October 4, 2015
September 13, 2015
August 30, 2015
August 23, 2015
I gave my grandkids (ages 8 and 11) an art lesson on the ways I usually draw cartoons. I had them do a pencil sketch. Then we scanned it into the computer, opened it in Photoshop, created a new layer and then they did the line work using my stylus and Wacom tablet. When that was done to their liking we printed a copy so they could see what it looked like on paper. Then we deleted everything on the pencil layer and they added color. Last step was to flatten the image and print it. At the end of the lesson they had a copy of each stage: pencil, line and color. I think they did a pretty good job on their respective drawings, “Dino Duck” and “Awesome!”
The first big hurdle was learning to use the stylus and tablet; drawing in one place while looking at another. Plus, a stylus and mouse do not work the same way. When you lift a mouse the cursor stays where it was. The stylus cursor appears wherever you touch the tablet. That took some getting used to.
The next challenge was duplicating the pencil drawing. I tried to explain that the pencil sketch was only a guideline and they did not have to do it exactly the same way. One was more free with the line work, the other meticulously copied the original. One had to make corrections immediately, the other patiently waited and made corrections at the end.
When one was struggling with coordination and concepts I explained, “It’s like when you hand me the controls to your X-Box and expect me to immediately be able to play.” It was a fun project!
August 10, 2015
July 26, 2015
July 12, 2015
June 29, 2015
OK, so I’m a little slow with current events. Let’s just call this an historical cartoon. Which means that most people won’t have a clue what it’s about. No, I won’t explain. You’ll have to look it up. Hint: JFK’s speech at the Berlin Wall, June 26, 1963.
I guess it’s better than being a doughnut. Again, look it up.
June 21, 2015
Just for fun let’s discuss what I go through to draw a cartoon.
1. An idea pops into my head. This can come at any time. Unfortunately, it may come to me when I’m driving down the highway, or about to go to sleep, etc. I have forgotten many hilarious cartoons before they ever got to paper and pencil.
2. Write it down! Unfortunately, again, later I have no idea what my note was supposed to mean. 2(a). Be specific and obvious and include both text and image. Unfortunately, yet again, sometimes when I look at it later it makes sense I think, “Well, that’s not funny at all.” So nevermind.
3. Finally, I’ll do a pencil sketch trying to compose the idea on paper. Sometimes it’s close to a finished drawing and other times it’s still very sketchy.
4. Scan the sketch and save it to my computer.
5. Using a stylus and tablet to draw I will create layers in Photoshop. The bottom layer is the scanned pencil drawing. The first new layer will be for the lines; or what used to be the “pen and ink” stage. Often the lines will be on separate layers so I can move characters around for better composition then I’ll merge all the lines onto a single layer. Text, word balloons etc. must be thought out while composing the drawing but I’ll keep them on their own layer because it’s easier to move them and color under them.
6. Then I delete everything on the layer that showed the original scanned pencil. That layer, under the lines layer, will be for color. I can use the magic tool to select areas on the line layer and fill them with color on the color layer.
7. With the color done I’ll add shading. Most of the time that will be done on the color layer but occasionally I’ll had another layer just for the shading.
8. I’ll flatten the image into one single layer and save it. I’ll make a copy and reduce the file size to fit into my SirColby template.
Below are images from my recent cartoon, “Just Right.”
A. When the idea came to me I did a very quick sketch on my iPad and emailed it to myself.
B. Later at my desk I did some pencil sketches of what I wanted in the cartoon.
C. Line layer on the computer.
D. The color layer. I hid the line layer so you can see just the color.
E. Simple shading done on a separate layer between the lines and the color.
F. To see the final image click here “Just Right.”