Can You Hear Me Crafting the Ears

Like noses, ears can tell readers a lot about your cartoon characters. Ears can give a specific impression and help define the character's personality. This section gives you a rundown on drawing ears. As with the other facial features like the eyes, nose, and mouth, you also line up the ears with the center guidelines. Most of the time you line up the ears with the eyes. So if the eyes rest on top of the horizontal guidelines, you generally center the ears on the same line, especially as...

Belonging to a Syndicate

To succeed as a professional cartoonist, you have to grasp the importance of syndication. You can't make it in newsprint cartoons without belonging to a syndicate. Syndication simply means selling the presentation of cartoons to multiple users. Syndicates represent cartoonists and sell their work to newspapers and magazines. Syndication is every cartoonist's goal, but few really understand what a syndicate is and how it works. For more on syndication, check out Chapter 1. If you think you have...

Designing Human Cartoon Characters

Discovering the importance of main and supporting characters Developing your core cast Drawing the main male body types Sketching the foremost female body types Portraying kids rhe ability to create interesting human characters is one of the most enjoyable and challenging parts of being a cartoonist. Although the possibilities for character development are endless, common cartoon people tend to fall into certain stereotypical categories. For example, the all-American mom, the forgetful dad,...

Using an eraser

You've probably been using an eraser since you were in kindergarten. Erasers are pretty easy to use to take care of small mistakes. You need to include a traditional rubber eraser as well as a kneaded eraser in your arsenal of tools to meet any erasing challenge. A kneaded eraser is a pliable material that has the consistency of putty. It doesn't wear away and leave behind eraser crumbs as a result, it lasts much longer than other erasers. Kneaded erasers can be shaped by hand for erasing...

Finding Ideas and Forming an Opinion

The first step to creating an editorial cartoon is coming up with an idea. Being a news junkie is almost a prerequisite to being a good editorial cartoonist. To form your ideas, you have to regularly read and listen to the news. Finding ideas isn't overly difficult because of the influx of news sources on TV, in print, and online. Just keep these simple steps in mind as you formulate your ideas and come up with your opinion 1. Tune into a wide variety of news outlets and look for an interesting...

Joining the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists

The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (http editorial cartoonists.com ) is a professional organization concerned with promoting the interests of staff, freelance, and student editorial cartoonists in the United States. It's the only formal organization that includes and represents editorial cartoonists exclusively. Joining an organization like the AAEC can have many benefits for an up-and-coming editorial cartoonist. These include making valuable contacts, learning the business from...

Penciling It

After you develop some story lines and write your scripts, you're finally ready to start putting your ideas on paper. Begin by lightly sketching out a rough idea with your character's shapes and background elements. You don't want to go to dark with the pencil lines if you plan on erasing the sketch after you ink your line art. If you're drawing your comic strip in the basic, horizontal, multipanel format, you need to block this area out. You do this on a large piece of paper with a pencil and...

Marketing to Greeting Card Companies

Another great way to get your foot into the cartooning business is through greeting cards. Greeting cards are a popular item and offer promising opportunities to an aspiring cartoonist. Someone has to draw all those amusing sketches, sight gags, and one-liners on all those humorous cards. Why not you Greeting cards come in a wide range of designs and cover all sorts of holidays, events, and special subjects. Many of these cards showcase cartoon gags or funny characters to deliver a message to...

The Skinny on Cartoons and Comics

Exploring the various cartooning genres Understanding some drawing basics Considering the future of cartooning o you want to be a cartoonist Or maybe you already consider yourself a cartoonist and a darn good one but you don't have the slightest idea how to market your work. Or perhaps you just enjoy drawing and you'd like to become better at it. If you want to draw cartoons, you're not alone. Right about now, thousands of budding cartoonists are doodling on any scrap of paper they can find,...

Doing rough sketches

Rough sketches are the visual note-taking of the cartoon world. Just as a writer jots down many, many notes in preparation for writing the next great American novel, the cartoonist draws many, many rough sketches. Rough sketches should be just what they say they are rough. Don't spend too much time on them, because they're just meant to capture the basic idea and layout of your composition so you have it when you want to develop the idea further. Making rough sketches doesn't require you to...

In This Chapter

Using a scanner to digitize your art Getting started with Photoshop Tapping into Photoshop's advanced techniques Finalizing your work artooning has changed in the last few decades, thanks to the power and creative ability of computers. Computers can make just about every aspect of cartooning easier, from creating and editing your art right on the computer to sending files to clients or newspapers almost instantaneously. Computers can make you a better artist. Granted, the computer doesn't...

Spending time perfecting your skills

The art of lettering doesn't always come easily to cartoonists. The ability to letter clearly and legibly, and to make the lettering appealing and not stiff or forced, takes time and practice. Lettering is a separate skill from drawing, and you shouldn't neglect or overlook it. As your skills progress, you'll become more comfortable lettering and more confident at it. Begin by sitting down with a pad of paper and practice drawing out your lettering. As you practice, you may want to use a ruler...

