How to Draw Cartoons >


Harmony is a beautiful thing. In a song, among nations, and in a picture. Consciously or otherwise, we all try to make things pleasing to the eye.

When you move into an apartment you don't just push your furniture in and have a housewarming. Everything is planned. Even the hanging of Grandpa's portrait is accomplished with deep thought and loving care (unless you just want him to cover a crack in the wall) and the humble ashtray doesn't reach it's final resting place until after much deliberation and perhaps a few arguments.



Planning a picture is called Composition. Artists strive to make everything within a frame harmonious and decorative. Cartoonists go a step further.

Like the director of a play or movie, cartoonists have to give their picture as much dramatic punch or sock, as possible. And yet, at the same time, their artistic sensitivity will not permit them to abandon the basic laws of composition - good harmony and design.



THE COMPOSITION IN THIS PICTURE IS ALL RIGHT. BUT SEE WHAT HAPPENS IN THE NEXT PICTURE

BY RAISING HIS HAND, THE YOUNG MAN HAS KNOCKED THE PICTURE LOPSIDED. (Can this be why teacher used to get mad when I raised my hand?)



The only way to restore good composition to picture No.2 would be to balance it on the right by adding some object.

The tugboat (lower right) arrived
just in time to save the composition
of this picture.

My own signature in the corner
saved this one.




Mrs. Brown feels very blue here. It isn't the housework that's got her down - she just knows her composition is all wrong.

See how much better Mrs. Brown feels now.






Next: More examples of good and bad
cartoon composition.


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