“I’m just trying to create a look,” he said. “I don’t want to draw pencil characters or action figures or anything like that. They have this really weird design style that I just don’t know how to deal with. I want to try. But my style is kinda like the weirdest cartoonish comics design ever. I really wish I could just draw it and have it look like a cool comic.”
But drawing your favorite cartoon characters is no simple feat. After all, drawing them requires a lot of practice — and a lot of pencils. For the better part of a decade, Smith has worked tirelessly on his pencil collection, often painting up to 200 images a day.
To draw all those drawings, Smith relied on a technique he’s dubbed the “laser pencil” sketch. Basically, as the artist paints the lines in front of him, he starts drawing. This takes some time and effort from Smith since he uses ink to draw the lines, and has to do careful coloring so that he doesn’t leave stray lines or streaks, as pencil sketches often do.
“I really want one of those black plastic paint brushes, but then I don’t have the time,” the artist said. “They’re expensive — $80 to $100 a ball. I also try to find black felt pen tips for ink, but they don’t last very long.”
Smith says one of his biggest obstacles is the fact that most of his cartooning is done in ink, which makes it harder to make sure the lines go clear. The final result looks more like a cartoon than any other kind of artwork.
“The lines do not all run through one color, like a regular artist. Most of the time they just run across one color,” he said. “I try to try to go as black as possible or the color as close to black as I can in this direction. Then I start doing some color shading to get it all darker. It’s actually kind of fun to see how it all goes together.”
Smith says he was inspired to draw by the comic strip “Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” and said it’s an art he just can’t stop drawing.
“My mother used to work for the company that produced Boy in the Striped Pyjamas — they were always making all the artwork and I always went to the comics office and would show him things — just random strips I was drawing up,” Smith said. “He actually
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