How a Blaugh Comic Is Created – With Video!

How to Draw Cartoons For Blaugh

Brian over at Copyblogger says you guys don’t want to know *what* I can do, you want to know *how* I do it.. So let’s see if he knows what he’s talking about. I’m going to show you how Blaugh cartoons are brought to life… with super cool grainy videos and everything.

If you don’t know yet, Blaugh is a *ahem* daily cartoon produced by myself and Chris Pirillo – Chris writes, and I draw…usually. We’ve tried it the other way around but… it really didn’t work out. Blaugh is sponsored entirely by GoDaddy, and as long as you giys keep showing your support by using the coupon code “Blaugh” when you buy stuff over there, it’ll be a good long relationship.

Okay, on with the goods.

Just about all Blaugh cartoons start from crazy voices from deep inside Chris’ head. Once he escapes the straightjacket, which Ponzi says he’s getting really good at these days, he’ll shoot me off about a week’s worth of material in an email.

I always look forward to these emails from Chris because they remind me so much of Christmas. After I read the new gags a few dozen times (and then stop crying) I enter them into my Backpack account…. (I love Backpack and use it to organize all my ten-dollar ideas that I’ll never have time to get to.) I like being able to check off gags as I go and having them all stored in one spot is quite handy. It’s a pretty slick little app and a great way to work, you should give it a try.

Caveman Sketchbook Page for Blaugh Cartoon on Rock XPNow this image here is a good example of what a typical Blaugh sketchbook page looks like.. (click it to enlarge) I flesh out the visuals of a gag by starting with a tiny thumbnail concept sketch doodle. I then randomly focus on the characters, props, and background elements, not worrying too much at all about composition at this stage. For those of you keeping score at home I use Carmine Red Col-Erase colored pencils made by Sanford. These things have changed my life but I’ll save that geeky illustrator topic after all the new viewers go back home.

Caveman Blaugh Cartoon final sketchWhen I get to the point where I think I have everything I need to put it all together, I’ll either scan in the messy sketchbook page or redraw it entirely… I usually just scan in the unordered page like the one above and re-arrange the composition using photoshop, but I re-drew this one today because I’m trying to impress you… plus I wanted to make a cool video. (click here to see the video of me sketching it)

After scanning in the sketch, I import it into Flash on it’s own layer, and then I use my tablet pc to vectorize the final art on the layers above it. Not exactly the traditional vector artist technique, but it works just splendid for me. I have yet to find another vector program out there that can come close to matching the solid drawing tools in Flash. (click here to see video #2)

After the cartoon is colored nice and shiny, I export it as a .tiff file, upload it to the sever, think of a clever title, and voila… out it goes to hundreds of thousands of readers… well, thousands of readers… okay fine, hundreds.

Blaugh Rock XP Cartoon

So that’s about the jist of it, check out the videos and keep in mind that they’re sped up and edited to keep them short so you’ll finish them to the end where there’s a clickable Revver ad. Enjoy the show, turn up your volume, and leave me comments.

Blaugh Cartoon video 01 Blaugh Cartoon video 02

PS: There’s been some confusion on how “Blaugh” is properly pronounced… just to clear things up… it’s pronounced “BLAFF” not “Blah”,”Blouw”,”Blow,” “Blue”,”Blag”, or “Blog.” :)


[tags] blaugh, how to draw, copyblogger, Ponzi, Chris Pirillo, Pirillo, Brian Clark, Drawing, GoDaddy, drawing video [/tags]

Florida Arts Poster…

Here’s that Florida Art Festival poster I said I’d post for you when it was done. (click the image below to enlarge) It was actually for the Palm Beach Cultural Council if anyone knows of it.

This was a fun assignment but it was tricky getting all the characters to piece together just right. As you can probably see from the original sketch, there was a lot of tweaking involved. That’s another great advantage to working digitally, vector in particular… it’s relatively easy to work the composition by adjusting placement and sizing of elements. Some might call this cheating, I call it saving years of my life. :-)

I’m looking forward to getting a copy of the full-size poster from the agency when it’s complete… it’ll make a nice addition to the studio. I need more finished art on my walls, plenty of sketches and works in progress but not much color stuff.

The client was very pleased with the final art, I was even lucky enough to get a quote from the art director for my upcoming testimonial page…

“Brad’s artistic and professional capabilities are superior and made it easy for us to complete our project and go beyond our clients’ expectations!”

Florida Poster Illustration before and after - small

Face to Face…

Thought I’d put a little twist on the old “before and after” routine. This guy was part of an article illustration I just finished up, and I DO mean just. There’s gotta’ be a caption for this scene somewhere… Anyone?

drawing and cartoon illustration of a before and after demonstration of how to draw

Watch Me Draw Hitler…

Although like every other intelligent person on the planet I despise everything Adolf Hitler ever stood for. Subject aside, I think it turned out to be a nice caricature. Since it was such a simple design I thought I’d record the process of finalizing the art. Enjoy the process, not the subject…. Cheers.

[flashvideo filename=video/hitler.swf image=video/hitler.jpg /]

Coyote Character – Before & After…

Here’s a little before and after of a cartoon coyote character from a recent Flash animation project. I like how sly the character’s expression turned out in the final… In the animation his eyebrows go up and down quickly so it really adds to his attitude… I should have his tongue licking his chops with a few chicken feathers floating around in the background. :)

cartoon coyote character, before and after drawing and full color picture.

Snail Character

I haven’t posted a before and after piece in a while so I thought I’d put one up of this cartoon snail character. A lot of times I end up liking the sketch better than the finished illustration, but not with this guy.

cartoon snail illustration character design