Getting a Grasp on Photoshop Basics

Drawing your cartoon is the first step scanning it into the computer is the second. Step three is using a computer program, such as Photoshop, to transform your cartoon by cropping, editing, enhancing, lightening, darkening, shading, adding color, or just about any other editing graphic you can think of. Because Photoshop is by far the best program for working with digitalized art, I focus the rest of this chapter on using Photoshop. Photoshop is a graphics editing program produced by Adobe...

Checking Out Cartoon Blogs

In the digital age, keeping up with the cartooning world with news and inside information from cartoonists' personal Web sites and blogs is important. You can find thousands of cartooning Web sites and blogs out there just use your favorite search engine to search for cartooning blogs to see what I mean. Here are just a few Internet sources to get you started The Daily Cartoonist (dailycartoonist.com) A great resource for news and the inside scoop about cartoons and comics. The Comics Reporter...

Designing the Setting

Your characters, like everyone else, need a place to live and hang out. Before you actually start sketching, select the setting for your strip. The setting includes major elements like the background and surrounding environment in which your characters coexist. Designing the right setting goes a long way toward creating your strip's overall look. The setting should complement the characters, reinforce the theme, and reflect your style. The backgrounds and setting should enhance what your...

Knowing the differences between handwritten and computer fonts

Ballon Circus Type Font

Cartoonists need to have a good eye for design, and lettering is a part of the design. You can choose to letter any way you want. The only real requirement is that your lettering is legible to the reader. When actually creating the lettering, remember that the letters should always be large enough for the reader to see without dominating the composition or overshadowing the line art itself. You basically have two options when creating lettering handwritten or computer-generated fonts. Each has...

Linear body shape

Drawing a linear body shape, or one that's boxy and has sharp angles, is easier to line up to a vanishing point than a nonlinear body shape, simply because the nonlinear shape has no defined or obvious angles to line up to the vanishing point. To draw a linear body shape, you first need to break down the character into three main body parts The head and neck area (the top) The torso and arms area (the middle) The legs and feet area (the bottom) Break these areas down to three box shapes The...

How to make a splash on the

Webcomics have some definite advantages over print comics. Webcomics allow the cartoonist great freedom and leeway regarding creativity and subject matter, and anyone who can afford a Web site can publish his own cartoons. The creator of a webcomic has more control over his feature than a traditional cartoonist does, but he also must bear more responsibility. Webcomic creators are like small businessmen. They're responsible for not only writing and drawing the comic feature just as if they...

Being Part of the National Cartoonists Society

The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) (www.reuben.org ) is the world's largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. The NCS was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops during World War II. They found that they enjoyed one another's company and decided to get together on a regular basis. Joining the NCS has many benefits for professional cartoonists as they begin their career. These include Learning the business from some of the...

Selling Your Work to Magazines

Another way to break in to the cartooning industry is by taking a stab with magazines. Take a quick glance through many magazines today and you'll be surprised to discover that all sorts of them run a cartoon or two in their monthly issues. Cartoons are published in a wide variety of magazines, ranging from Road & Track to Better Homes and Gardens. H Magazines typically run what are known as gag cartoons, also called panel cartoons, which are cartoons that use only a single panel and are...

Table of Contents

1 About This Conventions Used in This What You're Not to Foolish How This Book Is Part I Drawing Inspiration Getting Started with Cartoons and Part II Creating Cartoon Part III Cartoon Designs 101 Assembling the Parts 3 Part IV Cartooning 2.0 Taking Your Cartoons to the Next Level 3 Part V The Part of Icons Used in This Where to Go from Part I Drawing Inspiration Getting Started with Cartoons and Chapter 1 The Skinny on Cartoons and Comics 7 Understanding the Different Following familiar...

Becoming acquainted with your toolbar

Figuring out how to use Photoshop starts with a thorough understanding of all the features it contains. After you open your cartoon in Photoshop, several control panels appear on your desktop, one of which is long and narrow. This toolbar (see Figure 15-3) is full of features that are helpful for cartoonists. To be able to fully utilize Photoshop and all its bells and whistles and to get the most out of the program, you need to familiarize yourself with this toolbar. Here are the main tools and...

Drawing

Drawing Cartoons & Comics For Dummies 111 River St. Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 Copyright 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States...

Understanding the Pens Strength What an Editorial Cartoonist Does

The pen is mightier than the sword is a phrase from a play coined by 19th-century British playwright Edwards Bulwer-Lytton. This quote sums up the nature and power of editorial cartoons better than just about anything ever said, except for the well-known phrase, A picture is worth a thousand words. Editorial cartoons exemplify both these statements together they define the long tradition of biting satire and social commentary that makes up the blood and guts of editorial cartooning. To be an...

Drafting Editorial Cartoon Characters

Grasping the role of editorial cartoonists Coming up with ideas and getting them across to readers Sketching realistic and iconic characters amditorial cartoons (also known as political cartoons) exist to make a point, and often a very barbed point at that. Although editorial cartoons may also amuse or entertain, their primary purpose is to create social or political commentary that simplifies the subtle and often complex underlying issues of a news story. Editorial cartoons dissect the issue...

Writing Your Scripts

Before you can actually draw your cartoon, you need to write scripts. Similar to a movie's screenplay, the comic script is the basic foundation for the rest of the production. The movie director and camera crew would have no idea what to do without a script to follow, and you won't know what to draw without a script, either. Chapter 5 gives you the nuts and bolts for writing your scripts. Keep a notebook to keep track of all your story lines. You may also want to set aside a certain part of the...

