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Cartoonists and anatomy by LilithiumStamps Cartoonists and anatomy by LilithiumStamps
I was thinking about making a stamp like this awhile ago, but I kept forgetting about it.

Anyway, this was inspired by someone on dA who claimed that cartoonists don't need to learn realistic anatomy and all of that.

Bull-fucking-shit.

Cartoonists are ARTISTS. They need to learn everything else any other artist does. Not just anatomy. That's how their characters look balanced. No, a lot of cartoon characters do not have realistic proportions, but cartoonists know how to bend, exaggerate and play with proportions to make their characters unique in their own style so that it works for that character's universe. It works for them, because they know how to draw realistically and know their proportions and such.

Learn the rules before you break them~

I've made this mistake. I used to believe that I didn't need to learn real anatomy for humans or animals or anything. But then I fucking grew up and realised how wrong I was. And I started practising. My anatomy is not perfect, but it's much better than what it was and I can draw a decent looking human.

And because of that, I can play with things a little more to make a separate, more exaggerated cartoony style as opposed to my normal, more realistically proportioned style (Still working on that cartoony style, I need to make it look more balanced).

Sorry if none of this makes sense, I don't seem to be good at the ranting or something? I don't know.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconanimalme:
Animalme Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's true, since I started studying canine anatomy more, my characters look better and feel more real, while still maintaining a style.
Reply
:iconlolami14:
lolami14 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
used
Reply
:iconlaw-lie:
Law-lie Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2016
Using here : digitartworkgroup.deviantart.c…

I'm using it for a new group I created to encourage young artists - as myself - to improve their knowledge in basics. And anatomy is the FIRST ONE! :) 
Reply
:icondead-opera-star:
Dead-Opera-Star Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2016   General Artist
As a surreal cartoonist I agree 100%.
I do draw really warped and strange characters and art but I'm still trying to learn proper anatomy when my art calls for it.
Reply
:iconladylitasparkle:
LadyLitaSparkle Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2016  Hobbyist
you're right in some cases, but at the same time, Its a cartoon at the end of the day. Its pretty silly to worry about anatomy over that.
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2016
A lot of anime seems to have this problem...
Reply
:iconrkader11:
rkader11 Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not really they actually have better accuracy of human anatomy hence why they can exaggerate it but you'll just disagree as usual
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner May 13, 2016
Please tell me how drawing almost every character like an anorexic bone jangles with hair that would make cutlery safer to use, heavily implied racial bias characteristics or...not even well at all is "accuracy"?
Reply
:iconrkader11:
rkader11 Featured By Owner May 13, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Did I say anything about race , your trying to change the subject here and if you payed attention instead of letting your hate speak for you I said since most manga as learned the basics of anatomy hence accuracy they can exaggerate it too almost any degree
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner May 14, 2016
No you didn't. Because you're ignoring the fact that Japan is Xenophobic as fuck with a capital FUCK!
That shit does get reflected in their work regardless of what you deny.

And again...no. They don't know most basics. Even Myazaki has admitted the industry suffers greatly from artist who lack life experience in order to draw stylistically. They can copy, no doubt but if you asked one of them to draw something natural, they would probably fuck it up.
Reply
:iconrkader11:
rkader11 Featured By Owner May 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Then I bet you think comic artist are the same right
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner May 14, 2016
Of course not, pinning every other comic artist like Japanese anime is silly.
They actually work on their craft, not trying to copy each other comic unlike anime manga where the only difference is in name only.
Reply
:iconrkader11:
rkader11 Featured By Owner May 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whatever
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconjensonator:
Jensonator Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been told that if you want to be a cartoonist (and a good one at that) you should at least know the basics in anatomy.

If not, a cartoonist's drawings can look really awkward and squiggly.

Heck, even the most well-known cartoonists today study anatomy.
Reply
:iconvertparrot:
VertParrot Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Student General Artist
I draw in a cartoon style and I ALWAYS use anatomy to draw my characters ever since I learn how to use it.
Reply
:iconcherubfeet:
CherubFeet Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
this is where hideous clipart comes from
Reply
:iconcommander-dominic:
Commander-Dominic Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
So true.
Reply
:icontoastybrain:
ToastyBrain Featured By Owner May 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've been practicing with my more human characters.
Reply
:iconproach501:
PRoach501 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I practice on anatomy with my character Zac. :)
Reply
:iconjb-pawstep:
JB-Pawstep Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
You propably saw me saying that XD and for ME it is still true. You need no Anatomy to be good at Cartoon Art. But sure, who ever WANTS to learn it perfectly, should do it.
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2016
You may not need anatomy for deviantart or fun...

But in a professional career, you do.
Reply
:iconjb-pawstep:
JB-Pawstep Featured By Owner Edited Apr 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Well... if you check out like.. every anime and cartoon you will find out, that you don´t actually need it. And I am not talking about High Quality Stuff like The Lion King. They certainly know what Anatomy is. But random Shit you see on TV has nothing to do with REAL Anatomy.
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016
Everything is based on anatomy. You can only learn to exaggerate from understanding basic anatomy in the first place.

