Friday, 13 April 2007

How .pOINT_bLANK cartoons are created

In 5 easy steps

Though I am not the best person to be guiding anyone on how to draw cartoons & am still learning myself, this is in response to a few comments I have been getting asking for information on drawing tools & techniques. Please note that this is work-in-progress & I will add photographs soon.

1) Generating Ideas:
I guess if you have a good idea even mediocre execution will take your cartoon through. It is however, the most difficult phase - & where I struggle the most :). But there is one book which I can recommend - How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster © 1996 ISBN:157675006X). You can preview it on

Helmholtz, the German philosopher, has described three steps to get ideas.
The first was "Preparation," the time during which he investigated the problem "in all directions". The second was "Incubation," when he didn't think consciously about the problem at all.
The third was "Illumination," when "happy ideas come unexpectedly without effort, like an inspiration".
And may I add the fourth "Evaporation" when your best idea quietly dissapears as unexpectedly. Make sure you jot them down :)

2) Sketching Rough Storyboards: Once you have an idea you are 50% through(or maybe 80%in some cases). Next step is to generate two or three quick scribbles with the characters & the speech bubbles. It gives you a basic feel for your image.

3) Creating Characters: I begin with characterising the actors in my mind & then I go on to work on their facial expressions & body language. Sometimes, I test the characters on paper. Once I think I have a good cartoon(either on paper or in my mind) I go onto my good old computer. I use an outdated version of Adobe Illustrator & a half dead mouse for my cartoons. Illustrator is an industry standard vector graphics software & allows you to create professional quality images (both for print & web).

More Information on Illustrator is available on

Free Trial Download available on & I haven't tried it but it should be enough to get started.

Tutorial available on

4) Adding Speech Bubble: This is the simple bit where I add the text. I guess I try & keep the word count to the minimum (don't always succeed though). Was never good with words :).

5) Adding Background: And last but not the least - adding background details gives the image much needed depth. But if you are feeling lazy there is always the 'White Space' excuse :).

1 comment:

hindifonts said...

Nice tips. Good to know that people are doing what they love to do besides doing their job.