Details make the difference in a scene

You want your cartoon's setting to be accurate and believable but also to have personality. You want the setting to reflect the style in which you draw the characters so the art has a synergy and is appealing to the reader. You can really create an interesting scene by all the little details you add. Just open your eyes and look at the hundreds of details around you. Details add a sense of authenticity to what you're drawing and give readers more interesting things to look at. It doesn't matter...

Jumping into the World of Comic Books

If you dream of being a successful cartoonist, one of the best arenas you have an opportunity to succeed in is the world of comic books. The comic book industry has grown faster in the last decade than any other cartooning-related industry. Comic books were once thought of as something read by nerds or geeks, but those nerds and geeks are laughing all the way to the bank. All you have to do is look at how many movies have been made in recent years that were based on popular comic books...

Looking at the Most Popular Cartoon Site on the

If you want to get a better feel for what a successful cartoonist needs to do, you should check out perhaps the most popular cartooning Web site Cagle's Professional Cartoon Index at www.cagle.com. News junkies and cartoon fans won't want to miss this great site, which is updated daily with the latest cartoons. Part of the MSN MSNBC Web site, it showcases the best editorial cartoons from all the top political cartoonists in the world. You can find thousands of cartoons covering the latest...

Selecting a Photoshop mode Bitmap grayscale RGB and CMYK

When you scan in your artwork, you need to make one more decision. When using the most common software, Photoshop, you have to choose the correct mode because this helps format the item being scanned in for optimum reproduction. Photoshop offers several different settings to choose from bitmap, grayscale, RGB, and CMYK, each one appropriate for different purposes. If you're not using Photoshop, then the program you're using will have its own mode setting. However, it will also have bitmap,...

Reading about Cartooning

One of the best ways to become attuned to the vast number of cartooning markets is to invest in a few books that give you the ins and outs of the industry. And one of the best ways to become a better cartoonist is to study the work of some of the foremost practitioners in the field. Many great books are out there, but here's a list to get you started Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market (edited by Erika O'Connell Writers Digest Books) contains a wealth of information, including names and...

Why constant sketching keeps you sharp

Going Across Bridge Cartoon

When you turn on a hot water faucet, the water usually takes a few minutes to warm up, depending on how cold the pipes are. But if you turn the faucet on again soon after, the water gets hot much more quickly this time. Creativity is really no different. The longer you let the creative juices flow, the hotter the ideas are that come pouring out. The next time you turn on your creativity faucet, the easier the ideas flow. So to stay creatively sharp, sketch often and sketch everything. By doing...

Exploring Anthropomorphism Creating Animals and Other Creatures That Talk

Adding pets to your cartoon world Including other animals in your comic strips Putting out-of-this-world characters in your cartoons m artoons don't have to be realistic, so anyone and anything can be part of your cartoon world. Humans aren't the only characters you find in cartoons animals are very popular cartoon characters. Although dogs and other household pets predominate in family cartoons, any type of animal can be a supporting character or even the main character in a comic strip. Some...

Creating Your Characters

The ability to create and develop interesting characters is one of the best parts of being a cartoonist. Although the possibilities for character development are endless, common characters tend to fall into certain stereotypical categories. Consider creating a character that you can relate to or may have some insight into. For example, if you're a parent, you may want to create a character who's a parent. If you're terrible at all sports except bowling, you may want to incorporate that trait...

Attaching a straightforward cover letter

One of the most important pieces to include in your submission package is a clear, straightforward cover letter. A simple, businesslike, professional resume and cover letter do more to impress a syndicate editor than a coconut that needs to be hammered open and contains your 400 original samples of a comic strip about a group of island castaways. I would venture to guess there's a 100 percent chance that that coconut will go right into the trash, with your submission still in it. The cover...

Grasping the Art of Inking

Inking is the final stage in the black-and-white drawing process. Inking is simply taking the pencil sketch and using it as a guide to complete the illustration, so that the finished product is a crisp, clean, black-and-white line art drawing. You can use a brush and ink or a pen to ink your work which tools you choose is a matter of personal preference. Experiment to see what works best for you. The purpose of inking in cartoons relates mainly to reproduction. Cartoons are generally reprinted...

Mailing Your Art Files

Formatting your files correctly for e-mailing is just as important as saving them in the right format. If you're working in Photoshop or another art program, your finished file may be quite large, especially if you use lots of layers or filters, even after you flatten the file. If your file is large, you can attempt to e-mail it as is, but many e-mail providers have limits as to how big a file can be. (Think of it as having created a beautiful piece of furniture, only to discover that it won't...

Moving circles for different looks

Circle Shapes With Lines Coming Out

Although the classic cartoon character typically has a large head and small body, you can simply move those basic shapes around and use them as the building blocks for a totally new character. The example in this section shows you how to move your circles to create the tough guy character I show you at the beginning of the chapter someone with a big, wide chest and a small waist. By changing the position of the circles, you can give your character a new look and feel. Just follow these steps 1....

