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Rudolf takes a cold cure

Here’s another Christmas card idea.

What do you reckon?

Nibs (three of ’em!) and ink on Bristol board with the aid of a lightbox.

Update: I got some feedback that this was hard to understand, partly because of my appalling handwriting, partly because without colour it’s not immediately apparent that Rudolf doesn’t have a red nose, and partly because Rudolf guiding the sleigh is more a US thing than a UK thing. I’ve tried to address these a bit here (but the cultural differences are probably insurmountable).

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Penguin in a cape

Here’s today’s cartoon.

I bought a lightbox to see if it would help me get around some frustrations I’ve been having recently. I’ve only used it this morning, but my first impressions are that it was well worth it.

For this cartoon I drew it in pencil on marker paper (because it’s thin) and then went over it in pen when I was happy with it. Then I put it on the lightbox with a bit of bristol board on top and inked it out. Then I used the bristol board inked picture as the base image and put another piece of paper on top to do the colouring in wash. It was far faster than erasing and quite easy, although it’s still not very easy to see through because the bristol board is quite thick. For the colouring, next time I think I’ll print out a scanned version – this should make it easier to see and reduce the stress of thinking my wash might go through the top layer to the inked layer. Fun!

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Flying dog: the less publicised early years

Here’s today’s cartoon.

This one presented a lot of challenges. With the basic idea I had to find a way to make Flying Dog a wimp, but it’s hard to do without the idea that people are about to die horribly in a fire. Sarah saw it and said I hadn’t got that across well enough initially and so I got the mouse to say it had called 999. If I’d designed that in earlier it probably would have been better placed on the page.

Compositionally, I think it would have worked better to have the title at the bottom so you’d see the scene, read the words from Flying Dog and the mouse, and then get the title of the scene. I was trying to incorporate it into the picture but I don’t think it really works there – too many things fight for your attention at once.

The final challenge was the technical one of drawing it and making it look right. Check out that perspective on the house! I really struggle with this but it’s getting better. The colouring doesn’t come out terribly well on the scan which is annoying because it’s quite subtle. I erased the background on the speech captions after scanning, but I couldn’t get a similar effect on the title, whereas the original does have a lighter background there to pull out the text. I could probably do with either buying or working out how to mix a more dog colour for the dog. I like dogs in blue, but I think it detracts from the outfit here.

Nib and ink on bristol board with ink wash colouring.

And an added extra:

This was an experiment to see what would happen with nib, ink and markers. The result: smudging. Hmmmm.