496. Don’t mind steve

On day 487, we had to draw a rainy day I made this cartoony concept sketch in my Moleskine back then, and saved it in Evernote in my notebook called “Artbook-Concepts-Todo”. Which is my little folder of unfinished work, sketches of ideas for later.

I decided to rekindle my cartooning days, and see how Procreate held up on that area. I have to say, it’s doing a pretty good job. I used to draw whole multi paned comic issues about epilepsy, eye floaters, not the lightest material for jokes, but to me it was kind of a theraphy.

Crucial elements in a drawing app to express cartoons are:

  • Text captioning – If there is no way to write text, it can look clunky or the text needs to be added later. Procreate has a nice interface that shows the text face preview, and allows importing of custom fonts
  • Sharp lines – I used to draw my comics in Inkscape or even further back, use Adobe Illustrator. Some cartoonists still do. Vector lines have the flexibility that repositioning or zooming are transformations that will not deterioriate lines. The downside is that the drawing interface usually is not so intuitive.
  • Layers – Any modern app has that, but cartoons are usually (not always) a combination of lines and not too complicated background colors. If the background gets too detailed or complicated, it distracts from the joke.

I haven’t messed with drawing a full multi pane comic in Procreate yet. Those cost more time than I have at the moment. But who knows, maybe some day.

Here is a cartoon from a while back, this is drawn somewhere in 2017 on my (long retired) Nexus 9 tablet, with a soft tip (no touch) stylus. The joke was created at the time we were looking at the internals of a file system at work.

Forgive me for the technical nerdy joke. I had to use three different apps. I sketched it in Autodesk Sketchbook, I made the lines in Infinite Painter, and coloring and text was done with Infinite Design (back then). Having one app that rules them all, significantly reduces time and effort.

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