If there’s any other artists out there who read this, I’d like to propose something to you. In doing research for this particular design one thing was made abundantly clear; old cartoons are drawn weird.
But in a great way! A common art exercise I hear is to try to “simplify” your style from time to time. In this particular case I took it a step further and stylized the simplification. Mario’s arm in this piece is one of the funnest things to draw. It completely defies what art school engraves into you.
He has no ligaments. No muscles. His hands resemble paint splatters than actual digits. Yoshi’s knees are thin and clearly wouldn’t support a creature of his size! Not only that but the colors are faded and even a bit ugly. They don’t pop with the brightness of, say, a Nickelodeon cartoon. And yet, there’s a real sense of thought put into them. They adhered to an aesthetic that at the time could only be found in animation.
So while some of you may be practicing anime or Disney style art (which is totally awesome as well), perhaps try something different and look up some Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Check out the line work. The facial expressions. See how the characters move. It’s an interesting art style to explore and I hope you can have as much fun with it as I have.