Fitting in your lettering

Finding the right spot to place your lettering depends on how busy or complicated the art is. The more text you have, the less available space remains for the art. However, sometimes you can't avoid using a lot of text in this case, just be sure to leave plenty of space when you're sketching so you don't have to erase any art later. When you write down an idea for a cartoon strip, comic panel, or editorial cartoon, the idea comes without regard for spacing or the layout challenges you face when...

Placing your lettering

Lettering incorporated inside the art can help the story line flow. Lettering incorporated inside the art can help the story line flow. Lettering placed outside the cartoon's composition allows for more space to draw in. Lettering placed outside the cartoon's composition allows for more space to draw in.

Building the Body Drawing the Standard Character Type

As you begin to sketch your cartoon character's body, every decision you make conveys a little bit of information. You can express the character's emotions and actions through facial expressions and body language. You can convey an amazing degree of animation and information just by the way you position your character's head, by how he holds his arms, or by how he bends his legs. For example, a character with a wide neck, large shoulders, humongous arms, and tattoos probably isn't going to be...

Exaggerating and distorting the head

Exaggerating Emotions

One of the great things about cartooning is the ability to stretch and distort things in a way that helps give life to the art. You can distort your character's head to convey emotion, expressions, and exaggerated reactions to what's happening around him. If a character is yelling, for example, exaggerating the length of the head as the character's mouth widens and opens can visually express to the reader how loud the yelling is. Figure 6-5 shows an example of a distorted head at rest. A head...

Coloring with Photoshop tools

Photoshop has several tools that make coloring your cartoon a breeze. The following are the three primary coloring tools. I recommend you begin with the Brush tool, because after you start coloring your cartoons, this is the tool you'll probably use the most. The Brush tool This tool applies color to your document, similar to the way a traditional paintbrush would apply paint on paper or canvas. You choose different brush options by selecting a brush size and shape from the brush palette. The...

Small scale characters in the background

Characters in the background of a drawing appear smaller and smaller the closer they are to the vanishing point on the horizon line. For example, the character sitting in the chair on the left in Figure 12-23 has no background or foreground objects to indicate any type of scale. The same character on the right is shown sitting on a chair in the background of the drawing. Taking the same character and placing him in a setting demonstrates the importance of proper perspective and scale. The...

Comparing foreground and background

Deciding whether to place characters or objects in the foreground or background of your cartoon is an important decision that affects your story line. The foreground is generally where the main action takes place objects in the foreground often appear more dramatic because of their larger scale. In contrast, being in the background allows readers to view an object more completely, depending on how far back the object is placed. Images in the foreground can add drama to your cartoons, and images...

Digitally Formatting Your Drawings

Getting your artwork from paper to computer is known as digitally formatting your art. To get artwork from paper to computer, you need a basic piece of equipment known as a scanner. Scanners, or more specifically, flatbed scanners, are absolutely essential to cartooning today, because without one, you can't digitize your artwork. With a scanner, you place your drawing face down on the surface like you would a copy machine. From your computer you operate the scanner controls, and within a few...

The Eraser toot Cleaning up your art digitally

One of the great things about working with art in the digital age is that you can modify your art using the computer in ways you never could before. The ability to modify your artwork on the computer helps produce clean, crisp art. The Eraser tool in Photoshop is one of these great tools that make your job a lot easier. After you scan in your artwork you may find smudges, smeared lines, or other imperfections in your line art. These types of imperfections have a way of becoming even more...

Introducing point perspective

When drawing your cartoons, you want to make sure everything looks in balance and in place. Drawing objects in the correct scale and from the correct perspective gives your cartoon a richer, more realistic and natural appearance that isn't jarring to the eye. When introducing perspective in your artwork, you have three main choices. This section explains how to draw from one-, two-, or three-point perspectives. The number of points refers to the number of vanishing points in each drawing. Check...

Putting Everything in Your Comics in Perspective

Understanding perspective and the vanishing point Drawing household items using various perspectives Sketching your characters in perspective m artoon characters are, by nature, one-dimensional, unless you're putting your characters into a pop-up book. But they don't have to look one-dimensional. Drawing your cartoons with the illusion that they exist in more than one plane is part of the art of cartooning. In this chapter, I give you the tools to take your characters and cartoons from flat...

The Lasso tool Moving or scaling an image

One great thing about Photoshop is that it allows you to edit and change your art in ways that would have proved nearly impossible before. The Lasso tool is an example. This tool icon looks like a rope lasso, and it allows you to literally lasso part of the art and move it around (see Figure 15-5). Before this tool was available, cartoonists had to white out the area they wanted changed and redraw it, or physically cut it out and glue or tape it in the new area. With the Lasso tool you never...

Setting the correct resolution

Before scanning your work into the computer, you need to set the resolution on your scanner. Resolution affects the clarity of your image the higher the resolution, the sharper the image will appear. Resolution is expressed as the physical dot density of an image or number of dots per inch (DPI) when the image is physically reproduced by being printed onto paper or displayed on a monitor. The higher the DPI, the clearer the image and the better you can see small details. Most scanners have...

Converting your bitmap file

Before you can jump in and start coloring your artwork, you first need to take a few steps after you scan in your cartoon. As I mention in the Selecting a Photoshop mode Bitmap, grayscale, RGB, and CMYK section earlier in this chapter, you need convert the bitmap file to grayscale if you haven't already done so. To convert the file, follow these easy steps 3. Select Grayscale. Grayscale mode allows you to work in layers, so you can color and edit different parts of your cartoon independently of...

