Sunday Mailbag- Least Favorites?

February 15th, 2015 | Posted in Mailbag

Sunday Mailbag!

Q: I there any part of a project you DON’T like to draw? In other words do you find it anathema to draw anything mechanical or architectural or anything otherwise mundane. — such as animals or cars or trees, etc.? Similarly, do you have concerns when drawing perspectives, foreshortening, etc.?

A: Not really. Drawing mechanical things like buildings or cars is a little different from drawing organic things like plants or people only because the latter requires more rigid order with the forms and the former is more fluid and…uh… “organic” is really the only adjective that applies. Both are just things that are are made up of shapes, so as long as you can draw shapes you can draw them.

I know some people really hate drawing mechanical stuff (especially some caricature artists, who seem to get very disinterested in anything that does not have a neck connected to the bottom of it), but I actually enjoy doing buildings and such. My style is sort of half way between straight cartooning and straight illustration, but I still skew things I draw a little to the cartoony side. Therefore drawing a building or car is not like doing a mechanical drawing of it… I’m “interpreting” the building or car in my own style, which is a little challenging and also a little forgiving when it comes to strict proportion, perspective, or detail. Here are some examples:

chris_bigThis splash page for MAD‘s parody of “Everyone Hates Chris” is set on a Brooklyn street. The buildings are simplified versions of what you’d really see on a street like that… windows are not really that close to the corners of buildings, many details are left out, and the perspective is not just cheated but warped. The important elements are there, though.

Dork Knight_big_big_dea6d67f-4e7d-4d36-910e-b6632b05683c

This MAD splash is also set in a city street but called for a very different feel. The buildings are still simplified and the perspective is again warped, but tje basic mechanics are there. That batwing took some time to draw, I can tell you. I’ve noticed that the “gadget” stuff in movies is a lot more complex than it used to be, with flaps and vents and all kinds of weirdness all over things like superhero armor, space ships and vehicles. Real freaking fighter jets aren’t that complex.

I know I have recently posted this image, but it’s a good example of taking something very mechanical and “interpreting” it as a cartoony-er image but keeping the mechanics intact:

You know, there is something I really dislike drawing. Bicycles. Bicycles are a real pain in the ass to draw, especially the wheels.



Comments are closed.


I am close to adding a second caricature workshop in January in Orlando. Details here:

Doctor Who 2105 Ad

Batman 2015 Ad

Sherlock Holmes 2015 Ad

Superman 2015 Ad