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About Film & Animation / Professional Senior Member Chris PalamaraUnited Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
Core Member 'til Hell freezes over
Statistics 4 Deviations 4,191 Comments 147,389 Pageviews


Skater by xGaBBeRx Skater :iconxgabberx:xGaBBeRx 12 0 coach by xGaBBeRx coach :iconxgabberx:xGaBBeRx 11 0 Wrecking Ball Origin Story 6 by Nesskain Wrecking Ball Origin Story 6 :iconnesskain:Nesskain 440 12 Wrecking Ball Origin Story 5 by Nesskain Wrecking Ball Origin Story 5 :iconnesskain:Nesskain 358 2 Wrecking Ball Origin Story 1 by Nesskain Wrecking Ball Origin Story 1 :iconnesskain:Nesskain 398 9 StarsCrossed: Magic Runs in the Family by Dream-Piper StarsCrossed: Magic Runs in the Family :icondream-piper:Dream-Piper 202 43 Happy Father's Day: A Magical New Idea? by Dream-Piper Happy Father's Day: A Magical New Idea? :icondream-piper:Dream-Piper 293 52 1806 by nbekkaliev 1806 :iconnbekkaliev:nbekkaliev 158 7 girls 180530 by nbekkaliev girls 180530 :iconnbekkaliev:nbekkaliev 162 8 Hell and High Water: HeroesCon AA1004 and 1005 by CreatureBox Hell and High Water: HeroesCon AA1004 and 1005 :iconcreaturebox:CreatureBox 1,175 23 The Hashashin Order by Hodori The Hashashin Order :iconhodori:Hodori 229 11 Popeye Vs Thanos by CoranKizerStone Popeye Vs Thanos :iconcorankizerstone:CoranKizerStone 1,675 135 Sayaka-chan by Gashi-gashi Sayaka-chan :icongashi-gashi:Gashi-gashi 10,684 789 WAKFU by xa-xa-xa WAKFU :iconxa-xa-xa:xa-xa-xa 11,282 620 Samurai Jack Mass Extinction by drazebot Samurai Jack Mass Extinction :icondrazebot:drazebot 564 21 Immortal Iron Fists Limited Edition Cover by AfuChan Immortal Iron Fists Limited Edition Cover :iconafuchan:AfuChan 522 12

Super stuff by other fishies


Cartoons + Comics: DDs I've Featured

Couverture tome 3 by Adrianfd Couverture tome 3 :iconadrianfd:Adrianfd 555 36 Little Nemo by Andrew-Ross-MacLean Little Nemo :iconandrew-ross-maclean:Andrew-Ross-MacLean 595 39 Pinok-fp Pg 025-v002-s by tim-mcburnie Pinok-fp Pg 025-v002-s :icontim-mcburnie:tim-mcburnie 523 21 RandomVEUS - pg05 by theCHAMBA RandomVEUS - pg05 :iconthechamba:theCHAMBA 510 42 ruthar 2 by Djetho ruthar 2 :icondjetho:Djetho 953 46 The queen is back by BattlePeach The queen is back :iconbattlepeach:BattlePeach 1,055 51 Tribute by mhannecke Tribute :iconmhannecke:mhannecke 718 31 A man can dream... by killigann A man can dream... :iconkilligann:killigann 1,164 101 Thriftwood - sneak-peak by Chromulus Thriftwood - sneak-peak :iconchromulus:Chromulus 225 42 i said FAT LADY legs.... by ShaunONeil i said FAT LADY legs.... :iconshaunoneil:ShaunONeil 409 139 Red Riding Hood - werewolf by GuillermoRamirez Red Riding Hood - werewolf :iconguillermoramirez:GuillermoRamirez 8,006 489 Morbius baby by skottieyoung Morbius baby :iconskottieyoung:skottieyoung 1,577 45 My lovely yelo buddie by Waldemar-Kazak My lovely yelo buddie :iconwaldemar-kazak:Waldemar-Kazak 2,179 94 The wolves are out there. by Spaska The wolves are out there. :iconspaska:Spaska 574 28 Sunday Comic 2 by Jackster3000 Sunday Comic 2 :iconjackster3000:Jackster3000 190 23 The Wood Man's Head by MumblingIdiot The Wood Man's Head :iconmumblingidiot:MumblingIdiot 891 58

