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My New Cartoons

I get lots of questions about how I draw my cartoons, and requests to see my sketches, so here it is again on my latest “Swing State Twister” cartoon.  I do a pencil sketch where I block out the layout with a 5H pencil on 11″ x 17″ bond paper.  When I come up with a layout I like, I use a #2 office pencil to heavy up the parts I need to make clear.

SketchforWeb My New Cartoons cartoons
Then I draw with a #2 pencil on drafting vellum, over the sketch, and I come up with a line drawing that is what most people see in the newspaper.  In this case, I traced maps of the swing states and positioned them on a layer to make the spots on the “Twister board,” just because that was quick and easier than trying to draw accurate maps in perspective.  I like to do just line art without grayscale – there’s something more pure about that, but in this case I thought the spots needed to be stronger, so I added gray to them.

121669 600 My New Cartoons cartoons
There is always something nicer about the sketch than the finish. Romney’s face is better in the sketch.  I draw my finished line in pencil because I’m always fighting being stiff and I want to keep a loose, comfortable quality to the line.

The last step is to add color behind the line art in layers in Photoshop. I don’t do very sophisticated color, just enough to make it clear.

121670 600 My New Cartoons cartoons
I really draw for the black and white version rather than the color – even though it is always the color version that readers see here on the web. I suppose that if I liked the color better, I would do a better job with the color rather than just doing enough to make it work. I know that’s bad, I should pay more attention to the color – here are my last couple of cartoons in both color and black and white.  I think both are better in black and white.
121424 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121425 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121250 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121251 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

I get lots of questions about how I draw my cartoons, and requests to see my sketches, so here it is again on my latest “Swing State Twister” cartoon.  I do a pencil sketch where I block out the layout with a 5H pencil on 11″ x 17″ bond paper.  When I come up with a layout I like, I use a #2 office pencil to heavy up the parts I need to make clear.

SketchforWeb My New Cartoons cartoons
Then I draw with a #2 pencil on drafting vellum, over the sketch, and I come up with a line drawing that is what most people see in the newspaper.  In this case, I traced maps of the swing states and positioned them on a layer to make the spots on the “Twister board,” just because that was quick and easier than trying to draw accurate maps in perspective.  I like to do just line art without grayscale – there’s something more pure about that, but in this case I thought the spots needed to be stronger, so I added gray to them.

121669 600 My New Cartoons cartoons
There is always something nicer about the sketch than the finish. Romney’s face is better in the sketch.  I draw my finished line in pencil because I’m always fighting being stiff and I want to keep a loose, comfortable quality to the line.

The last step is to add color behind the line art in layers in Photoshop. I don’t do very sophisticated color, just enough to make it clear.

121670 600 My New Cartoons cartoons
I really draw for the black and white version rather than the color – even though it is always the color version that readers see here on the web. I suppose that if I liked the color better, I would do a better job with the color rather than just doing enough to make it work. I know that’s bad, I should pay more attention to the color – here are my last couple of cartoons in both color and black and white.  I think both are better in black and white.
121424 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121425 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121250 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

121251 600 My New Cartoons cartoons

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.