The Drunken Snowman

Wednesday, 15th December 2004
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

navigation bar
navigation bar

'What's his name?' I asked Philippa when I saw her in the post office yesterday.


'He was looking a bit the worse for wear last night.'

'He's supposed to have a light inside him but it's not working, and without it he doesn't stand up straight. They do a reindeer and a Santa as well but I thought I'd better not go over the top.'

'No; save something for next year.'

This afternoon, when I drop in their card, Frosty is lying in a heap on their front lawn.

'He's melted!'

'He's deflated!' chuckles Philippa, 'I know just how he feels!'

How to Build a Snowman


To try and show Frosty's lolling roll of the head I:

  • start with a sketch (right) showing the complete rotation in eight stages.

  • draw each frame, starting with the shoulders and a line with its two end points dotted in.

  • add a head to each frame - it now looks like a rotating lollipop or toffee apple - using 4B pencil to give a chunky line.

  • add the carrot nose, the eyes etc. Remember that the nearer the centre the more the cone of the carrot gets foreshortened. For the dazed, inebriated expression I'm after, I decide he'll look best without a mouth.

  • I traced each frame from the previous one (I'm working on thin 80 gsm copier paper on a makeshift lightbox) and coloured them in Photoshop, using the 'darken' setting on the brush which is perfect for colouring in a line drawing. I've rubbed out that initial line but you can still see traces of it.

  • I centred each layer of my Photoshop image on the one fixed point in this animation: the bottom point of that cone of movement. It's represented by the coat button on the final animation.

  • In Image Ready, the animation program that comes with Photoshop, I converted the layers of the Photoshop image into frames of an animation. Next Page


Richard Bell,

navigation bar
navigation bar