Reed pen cartoons, part 4 and 5

24 Jul

I decided to see if I can reproduce the same drawing and examine what the influence of a clear underdrawing is.

To check the reproducibility, I used a character I’ve drawn before, the tweetbird. I drew him in an easy to draw pose. As you can see, I either can’t draw reproducibly, or the character hasn’t yet been properly designed and still has to evolve into a more iconic form.

Reed pen cartoon, part 4

It was hard to draw using the underdrawing, because it wasn’t very clear what lines were the right lines. Furthermore, I need reading glasses and a good lamp to help me see my lines better. I guess a bit of midlife-crisisy procrastination is at work here as well. We all want are eyes to be as perfect as the day we were born, while we know eyes age just as well as the rest of the body.

All of that aside, in the next attempt, I first sketched the underdrawing, partially erased the lines and redid the lines I thought were the best ones. After that, I inked the characters with a reed pen and ink, and only used my trusty magnifying glass for the details (and for closing the lines that were supposed to be closed.

Reed pen cartoon, part 5

I think that the ink lines are much better, although it is a new character. Restating your scribbles into clearly defined lines surely helps to make clearer ink drawings, even though your design might not be as well done.

There is a catch, though. I assumed a clear outline and fill for my characters. However, there is a more artily way to draw cartoons, which uses less well defined designs and more spontaneous lines, splatters and even inkblots. I’m not sure yet what technique is used, but I’m quite sure a well defined underdrawing is not part of that particular technique of rendering a cartoon drawing.

I wished I was more experienced and could offer better advice for those of you who want to try different techniques and styles. I haven’t found much guidance either, other than to develop your own style. I am, on the other hand, of the opinion that your style should be dependent on the subject matter. An artist should have a range of styles, from which he or she can pick the one that is most appropriate for the project at hand. And if the artist hasn’t mastered that style yet, there is an opportunity to learn, which is always a lot of fun.

That is all.

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