Saturday, May 25, 2019

Demonstration Drawings

I asked a second grader to name the character for me.
Some of my most expressive work seems to happen when I'm lecturing and demonstrating techniques (as I've shown before).
a demo for kids at PS 372

Lessons I give in my Cartooning Basics course are usually, ahem, tested on children first. If kids can master an art concept, adults probably can too.

Whiteboard sketch done at Parsons Pre-College Academy
A similar lesson at SVA

This was to demonstrate ink wash.
This too.

 As you see below, many of the lectures veer well beyond the basics and into fairly esoteric territory.

a demo on the Lexicon of Comicana

Comic strip structure and cartooning from display letters

#8 in a series of Daredoodle warmup exercises 

Adult classes start next week at SVA. Sign up asap.
I'll also be teaching kids grades 5-8 at Hootenanny Art Annex in July and grades 3-5 at Parsons in August, and I'm available for lessons and such:

of course you would.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Student Spotlight: Spring Roundup #3

More artwork has come in from my students:
Howell Murray did a great job in the recent Figure Drawing for Cartoonists course.
Above is his take on the improv comic assignment, and here's the finished page from his final project:

Mrig Mehra's final page turned out pretty awesome, don't you think?

Charles Truett is kicking ass on his amazing new comic, Hank Van Brunt Delivers the Mail.

And Joe Wessely continues working away at his studies and cartooning practice. I run into Joe at area life drawing sessions which, as I teach, is the shortcut to mastering drawing skills.

Summer classes begin in about a week. Come cartoon with us!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Summer Cartooning

Time's running out. Sign up soon. 

Says Kyle Rose, "I've taken all 3 (even retaken a couple) and can attest to their quality. I can honestly say I wouldn't be the cartoonist I am today without Tom's influence."

Says Tim Ballard, "Tom's classes are where I first started my comic and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. If you have any interest in creating a comic of your own, take a look at his summer continuing ed classes at SVA starting soon - cartooning basics, inking, and figure drawing for cartoonists.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Student Spotlight: Spring Roundup #2

Continuing our roundup of recent work by my former students, Annalisa Wilde employs cartooning to vent her rage in organizing newsletters and Instagram. Keep up the righteous fight, Annalisa!

Josh Daniel, The Noir Guy, is posting the detective misadventures of Rickety Rat, Toon PI. Here's the teaser to the current episode.

While we're doing teasers, here's the opener to final chapter of Tim Ballard's horror tale, Icy Pete.

Nico Douillet is in DC working for the UN and plugging away at his comic about fighting the ebola epidemic. Here's a sad and gorgeous sample page. 

Kyle Rose is going great guns with The Working Stiff, his comic about office zombies. And he's completing the seventh issue of his anthology, Emanata. It looks to be another great one.

Some students try their hands at cartooning on the way to other things. Matt Young, whom I've featured before, has moved on to digital painting.

I can't claim to have taught these brilliant artists everything they know, but I sure am proud of their achievements and I'm sure I helped.

 Classes start in just a couple of weeks. The time to sign up is now! Inking Comics Tuesdays, Figure Drawing for Cartoonists Wednesdays, and Cartooning Basics Thursdays, begin the first week of June.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Student Spotlight: Spring 19 Roundup #1

I've been teaching adult cartooning courses at SVA for over a decade now, and so have gotten to see many students achieve amazing successes.

Maddie Dai cartoons regularly for The New Yorker.  She was included in a show at the Society of Illustrators and an article in Paste magazine. Maddie also contributes longer pieces to The New Yorker and other publishers. Really great stuff. But there's more:

Jeremy Fuscaldo continues to amaze as he pursues his MFA in Visual Arts. Come see Jeremy this weekend at East Coast Comic Con, booth 718.

Consuelo Terra's new graphic novel will be published this year from Random House in Chile. These pages from the book were produced for my Inking Comics course in 2016. "It was a great leap for my  inking and drawing techniques," Consuelo says.

Earl Holloway makes his living from comic book style beer labels and other products. Here's his cover to a video game which comes with his comic synopsis.

Anna Laytham contributed the comic above to the New York Times Kids' section recently. She tells me, "they specifically referenced the comic I made in your class when they reached out!"

It all starts with that first mini comic. That's how cartooning careers begin. Let's get started:
Inking Comics is on Tuesdays, Figure Drawing for Cartoonists Wednesdays, and Cartooning Basics Thursdays, beginning the first week of June.

Since putting out the call for news and updates, I've been hearing from a number of students. Look for another of these roundups in a couple of days. If you're one of those I missed, please check in and tell us how it's going. Meanwhile, come say Hi tonight, May 16, at the info session.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Figure Drawing for Cartoonists: Comics from the Live Model

I've posted a number of these before. This time I have student's examples to share.
What we do is ask the model to improvise a narrative in her mind and perform it in a series of five-minute poses. The students use her poses as prompts to invent stories of their own. This affords a fun and challenging way to practice framing shots and composing pages, balancing imagery with the graphic elements of comics.

This time, model Leah performed a story involving plants and skeletons. Sarah Ransohoff made this story, about...

Ron Williams was inspired to go in a darker direction:

And here's what I came up with:

Figure Drawing for Cartoonists is a course where we tackle a variety of figurative challenges, each with its particular pedagogical purpose. More examples will follow.
That's my Wednesday class. Also enrolling now are Inking Comics on Tuesdays and Cartooning Basics on Thursdays. The info session is coming up May 16.
Come make comics with me!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cartooning Courses at SVA

I had another strong semester full of talented students at the School of Visual Arts this spring. I'll post more examples soon, but right away have a look at...


Victoria DeMaria absolutely rocked the rendering worksheets, above, as well as the assignment below, which is to begin with an all black panel, have one light come on in panel 2, and build a story from there. In both senses, brilliant.

Pele Bapere was at first skeptical about inking, but once he got going on his "no penciling" sketchbook assignment, he quickly fell in love with the medium.
Here's a page from his final project.


Ron Williams is developing a comic about an imaginary friend gone rogue. Show us more, Ron, and soon!

Jonah Newman is at work on this eye-popping graphic memoir.

Here are some of his planning sketches and sketchbook studies.

I've been greatly entertained by Jonah's first graphic novel, Empire on Edge, serialized on his website.
Of the Figures course, Jonah says, "From paying attention to natural curves to tricks for drawing hands and hips, many of the lessons you taught me will stick with me for life -- and in the short term, make my graphic memoir so much stronger."

Johnny DiNapoli adds, "This class not only made me a better artist, but made me enjoy drawing more. I really appreciate all your encouragement and advice."
Johnny entertained us with his character Helpapotamus in comics and in parodies of famous movie poses.

CARTOONING BASICS produced several delightful mini comics. Here are covers and sample spreads by

Marci Senders...

Gabe Quiroga...

and Damon Strub...

...and a good time was had by all. Summer courses are enrolling now. Classes are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The info session is coming up on May 16. Spread the word, please.