Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Hallowe'en

This is my Halloween effort. I'm completely baffled by the fact that Americans seem to be treating the thing as a big fancy dress party, and any character, however benign, seems to be acceptable.

I didn't want to spend too much time on this, and I'm pleased with the result given that I simply sketched the kids with one eye on some reference pictures (of the actual characters) on another screen. Then lined them in and coloured them. It only took an hour or two altogether.
I can't remember what I originally thought of as the caption - some kind of rant like 'when did Halloween turn into one big fancy dress party?' But then I thought about the kids 'terrorising' people like me who just want a peaceful evening, and the quote from Thriller (read by Vincent Price) came to mind. That seemed to make a new joke, that these 'orrible kids are the new demons of this traditional old feast day. Not a great joke, more of a ranty observation, but that's what 'Observing' is for.

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Gone but not forgotten

I've been struggling with this one for a while. I've had the joke written down, but it requires a farmer. (The cartoons have referred to the farmer before, but never human figures). I've been drawing humans for 'Observing' for a while, and getting more confident with all that. But given that my sheep are extremely minimalist (a cloud on two sticks, with a U for a face and dots for eyes) then the farmer had to be almost as basic. After some abandoned attempts, and some Googling for reference pictures I think I've got there. Either way I'm really happy with him.
I'd love to have coloured his wellies green. That looked good, but it also looked odd because his hat, face, bucket weren't coloured. Plus, the joke revolves around his sweater. To have that alone in colour  worked better than anything (a genuine bit of fair-isle pasted in - that looked much better than my attempts to colour the jumper myself).

Sunday, 23 October 2016


I'm particularly pleased with this one, for a number of reasons
- I've managed 3 Yvonnes and an Observing in one week, without spending excessive time, which is a level I'd like to maintain if possible.

- I'm particularly pleased with the joke. Maybe in a self-satisfied kind of way (no activity on Tapastic so far) but that's ok - I'm only in this to please myself.

- I feel that my drawing is becoming a bit more natural. I didn't spend excessive time, producing this whole thing in an hour or two (ok, it may show - parts could certainly be improved) but I want to be able to get good results without too much mucking about, not spending hours agonising over the details.

- I also feel my drawing is coming a little more easily. This time I traced nothing, just called up some reference pictures on one screen, while sketching on another. I couldn't find Batman at the right angle and used my little wooden mannequin and my own hands for the pose.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

nosey neighbours

It occurred to me that we haven't seen Gerald for a while.

At the beginning, I liked the idea of having a bunch of named characters with different personalities (even though they'd mostly look the same). But that seemed like a lot of thought and I didn't bother making any notes, but it has naturally happened. When the book gets underway, it'll contain a 'who's who'.

Alpaca are often used as guard animals. For that reason, Gerald is the chairman of the neighbourhood watch committee, and he takes his job very seriously. And looking a little geeky (as they do) seeing him being abandoned by his friends is funny in a slightly sad way.
This little story is based on the idea that some people may enjoy the 'watching' part of neighbourhood watching a little too much. Perfect job for a nosey neighbour maybe.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Stuck between two variations

This is the old excuse, "no thanks, I'm washing my hair" when you want the other person to know that you'd rather poke your own eyes out.

In the first, the sheep has just been shorn. An old joke ("I'm washing my hair", when the speaker doesn't have any).

In the second, the sheep obviously has a lot of hair, so probably will be genuinely spending a long time washing and drying it. (those of us who wash sheep's fleece know that it takes days to dry.)

Which is funniest??


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Halloween - Barber'ism

Area 5.1 Comic - Barber'ism

It's a daft play on words I know, but that's the sort of thing to expect from me. Coming up with the title is something that I've always considered to be worth a bit of thought.

My level of work has dropped considerably while my life is in crisis mode, but I still have the drawing bug and work *has* to get out there. I started this a couple of weeks ago aiming for a topical event, but this time I gave myself plenty of time to finish it (rather than thinking of an idea that day).

Monsters -vs- Aliens

Yeah it sounds like a video game franchise, but it occured to me that who's to know what's alien and what's monster! I guess it comes down to point of view and level of fright/fear. So this cartoon revolves around the notion of something that appears to be harmless which then turns into a monster when our LGM's they make the wrong assumption.