Daily Deviations I've featured


Comics - Sequential

WoD - Alambee by 0tacoon WoD - Alambee :icon0tacoon:0tacoon 36 20 NIMA (preview pages 06) by EnriqueFernandez NIMA (preview pages 06) :iconenriquefernandez:EnriqueFernandez 233 10 bye by marklaszlo666 bye :iconmarklaszlo666:marklaszlo666 150 15 figs by tonysandoval figs :icontonysandoval:tonysandoval 215 23 Lucky Luke tribute by EnriqueFernandez Lucky Luke tribute :iconenriquefernandez:EnriqueFernandez 3,018 175 Adventure Time comics no5 short by evelmiina Adventure Time comics no5 short :iconevelmiina:evelmiina 123 6 Infinite City, pg39 alternate by CarlosMeglia Infinite City, pg39 alternate :iconcarlosmeglia:CarlosMeglia 303 5 Collider #1 pag 16 by whoisrico Collider #1 pag 16 :iconwhoisrico:whoisrico 159 29 Rumble tease pg1 by JHarren Rumble tease pg1 :iconjharren:JHarren 674 45 Tangomango planche by Adrianfd Tangomango planche :iconadrianfd:Adrianfd 207 27 Tangomango 3 aux librairies! by Adrianfd Tangomango 3 aux librairies! :iconadrianfd:Adrianfd 77 7 Inner workings from Spaced Out kickstarter happeni by Brett2DBean Inner workings from Spaced Out kickstarter happeni :iconbrett2dbean:Brett2DBean 88 10 Warm Blood pages by evelmiina Warm Blood pages :iconevelmiina:evelmiina 186 4 Faceless cats by Spaska Faceless cats :iconspaska:Spaska 237 11 Stray Beastz chapter 1 by celor Stray Beastz chapter 1 :iconcelor:celor 35 21 The Technicolor OCT Round 1-1 by kozispoon The Technicolor OCT Round 1-1 :iconkozispoon:kozispoon 37 8

Even more stuff by other fishies



Sat Apr 8, 2017, 1:54 AM

Cartoon Silhouettes

Thu Dec 22, 2016, 12:08 PM

Cartoon Silhouettes

by puddlefisherstudio     

Cartoons from the 20th century frequently portrayed characters which performed on screen as though they were acting on a stage to live audiences. This has a lot to do with film & animation being a relatively new medium at the time - when the main point of reference for similar modes of storytelling was theatre and the performing arts.
As such, animation adopted many of the same techniques used by actors in order to convey important storytelling cues, which included the use of clear poses or silhouettes. These techniques are seen less overtly in animation today, but they're still crucial considerations animators make in order to achieve clear and engaging performances.

"He's behind you!"

Disney's "Lonesome Ghosts" (1937)

Animation from this period typically had more semblance to theatre than it does today. This lends well to the comedic sensibilities of cartoons from this period, which encouraged the participation of audiences similar to pantomime.


Silhouette as a tool is useful for communicating important visual information about our characters, such as their intents, personality, or their mood through gesture. They are used to maximise the readability of our characters by helping us to achieve clear poses and actions. This outcome may be subtle and not as potent in some artworks compared to others, but silhouette can always be observed in successful characters because they offer viewers with clear visual statements at a glance.

You'll recognise these in a blink!

As well as being used to see clearly what a character does with their bodies, silhouettes are useful in helping us to identify who a character is. With this in-mind at the character design stage, we can complement our performances by introducing shapes and forms designed to emphasise certain character traits, which go on to reinforce the actions our characters will be performing.

