Hi there, this is Mark Anderson from Andertoons.com. In this video, I am going to show you how I shade my cartoons in Photoshop. This is cartoon #6748, it’s about some bendy straws and one of those wacky curly straws, the teenage daughter has brought home the wacky curly straw, and there is no caption on here yet, I’ll fill in on the caption at the end but this is about shading, so let’s talk about that.
What I normally do is, I still do the ink on paper and then I scan it into Photoshop and create a layer, and the ink layer is a multiply one that’s on top, and then I shade underneath it. What I’m using is a pattern stamp tool, and the pattern that I’m using is actually one that I created from my old Prismacolor markers. I usually do all of the shading on the paper and then scan it all in and I miss being able to do there, but the older I get the larger I have to draw, because my eyes are – my vision is abandoning me as I get older.
So I have to draw bigger and that takes a lot of marker to shade, and it takes a lot of time, I was going through markers like crazy. So what I began doing a while ago is that, I still do the line art on paper but now I do the shading in Photoshop. So what the pattern I am using is I scanned in, I took my markers and did big, big swatch of shading on my paper and then I scanned it into Photoshop and created the sort of like never ending patterns from them. I tried to find, I usually have the bookmark of the tutorial that shows you how to do it, but man I cannot find that anymore.
So it’s a good thing I have those patterns, I backed them up so that I have them, but if you look online, I am sure there is no end of tutorials on how to create repeating patterns that don’t look terrible. Just Google that repeating patterns that don’t look terrible, I am so helpful. So what I am doing here is I am – what I tend to do is I shade big swatch of stuff, and then I go in and erase out the parts that I don’t like, you can see there is like some overhanging there on the couch that I am getting rid of now and I’ll sort of erase around the straws here so that they pop.
Normally, I wouldn’t shade this much on a cartoon, I don’t like to shade the furniture, I just normally shade what’s important and I will shade characters and their hair and their clothing and what have you. But for this one, the straw is needed to pop out, they need to be like those standard white bendy straw with a little stripe, so what I chose to do was shade the furniture and sort of cut them out of the, oh wrong layer, sort of I do that a lot. I’m not great at Photoshop, I’m okay at it, but I can get by – if nothing else by watching this video, maybe you will feel better about your own Photoshop skills because I am not great at it, but I am good enough and maybe if nothing else you feel better about your skills having watched me flounder around here for a little bit.
So yeah I cut out the stuff that I don’t want, so that’s what I chose to do on this, I am using like a 10%, what would be like a 10% marker, a real, real light, light shading so that they pop out a little bit, and I will probably shade the bendy straw so that he pops out a little bit as being different from the other straws, and those crazy whacky straws, I don’t know what the name for those are, but they are using like fluorescent, purple or green or something like that, so I am sure I will shade him a little bit later on here.
I’m not sure how these straws are seated – that was one of the problems of drawing this cartoon. My theory is this, is that there is shag carpeting and at the bottoms of the straws are stuck in this shag carpeting, and then they are really good at balancing up against the furniture so that they don’t fall over, that’s my theory, and you would think that I know being the creator but I don’t really and it’s one of those things like the more you think about it, the less you go like, the more you go like this doesn’t make any sense, I am shading the – some more furniture back there now and I’ll fiddle with the opacity, looks like I am fiddling with the opacity a little bit.
What I found recently is that, when I work in layers like this, opacity is not the greatest idea and I am sure everyone out there is like, well no because then everything becomes like see through and no, so what I have, hey look at that, I am adjusting the brightness, good job me, maybe this is the cartoon where I figured that out, and wrong layer, take two. What I do now is that I adjust the brightness or contrast, I forgot where that tool is in the menu, but adjust brightness I like using a lot, and then I can sort of fiddle with it, I like to fiddle, I like to shade things and then I’ll fiddle with them.
