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I have not discovered a way to make a picture of a sheet of white A4 picture look interesting. It should be said that the rest of this blog post is essentially about A4 paper – feel free to click away now.
A summary of tutorial 3 in my cartooning tutorials series, entitled ‘paper’: It doesn’t really matter.
I use Staples ‘Inkjet’ paper. This is because I have found, through experimentation, that the pens I use leave a sharp black line on this paper – it is very smooth – whereas on some papers there is a tiny bit of ‘bleed’, meaning that the lines are not as crisp. It does also seem fairly smudge-resistant compared with other A4 papers. I have a tendency to smudge my ink lines, particularly when erasing, so it is good to minimise this.
In Staples (our local branch at least) you can go in and take a sample sheet of each of their 5 or 6 different A4 papers and try them without needing to buy the whole ream. I did this – took a sheet of each (labelled it of course), then tried drawing, erasing and smudging with a variety of pens. I’m sure lots of other types of paper would do equally well, but this is what I now use. This is for my final drawings I should add – I use a lot of scrap paper of whatever kind for rough drawings, layouts, notes, shopping lists and that kind of thing.
Important note: do not use Staples Inkjet paper in an inkjet printer – it is entirely unsuitable. I find that it is too smooth and the rollers cannot cannot get a grip, even if I shout ‘get a grip!’
Paper size. I tend to use A4 paper even when doing a larger cartoon, such as a Greenbelt map or my ‘Church Times’ cartoon from last week’s newspaper. I just do the cartoon on two sheets which I tape loosely together when drawing and then separate to scan on an A4 scanner. I join them up again using the editing software on the computer. If my main aim was to sell the originals I would of course not do this. In an ideal world I’d have an A3 scanner, but I don’t have the space for one.
The main thing to say is that it isn’t really the paper that makes or breaks a cartoon. It’s all about the pen. No… sorry, I mean it is all about how good the drawing is. I will get onto that in tutorials 3 to 299.
Posted by Dave at 7:54 pm on February 10, 2013 and filed under Cartooning tutorials.
In my second cartooning tutorial, having addressed tea, I am going to talk about biscuits (Thank you to Rachel for the suggestion).
To be honest, I don’t eat many biscuits when cartooning. A while ago I went through a significant Kit Kat phase. I was eating one, maybe two Kit Kats (two finger variety) a day. So up to four Kit Kat fingers. There may have been one day when I had six Kit Kat fingers – I don’t know as I have tried to put it out of my mind. I know, I’m not proud of it.
I have a bit of a thing for choc-chip cookies I must say. But I don’t eat many. Ginger I can do without. Also anything too dry. Chocolate biscuits are generally better than those without.
I have attempted, in this New Year when I am doing everything differently, to replace biscuits with mini satsumas. ‘Easy peelers’, if you will. The ones aimed at children.
What I’m saying is that it isn’t that essential to eat a lot of biscuits to be a cartoonist. But having said that I don’t draw a lot of cartoons. It could be that if I did eat a lot of biscuits I would draw more cartoons. But at the height of my Kit Kat eating I was drawing more or less no cartoons, which I think says it all.
Well, I hope you’ve learnt something. I have added a category called ‘Cartooning tutorials‘ to the blog. Over time you can gather these tutorials together in a folder, put the folder on a shelf, and forget about it.
Question for small groups
Do you like biscuits?
Posted by Dave at 10:01 pm on January 24, 2013 and filed under Cartooning tutorials.
Photo: Tea (in black and white for added dramatic effect).
It has been suggested that I write a bit about cartooning and the details of how I do it. So here is tutorial No 1: Make yourself some tea.
My precise tea specifications: I currently drink caffeine-free redbush tea but I will now, after many months of not doing so, drink caffeinated varieties (Going decaf was a health-related experiment that has now been abandoned, though I still don’t drink coffee). No milk or sugar. It can be in a pot, which means you get several cups for your money, but this isn’t essential. A cup and saucer is OK, but I prefer a mug. Ideally one without too much of a pattern (though cartoon mugs are fine).
It may still be possible to draw cartoons if you don’t follow these precise instructions, but I can’t vouch for it working.
Posted by Dave at 12:17 pm on January 18, 2013 and filed under Cartooning, Cartooning tutorials.