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CARTOON SKETCHBOOK: How WCPO cartoonist created the Brent Spence toon

Drawings from Kevin Necessary's sketchbook
CARTOON SKETCHBOOK: How WCPO cartoonist created the Brent Spence toon
Posted at 9:32 AM, Jun 25, 2017

Ohio and Kentucky officials announced last week that the Brent Spence Bridge -- already the bane of drivers trying to cross the river -- will be undergoing construction for the next two months.

It seemed like the perfect way for commuters vent their frustration was to make that the subject of this week's Caption This.

I started with a really rough thumbnail sketch on a piece of notebook paper. It's probably only 2-3 inches wide, and it's a jumble of messy lines.

But take a closer look. All the information I need is there. It has the composition, the basic shapes of the cars and the bridge, even some of the perspective lines.

In the old days, I'd go through this process:

1. Scan the thumbnail sketch into Photoshop, enlarge it and print it out.

2. Tape a piece of illustration board over the printed-out doodle, and using the light box on my drafting table, draw out a rough sketch, refining it further and further until I've got a tight drawing.

3. Ink over the rough sketch using India ink, pens and brushes.

4. Scan the inked drawing back into Photoshop so I could color it.

These days, I just take a photo of the thumbnail sketch using my iPhone, transfer it to my iPad, and draw everything on that. I'll either use an iPad app called Procreate to do my drawing, or I'll use another app called Astropad, which connects to my computer and allows me to use Photoshop.

Drawing on a computer doesn't make my drawing any better, but it does save me time.

As you might have noticed, I flipped the image for the final drawing. I thought the composition worked better that way. I'm always making little changes like that right up until the cartoon gets published.

Check out the timelapse video below to see the cartoon go from thumbnail to a finished inked drawing.