Drawing/Calligraphy/Cartooning/Drawing....and shading?


Hey buddy I've been watching a lot of your stuff and you are a very talented person. I enjoy watching the process you've developed so I figured I'd ask you a question since I've got very little talent..for now. I've been going through Tom Richmond's book the mad art of caricature and I've been trying to draw his caricatures on my own. I've been trying to use marker(which is not an easy thing for me to do) but it looks like his are almost all in pencil with shading. Should I try learning in pencil and switch to marker when I'm better at drawing or stick with markr the whole time? Also, should I get better at drawing before I try shading or is that something I should be learning together? I appreciate the time it has taken you to answer this question as "basic" as it may be. I enjoy your work, you're a great artist. Keep up the good work and don't get discouraged during those rough patches. I appreciate ya, Beau.

Beau, Beau, I'll  you in on a little secret....The vast majority of ALL great caricature Artist do preliminary pencil work before inking their drawings with marker! My preferred method is to use tracing paper(with my own sketches) modifying and tweaking the illustration until I get it right.

What I'm telling you is NOTjust heresy, theory, and conjecture I've actually seen, and spent time  with artists like Tom Ricmond, Joe Bluhm, Roger Hurtado, Glen Fergueson, and many others, and can assure you this is how they work.Especially when doing illustration.

For live work,( by that I mean party caricature or them park caricature) many of these artists, like Joe Bluhm  do an underdrawing sketch fist in pencil, Art Stixx, or marker under their drawing paper and trace that. 

This is not to say that these same artists cannot draw a face entirely in marker without an underdrawing. They can, and do, also. Once you develop your skills in facial anatomy and learning to "SEE", you will  able to draw live just using marker without these of an under sketch.

One last thing. The tools that an artist uses is a matter of personal choice. One very skilled New York caricaturist, Kenly Dillard, draws entirely with pencil. I like to mix it up, having used Tombo Brush Pens, Crayola Markers, Graphite pencils (the thick kind) Prismacolor Art Stixx, and China Markers (which is really a glorified crayon) 

The important thing to do is to not give up, study your craft, and keep drawing allllll the time. If I've learned anything from the pros, it's that they are absolutely obsessed with drawing. That's why they're so good.



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Elgin Bolling


Can answer questions about basic sketching and drawing, caricature drawing, and cartoon character creation and techniques. I cannot answer questions concerning 3D character creation and modeling.


Professional cartoonist, and caricature artist since 1990.

Member of the National Caricaturist Network

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