Monday, November 9, 2009

A Midsummer's Nightmare

Seeing that this site is called "Bill White Cartoons", I feel I may have been a bit remiss lately in not talking about cartoons and the "life-of-a-cartoonist", in general. I will correct that mistake in the next few posts.

Whenever I teach a cartooning class (Which I do from time to time.  If you're in SE Massachusetts in January of 2010, don't miss out!), I always tell my students to save every drawing they do. Even if they hate it. If you draw often enough, and think about what you are doing, you are bound to get better. Then you can sift through examples of your old work, and see how much you've improved.

Take the piece shown here, please. This was a poster done by me a long  time ago for a local theatre group's production of Bill Shakespeare's classic, "A Midsummer Night's Dream". I was in the cast, so I was asked to design the poster. At the time I did this drawing, I was pretty impressed with myself. Now, I look at it and can see nothing but the sheer awful-ness of the whole thing!

For starters: What  is up with the anatomy? Had I ever seen the actual proportions of a human being?  The clunky, stiff hands are particularly awful.

Hey, how about that weak ink line? Combined with all the superfluous detail, this makes for one big mess of an image. My mentor, Mat Brown, always mentions knowing when to "stop" drawing. I wish he had been around when I was drawing this.

I could go on and on about all the defects in this drawing (the lettering, etc.), but let's leave it alone, and chalk it up as part of the learning process. I should really re-draw this to show you how it should have been done, but I have looked at it too long now, and that would be painful.

I'd like to think that over the years, I have improved, and all you wanna-be cartoonists will too, if you just keep working at it.

BTW,  the poster  aside, the show was great, and I was awesome in it.

I hope that made up for the poster...

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6 Comments:

Blogger Black Canary said...

As with most things in life, the more you do it, the better you get.

Besides, you get what you pay for, right?

btw--I think the drawing is pretty good, but I don't know much about art.

November 9, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Mark Heng said...

Hey! I'm just impressed you apparently had bare assed nymphs in the production! Yay for community theater!

November 9, 2009 at 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Chris Sabatino said...

I think the cover is wonderful! I think the swiggles next to "MIdsummer" & "Dream" are a bit distracting but, as a guy who has drawn his share of community theater posters, I think you did a beautiful job! "Everything but the kitchen sink" is a good style choice sometimes and this definitely got people's attention. Years from now (when you're in the artist's retirement home) you will again look back at it and realize how good it is.

November 9, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

I think Chris nailed it when he described it as "everything but the kitchen sink". Ugh.

And Mark, the "bare assed nymphs" in that production should have put something on. Trust me.

November 9, 2009 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger David said...

Class?! You are teaching a class? Do tell...and have you had a chance to try out your Copics?

Been home with the flu ALL week, so it was nice to crawl out of the recliner and see that you've posted twice this week.

I like the Faber Castell Pitt pens for regular inking and the .005 Microns for my way too overdone cross hatching.

When I was a kid my dad pilfered Flairs of all colors from work so that is what I always drew with. You are right about them fading.
I have tons of old drawings from the 70's that are barely visable.

November 12, 2009 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Bill White said...

David-

I have tried out the Copics. They are great, but I find for live gigs the Sharpie™ chisel point is better. At least for me.

I will talk more about the class when/if the details are set.

Now get back in your recliner and make your PW wait on you hand and foot.

November 12, 2009 at 4:34 PM  

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