How to Draw a Bad Doggie and Bubble Gum

Everyone tells me they like it when I post my messy rough skteches – so here are a couple of new ones.  The latest cartoon makes fun of how silly it is that Obama continues to try to coax the Republicans when the Dems and the GOP are so far apart.

I start with a messy rough sketch in hard pencil on slick paper – to discourage me from rendering in the sketch and force me to draw quickly, without worrying about mistakes.  I shouldn’t worry about a rough sketch looking good – and this one certainly doesn’t look good.  Here you can see that I erased, and I redrew Obama’s face on top with a darker pencil because I wanted it to look goofier and simpler than I had drawn on the first pass.  When I make an error it is usually to draw too realistically, or to draw too much detail; I have to think hard about making things simpler and cartoonier when I draw.

Next I do the finished line art on a piece of drafting vellum in pencil.  I draw pretty hard, so the lines are crisp and I scan the art at high contrast so it ends up looking like ink. I do the shading on Obama’s pinstripe suit by smudging the pencil with my finger. This line drawing is what most readers will see in the newspaper.

Then, for a small but growing number of newspapers who print editorial cartoons in color, and for our readers on the web, I add color in Photoshop.  I take care to use simple, bright colors because of poor newspaper printing.  I also make sure that my black line art is on a separate channel (the “K” channel in CMYK) so that the lines stay crisp and don’t get broken up into a halftone screen when the cartoon is reprinted.  Many cartoonists save their cartoons in RGB format and their black lines look like an illegible mess when their cartoons are printed just a little bit out of register, as is typical with lousy newspaper printing.

With this next cartoon I wanted to give the impression that Obama had stepped into, and gotten stuck in a mess that wasn’t of his own making, and that his reaction to the mess was only to make it worse. (And gooey bubble gum is always fun to draw.)

Here again I drew over the rough sketch in hard pencil on drafting vellum and scanned the drawing at high contrast to look like ink. Lots of artists complain that they like their pencil sketches better than their finished ink drawings because they lose the spontaneous look with ink. The shading on his pinstripe suit is finger smudges again. All of my drawings are 11×17, which is larger than most editorial cartoonists draw.   The black line art below is what most people see will in their newspaper.

Then I colored it in Photoshop. The pink color helps the bubble gum look more like gum.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

16 replies on “How to Draw a Bad Doggie and Bubble Gum”

Thanx for your instructive description of the cartooning process you follow. I'm sure that many budding cartoonists will draw (no pun intended) inspiration from your step-by-step method. Now, if those of us of a more moderate and conservative stripe can convince you to hold your pencil in your RIGHT hand (pun intended), perhaps your viewers will be exposed to a much more balanced political cartoon effort on your part. Hey, we ask, and sometimes we're delighted with an intelligent, non-liberal, anti-socialist response.

Well, I thought that you had drawn a very fine young
Republican doggie, but it would have been more true
to its inspiration were it rabidly snarling instead of merely
looking shocked.

Jeepers and Golly Gee Whiz, Cagle, the big ears, the teeny brain, the huge carbon-footprinted jet, the multitude of daily lies and prevarications, the tax cheats, the Kenyan cadence and "clicks" in his speech pattern, the huge deficits, the slimey Chitown politicos (e.g. Adolf Asholrod) creating his false image, his failure to demonstrate leadership rather than telepromptered political campaign rhetoric, the multitude of czars (because he has no comprehension of how government actually functions), his total lack of understanding the complexities of health care, his darlin' little chilluns are hardly ever in PRIVATE school,
the veggie garden with Weezy. her unsoiled gloves, and upside down ho(e) and Farmers' Markets at the White House (all forgotten but cutesie little photo-ops….Do you live in a sound-proofed cave or just insulate yourself from the 'Bamster's smoke and mirrors??????????????????? Even political cartoon journalism is dead..the cartoonists follow the money trail….Sick and Sad…………………………………………….

It is disconcerting when conservatives look at the affairs of state going on in relation to the political climate and find it so against what our Republic was set up to be. Liberals who are so set in their mire of discounting the very Constitution that has made our country great, want to remake us to be all the same. To be conformists to just their way of thinking…and yes, socialistic thinking. I think Americans have too much spirit and sense of history to allow you can see with the March on Washington Saturday 12th of September. The networks couldn't be bothered with it, if they did give it a cursory mention. Any liberal group would have had a lot of coverage. These were people who are concerned where and how this leadership is taking our country, and they do not see 'good' coming from it, but oppression in having to ask permission from a government. It is becoming more and more restrictive and under government control. Not American values.

Nice cartoons, Daryl. I love to draw, so I appreciate fine work when I see it. I like all of it – technique, execution, style, idea, expression, humor, information. So many levels.

Communism, Socialism, Nazism, et all. I used to instruct in political science at McGill U. and Fairleigh Dickinson U. Those who know tend to avoid such loaded and amorphous terms. However, the Ignoranti spread them like Ketchup on French fries. The first Commune that I know of was founded by Christians a few years after the death of Christ. It broke up after some decades. However, Communism has been continued nicely by various religious orders ever since. The Communist Manifesto of 1848 called for free public education…subsequently adopted by the United States. In that sense the United States has been a Communist country since the end of the 19th century. Socialism was largely a movement to limit inherited privilege. In that the United States permits upward mobility and provides for the general welfare, it has always been a socialist state. Nazism, of course, was the alliance of the private sector capitalists and the militarists between WWI and WWII in Germany and Italy. To date, the United States has not witnessed the kind of political alliance that is the mark of Nazism.

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