On the Drawing Board- 10/28/08

October 28th, 2008 | Posted in On the Drawing Board

Just a few jobs going right now. I’m just getting into the final work on my part of the “MAD 20”, AKA “MAD’s 20 Dumbest People, Events and Things of 2008”. It should come as no surprise that one of the subjects of this year’s “MAD 20” is the credit crisis, and that is indeed the subject of my piece. Sorry I can’t share more.

Here’s a step by step image gallery of the workplace poster I finished up yesterday. It’s nice that the client I do these for does not mind that I share the final artwork as soon as it’s done. I often forget to post finished jobs because by the time they are published I have done several other jobs and it’s off my radar.

Job: Create 17 x 17 inch poster image depicting “four employees in a cafeteria, just finishing lunch. There are two women, one race-neutral and one black, and two men, both white. One of the two guys is chomping down on his last triple-triple burger and has destroyed several others, along with a huge plate of fries (just a few remain on the plate). The other guy has had a meatball grinder and a box of donuts, and he’s holding his stomach with a pained expression. The guys should be a bit on the chunky side, but not obese. Both are looking very logy, like after Thanksgiving dinner. The two women are cheery, upbeat and wide awake, looking at the guys and, in a funny way, offering constructive, ah, criticism in a humorous way (they shouldn’t look like nags). One of the women is just finishing a modest-sized bowl of salad, the other a veggie wrap.”

Here’s my initital pencil:

After a client review it was decided they wanted the ladies standing and looking like they wanted to be seated at the table but it would be covered with wrappers and discarded containers, half eaten food, etc. Here is the revised sketch:

This one was approved with direction to change the ladie’s expressions to be “less angry and more shocked/ disgusted”. On to the inks:

Pretty standard inks for this kind of job. As always I concentrate on line wieght and do not add much in the way of values via crosshatching or other techniques knowing the color will do all that work.

Here is the color in various stages of completion. See my coloring tutorials for details on this technique:

Here’s the final image. Click on it for a closer look:


  1. Mike Giblin says:

    Great work Tom, I’m looking forward to your tutorial in Raleigh next week! Quick question re the shadow beneath the table: is this something you draw freehand with the airbrush tool (making an educated guess as to where it would logically fall), or is there some other Photoshop technique I’m not aware of? Cheers!

  2. RasmusB says:

    Beautifully done as always!

    Just a side note for future reference: “H2O” is written with the “2” in subscript, not superscript. 🙂

  3. jimbodraw says:

    Great job Tom – as always, I love your environments!

  4. cedricstudio says:

    Fun illustration! I really like how this one turned out. Thanks for sharing your process (especially the client feedback), it’s inspiring.

  5. meredithd says:

    I, for one, am very curious as to the goal of this workplace poster. Do you know what the caption will be?

  6. pmcmicheal says:

    Hi Tom….This sort of assignment would drive me up the wall! You’ve done an amazing job here. Am I the only one here who has noticed ( I’m sure YOU have Tom, being in the business) that when a multi racial scene is required, It’s always the WHITE MALE who is depicted as the dumb-ass or buffoon and ONLY the ethnic types have all the answers?
    How did this trend get started? Being a White Male ( the only type left to be poked fun at) I am extremely offended! Every TV commercial I see, shows the stupid ass white guy scratching his head while some type of minority sets him straight!
    TOM, You are a better man than ME for being able to look past this trend and just DO the job ( and hopefully get paid).
    OK….I’m off the soap box.

  7. Mugshotz says:

    Simple (or not so simple) assignment. What I love about your work is the tiny details you add in, such as the tiny dressing on the side of the salad or the grease on the top of the pizza box. Great little goodies in there. See ya next week.

  8. Tom says:

    Mike- The shadow is just freehand… It is far from “correct” but it’s not an important element so as long as it’s not distracting it serves it’s purpose.

    Meredithd- the caption is “May we all work as a team, offering mutual support and bringing out the best in each other ‚Äö√Ñ√¨ even if we have to swallow hard on occasion to accept well-intentioned ‚Äö√Ñ√≤feed‚Äö√Ñ√¥-back!”

    Pat- Welcome to the wonderful world of PC. It’s never a problem depicting white males as stupid, obnoxious, criminal or any other form of bad or flawed person. To do that to any other race (or to females) is inviting accusations of racial or sexual insult. These jobs are always gender and race specific for that reason. Personally I’ve got little problem with that, there is real racism and sexism in the world and I’d rather have to tip toe about and be conscious of that than allow the real thing to be tolerated.

  9. On the stereotypes comment:
    That’s why some of us cartoonists choose to use animal characters in our comic strips! :p
    Too bad caricaturists don’t have that option.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: