Funny cartoon illustration depicting a muddy day by Joana Miranda


Actually, mud is really NOT my favorite thing.  However, when I saw that the word for The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators monthly art prompt was “muddy”, I figured I might as well embrace the challenge and get my hands a little dirty.

In case you’re curious, here’s a look at how I created my new illustration…

These days I’ve thrown out the rule book.  Instead of trying to come up with verbal gags for my single panel gag cartoons before I start drawing (doing so is highly recommended by most cartoonists), I’ve resorted to simply doodling and letting what emerges from my scribbles dictate the direction of the humor.

(I would have felt sheepish about admitting that I cartoon this way, until I came across this New Yorker Cartoon Desk archived article about the cartoonist John O’Brien.)

So, for your amusement, here is the rather messy (muddy?) process I used to come up with my latest illustration.

The preliminary doodle sketch was done on regular 8.5 x 11 office paper with a 3B pencil…

Very loose pencil doodle preliminary drawing for "Muddy" illustration by Joana Miranda

I then scanned my doodle into my photo editing program to clean it up a bit more (my eraser was black by this point) and to see it from a new perspective…

Preliminary pencil doodle for "Muddy" illustration cleaned up a bit in my photo editing program.

(As you can see, I also crudely re-drew areas with the paint brush tool in my photo editing program.  I’ve used Corel Paint Shop Pro for years for my photo editing and illustration clean up projects.  Currently I’m using the Corel Paint Shop Pro X9 version.)

From here, the next steps were to transfer the line drawing to my Borden & Riley #234 Paris Paper for Pens, ink it with my various brush tip pens, and then color it with my Faber Castell Watercolor pencils.

The finished illustration…

Funny cartoon illustration depicting a muddy day by Joana Miranda

(Quite cleaned up, if I do say so myself!)

Here’s hoping the folks over at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators love it, too!


    • Joana says:

      Thanks, Helen! And thanks for our chat yesterday and for the forwarded IG “gain more followers” emails you sent! I’ve decided to save looking at IG for the very end of each day (after I’ve gotten all of my other real work done!) Hopefully, working on growing my email list and pursuing real life networking leads will lead to a lot less frustration. 😉 xox – Joana

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