Saturday, September 29, 2012

Big Draw and Battle of the Cartoonists

Yes indeed! Once again a bunch of cartoonists have been invited along to the Big Draw's opening event in London, taking workshops, having a good natured battle (I'll explain later!) and working alongside loads of other artists, illustrators and wonderfully creative folk - all with the one purpose of getting everyone to draw! This year's event is called 'Big draw, Big Make and takes place in London's Victoria and Albert Museum.

Download the Big Draw Big Make Map and guide here

One of my roles this year will be taking a cartoon workshop in Room 48a, where the Raphael cartoons are hanging. (I've got an image of ninja turtles now!)  They start at 11am with Robert Duncan. I'll be on at 12.30, then Cathy Simpson at 2pm and Wilbur Dawbarn at 3.30pm. They should all be quite varied and will be a jolly good laugh. Hurrah! 

My workshop will be 'Creating Comic Strips' and will take kids and adults through the steps to writing and drawing a 3 or 4 panel mini strip. If you can't make it, don't despair, you can download the worksheet free of charge and have a go in the comfort of your own home! Still, if you can come along, we'd all love to see you.

Download the 'Creating Comic Strips Worksheet 2012' here

So, what's this battle I mentioned earlier? It's the Battle of the Cartoonists no less, where the weapons are a rapier sharp wit and large marker pens. This year there will be 7 teams from the newpapers and cartoon organisations, all furiously drawing for 2 hours on huge banners and aiming to win the crowd over. The prize? A warm glowing sense of worth and the envious glares of your peers. Plus a small trophy probably. I'll be taking part for Team Sun, alongside Andy Davey and Clive Goddard, so if you're there, come and heckle the other teams to put them off.

A banner for 2006 at Somerset House
A banner from 2007 at Covent Garden

And here's a report I wrote about the 2006 Battle of the Cartoonists. Stirring stuff!

We will fight them on the Piazza.
The PCO’s war correspondent Tim Harries reports from the frontline at last year’s ‘Battle of the Cartoonists’ and looks forward to this year’s event in Covent Garden. Chaaarge!

 Only an hour in and there were already casualties. The Guardian sustained heavy cadmium yellow losses attempting to paint the Sun to scale, Private Eye (who he? - Ed) were suffering extensive nib rot in the trenches, and The Independent spent most of the time searching out a ladder for their shorter recruits. Yes, the 2006 ‘Battle of the Cartoonists’ was in full swing and they had the scars to prove it.
Having gained access to the front-line by pushing aside some old women and a small child, I found myself in the danger zone and feeling nervous. All around me, civilians were equally jittery - there were reports that a live caricature had gone off earlier in the day. I barely had time to move before a loaded sable brush streaked past. I instinctively ducked. Luckily I landed on some old women and a small child. Despite these distractions the valiant cartoonists battled on, occasionally agreeing with each other about what they were drawing. As impartial onlookers we were eventually asked to judge the winning banner, and by the fair and democratic process of who can shout the loudest, top honours went to The Guardian (though even they agreed The Independent was robbed).

Timelapse painting

Here's a timelapse video I enjoyed watching. Artist Becky Dreistadt tackles the theme of 'Curiosity' in a piece that took her 10 hours, but we can watch in the slightly more manageable 8 minutes!

Worth checking out if you're interested in painting techniques or watching people do things really really quickly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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This week's bloke is from my forthcoming exhibition 'Unhappy Eaters'.

The exhibition will take place in my mind.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Judge Clegg

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Say what you like about Clegg, he does a pretty good Dredd.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Thank Dai it's Friday

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It's been a few months since I've posted a Dai strip on this blog, so here's one from earlier in the year (whenever the film came out I guess).

It didn't get published in the paper due to a layout cockup (bah!), so this is its first outing. I'm all about the 8-months-out-of-date-topical-humour, me!

Still haven't seen The Artist. I've heard mixed reports... is it any good?


While I have your attention...
Volumes 1 and 2 of the Never Say Dai Collection
(featuring over 270 strips each) are available at my online store.
Available now for only £5.99 each plus £1.20 p/p

Cartoonist not beaten

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The Reader's Digest 'Beat the cartoonist' results are in, and it's trebles all round with my caption "Turn off your predictive text, Brother Thomas" beating off some stiff competition from the readers. In your face, lovely delightful readers!

That takes the score to Readers 5, Cartoonists 3, so still a chance for the plucky rebels (us) to defeat the evil empire (readers). Sorry, I'm currently listening to the Star Wars soundtrack.

I was looking to see if I could find the original sketch I did of this cartoon, but I must have chucked it away/deleted it (can't remember if it was pen or digital) so here's a picture of what I had for tea last time my wife was away for the weekend.

Creme Egg on a bed of Cheese Balls.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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You may not know the name of today's SLBloke (at least not without using Google, which is CHEATING!) but you'd probably recognise him from his most famous role, the teacher who says "Bueller..... Bueller..... Bueller...." in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

If you don't recognise him, it's either because (a) I didn't draw him well enough, or (b) you haven't seen the film. If it's (a) that's fair enough, if it's (b), I suggest you remedy that glaring oversight immediately. A prime slice of John Hughes teen comedy if ever there was one!

Nib Nerd section: Pencil, watercolour and a bottle of bright orange ink I need to use up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Bat Umbrella

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Another 'sat in the pub, having a pint' doodle from my notepad.

I was just imagining that not all Bat Devices would be particularly flash or exciting, so when it starts raining in Gotham, he gets his brolly out just like the rest of us.

I don't care how tough Batman is, he's liable to catch a cold without one. Deploy the Bat Lemsip!


For more doodles and sketches like the one above (but not actually the one above)
you might consider purchasing 'The Seldom Seen Blog' Volumes 1 and 2 from my online shop.

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Vee Henna

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Wandering through Newport yesterday, I stumbled across this touching scene - a sozzed up lady singing 'Vienna' in a rather unique way to a  very patient busker packing up his stuff. Not sure if he was packing up due to the 'singing', but I was really tickled by the pronunciation of Vienna. I'll probably always sing it like that now.

Drew this a few minutes later in the Riverfront Sessions while I was waiting for the Open Mic night to start. Had another fun night there, selling my books and prints, enjoying a few beers and listening to the various acts.

Would have been amazing if 'Vee Henna' had turned up. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Strange Looking Bloke Wednesday

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 This week's SLBloke is another self portrait and has been drawn for the Gallery of Mo, a charity event for Movember*

If anyone's interested, they’re looking for more artists and illustrators. You can offer as little or as much drawing time as you want. It explains it all better on the site than I ever could. If you fancy it, go have a look

Facebook gallery of contributing artists:

*Info about Movember: During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of
moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in the UK and around the world.The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hog Roast

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I drew this for some friends who had a 'hog roast' for their anniversary party. I thought it was funny, I'm not sure anyone else did.

Nice food though!