26/365 - Draftsmanship

Photo 26 of my 365 project used my cartoons as the subject.   I have been dedicating quite some time to my photography challenge and haven’t missed a day yet – it is much less time consuming than drawing but it gives me the same creative gratification.

Michelle at The Green Study pointed out that I haven’t really shared my ‘process’ before, and someone else commented that they thought I drew everything directly into the computer.   In a previous post I briefly mentioned how I do things while I waxed lyrical about creating smooth lines in Illustrator but I’m happy to share a bit more.

My process is simple.  I sketch in pencil, biro or whatever writing implement I can get my hands on.  It’s usually a really rough sketch to get the positions/expressions right. I then trace over the originals on a fresh sheet of paper using black Indian ink and a fountain pen, or a simple black liner if I’m feeling lazy. I have a lightbox to make tracing easier.  I continue to redraw, tweak and redraw until I am mostly happy with the final image.  Sometimes if I’m feeling particularly self critical, this part can take an age.

Finally, I scan the line drawings into Photoshop and do a bit of touching up. For example I  might remove blemishes, erroneous lines or fill in some detail I think would add to it.  Then I colour and add texture.  Ta Da!   Of course there are all sorts of variations depending on my mood, but this is my preferred approach.


Artist’s block and little rewards

It’s hard work keeping a blog.  Sometimes I wonder what it’s all for. Is it for me or is it for them (the inhabitants of the blogosphere)? If it’s for me, then do I really need a blog? I could carry on doodling in my sketchbooks and half-heartedly patting myself on the back if the drawing is passable.

I suffer from chronic self-deprecation which is probably why I never made it on the creative front – I was never confident enough in my own ability and knowing how many extremely talented people there are out there, I found it difficult to find my own little patch.  But on further reflection,  I enjoy drawing and there’s a little part of me that hopes my cartoons bring a teeny tiny smile to someone’s day.    Talent shared (average or not) is happiness gained…I think.  Ooh did I just give myself a compliment?

It wasn’t until this week that I was given a little ego boost when I discovered that people do actually enjoy my work. When someone other than your family and friends says “I like your cartoons”, it makes it all worth it!  And so I must extend my gratitude to the blogger, Michelle who writes for her own blog, the Green Study.  She kindly nominated me for a Beautiful Blog Award – Thank you!  I must now bestow this kindness on someone else, but it will take time, I need to do my research…

Following the slight head inflation, I immediately sat down to draw only to find I had no inspiration. It happens to all of us no doubt.  So what better way to tackle the situation than to draw it.