Otherwise you'd be describing abstraction...
Reply
:iconjb-pawstep:
JB-Pawstep Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Based on anatomy is still not real anatomy.
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2016
I can see i'm just replying to a brick wall.

I'll just leave you to your ignorance.
Reply
:icontimewap1:
Timewap1 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2016
And this bitch has me on ignored. Well at least they listened.
Reply
:iconjb-pawstep:
JB-Pawstep Featured By Owner Edited Apr 3, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
You might not know what ignorance is xD  There is a difference in being ignorance and having a different point of view.
You don´t NEED anatomy to be a great and professional artist. You even said it yourself in your comment over there about animes. Those people work professional. And US cartoonists twist limbs of their characters as well.. not to mention the sizes of heads, hands and other parts who suddenly change or are simply too big for REAL anatomy.
You should watch some frames closer and think about their character´s design before starting a stupid argument like this. But it is useless to talk to someone who actually seems to be ignorant and thinks to have more Knowledge and Skills about Art then I have so..

I know I am right.
And what you say might be your opinion and others should share it if they want. 
If someone WANTS to draw with perfect anatomy, fine. I support that. Learn as much as possible. But you don´t fucking NEED it to be great at Art.  .. lol or how you said "professional".
And since it useless to talk to someone who has not much experience with drawing in this genre, I´ll just head out and say:

Have a good Day :dummy:
Reply
:iconasahigirl:
AsahiGirl Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I saw some comics with anatomy.
Reply
:iconblue-skiez:
Blue-skiez Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy crap.
This stamp.
I thank you so much for this stamp.
Reply
:iconpinkster7:
Pinkster7 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
My anatomy sucks, but I agree to some extent. But there are some cartoons out there that are just not anatomically correct.
Reply
:iconfiremanhippie:
FiremanHippie Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2014  Student General Artist
I can definitely agree with that. I'm still learning anatomy, and sometimes I get really nervous drawing my female cartoons :o (Eek) Sweating a little... really makes me shy! But the one thing I can't "get down" is the scenery.
Reply
:iconcartoon56:
cartoon56 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
SO TRUE
Reply
:iconastrocomics:
AstroComics Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I love human anatomy and I want to draw an realistic anime approach to my art style for my series I'm currently working on. To me, I NEED to learn anatomy or people will think my art style is crappy.
Reply
:icontorikross:
ToriKross Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I used to suck at proper anatomy. I took this art class on anatomy and I learned how to draw human proportions. Now when I try to draw cartoony, it just bothers me. 
Reply
:icongeneral-palladium:
General-Palladium Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014   General Artist
So fucking true.
Reply
:iconmarkushavalone:
MarkushAvalone Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2014
I am totally agree with it.....I saw an artist got insult because I said "wow I didn't know if Sponge Bob hand on his head" lol (sorry for bad English)
Reply
:iconamoebagagless:
AmoebaGagless Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
yeppers!
Reply
:iconrainbowicepop:
RainbowIcePop Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I regret not leaning when I first started drawing when I was 10 
"I DON'T NEED ANATOMY IT'S NOT LIKE ANIME IS REALISTICZ"
Eh, and on top of that I even felt hurt when people suggested I learn anatomy because anatomy felt so "bossy" to me. I just didn't like the idea of "YOU HAVE TO DO IT LIKE THIS"
But now, eh, I pretty much just started caring about anatomy. Pathetic I know. But I also realized how beautiful human anatomy is too so I became more interested :)
Reply
:iconbogus-banana:
Bogus-Banana Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
So true. My anatomy is crap right now but it's better than how I used to draw.
Reply
:iconcrazyforchocobos:
crazyforchocobos Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Exactly right my figure drawing professor said "Before you go breaking the rules, you need to know what those rules are and when and how to break them so it looks like you're just bending them for cartoony effects."
Reply
:iconeasterntentmoth:
easterntentmoth Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013  Student
A cartoonist should know anatomy, yes, but you don't need to be able to draw good-looking realistic animals and such to have good cartoon art, and good anatomy does not equal good art. 
Reply
:iconfrodofox:
Frodofox Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
YES! I consider myself a manga/cartoon artist that knows my anatomy is off and wants to fix it. (My style is somewhere in-between) I surround myself in very realistic and details figures on anatomy. Also, almost any cartooning/manga book where I believe the anatomy is correct, I have grabby hands for
Reply
:iconguei-girl:
Guei-Girl Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Student General Artist
OMG Thank you for making this stamp!

I've been in and out of colleges, studying everything I can on human (and non-human) anatomy and trying to discover my own style. Now I cringe at the shitty artwork I made in High School.

