Gesture help needed

  • Hi all,

    I need some help with the gesture on this sketch. It's a private commission of pets. The smaller (chubby) cat on the right doesn't like the larger furry cat, so I am trying to have the large furry tail come over the smaller one's head and her to be pushing the fur away but I can't get the gesture/fur quite right. Can anyone help? (The smaller cat is supposed to look a bit chubby as per the client's request.)


    Thanks in advance,

  • SVS OG

    I think the character designs are cute and the main idea comes across (especially thanks to the smaller cat's marvelously annoyed expression), but perhaps I'd do a couple of things that might help the piece overall.

    1. Establish which cat is in front and which is in back, or generally establish how they are grounded and related in space. Currently the tail is in one big tangent with the smaller cat's back. To fix this you could either put the smaller cat clearly in front and just have the top of the tail drooping over the top of his head, or you could put the larger cat in front and have the tail hide more or his smaller companion. Then put in some shadows underneath each to give them depth. But I think the tangent is a big part of why the gesture looks a little odd.

    2. The tail fur is splitting over the smaller cat's ear in a way which makes it almost look like fingers. If you need to, do a fur study, but given that your stylization makes the cats look fairly solid, I might just have the whole tip of the tail coming down over the smaller cat's eye instead of trying to split it up. You could make it taper off in a curl if you wanted to add more potential annoyance.

    3. As for the gesture, what you have there works fairly well considering that your style is to shorten the limbs, but as we all know, the internet is crawling with cats, and so you can probably find paw batting reference gestures by the dozens with an image search. You might find a gesture you like better for your smaller cat! One thing that came to my mind was how annoyed cats will sometimes start batting at things with their stronger hind paws, and since this one looks like he's halfway to a washing position already, that might be an option.

    The new stylizing characters course also might be of help here, as it talks about adapting reference.

    Anyway, they're cute cats, and I think with a little experimentation you can make this work well!

  • @LauraA great thanks, that's really useful 👍

  • Pro

    @carrieannebrown That is just the cutest sketch!

  • SVS OG

    @carrieannebrown hehe 😍 this is just too cute

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