You Can Cartoon! With Christopher Griffin | Classes | Tsuga Fine Art


YOU Can Cartoon! With Christopher Griffin


A simple, relaxed beginner's course in cartooning for teens and adults, the sessions include brief introductory discussion topics, one or two exercises, depending on complexity, quick review session and wrap with suggested sketchbook tips for in the field. The topics to be covered include:

  • WRIST ASSURED: Nurturing and developing your individuality while honing your skills comes from drawing every day. It can take a while to recognize your unique “hand” in your sketches and drawings but it’s there and it grows from observing and sketching daily.
  • GO FIGURE: In this session we look at the building blocks of the human figure. Come ready for a workout! An understanding of the basic structure of the figure is a great springboard for effective cartoon exaggeration. We’ll look at anchoring the figure in space and establishing its center of gravity and expanding from there. The last half hour of class will feature a demonstration and discussion of clothing folds.
  • CHARACTER DYNAMICS: During this session on visual dynamics, we will investigate the “stretch” present not only in cartoonists’ work but in the work of many other artists. Examples from known artists’ works will be shown and discussed. We will discuss the construction of the face from the real to the surreal and the ways in which characters are defined by movement, style of dress, posture and other details.
  • PERSPECTIVE: Learning the fundamentals of perspective involves less than a lot of people realize and getting these fundamentals down will transform you. Let’s look at placing figures in believable space as well as employing the technique of foreshortening to bring the figures to life in that space. Also discussed: tone values and their role in aerial perspective.
  • JUXTAPOSITION: We really stretch out and have fun in this session, where we look at anthropomorphism, personification, costumery as statement, metaphor big and small.
  • LETTERING IS JUST DRAWING: The intention with this session is not to derail the class off onto lettering or calligraphy per se. It is intended to reinforce the students’ skills and provide another fun tool for the toolbox. Inevitably, those who draw cartoons wish to, at some point, include lettering on holiday cards, posters, etc. and using digital fonts is convenient and fun but doing it by hand lends personality and unifies your drawing since it IS part of your drawing. This session will include a demonstration of the Ames lettering guide and an overview of the three basic lettering styles such as employed in sign graphics.
  • SEQUENTIAL ART: A discussion on comics, animation and their origins and special language.
  • GROUP WORKSHOP: During which we try techniques and tools based on requests and feedback collected from the class members over the previous seven sessions. Would you like to try a ruling pen? Would you enjoy more discussion on lettering? Brush techniques?? Shall we discuss color? Should I bring paper samples in?? Would you like to learn how to use and properly care for an old school style technical pen? It’s WIDE OPEN!
See the course supply list

Two Class Options:
Tuesdays OR Fridays, 5–7pm
Dates & Times:
  • Tuesdays: 5–7pm, January 7, 14, 21, 28, & February 4, 11, 18, 25
  • Fridays: 5–7pm, January 10, 17, 24, 31 & February 7, 14, 21, 28
Maximum attendees: 10


Cost: $120 for the 8 sessions of this beginners’ course, payable at first session – Refundable if attendee changes mind after first session. I accept PayPal, credit cards, checks and cash. You are also welcome to pay ahead of time. No refunds for missed classes otherwise.

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