cartoon process - Phylis and Ethel the ostrich

With this new series of cartoon process posts, I intend to show the steps I take from initlal idea to completed cartoon.


Over the last few months I seem to have drawn quite a few ostriches, like the one above.


I'd also recently drawn an old-fashioned dastardly villain having the tables turned on him by the damsel.


I thought it would be interesting to combine the lady and the ostrich together in one picture, although I wasn't sure at this point what the gag would be.

Here's how it looked when I first put them together. There's quite a differenve in the thickness of lines between the two characters and it really feels as though they were cut and pasted together, which they were.


I traced over the two characters to create new versions of them and to get consistency with thickness of line. I still hadn't thought of a gag at this stage, and that I needed something more than just the two of them together. I then thought what is it she is actually looking at> Is it the ostrich?, or is there something else going on behind the ostrich?

I then came up with the idea that the ostrich was of an ideal height to steal someone's hairpiece and that formed the basic idea of the gag.


Here is the gag in it's first appearance, along with the caption.


As the gag is now set at a party, I thought it would be good to add some minimal background detail to imply the scene. I wanted to keep the background pretty minimal so as not to distract attention away from the characters.


Phylis has now been given more of a party dress, and also has one shoe peaking out from under the hem. The background scene has been filled out a bit more to imply groups of people chatting. Ethel the ostrich's tail is being redrawn at this point.


Finally, the backgournd and floor have had dark washes applied to really make the characters stand out.


I returned to the cartoon one more time to smudge out some of the water marks.

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