Thursday, June 19, 2014

Video: Kaamran Hafeez Draws a New Yorker Cartoon

(Copyright ® 2013 | All Rights Reserved)

Well, the video says it's a New Yorker cartoon, but the cartoon is credited to have appeared in Barron's on Mr. Hafeez' site.

No matter.

The process, which is detailed in fast motion and with Pablo Casals playing a Bach cello suite in the background, is exhaustive.

Here are the steps:

  1. The Sketch
  2. The Tracing
  3. The Transfer
  4. The Inking
  5. The Wash

There is a difference between the initial sketch and the final art: the devil has disappeared. There used to be a devil standing on the right, looking on. It would have been interesting to hear why this was dropped. Also: a word about the tools he uses, and why he uses them, would be interesting to hear. So, I guess I am asking Kaamran Hafeez to post more if he is interested.

The video runs about 4 minutes. He gives us "3:2329" as the actual time.


Brian Fies said...

Very nice, Mike, thanks. It's fun to see a fine craftsman work with traditional tools. Also points out how idiosyncratic people's processes are--everyone's got their own way and I doubt anyone else would do it like that (three pencil passes?!).

Kaamran Hafeez said...

Hi Mike,

Great site and thanks for posting this video.

Yes, I cheated a little in the title, the drawing was for Barron's, but a process is a process by any other name. That is exactly how I draw a cartoon for The New Yorker.

The tools used were as follows:

HB pencil lead/staedtler lead holder on 11 x 14 60lb sketch paper.
Tracing paper.
A piece of tracing paper with carbon smearing on one side (cover it with pencil, then smear with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol).
No. 27 Peterboro illustration board. (No. 27 has a smoother surface)
No. 2 Windsor & Newton series 7 brush and Speedball superblack india ink.

It is exhaustive and exhausting, and I blame it on the illustration board. I work with wash and I work wet, and illustration board is the only paper I've found that doesn't warp. I love the brush action I get with illustration board in both the ink and the wash stages.

If anyone knows of an easier way to transfer a pencil sketch to illustration board, I’m all ears (eyeballs).

Sketching directly on illustration board doesn't work because I do a lot of free scribbling and erasing and you can't erase pencil on illustration board (not very well).

Carolita Johnson (in her comment on facebook mentioned using repro-blue. I tried that once long ago, but as I recall, I wasn't able to erase the repro-blue. My process involves a lot of correction and erasing. I need to be able to clear the slate and begin again when the drawing is not working. Also, I find it hard on my eyes, looking at that light blue color. Pencil just works great for me when it comes to sketching and building up a drawing.

I use a brush for my line art because I’m able to vary the thickness of the line. That allows me to carve out volume and space on the page. Thick lines for edges of heavy forms, thin lines for surfaces etc. I remove most of the ink from the brush before hitting the paper. That gives me more control over the line.There’s just a far greater variety of lines and marks you can make with a brush. It gives you speed and freedom – you can really draw with your arm rather than just your fingers and wrist.

The devil was cluttering the drawing, plus I decided it was superfluous. It was obvious the setting was Hades because of the hell-fire.

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