How to Draw Cartoons > Pencil Control

Here it is - the first step in your new found hobby or career.

Are you nervous? Don't be! Cartooning is as easy as - well, cartooning.

So "ACHTUNG!" as the German v-boat commander always says in the movies...

Pencil poised, ready for action and - AWAY WE GO!

1. Take an ordinary sheet of paper and cover it with dots. We're not going to start out by making masterpieces so don't bother to use your best stock.

2. Later practice this with pen, then brush. Seemingly trite, these exercises will help the embryonic cartoonist achieve the deft and decisive touch so characteristic of the "pro."

Sure, you'll take a flop or two - but lo and behold, before you know it you'll be stepping out on your own! And, to repeat, if you care to go a few steps further and make cartooning your career, the door is open and perhaps I can help open it even further for you.

My purpose in writing this book, however, was not so much to flood the publishing field with more eager entrants, as to provide an easy art form for those in need of relaxation. And who, in these troubled times, can't use a little of that? Doctors have been advocating painting and fine art as a weapon against neurosis for some time. I maintain that cartooning is easier, more fun, and far less frustrating.

"But I can't even draw a straight line!" you might exclaim. Who cares? In cartooning your line can be straight (use a ruler!) or like a deep sea diver, have the bends. Don't worry - it'll all come out in the decompression chamber of a good belly laugh.

"But aren't there any special requirements to take this course?" Yes, you must be strong enough to lift a pencil. The energy from one grape should give you strength enough for that. So, please have a grape!

Now that you are physically fit to become a cartoonist, let's take a look at the materials you will need. I notice that some cartoon instruction books urge their readers to rush out and buy a five cent eraser, a ten cent sheet of paper, etc. I will do no such thing because with the present instability of prices by the time you get to the art store, these things might cost much more anyhow.

So, for the time being, save your money. "Later on in the book I'll tell you when and what kind of materials to get. Meanwhile, any pencil will do as long as it has a point on it. Keep this pencil handy at all times - also a pad of scratch paper so you can practice the prescribed lessons whenever possible. Practice in the bus, practice in the kitchen while the roast is turning brown, practice in the waiting room until the nurse comes out and announces what your wife just had, practice in the beauty parlor under the dryer, practice in the office when your boss isn't looking. But practice!

Thomas Edison once said genius is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Or was it Joe DiMaggio who said it? Anyway, truer word was never spoken. The harder you work, the better results you will get.

I maintain that cartooning is the easiest thing in the world. At the saine time I am not unmindful of the fact that I have a brother-in-law who can play The Saber Dance on the piano with his right hand while his left hand is playing The Rhapsody in Blue, and who says the same thing about learning the piano. But when you question him about it, he is full of deep, dark phrases known only, I am sure, to denizens of the orchestra pit.

In this book I promise to deal only in plain English. If there is anything complicated in the text, it is only there to confuse certain publishers who, I am afraid, might attempt to do their own cartooning when they see what a cinch it is.

And now, good luck to you! Have many happy hours with this book! Just one small favor I'd like to ask: When you become a great cartoonist drop me a line and tell me how I can become one too, huh?

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Cartooning Exercises for Beginners

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