freelancing called “Be Your Own Boss: Freelancing Tips and Tricks”. Here’s a summary:

In the current economy more and more companies are hiring artists as freelancers. Unfortunately many talented people wind up earning less than they could, or miss out on opportunities altogether, because they haven’t understood the business side of being an artist.

Cedric Hohnstadt has owned an illustration studio for over fifteen years and has created work for end clients such as Hasbro, Disney, DreamWorks, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Best Buy and Target. After working on hundreds of client projects he’s learned a lot of business skills the hard way and now he’s here to pass on some of that info on to you. He’ll discuss how to know if you are cut out for freelancing, how to promote yourself, how much you should charge, how to talk to clients about money, and look at different areas where an artist can find work outside of the animation industry.

My presentation is scheduled for Saturday, November 17 at 12:00 noon in the Exec Boardroom. It’s classified as a Workshop which means that seating is limited and that the Expo organizers have tacked on a very small extra charge to attend. I’m not sure about this year but last year it was only $5. I’ll try to cram as much info in as I can and afterward we can all go down the hall for an informal Q&A session, so you should definitely get your five bucks worth. Last year my talk sold out so don’t wait too long to sign up.

As a freelance illustrator and character designer I draw a lot of inspiration from the animation industry. This talk is my humble way of giving a little back. I hope to see you there!