Materials used to create Cartoons


For those who care about this sort of thing, I draw my cartoons with technical pens (tips ranging from .3 to .7) on smooth bristol board. I also use micron markers. I always pencil everything in first with a 2H pencil...I find it writes nice and light without the need to bear down. I erase with a kneaded eraser... it doesn't ruin the paper surface or leave those annoying crumbs. I add shading and color with Photoshop. I can also fix mistakes.

PENCILING: I usually do a very rough sketch of the idea in my notebook. Then I go right to the bristol board and start pencilling. The bristol board I buy is 14"x17" and I draw my cartoons 5"x 6". I can conveniently fit 6 cartoons on one sheet. I started doing this just to be cheap and save paper, but now it works out well because once I finish a sheet, I know I've got a week's worth of dailies. Also, storage is easier. I draw and erase a few times till I get the look I want. Then I draw and erase some more. Once I am happy with the cartoon, I ink. 

INKING: I use the .7 pen for the main subjects in a cartoon. As I work my way into finer detail, I use thinner tips. I do all my word balloons and lettering by hand.

SCANNING: I scan the drawing into Photoshop as a bitmap tiff file. After cleaning it up and fixing any mistakes, I save a pure version of the cartoon. Then I save a copy of it. With the copy, I convert it to grayscale, fill with the patterns and screens, then convert back to bitmap. This way I have two versions. One without the screens and patterns, and one with. If I ever have to color the cartoon, (for greeting cards, etc.) I can use the pure version.



Sunday cartoons are a different animal. They are bigger and always in color.. Newspapers can buy just the dailies, just the Sundays, or both. I draw Sundays 4.25"x 9.25" and color with Photoshop.

If you still have a question, e-mail me and I'll do my best to answer it.

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