Saving Your Work

After you clean your artwork and size it just the way you want, you need to save the file. Make sure you always have a master original. This master needs to be a file that's unflattened, meaning all the layers are still open and you can go back and easily change elements of the cartoon. Save your master as a .psd file (the abbreviation for a Photoshop file). Remember It's a good idea to be saving and backing up your work as you go. This will prevent your losing hours and hours of work if...

Fixing Mistakes

Nobody's perfect every artist makes mistakes. And most cartoonists change their mind at least once when they're sketching out an idea. The more you draw, the more you'll change your mind. When you do make a mistake or change your mind, don't panic. Although the easiest and fastest way to deal with a change is to start over with a fresh piece of paper, you're probably not interested in killing a small rainforest while sketching, right You don't have to throw your sketch away and start from...

Drawing Inspiration Getting Started with Cartoons and Comics

Comic And Cartoon Space

J.M re you a budding cartoonist, or would you like to be a professional cartoonist someday The world of cartooning is more diverse and interesting than you may realize. In this part, I explore the world of cartooning, including the different types of cartoons and the tools you need to draw them. I also give you tips on how cartoonists come up with their ideas, and I help you find humor in everyday life. After you know where to look, you'll have more ideas than you'll ever be able to use.

Grasping What Perspective Is

Train Going Away Perspective Drawing

As you look around the real world, everything you see is from a three-dimensional viewpoint. So for your cartoon world to look like the real world, you must draw objects in proper perspective. When you're drawing cartoons, the term perspective refers to the technique of drawing that creates the illusion of space and depth in a flat panel. Perspective basically means that an object appears to get smaller as the distance between the object and the viewer gets bigger. For example, as a car drives...

Looking at the Different Cartooning Genres

Checking out the venerable tradition of comic strips Getting political and in-your-face Editorial cartoons Going gaga over gag cartoons Looking to the future webcomics artoons are as old as man. Just take a look at the walls of early cave dwellers. Although you don't find any talking woolly mammoths, you do find something intrinsic to all cartooning simplification. The very heart of cartooning is the simplification that allows an image to communicate across almost any barrier race, gender,...

Recognizing the Wrong perspective

You don't have to be the world's greatest art critic or an expert in geometry to know that something drawn from the wrong perspective just doesn't look right. It's natural for your brain to have an intuitive negative reaction to a drawing in which something is incorrect. Modern art may be the exception to this When drawing your cartoons, make sure the perspective corresponds to the real world around you. Otherwise, the overall composition will fail. Figure 12-6 shows an example in which the...

Drawing your characters garb

Drawing Womens Figer Lessons

Clothes are all pretty universal to draw on both men and women characters. Both genders wear pants, shoes, and coats. Generally, only women wear skirts, unless you're drawing a kilt, or a dress on that uncle on your mother's side that no one talks about. I briefly discuss drawing pants earlier in the chapter when I talk about drawing legs and adding details like pockets. When drawing shirts, it's important to capture the details like the collar. Determining what this character does for a living...

That comfy ol sofa

Drawings And Sketches Sofas

If you're drawing a family cartoon, you'll probably be drawing your characters on the couch eventually. Some characters, like Dagwood in Blondie, seem to spend the better part of their day on one. Many cartoon sofas incorporate the following characteristics Their pattern is loud and plaid or crazy and clashing. They have springs coming out of the bottom of the cushions. They're overstuffed and comfortable looking. When drawing a sofa, follow these steps 1. Sketch a long, three-dimensional...

Setting the Scene for What You Have to

Cartoon Drawings President Bush

Editorial cartoons are powerful forms of communication, but they're not without their methods and formulas. You need to familiarize yourself with some common elements of these cartoons in order to get your point across effectively. This section gives you a leg up on the more traditional methods as well as the alternative route. Grasping the art of visual metaphors One of the primary functions of an editorial cartoon is to make a strong point to the reader. One of the best ways to accomplish...

Sitting at your desk

Desk Three Point Perspective

A desk is another common object that you'll probably draw many times in some form or another when creating a story line with characters and their surroundings. Figure 12-9 shows the desk from a two-point perspective. You can see the parallel lines that indicate the two different angles. Figure 12-10 shows the desk from a three-point perspective. This is probably the way you would draw the desk if one of your characters was looking down at it. You can see the parallel lines that indicate the...

Planning your layout

Comic Action Figure Drawing Tutorials

Layout is such an important facet of drawing cartoons. You don't want a flat and boring cartoon, so make sure your cartoon world is as graphically interesting as the real world. Experimenting with different perspectives, angles, and background details can help improve your story line and increase your cartoon's visual impact. The basic layout of the art and the placement of the characters and scenes are dependent on the story line. After you write the script what the characters say in the word...

Going from lines to making shapes

Objects Shapes Cartoon Square

You don't need to have an advanced degree to be able to sketch interesting and compelling characters and drawings. You just need to know how to start with some simple shapes circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles and then build on them. These shapes translate into basic cartoon designs and forms like heads, bodies, and buildings when you put them together. Everything you draw is essentially based on simple shapes. After you master simple shapes and the...