So here I am sort of cropping to the size I keep my full-size originals at, and then I should be putting the caption on here pretty soon, I got to get rid of that little scanning shadow out there, that’s a problem, yup, got rid of that, and here comes the caption, see — anybody want to take a guess there, before I fill it in. I will leave there little space, any caption ideas, alright here it comes. The caption is, I am creating my paragraph box, the suspense is killing you, isn’t it? Here it comes. Come on man, type it. “Philip is an artist!” That’s the idea behind this cartoon, so they are just regular straws but he is that curly straw and so he is not just any boyfriend, she is really pleased because he is an artist. And so that’s why he has got that curly top, so it looks like the mom is okay with Philip there, dad not quite sure, although I think the dad’s probably not quite sure of any straw that she brings home just because he is a dad, but I love the look of his face where he has got that raised eyebrow and that little line underneath where he is sort of squinting like, I don’t know what to make with this young man, I don’t like him, I don’t like him and I don’t approve.
So now I am going to do some more shading here, here it comes, so I am going to shade him and then we should be finishing up. I hope you have enjoyed this, I have a bunch of other videos on YouTube where I show you sketch and ink and do all sorts of other things, and of course please visit Andertoons.com where I have thousands of cartoons on all sorts of subjects including Bendy straws, thousands of cartoons on all kinds of stuff that you can use for presentations and newsletters and blogs and social media. I have the new cartoon subscriptions feature, which is really, really great if you need or want to use cartoons to complement your own content, so yeah come on over and check out andertoons.com, if you get a chance I’d appreciate it.
So just finishing up here, I am not exactly sure how much time I have left because they changed up iMovie on me, and it’s hard to tell, I know, wait, thanks to that little thing there, I am at 8:06 minutes and I think this is just about 9 minutes long so we are just about at the end. Usually the last thing I do is spellcheck before I save, because I am sort of paranoid about spelling, so when I see the spellcheck you will know that we should be just about done that’s sort of my ritual is, that’s the last thing I do. So I am not sure, hey look at that, spellcheck.
Alright everybody, thanks so much for watching, I hope you enjoyed it, have a great day. Good bye.
Christmas is coming up quick, so I thought I’d share this year’s batch of Christmas cartoons. Grab some cocoa and enjoy:
I don’t know a lot about Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, so I’m a little uncomfortable writing cartoons for them. For that matter I also avoid the religious aspects of Christmas, preferring to stick mostly to Santa, etc… But every year I do try to offer at least one winter-themed cartoon to round things out a bit more, and I’m really happy with this one.
I worried that it might be a bit subtle, so I gave the Dad snowman four buttons instead of three to drive the point home. Seriously, this is something I think about.
This is one of those Christmas cartoons that needed a little help. The joke was always there, but when I was shading I noticed that I’d drawn the leg the boy is sitting one much smaller than the other. Honestly, Santa looked like a pirate or maybe something out of an old Twilight Zone episode. (The boy gets his wish but is then horribly and ironically disfigured!) Anyway, it was Photoshop to the rescue and Christmas was saved!
This one took the most most effort of this year’s batch of Christmas cartoons. Firstly, it’s a really long caption that I had a lot of trouble nailing down. So the number of words written, then rewritten, then revised, then thrown out completely and restarted was absurd. Secondly, drawing all those little Christmas tree branches and needles and lights… Ugh! And it didn’t come out right until about the third ink. Then it was on to shading which meant testing all kinds of brushes and patterns and opacities to get the tree just right. Finally I showed it all to my wife and she didn’t get it. Did! Not! Get! It! But after a few more rewrites I think it ended up pretty good. Mostly I’m just glad it’s done. (Bah! Humbug!)
When I get stuck for a caption I like to take the subject I’m working on and put it in a banal business setting to see what happens. So you put some overworked elves, that burning empty carafe smell, substitute cocoa for coffee and you’ve got yourself a cartoon!
There are a lot of more straightforward ways to write this caption:
And normally I advocate for trimming captions as much as possible, but for whatever reason this cartoon felt like it needed a longer caption.
OK, the aforementioned tree cartoon probably took the longest of this year’s Christmas cartoons to draw, but this cartoon took the most time to conceive visually. It’s a very specific caption as far as the ornament goes, so you can’t really fudge the art. I spent quite a bit of time in Google images researching DIY yarn decorations, mouse shaped ornaments, and how yarn looks close up. All in all I think it turned out well and I think it rings true.
So that’s it for this year’s batch. Looking for more? Head on over to the main site and check out the rest of my Christmas cartoons!
