During the summer I met up with a friend in London and went to see an exhibition of Félix Vallotton at the Royal Academy. I was particularly struck by the humourous illustrations he produced by woodblock printing.
Vallotten was Swiss-born, but established himself in Paris. In 1891 he took up woodblack printing, and quickly became a master of the art. His illustrations made fun of bourgeois Paris life, as well as depicting the daily hustle and bustle of the city.
I thought I would simplify some of my own cartoons by restricting myself to black and white only, and by using large areas of black to catch the eye.
The rabbit cartoon above was the first I tried using this techinque.
This one features the great Latvian chess Grandmaster, and former world chess champion, Mikhail Tal. I actually omitted the chess board from the pic as I wanted to make it easier to see the chess pieces. However, seeing as the chess board would instantly help set the context, maybe this was a mistake and I should re-do the illustration.
In it’s original form, this cartoon featured in an article about cheesy business stock images and how they could be made more interesting - in this case by inserting a monster into the scene. As the original pic was monchrome anyway, it didn’t take long to modify the cartoon.
I wanted to include an ocean liner in at least one cartoon, so that I could feature the large area of black of the ship’s hull. As you can tell from the previous cartoon, I am rather fond of giant squid, and so I thought it would be the ideal creature to help give the ship a quick clean and polish.
Having already used the liner once, I was toying around with the idea of something being written on the hull, and so this idea featuring a whale popped into mind.
Over the last couple of years I have drawn a series of fishing cartoons, primarily to practice drawing water and natural landscape. This was a interesting one to reduce down from the highly colourful original to black and white.