Creating Classic Editorial Cartoon Characters

Blue Cartoon Character With Long Snout

Editorial cartooning has classic and genre-specific characters that editorial cartoonists regularly use as metaphors and symbols. These classic characters are easily recognizable and have become American icons. They include the symbols for the Republican and Democratic parties, along with Uncle Sam, just to name a few. This section looks at some of these characters in more detail and the step-by-step process to creating them. The elephant was officially adopted as the mascot of the Republican...

The lounge chair

Comfy Couch Anime Cartoon

Every household has at least one chair, so look for opportunities to include a lounge chair in your cartoon. If dad's taking up the couch rather than leaning back in the easy chair, mom may be sitting there knitting, or it may be used as a jungle gym by three or four rug rats Incorporate these traits when drawing lounge chairs Their pattern clashes with the other furniture. They recline back for maximum laziness. They're overstuffed and broken in. When drawing a lounge chair, follow these steps...

Trying Different Female Body Types

Most cartoons also have at least one leading female character that readers can relate to. Women are no less varied in body types than men are and can be equally fun to draw. Just like the male body types, the female body types begin with the same basic frame using the same basic circle shapes. If you've never drawn characters before, check out Chapters 6 and 7 first they show you how to sketch the basic face and body. This section shows you how to draw some of my favorite females who frequent...

Focusing on all those teeth

A mouth wouldn't be a mouth without teeth ask any great white shark and he'll tell you the same . A character's teeth can say so much Nice, straight teeth give the impression that your character is an upstanding, honest person, while crooked or missing teeth can give the impression that your character may be a hillbilly or a rough bully type who lost some teeth in a fight. And big teeth can give a cartoon character a goofy or wacky look. To draw teeth, utilize the center guideline so that the...

Starting with circles

Big Spectacles Cartoon Characters

If you're an avid reader or fan of comics, you know that most cartoon figures are short and small with a slightly large head. You see this in many classic comic strip characters, like Charlie Brown and Snoopy from Peanuts and Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Most of the modern cartoon characters on TV also have this type of body design. Drawing a classic cartoon body begins with sketching a basic shape, either a circle or an oval, and building on it. Classic cartoon characters are often kids, and...

Keeping your characters consistent

Some cartoonists age their characters over the years, but most of the time, characters don't age. The Simpsons has been on TV for more than 20 years, and Bart Simpson is still a 10-year-old kid. Charlie Brown should be retiring to Scottsdale by now but doesn't look a day over 9, and SpongeBob hasn't aged a day No matter what core group of characters you decide on, you want to ensure that you draw the characters consistently. Doing so is important for two reasons Practicality Having your...

Spacing the legs and hips

Stick Figure Cartoons With Words

How you space your character's legs and hips depends on the character's body type and stance. Most of the characters I discuss have small legs in relation to their body and generally don't have any discernible hips. Of course, when designing and drawing your character, hips may be important, especially if you're drawing a sexy-type character. 1. On each side of the character's lower torso, just below the waist, draw curved lines that look like parentheses . 2. After you have both sides drawn...

Drawing a chair

How Draw Chair Perspective

A chair is a common object that you'll probably put in your cartoons in some form or another when creating a story line with characters and their surroundings. Chapter 9 shows you how to draw a chair. To draw a chair from two-point perspective, which is probably the way you'll most frequently draw it, just line up each angle to the respective vanishing points on the horizon line. In two point perspective, vanishing points need to exist on the same horizon line. Figure 12-7 shows a chair from...

Leg to Stand on Drawing Legs and Feet

Legs carry your character, literally and figuratively. Their positioning conveys movement and attitude and helps support the character's unique shape. Many of the characters in this book have a large torso and upper body and smaller legs. However, you can create your character with any legs you want. Figure 7-21 shows a couple of characters with fat and skinny legs legs should be appropriate to a character's body type and help exaggerate his characteristics. In this section I give you the...

The family car

Top Down Vehicle Drawing Truck

Every family piles into the family cruiser eventually, and in some cartoons, the cars are the stars. A car can add dimension and reality to your cartoon, either as part of the background or as a character see The talking car section later in the chapter . Keep the following in mind when cartooning family cruisers They often have squatty, exaggerated, funny-looking shapes. They're often some kind of SUV or station wagon. They're more accurately rendered if you study current car models to pick up...

Moving into color Comparing RGB and CMYK

Before you can begin to color your artwork, you must convert it from bitmap to grayscale and then to a color mode. You may wonder why you can't save it directly into a color mode. In order to ensure that your line art is crisp and true black, you must scan it in first as a bitmap. If you scanned it in directly as a color file, the line art would appear dark gray and the file would probably be too big to work on without using up too much of your computer's memory. Also, Photoshop doesn't allow...

A room with a view setting the scene indoors

Realistic Drawing Shoering

Creating a room for your characters is like being a set designer. You have to know all the elements that go into the setting, what looks good, and what works best for the story line. To get a good feel for what goes into designing the indoor sets for your cartoon, take some time and walk around your own house and take some notes. How does your kitchen look and how is it laid out What about the bathrooms and bedrooms And the den Making sure you include the right furniture, wall hangings,...