For instance, Road Runner's long legs and oversized feet are evidently really good for out-running hungry coyotes. Fred Flintstone, on the other hand, may not be as well equipped in that department - the shape language in his design supports this idea with a silhouette that looks heavy, less agile and grounded like a square. While the same is true for squarish SpongeBob - who is conversely very agile and dynamic - he is made up of recurring curve shapes, supported by thin limbs that squash and stretch, and which protrude out from his body dynamically to help maintain his playful and buoyant appeal. As you will have noticed, there are no rules to this stuff, and is often just a process of trial and error combined with tried and true principles.


by Griz and Norm

100 Tuesday Tips by puddlefisherstudio

100 Tuesday Tips by Griz and Norm is a fantastic resource, which covers Silhouette and many other design principles. Some examples from Tuesday Tips are shown above, with lots more available to see on their blog, as well as some details about how to grab a copy for yourself if you want them all in a handy dandy book you can carry around.

I'm only sharing because I've found it super helpful myself. Tuesday Tips is an invaluable resource because it will prime your chops for the essentials of drawing, cartooning, and more. It's stuff you'll need to learn to be successful in the industry, regardless of when or where you choose to learn it - and since so many of these tried and true principles are right here for you to gobble straight up, it's worth your time to look 'em through.
I also think you'll enjoy these by :iconshermcohen:
Tutorial 8 Push your Poses by shermcohen  SpongeBob Tute2 Line of Action by shermcohen  SpongeBob Tute 01 Silhouette by shermcohen

yellow heart bullet 

More tidbits...

Here are a few more concepts to take away which I tend keep in mind when it comes to designing character silhouettes. I will use my own work as a sort of case study.

#1.    Negative Space

You can retain the gesture and story of any action with the help of negative space. This is a small but mighty tool in your arsenal and it's what silhouettes are really all about. It's useful for making sure your characters are readable and not blobby masses at first glance.

#3.    Design the Silhouette

Design the Silhouette by puddlefisherstudio

Take into account the unique design properties and attributes of your characters when thinking about their poses and performances - and how they might be affected by movement, the environment and other forces.

Maintain a strong silhouette in spite of (or perhaps by way of) accessories, loose clothing, protrusions, and other features. Silhouettes should be designed just as much as the characters themselves.

#2.   Don't Overlap Forms
(until #4)

Avoid Overlaps by puddlefisherstudio

Maximise readability by overlapping forms as little as possible for silhouettes that are more silhouettey - especially around the hands and limbs as these areas are often the most telling when it comes to story but they are also some of the easiest details to become convoluted.

#4.    Overlap Values

Overlapping forms are OK, if done strategically. Keeping tonal values in-mind can help you to segregate your silhouettes into sub entities to give you more freedom when posing your characters without getting too caught up with overlapping forms.

Here, I've used a lighter value for the blaster gun compared to the kid, who inhabits a darker value. Both elements between them are readable and easily distinguishable.

#5.   Discover your characters and find more than one pose

Sketch lots and never be satisfied with your first idea. It's good practice to explore a range of options before settling on something you want to commit to for the rest of the job. It doesn't have to be pretty at this stage - small, loose thumbnails and gestures will be enough as long as they get your ideas across.

On the flip side, while sketching is fun, do try not to rely on discovery too extensively. Avoid noodling by having some ideas you want to aim for before you even begin drawing. Gotta work smart, not just hard!

DAC logo by puddlefisherstudio
Put your knowledge into practice by participating in Design-A-Character's Shape Challenge!

New shapes are updated regularly for your character design inspiration.

July 2016 Shapes by LuigiL July 2016 Shapes by LuigiL

Happy Drawing!


Chris Palamara
Artist | Professional | Film & Animation
United Kingdom
Character Art Director @ Ocellus Studio




Main influences (artists):
Chuck Jones, Yoh Yoshinari, Osamu Tezuka, Chris Sanders, Michel Ancel, Ankama, Hayao Miyazaki

Main influences (games):
Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot 3, Rayman 2, Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter



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Design A Character

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Character Design References


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puddlefisherstudio Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2017  Professional Filmographer
ZARINAABZALILOVA Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Professional
mr.Unicorn, where is new art <3 <3 
GIF Gravity Falls - Celestabellebethabelle GIF Gravity Falls - A Pony (Celestabellebethabell) GIF Gravity Falls - Celestabellebethabelle GIF Gravity Falls - A Pony (Celestabellebethabell) 
(1 Reply)
LuigiCodeArt Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for the watch!La la la la 
HabariTess Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Hey, do you have a link to your old art of the boy and the large bird?
(1 Reply)
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