Monday, 10 February 2014

Why you should buy Julia Rothman's Farm Anatomy

One of my favourite books...I really like Julia Rothman's 'Farm Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of Country Life' (Storey Publishing 2011).

It's absolutely brilliant. This book is a tour-de-force visual tour of farm life.

Inside are illustrations of everything you'd expect to find on a farm.

For example, she draws a great cow and outlines the different breeds--dairy cows, cows bred for beef and other breeds of cow.

And next to her drawings are little fact sheets about the cow.

As if that wasn't enough, she teaches us about the parts of a beef animal.

Not only does the book also show us how to milk a cow, there are recipes of sorts; and while they look tempting, it would be a shame to use it as a cookbook.

Because it's not a cookbook. It's a comic book. If you are after a real treat, head to your nearest comic shop and buy one.

Isn't that recipe enough?

Friday, 7 February 2014

I can create new images for you...and I have!

Over the last few days, I drew some illustrations for a client's website.

Here they are, below:

And still, I made time to draw and/or polish up some comic strips. My cat is sometimes grumpy.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Five things I carry with me when I draw cartoons.

Whenever I go out on a trip, I carry the following items in a leather bag:

1. Small sketchbook with cheap paper, suitable for throwaway sketches.
2. Black brush pen
3. Black calligraphy pen.
4. Red brush pen or other colour felt pen.
5. Black ballpoint pen.

I carry several pens. At home, I have hundreds of pens--to carry them all would be a nightmare.

I usually draw with a black brush pen for thickness of line--to have a bold line makes the cartoon character stand out more. And you develop a more distinctive style when you use brush pens.

The black calligraphy pen I sometimes use when I want to write letters in speech bubbles, but sometimes I don't bother. Instead I save the ink for a later and use it for a more revised sketch.

Brush pens with all their flexibility permit me to draw quickly. Sometimes that's a good thing. But on the other hand, it can encourage laziness; and an Art Editor will reject your work simply because your drawing is indisciplined and sloppy.

If you want to be a professional cartoonist, you need to perform like a professional cartoonist. This means mastering your tools, technique and use of colour. Usually, having a funny joke is helpful, too.

Today, I chose the word, 'vegan' as a theme and here's my outcome or first attempt.

Sloppy, it is...but you can see the result when I draw quickly.

And if I may change the subject. Do visit your local charity shops. I have been picking up comic books cheaply. For example, this Charlie Brown book is £15 in the bookshops, whereas in my local charity shop, I picked it up for £3.

I was pleased with that find, so, I went back for more. And today, I found The Simpsons Annual 2010 which cost me 20p.

Friday, 10 January 2014

The reason we like easy drinking games.

Easy drinking games are good fun because you meet up with your friends in the best bars in London.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks, as illustrated in this drawing below:

You may not get good service if you are hoping for speedy refills.

Speedy refills impair the least that's the excuse of the person who has to buy the next round. 

Easy drinking games give me the urge to draw cats playing cards (lesson=always carry a sketchbook: if you are practising your drawing, whip out your pens and draw while your partner buys the drinks. If you can send a text message, then you can also draw in that timespan). 

Maybe Paul Cezanne participated in an easy drinking game when he painted The Card Players.

We'll never know. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Why you should buy clothes for your pet.

If we didn't have pets, there would be no reason to buy pet accessories.

Why do we do it, though?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Five subjects for illustration.

If you love drawing and painting from the comfort of your armchair, here are five subjects you can sketch:

1. The family pet, especially if it is sleeping--they make excellent life models.
2. People in the room--people never sit still, so this will teach you to draw quickly.
3. The fireplace--this will teach you about perspective.
4. Plants--how many shades of colour can you see?
5. Pictures in the newspapers or magazines--this will help develop your compositional skills.

My 83 year-old father drew and painted this picture of my sister's dog, below.

From his armchair, too. I think it's fantastic. Arthritis hasn't prevented him from picking up pen and brush...

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Easy way to feed a cat a worming tablet....

This week was worming tablet week for my cat. He wasn't very happy about it.

Like so....I look forward to the day worming tablets are made of soft chicken.

Getting my cat to swallow it was impossible. Last time he had his worming tablet, it was administered by the vet.

Boy, didn't he make it look easy?

So when I tried it, my cat was having none of it.

Solution? Bung it in a kitty treat and feed it to your cat. He might not be happy, though....

Too bad...happiness is knowing you got the job done and you can get back to drawing again!