Looking for honest feedback

If your mom was like most, you probably grew up hearing how wonderful you are. Mom was probably your biggest cheerleader, telling everyone who would listen that her kid was going to be the next Charles Schulz. From a Parenting 101 standpoint, encouraging your kids in their artistic pursuits is one of the best things a parent can do. However, the downside of buying into mom's beliefs is that you may have never done an honest evaluation of your work. Friends' opinions don't count, either. Because...

Adding Humor to Your Story Lines Good Writing Trumps Bad

One of the most fundamental principles in the comics industry is that good writing always trumps bad art. Basically, you can spend all the time in the world drawing your comics and sketching your characters in all sorts of elaborate and wonderful ways, but unless you can come up with innovative and fresh ideas, write well, have good comic timing, and have something funny to say, you're bound for the trash heap of history. The history of cartoons is filled with the carcasses of dead comic strips...

Drawing the actual ear

Cartoon Picture Outer Ear

When drawing the ear, don't overlook the inside of the ear. Capturing the inside of the ear accurately makes your character's ears look believable. From the outside, the ear is made up of a couple of parts Pinnas It forms the outer ear shape with the earlobe at the bottom. Meatus The inner part of the ear and the ear canal where your eardrum is located. Figure 6-18 shows an example of a completed left ear with a close-up of the inner part of the ear. You draw the right ear the same way, only...

Pets Are People Too Drawing Classic Cartoon Animals

Drawing Cartoon Dog

Like their real-life counterparts, many cartoon families have at least one pet. The pet is often a dog, but it can just as easily be a cat, fish, or gerbil. You're limited only by your imagination when it comes to introducing animals into your cartoon families. If you prefer, you can make animals the only characters in your cartoon, like the comic strip Pogo does. In such cartoons, your animals can conform to stereotypes the mean rat, the kingly lion, the sneaky snake, and so forth or you can...

The little kid

Little kids are always fun characters to draw because they're so easy to caricature, and like babies, they're appealing and cute. Many of the longest-running comic strips have kids at their center. The following are a few traits or patterns that the little kid possesses Large head Typically topped with hair that looks like a bird's nest. Oversized sneakers, with all sorts of colors and fun designs on them. Always wears shorts Because he's always on the move. When drawing the little kid...

Shading and highlighting with the Burn and Dodge tools

Other features you can use in the Photoshop toolbar allow you to add elements of lighting and shadow into flat art images. The Burn tool and the Dodge tool are both designed to help you accomplish this in a realistic and believable way. Burning an image with the Burn tool darkens an area, while dodging an image with the Dodge tool lightens the area. You can see how these two tools can add shading and highlighting and give a 2-D image a 3-D effect by noticing the difference between the original...

They Came from Outer Space

Cartoon Round Robot

One of the great things about being a cartoonist is the ability to take liberties with reality and create your own interpretation of the world around you. This is especially true when creating unique and out-of-this-world characters literally and figuratively so you may want to include aliens, robots, and other creatures in your cartoons. Because nobody has ever seen an alien unless you believe the UFO conspiracists , your aliens can have any look you want them to have one eye and antennae...

Getting Your Workspace Ready to Go

Angular Movable Art Desk

Setting up your drawing area Choosing a worktable Purchasing the necessary supplies Deciding on a computer and other equipment Getting the right software m n order to be able to draw cartoons on a regular basis, you need a little area devoted to your craft. Although drawing cartoons at the kitchen table is perfectly okay, having a dedicated area set up for drawing is not only more efficient it's also more fun The right lighting, a well-appointed drawing table, a comfortable chair, and the...

Creating drama with action words

Cartoon Action Words

You can add as much show and fervor to your comics as you like, and doing so with a handwritten font is easy. Everybody is familiar with the classic comic book action-style words like BOOM , POW , and WHAM These words and the way they're drawn create a sense of action and add drama to the visual story line. They can also serve as an important artistic element to the overall cartoon. You can see how this type of bold lettering can convey action and is dynamic in its visual impact and expression,...

Utilizing twopoint perspective

With two-point perspective, your drawing has lines parallel to two different angles. You can have any number of vanishing points in a drawing, one for each separate set of parallel lines that are at an angle relative to the plane of the drawing. If you have more than one vanishing point in two-point perspective, all the vanishing points have to exist on the same horizon line in other words, at the same eye level perspective. You can use two-point perspective to draw the same objects that you...

Adding facial hair

Parallel And Angle Cartoons

Facial hair is an element that can be character-specific and help define a character in a certain stereotype. Facial hair can come in many styles and shapes, ranging from full beards to goatees to sideburns. A mustache is another element that can change the entire look of a character. To draw a mustache or other dominating facial hair, determine how it will affect the character's look. To draw a mustache, begin at the corners of the outer nose, about level with each left and right nostril. Draw...

Telling the story in shadow

A four-panel comic layout can be boring and repetitive if each panel looks the same. One way to add a little variety is to have the images or characters in one of the panels appear in shadow or silhouette. Using shadows and silhouettes in the course of comic storytelling can be a powerful way to communicate mood or tone. For example, if the first two panels of your cartoon are action-oriented and then you pull back to show the characters in shadow or silhouette in panel three, the art and punch...

