This Classic Toast post originally ran on Mar 11, 2014.
From the year 800 AD to 1450 the entirety of Europe’s approach to painting was “It’s impossible to know what an animal looks like, just draw a guy’s head on it.” This is their story.
MONK #1: what do lions look like in the face
i mean what do their faces look like
MONK #2: worried
MONK #1: what does it look like when some people are far away
but some are closer
MONK #2: draw them all exactly the same size
MONK #1: are people the same height as castles
MONK #2: pretty much yeah
MONK #1: how big are most peoples foreheads
relative to the rest of their face
MONK #2: oh it’s 90% of the face, definitely
MONK #1: thanks
MONK #1: what size and also location are most human breasts on the body
MONK #2: pretty much anywhere
just jam em on the torso wherever
MONK #2: the important thing is to just always draw human faces on dogs
MONK #1: why is that
is that a dumb question?
MONK #2: kind of
MONK #1: what do whales look like
MONK #2: pretty much exactly like squirrels or any other animal
but in front of a blue background
MONK #1: hey so do human heads grow on big leafless trees a lot
or just sometimes
MONK #2: mm probably a lot
MONK #1: what do babies look like
MONK #2: ….huh good question
MONK #1: kind of like a very old man?
MONK #2: but also baboons
MONK #1: dang
whats a table look like
MONK #2: oh wow
MONK #1: i know right?
MONK #2: ahhh i KNOW this
MONK #1: can rabbits stand up
MONK #2: yeah
MONK #1: how big are books
MONK #2: like half the size of a castle
MONK #1: wow ur good at this
MONK #1: do you want to go get lunch
MONK #2: lets pray for four hours first
MONK #1: ok
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.