SKETCHBOOK: Behind the scenes of one of this week's editorial cartoons

SKETCHBOOK: Behind the scenes of one of this week's editorial cartoons
Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 12:27:41-04

Hey gang. Welcome back to another edition of my Sketchbook, where I show you how I created one of my WCPO cartoons. This week, we're storming the castle and taking a look at my P&G cartoon.

There wasn't a lack of news this past week. I did cartoons about Fiona getting her own Graeter's ice cream flavor and Ohio Gov. John Kasich calling for peace and love between Democrats and Republicans. The other topic that caught my attention was Dan Monk's story about activist investor Nelson Peltz, head of Trian Fund Management, taking on Procter & Gamble for a seat on the P&G board.

Maybe it's fortress-like nature of the P&G headquarters, but I had this image of a castle under siege by an unruly horde. One soldier behind the battlements on the castle asks if the attackers are barbarians, while the answers that they're not barbarians, they're activist investors.

I started out with some thumbnail sketches on cheap newsprint paper, working out the layout. These sketches are always quick and dirty, but they get the point across. From this sketch I had the basic design of the castle, I'd worked out the perspective and roughed in the idea of the barbarians using a battering ram.

I began the actual drawing with a loose, sloppy sketch on my iPad Pro, using an Apple Pencil and the Procreate drawing app. I blocked in the castle and foreground figures, working out the flow of the drawing in broad strokes. I know many other artists who can just attack a drawing with beautiful lines right from the start, but I almost always have to start with a rough, blob-filled sketch.

Once I get that down, I tightened the sketch. It's still loose, but I was now drawing the individual characters. I put the tops of the P&G building on the castle towers. The drawing was coming together, but there were a few things that weren't right.

The rounded towers didn't have enough definition, and I felt the battering ram was blending into the castle. And while I liked the placement of the barbarians, they weren't as dominant in the composition as they needed to be.

That's better. I made the towers blocky and raised them a bit so they weren't blending into the battering ram. The barbarians got beefed up, with the barbarian closest to the "camera" larger in the drawing. That creates a stronger composition and frames the two hapless soldiers on the castle. From there, I inked and colored the cartoon.

As a bonus, here's a sketch I did the same day about the collapse of the Republican health care bill and Kentucky Sen. Mitch's McConnell's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement. I don't know if there's anybody I love drawing more than Mitch. He's a godsend to cartoonists.