Introduction: How to Make a Political Cartoon

About: Illustrator from Chile

This is my personal process to prepare a political cartoon. I have checked processes by other cartoonists and I think the main creative steps are quite similar. Image. Sorry for the text in Spanish, which is my mother tongue. A rough translation would be: Fish: Evolution, here I come. Police officer: Back off , you piece of S___. (Profanity censured as suggested by instructables editors.) This cartoon has to do with recent social movements in my home country Chile, where the police has acted brutally against social demands for public education, health and pension system.

Step 1: Ideas

I think that original ideas do not exist, but are only developments from what you read and see. If you are interested in political affairs you certainly need to read newspapers, watch media, etc. Do not forget to read between lines, where truth lies!

Step 2: First Draft

Now that you have an idea, you can start doodling in order to shape your thoughts on paper. These are the primitive and unrefined drafts for my idea. It is like a golem that you are sculping to become a proper human creature, you little demiurge!

Step 3: Preliminary Pencil Drawing

I usually use paper special for inking, 130gm. You have to work in large for better results: try to use the whole sheet of paper. When shrunk, the image will not show any minor mistake.

Step 4: Inking

The first time I used a nib pen or dip pen was terrible. My pulse was not used to it. After a couple of months I could achieve results I was happy with. Of course, you can always make mistakes and fix it with correction fluid. Once I saw originals by Robert Crumb, one of my favourite artist, and I was happily surprised when I noticed that the drawings had correction fluid almost everywhere.

Step 5: Scanning

The scanner settings can be 600/1200 DPI, saving as a JPG. The idea is to obtain the best resolution image with your scanner.

Step 6: Preparing the File in GIMP

I use gimp which is an image processor software, that is free to download.
1. Open your file in Gimp
2. Use Threshold to convert it into a black and white image.
3. Then by using the tool Select by colour, select white, and
4. Delete it.
You will now have a layer that contains the black ink profile, which you can use to start colouring.

Step 7: Colouring the Image.

Paint a silhoutte of the main characters in white in a new layer below the profile layer. Then start coloring, little by little, using the brush and the fill tool, selection tool, etc.

Step 8: Texture

Use the paintbrush for texturing. Gimp offers a lot of features that you have to discover. I only know the basic ones, so there is a whole world to discover. Then paint the background and other parts of the image.

Step 9: Exporting

When I am finish I end up with a quite large file. Normally a file is larger than 5000px wide and 1.5gb when in use, so think about your computer characteristics. Now you can shrink your image to a desired width and finally export it into a JPG file for the web!