I've written before about how arthritis and essential tremor have been hindering my ability to draw.
Here's how I've been adapting...
Previously I drew the editorial cartoons as one single piece of art on 12 x 9 Bristol paper. That doesn't work anymore because I can't draw that small now - too crampy on the fingers which reduces my control of the pen and makes my drawing pretty sloppy. Anything larger doesn't fit in the scanner so now I'm drawing most cartoons in pieces and assembling them in Photoshop. I can draw the individual elements larger using a fatter Sharpie (which is good because Sharpie discontinued the marker I used for 30 years!) and still shade with finer markers. I also utilize a Wacom Intuos Pro drawing tablet, but I don't actually do much drawing on it yet with the editorials. I am using it a lot to draw my R.F.D. comic strip. The pen is pretty fat where you hold it so that's an arthritis bonus!
My fingers cramp up something wicked and I have to frequently stop and flex them, but, hey, they're still working for now. Any flubs due to the lack of pen control can be easily fixed after I scan them into the computer. My pencil roughs have always been free and loose but my finished inking was always pretty tight and controlled. Now I have to make quick flicks and strokes with my markers as I can no longer draw long slow lines without them being shaky-looking. This has actually added looseness to my inking which I kind of like.
So here's what "drawing" an editorial cartoon looks like now using my latest cartoon as an example:
Elements drawn large and separately with markers on three different sheets of 12 x 9 Bristol.
Colored using pencils, brushes & gradations in Photoshop.
Wacom drawing tablet.
Place the elements, lighten the background elements and add the voice balloons with font of my own lettering..
Add more color, balloon tails, and sig and voila! finished cartoon.
So that's what I'm up to.
Hope you're all well and dealing okay with the pandemic!