cartoon initial cap

I know that it is Autumn, but I’m too used to Easter in the Northern Hemisphere, so I’m doing Spring type things. Like having a sort out of various stacks of stuff. Then I got distracted from collecting all my teddy bears onto a bench for checking and cleaning, to looking at the book shelves that contain craft and hobby type books.

The one that I’ve pulled off the shelf to have a look at over lunch is Frank Webb’s Let’s Draw. It is a book to encourage children to doodle and draw from letters and numbers. I remember doing most of the exercises, but no longer have any record of my attempts.

Then I thought, I’ll have a go again and perhaps I can use them as initial caps (drop caps) a bit like the illuminated manuscripts we saw in a library in the UK.

My first attempt had the elephant facing to the left which meant the letter was closest to the margin.


I flipped the image, and also attempted to make the letter ‘I’ blacker with the GIMP‘s Paintbrush Tool. But I think what it needs is for me to be more confident about using my 3B pencil to draw the line, in fact, all the lines.

No great art, but I have had fun working through the possibilities. Also, the exercise has unearthed another Easter time task. And that’s to get the sticky and powdered foam that has disintegrated (from age) in my pencil box 😦

This is definitely one of the books that will remain in my BookCrossing Permanent Collection for the time being.


7 thoughts on “cartoon initial cap

  1. I just wanted to send you a note about Frank Webb since you seem to be interested in his techniques. When we lived in Santa Barbara, CA in the 60’s my father, an electrician, worked on Frank’s small theme park. They became friends and he came to our home and painted cartoons on our den wall. That was exciting as it was, but then my three brothers and I had the priviledge of going on his TV show and to learn to draw with him. All these years later and I still use his technique to teach my grandchildren how to draw cartoons. They think I am awesome because I can draw like I do!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and telling your wonderful story.

    I think Frank Webb’s technique is great for getting children (and adults) to overcome any fear that they cannot draw.

    The book is a special keepsake as it is one of the few things that I have that can invoke such pleasurable memories and the ‘can do’ attitude.

  3. Hi,
    Three years ago when I googled Frank’s name, only one site came up. I did it again today and there’s a big list. He was my great uncle, and holiday gatherings always saw Frank drawing cartoons for us on whatever was handy. I have some of his work, and treasure it for the memories it brings. Thank you for helping to keep his memory alive.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I’m pleased that you also have fond memories and it must have been wonderful to see the cartoons come alive in front of you. Shame YouTube wasn’t around when Frank was drawing for you.

  4. I’ve been looking online for a copy of Frank Webb’s Let’s Draw to get my 6 year old son for Christmas. Googling brought me to your blog. I remember as a kid drawing from that book to make gift labels anytime I wrapped a present for someone. Where did you find your copy?

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