Once again, thanks for making this stamp.
Reply
:icontoasted-rupees3119:
toasted-rupees3119 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I need help with anatomy!! Anybody have a good reference for specific body parts, like, say, male biceps, neck muscles, etc...? Like a drawing guide for drawing muscles and how they move. I'm tired of only being able to draw in a shitty anime-esque style.
Please help, guys!!
Reply
:iconfrodofox:
Frodofox Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I would suggest looking up anatomy books, that are targeted for artists. It's easy, and some are pretty cheap. Just google 'books on anatomy for artists'

or google 'anatomy for artists online' 

There is tons of guides in the search results. 
Reply
:icontoasted-rupees3119:
toasted-rupees3119 Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you :D
Reply
:iconjihef03:
jihef03 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
Couldn't say better . When I was younger, I didn't care that much for "realistic anatomy"  . Fortunately , I took draw lessons where I was taught of the importance of it , and I became fan of super-heroes from comic-books : you just NEED to know anatomy and muscles if you want to draw them correctly !^^
Reply
:iconvyndicare:
Vyndicare Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Amen. Completely agree
Reply
:iconeotenhazel:
EotenHazel Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

I would go so far as to say that cartoonists need to pay -more- attention to anatomy, because they don't have the crutch of photo-textures and other fake-3Disms to fall back on. So when a cartoonists' anatomy looks horrible, people think it looks like shit. Whereas the Half-Life developers can fail both anatomy and physics forever, and people will still be forever-convinced that the graphics "look real".


An earlier poster said something about the problem with anime-anatomy "is that people have ridiculously long body, tiny or disgustingly large shoulders, and teeny necks". Yes, they do. Have you looked at an actual person, in-person?! Humans are incredibly freaky-thin stick figures that defy all cartoon-reason. Even Sir-friggin'-Mixalot is far taller than wide, with a tiny pin-head, weirdly-proportioned shoulders, and other freaky elongated bipedal features.



Cartoonists are not abandoning the need to simulate "movement" and create an illusion of 3D space. Hopefully. Or maybe lemme rephrase that:


Shitty cartoonists are abandoning the need to simulate movement and create an illusion of 3D space. If that's the whole appeal of a cartoon "style" to you, then Gee, No Wonder Your Art Looks Like Crap.


Or maybe I should be even -more- specific:


Cartoonists do not need anatomy, because the term "cartoonist", like so many of the people who persist with it, is a relict of a fortunately-bygone era where the term "cartoon" meant "newspaper", "syndicate", "shit", and a lot of other things it genuinely deserved to mean but didn't need to. "Cartoonists don't need to learn anatomy" is a tautology. Without anatomy, your drawings look like shit. Which, these days, tends to be the difference between people who self-refer as "cartoonists" as opposed to those who self-refer as "cartoon artists".


Cartoonists don't need to learn anatomy. Artists need to learn anatomy. Interpret that as you will. If you want to be a cartoonist, go right ahead. Plenty of people do. Otherwise, you need to learn the ever-loving fuck out of anatomy, -especially- if your art-style is cartoons. Y'see, what an artist is abandoning, by adopting a "cartoon style", isn't anatomy. What they're abandoning is every other tool they would otherwise have available for 2-dimensional representation.


I know I'm being semantic about the word "cartoonist" here. Not everyone is going to read that much into it. But there's enough people who do, and will, that the word has become bottled career-suicide. People in the industry, or even the general audience, hear the word "cartoonist" and it's like, Welp, They Know What Your Deal Is. It's conditioning - you call yourself a "cartoonist" and that's what people hear: You're someone who doesn't need to learn.



Kids who want to learn a cartoon-style, rather than just "have" one, need to learn anatomy especially well, specifically because they don't have any other method of presenting a human form. They're the last artists who can be taking short-cuts, because they don't -have- any. That's what a "cartoon" -is-. Cave-artists understood this. 3-year-olds understand this.


What's the universal symbol for oversimplified drawn-representation of the human form? It's got nothing else going for it -but- anatomy. When all you've got is 3~5 lines and a circle, it's hard to make anything look like anything. But it works - because honestly, what the hell else in nature could possibly look so freakishly stick-figureish than a human body?



Being a "cartoonist", even without word-stigma, means drawing 7-head-tall humans and having people respond with "WTF is this studio-CLAMP shit?!". You wanna do that for a -living-, then honey, you've got your work cut out for you. Whether you want to compress your 7-head people down to 4, go actually studio-CLAMP on them and crank it up to 9 or 10, or even (le gasp!) retain photo-reasonable proportions while cartoonifying your "style", you're in a rough spot.


And the only genuine way out is to do your homework. You have to understand why they think it "looks wrong", and how to get them to -think- it looks right (whether or not it actually does), before you can really even -have- a "style". And that necessarily involves knowing what it looks like when it actually is "right".



Maybe the best way to get kids to want to "learn anatomy" is to get them to realise what those words mean. I daresay the best learning-tool a 2D artist has is a 3D modelling tool. In fact, CGI is probably -more- helpful for a 2D artist the flatter their "style" is. I mean, this is what anatomy is:


Take a 3D model, and look at it in a "CG-space" viewer.


That's "realism".


Now delete all of the textures. All of them. Delete all of the shaders, the shadows, and just-generally anything else you can think of that would make it look more advanced than the early Playstation 1.


While you're at it, hit 'simplify mesh' a few too-many times.


That's "cartoonism".


Now move the model. Pose it. Animate it. Blindly screw with the camera and then see if you can even tell what the fuck you're lookin' at.


That's anatomy.

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:iconchickencakes:
ChickenCakes Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I use anatomy most of the time when I draw. And I 100% agree with you!
Reply
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