And here’s some other Christmas blogs you might like:
Halloween is almost here, and this year I thought I’d show you how to draw your very own cartoon vampire!
When you’re finished, feel free to tweet, pin, email or otherwise share a pic of your vampire with me and I’ll post it over at Pinterest! And if you’d like to grab the tutorial to post on your own blog or website, you’re more than welcome to. (A link back would be appreciated.) Enjoy:
Easy, right? You should try out my other how-to-draw tutorials too! Here’s just a few:
Feel free to check out my Halloween cartoons too!
Chon Day. If you love cartoons but that name doesn’t ring a bell, this is your lucky day. Day is one of my absolute favorite cartoonists; I can’t think of a week that goes by that I don’t grab one of his books for inspiration, to marvel at his beautiful economic line, or just a quick laugh.
Here are just a few cartoons from his 1945 collection, I Could Be Dreaming, that I know are just going to knock your socks off:
Day’s art is great, and it reads immediately almost 70 years later, but what stands out to me with this cartoon is the wording of the gag. I can imagine this caption written by lesser cartoonists going any number of ways:
But the “Oh, I do hope…” is the perfect contrast to the character and scene and it reminds you how much time and effort it takes to get a single sentence just right.
Another good gag, but this time the art really shines. Look at how few lines are used to get the idea of the kitchen across. And I know I’d be tempted to have something like “Ace Plumbers” on his overalls, but Day’s pipe wrench tells you exactly who this person is. And the expressions on the characters faces – they both know what’s happening, but you get the feeling that each is trying not to upset the other. Amazing.
I think Chon Day was at his best when he worked without a caption, and let me tell you, that’s not easy to do. When you look at this cartoon it reads immediately as Ship Christening Ceremony, but with only just enough visual cues to do so. There’s the officer’s uniform, the bunting, the rivets, and, of course, the dowager and bottle. And what a wonderfully silly idea!
This cartoon is all about the caption for me. It’s easy to read this as “Ten percent of this is wool,” and, in fact, I distinctly remember reading it that way when I first read this book. But then you wonder where the joke is. Is it the coat? The women? And why is the caption worded that way instead of “This is ten percent wool?” Then you reread the caption and are rewarded upon close examination. Even the italics are perfect.
Although technically not wordless, here’s another example of how great Chon Day was without a caption. I love how it reads left to right, then left again: man on stilts, angry woman, black eye. And Day draws your eye where it’s needed with the wash on the window shade, and the top hat and tie. One more thing too, mainly because I still struggle with it, look at how masterfully the brick is suggested with just a few lines. Wow.
I don’t know if this predates Brother Sebastian, but it’s a wonderful example of how Chon Day could be funny and gentle at the same time. I personally stay away from religion in cartoons because a) I’m worried about offending, and b) I don’t know enough about it to do it well. But Day found so much to play with. And, again, look at how much is conveyed with so few lines: the tree, the brick, the stained glass…
I thought this went especially well after the previous cartoon because it’s kind of dark and ominous. I mean, it’s a guy with a net luring a boy into his shop! I’m assuming he just wants to keep the boy and make him work there, but still… you just could not do this cartoon today!
I’m going to end with what I think is basically the perfect Chon Day cartoon; it’s subtle, relatable, deftly drawn, and still hilariously funny, even today. Perfect.
Want to check out more Chon Day? Here’s some additional reading:
Also, you can pick up these Chon Day collections:
Hi there, this is Mark Anderson from Andertoons.com and today I am going to be showing you how I sketch and re-sketch and then ink a cartoon. What’s different this time, I have done a number of videos where I have drawn a business cartoon or a family scene, some sort of cartoon scene that I am used to drawing because of course I want to put my best foot forward there on the video and look like I know what I am doing, but I thought it would be interesting this time to draw a scene for you that I haven’t drawn before. It’s an idea that I got when I was at a bank recently and although it doesn’t look like that now, it’ll make more sense later and I’ll explain to you why I got the idea, but it’s a–I am going to be drawing a guy here in bed who has died and then a grim reaper and a ghost. But this isn’t a scene that I’ve necessarily done before so I am just sort of winging it here and doing a very rough sketch to lay things out.
