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.
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.