Focusing on the fridge

Fridge Two Point Perspective

The refrigerator's nice rectangular shape is similar to the boxy or square shape of many other household items, such as TVs, beds, radios, microwave ovens, toasters, and so on. Chapter 9 shows you how to draw different household appliances. To draw your fridge in two-point perspective, you need to line up two different angles so that they meet two different vanishing points on the same horizon line, if you were to draw a ruler out as far as the line goes. However, most of the time, the...

Drawing onepoint perspective

Single Point Perspective Cartoon

A one-point perspective drawing is a drawing with a single vanishing point on the horizon line. This is the standard receding railroad tracks phenomenon demonstrated in Figure 12-2. You typically use one-point perspective for objects that have lines either directly parallel with the viewer's line of sight or directly perpendicular such as railroad slats . So you can use one-point perspective for roads, railroad tracks, or buildings with the front directly facing the viewer. Figure 12-3 shows an...

Making Lettering Part of the

Lettering communicates directly to readers by conveying the story or punch line, just as text from a book does. However, cartoon lettering differs from the text of a book or newspaper because it's actually part of the art. Lettering is a crucial part of the overall composition. Good cartoonists make sure that their lettering complements their style and doesn't fight against it. Lettering should be easy to read but also organic it should flow with the rest of the art. Certain types of lettering...

Shading

Area you're shading so that it's totally black. This can create a dramatic light dark effect. Don't do this, however, if you need some tonal gradation in the area you're shading, because it will be uniformly dark. Inking in one side of a square-shaped object works better see Figure 4-11a than inking in a side of a round-shaped object. On a round object, a solid black area can lack the gradient quality needed to convey an accurate three-dimensional form see Figure 4-11b . To address this...

Drawing threepoint perspective

Three Point Drawing

Another option you have for adding perspective to your cartoons is to use the three-point perspective. You can use three-point perspective for things like buildings seen from above. In addition to the two vanishing points from the two-point perspective one for each wall a three-point perspective drawing has another vanishing point where those walls recede into the ground the third vanishing point is actually below the ground . Another common use of three-point perspective is a drawing that...

Happy or laughing face

Eyes Mouth Expression

A happy, smiling, or laughing face is a pleasant face and one your readers will enjoy. A smile can be a simple line you draw all the way across your character's face or a short line right under his nose. A smile can be as big and wide as you want to make it. However, always make sure it turns up at the ends otherwise it may be a frown Happy, smiling, and laughing faces are contagious facial expressions. If you want to show your character with a happy or smiling face, as in Figure 6-28, remember...

Drawing the head from all angles

Different Head Angles Cartoon

Drawing a head from different angles is an important element of layout and also impacts the way characters visually communicate with one another. For example, having a character in the foreground talk with a character drawn in the background requires that the character in the foreground turn around and face the background character. Visually, you draw the back of the head of the characters in the foreground. Figure 6-9 demonstrates an example. In this cartoon the character is looking out a...

The modern mom

Modern Mom Drawing

Many family cartoons have the modern mom at the center of the action. Today's modern mom is really the boss of the family. You only have to glance at every classic cartoon mom to know who wears the pants in the family The key to capturing the modern mom in your cartoons is to capture her unique body type. The following are a few traits or patterns that the all-American mom possesses Appealing but not sexy She has definite mom hips. Perky and happy-looking Unless she's yelling at someone Stylish...

Putting a Face on an Inanimate Object

Andrew Loomis Porportions

The great thing about the world of cartooning is that you can give personality to anything. The key is to add human characteristics to objects, including the way the object moves and how you make the object express itself. You can humanize any object by giving it eyes, ears, and a big mouth. By humanizing inanimate objects, you can create offbeat and unique cartoon characters to give your comic a life of its own. The next sections look at a few examples of how to draw and humanize inanimate...

Buggin out eyes

Bugged Out Cartoon Eyes

Saturday morning cartoons we watched as kids wouldn't be the same without someone's eyes bugging out This is a trait usually reserved for characters who see something they can't believe they're seeing, like a ghost or monster, or a picture of a really pretty girl. You can see this technique in Bugs Bunny cartoons from the 1940s as well as the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons of today. It's a classic technique and one that's just plain fun to watch. To draw this effect, you need to exaggerate your...

The matronly grandmother

Grandmother Cartoons

Grandma is unlikely to be the star of the strip, but she often shows up in family cartoons. You'll know grandma's here because she's no fly on the wall. Remember that grandma's other job title is mother-in-law, and they're always fun The following are a few traits or patterns that grandma possesses A squatty, round body that's fun to hug. A short, tight hairstyle that's usually tinted blue. Multilayered clothing like sweaters and long dresses. When drawing grandma, keep the preceding traits in...

Funny Animated Giraffe Pictures

Rhino Pencil Drawing

The cartoon animal world extends far beyond dogs, cats, and goldfish. Family pets aren't the only animals in comic strips any animal, insect, or creature from your imagination can be the star of the show. If drawing common household pets isn't your thing, branch out into other animal cartoon characters. Certain well-known stereotypes can be a big part of your cartoon humor, such as the elephant that never forgets anything. You can also play against that stereotype, though, with an elephant that...