So there is the guy and he is laying in bed now I’ve sort of got to the angle of the scene roughed in, there is the pillow and I am keeping this very, very rough and very loose and trying to go fast and you know keep it lively. So you are going to see lots of sketchy lines and things that aren’t going to make it into the final art of course. But it’s just the way–see there I drew it like a head where I wanted it and then I decided I didn’t want it there. Now it looks like I am changing something again I don’t quite know am I putting–I’ve recorded this voice over later so it’s been a couple of weeks since I drew this, so I am sort of watching along as you go here, sort of like a director’s cut of the cartoon.
Oh here is the ghost, here’s like the idea of the ghost coming out of the guy, I am sort of drawing it over there and there is his ghostly arms and there’s he is coming out of the chest of the old man laying in the bed. Yeah I’ve abandoned–I abandoned that head over to the upper right of him. Here comes the grim reaper, again I just started with real basic shapes, he’s you know the grim reaper sort of this hooded shrouded figure, so I start with this circle for the head and a triangle sort of over it and a wavy line to make the robe. So very, very basic kinds of shapes and lines and I am just moving fast and I am not worrying about making mistakes and as I go the things that I like I tend of reinforce or draw darker or yeah to go over the line again. Oh here I am sort of going back and this guy and adding a few hairs in and this mouth I sort of jump back and forth.
I am not sure if there is any rhyme or reason necessarily, it’s just sort of letting my self go. So there is the grim reaper, now I am drawing his, is that a sickle is it? No it’s a–oh I am never going to pronounce this right I got myself into recording. Is it a scythe? Is that how you say that? Is that the correct term for that? Wow you know what I should’ve looked at it out before recording this. Note to self – If there is an important part of the cartoon and you don’t know how to pronounce it, look it up before recording the voice over for the video.
So here is my the rough, rough sketch and what I am going to do now is take this and why am I signing my rough sketch? I am going take this and I am going to trace over using my light desk. Those are good transition, nice job iMovie. So there I’ve got the rough sketch under a clean sheet of paper and I am taking my pencil here and I am redoing, going over those lines and again I am trying to keep it fast and fluid but I am sort of giving myself a cleaned up sketch to do the ink off of.
So I’ve got the basic idea of the cartoon there and I am just going to clean it up so when that I ink it’s the best possible version of this cartoon. So there is a lot of–I do a lot of editing and a lot of redrawing cartoons, there is my first sketch and often times it takes more than one clean up sketch. Sometimes I do 2, 3, 4, if I started to get into like the 3rd or 4th sketch I know that something is wrong and I then need to start over or figure out how to draw what I need to draw and take another look at it, so generally its that first rough sketch and then the next sketch and then I move on to ink after that.
So here’s our grim reaper, he is looking pretty good. He is a–he is going to be talking to the ghost here you can see it, oh it looks nice. Then I’ll be drawing the ghost in here. When I do the ink for this what I will do is draw the ghost separately from the rest of the cartoon and then when I scan it in I’ll scan in the grim reaper at the bed with the dead man and then I’ll also scan in the ghost and I’ll put the ghost in on another layer in Photoshop because I want to change the opacity there and have him appear like he is–this transparent or you know translucent ghost over the scene and that was something that I sort of thought of when I did this and thought that it would be fun to do so, here is my clean up sketch, that’s looking pretty nice that’s all right. Okay nice job me.
Re-focusing the camera there it’s looking pretty good. I am not drawing a lot of background in here. Oh see now there I go, I am just I didn’t like the little wave on of his ghosty body so I am sort of going over and redoing the arms again giving his head a little bit more of a squiggle so that he appears more ghostly and I apparently did not like the shape of the hood on this grim reaper. But yeah that’s looking pretty good. Am I doing another sketch? Like I said it’s been a while so I am doing another sketch. Wow! Remember that thing I told you like if I get to go the 3rd or 4th sketch I really need to take it a–yep I am doing another one. Here I go, look at me go. I am redoing this one, I want to get this one right apparently.
I am recording this on September 12th but I actually did this cartoon – I drew this cartoon on August 1st, so it’s about a month and a half later so I apologize for my apparent confusion over what I am actually doing here but that’s why it’s much later after I drew it. So I am on the third sketch here drawing my ghost coming out of the dead guy and the grim reaper will be talking to him, so now I’m getting that and again I am doing little the other hand a little squiggle to make his legs and feet and things in the bed.