Area 5.1 - Barber-ism (18th Oct 2016)

I chose a barber shop because I wanted it to look like a jack-o-lantern had been placed on a false torso as a halloween gag. It made sense that much of the detail should be covered over and I couldn't think of anywhere better.

This comic page link is here ---

Mirror Mirror

One of my challenges here was the mirror behind the barbers chair. I ended up taking a copy of the main image, reversing the order of the pumpkin and chair, altering the chair so it looked like the back, and then copying it back into the mirror frame.

I'm not sure I did myself any favours, it was a bit of extra work, but I didnt see how I could show a barber shop without attempting at least one mirror.

Two-Tone Shading

I had a few issues with differing shading styles at first, I've not long since moved from flat colour to two tone shading, and I had a fair amount of graduation shading in the mix (too much in fact). I reworked a lot of it, but there are still elements where the styles don't quite match.

It's still a learning game for me - figuring out how to "two tone" was enough of a problem, and I'm still not confident that I'm doing it right. I imagined a point on all surfaces where a line can be thought of sitting at least 45 degrees to the right of dead front. And then I went over areas where shadows might be cast from arms etc. (But the LGM's still seem a little too flat)

Falling leaves

While watching leaves falling yesterday it was pretty easy to imagine them piling up, covering the ground, thus making it difficult for our sheepy friends to graze. More difficult was coming up with just the right form of words, but this is what I decided on.
As R1ck knows, I'm pretty keen on using pen & paper. But when I started drawing the leaves, I realised that this would have been impossible without copy and paste! (or at least I wouldn't have had the patience).

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A greetings card

I decided to make a 'well done' card for a couple of people and came up with this drawing
I'm really pleased with the drawing, it was under pressure and done in a few minutes; it's better than what I was doing even a few months ago.

It works very well for the card (and I may publish it as it is on the Cafepress site as a greetings card), but I'm not sure whether I can publish it as it is on Yvonne's page.

The style is exactly as I was drawing in the very early days - some incongruous objects and a short caption. But I do feel I've moved on from that now, I nearly always use speech balloons and a verbal exchange between characters.

The caption was originally 'Overachiever' which was perhaps funnier, but not suitable for the card as that word has negative connotations. I changed it to Above and Beyond which means the same thing but in a much more positive way. Maybe 'Overachiever' works better as a cartoon for the site? Or maybe a funny comment or better caption will occur to me. Feel free to make suggestions.

Sunday, 16 October 2016


I probably shouldn't post the actual image here, it's the first time I've had to use Tapastic's NSFW filter, which I'm quite pleased about.  (cartoon is here)

It looks scribbled - there are two reasons. I had the idea after watching the particular scene in Game of Thrones, grabbed the nearest scrap of paper and scribbled it in pencil (in order to send to a friend and amuse her). Last night I scanned that into the computer and inked it in. But rather than use the tools I'm becoming familiar with, Im running the trial of Clip Studio and took the opportunity to try using that. It doesn't have SBP's 'steady stroke' tool (which I've come to rely heavily upon) which forced me to draw in a less careful way. My drawing skills still have a long way to go but I like the effect.

As far as the idea goes, after seeing the scene and referring to the book, it amused me that the character's manhood was probably more important to the casting than his face or ability to speak lines (the character is famous for getting by on a single word).

Friday, 14 October 2016

looking back, looking forward

Looking back over some previous posts on this blog, things have moved on considerably in a remarkably short time.

A year ago I was only just setting out on my Yvonne journey, and I've just published #108
Sometimes I've set out wanting to express some kind of message (read: have a rant). This one is unusual in that since drawing it I've been struggling to find my position on the matters within. It started out as a skit on the old sexist 'make us a cup of tea, love' and I suppose for comedy value I looked for the unexpected turn.

I'm not saying that being submissive to bad behaviour should be rewarded, and I'm not having a go at the feminist.

If anything, I suppose my position is that it's good to have principles, but sometimes sticking to them can be counter-productive.

It was very quick to produce; largely a 'copy and paste' job, with a bit of rubbing out and an extra few lines (the heart and the tails).