Jan 21, 2008

A days work

One of the most frequent questions that I'm asked, besides "where do your ideas come from" is "how long does it take to do a cartoon". So, I took pictures to explain the process a little better. I still have no idea where the ideas come from.

∆ The toon is first penciled before the ink is applied. Usually it takes about 20 minutes to do a pencil. This is the time where most rearranging and last minute decisions happen. On occasion I'll throw the toon out and start from scratch.

∆ The inking continues. I drew this cartoon quite large. The daily black and white cartoons are drawn at 9 x 11. This one was drawn much, much larger on cold press watercolor paper. That way I can drool, sneeze or whatever and the paper will remain absorbent.

∆ The sun begins to set.

∆ This is panic mode... The morning coffee has turned on me and it making the ol' hand shake like a cheap electric toothbrush.

∆ I let some time pass, turn on the Giants game, and let the hand slow down to a manageable caffeine shake.

∆ Inking takes up the most time. Little lines. Big lines. No lines.

∆ Bushy gets some color. I like to start off with the face to nail down the personality and character of the toon. Once that's done, it's time to color everything else.

∆ The Giants will be on soon. Damn it. Need to hurry.

∆ My favorite part about Sunday afternoon cartooning is the beautiful view from the drawing table. Hello Manhattan. Hello obstructing trees. Hello Giants fans.

∆ The sun goes down. The Patriots won. Again.

∆ View from the Justincam.

∆ Distractions are all around. Guitar, football, non-functioning bass amplifier and books.

∆ I'm messy. Since I work with a very simple pallet, I'm not too careful with mixing colors. Anything goes. There are no rules.

∆ The final touches...

∆ The sun goes down.

∆ TADA! A very large cartoon is born.
(photo by the amazing Karen Gould)


Brubaker said...

As a cartoonist, I always love it when other cartoonists describe their work process.

How do you scan it? Do you have a large scanner, or do you have to scan two or three times and put it together?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps now your audience
will have a better understanding and appreciation of all the energies put into just one
cartoon. Interesting.

Justin Bilicki said...


I use a large format scanner. Even that monster is too small for this size cartoon so I scan it in two pieces. It only takes a couple minutes to piece the two scans together.

Since The New York Press has been running my cartoons in color and very large, I've been spending more time on the little details. Surprisingly you can see the smallest subtleties if the registration isn't messed up.

Justin Bilicki said...

I forgot to introduce Charles Brubaker's blog. It's at http://bakertoons.blogspot.com

Thanks for the comments!