You know by the time we get to a third sketch like this you just really start to worry a bit like, oh boy, you know, how bad is this going to be, how dead is this going to be on the page, so I am a little worried now rewatching that this cartoon is just going to lie there but I seem to remember that it turned out pretty nicely. I looked at it real quick before I started putting this video together and it turned out all right.
So again the thing that I tried to keep in mind is just to move fast–wow! You can’t see anything there, look at that giant hand! I just try to keep moving fast and loose and not be too careful. There is nothing worse than a cartoon that just looks like it’s just going to lay there. You really want this to pop and so I am not worried about getting the exact squiggle on the hood right you know, oh it goes up here and down here its just a nice little squiggly line and there it is. All right so there is the third and boy I hope it’s a final, I didn’t watch this before I started recording, obviously now I am–am I going to sign it again? Looks like neat little pencil trick there. That actually looked impressive. I think I’ve–oh okay, I like to put a box around the sketch so that I can sort of see like where I need to stop and start and stop drawing for the ink so its sort of like putting a frame around it so that I know I don’t need to go below here and I am writing myself a little note, I do this all the time. Yep I there right there I was like hmm–I think I’ll do that separately and do that in Photoshop.
So here I am doing the ink, I am sorry for the length of this; it looks like we are going to clock in at just about 15 minutes which I thought was long. When I looked at it I was like wow, it never takes me that long to do it, it’s that there its got that’s the time burglar that third sketch, but it all turned out for the best and when you think about it 15 minutes versus 10 minutes in the grand scheme of things to get a cartoon right, I will make that time investment I will add another 5 minutes to my work day to get this dead guy cartoon right. So now I am inking and give you a little bit more of a closer appearance so you can see that. I love these brush pens boy they are just so nice; they move so nicely on a page I keep think one of these days I am going to move to that Wacom that Cintiq is that what it is? Is that how you pronounce that? Another word I don’t know how to pronounce but that one’s made up so it doesn’t count. I keep thinking one of these days I am going to move to going all digital but boy I just can’t, I am not there I love that feel of pen and that ink on paper and just the way that it sits, there is just a good feel, I don’t know that I could get that, I know a lot of people do it and are really happy with it and I moved all my shading to Photoshop but boy I don’t know that I could ever give up like the ink and paper aspect of it, I just wouldn’t feel good about it.
Change something with the lights, lights there may be I just changed the focus on the camera. I have got a–I am doing this on a light desk and then sometimes I’ll also turn on my desk lamp depending on like how much I want to see it. So sometimes I have got light coming up from underneath and on top, like I said depending on how much of what I want to see for tracing or inking or penciling. I am not ashamed to have a whole bunch of lights and I’ll put more lights on if I think I need it I would do that. Here is the sleeve, its looking pretty nice, I put an arrow there, what is that arrow for? I made some sort of mistake I don’t remember what now; oh I bet it’s for the little crinkle in his elbow I don’t think that turned out very well. I bet that’s what I put that there for. Take that out in Photoshop.
So now see here I am taking the pieces of paper apart and you get to see it, oh! Oh yeah you don’t miss a thing I don’t know, at this umm…hmm…no, no, you dear viewer get to see every little bit, me repositioning things, taping things. May be I’ll go get a soda you get–it’s unvarnished. I am doing the ghost just a little bit up above there and here comes the ink. I am trying to keep it nice and wavy and I am not worried about little gaps between lines, I am not going to worry about making sure that everything is tightly closed up I don’t–its just not my style, I don’t but there is so many artists that I was influenced by but the ones that I always like to have that really loose style and they didn’t connect all the lines and I just always love the way that looked.
So I am finishing up the ink on this, there is the ghost floating above and I am writing another little note there to put that down and skin those in separately and put that over that in Photoshop and looks like I am going to be up there. Here comes signature and this cartoon is up on my website now, I believe what is the number of this cartoon? I need to get organized before I recorded these things. Anyway here is the final version of the cartoon, “If you are as satisfied with my service please take a moment to fill out the survey.” Guy said this to me at the bank and I thought I know there is a cartoon there. So thanks for watching and be sure to visit Andertoons.com.