Rainbow Trout

Continuing with the cartooning course, these are experiments to test how colours will blend in different media; in my case I used my regular watercolours for the peacock, coloured inks for the rainbow trout and Sharpies and other marker pens for the butterfly.

It’s a rare opportunity to use my Pelikan inks, which have been sitting in the back of a drawer for decades and getting them out makes me realise that I need to sort out my art materials. For instance, the cheap sable brushes that I bought years ago are now too splayed to be a pleasure to use and some tubes of gouache have dried out and set solid.

However, I still have enough tubes of gouache to try the exercise for building up a furry texture using a fine brush and this opaque medium. Apart from changing the species from a bear to a weird kind of furry fox, you can see I’ve stuck pretty much to the examples shown in the book, The Professional Step-by-Step Guide to Cartooning, (left, behind my bottles of vintage ink).

In the next exercise – which demonstrates the way you can use a limited colour palette, in this case red and blue ink – I substituted the cowboy in the book for Roundhead commander ‘Black Tom’ Fairfax, who pops up in my latest booklet Walks around Ossett.

I think that I’ll eventually be able to relax into a personal cartoon style but this drawing looks rather stilted as I was simultaneously following the style of the cartoon cowboy and the content of the equestrian portrait of Fairfax. The fanciful background sketch of Thornhill Hall (accidentally blown up at the end of Fairfax’s siege), which I’ve substituted for the wild west background of the cowboy, looks less self-conscious than the horse and rider.