Thursday, September 17, 2009

Art cartoon: I'm so very sorry

Picasso's "Weeping Woman", Picasso's lesser-seen "Pull Yourself Together, Woman"

It is traditional when producing cartoons based on works of art to put "After ..." followed by the name of the artist. Out of respect, this often takes the form of "Apologies ..." which I have used here.

It's genuinely felt too, because I love Picasso's "Weeping Woman". It's an amazingly powerful work, particularly when you see it in a gallery. The painting is about bereavement in the Spanish Civil War, and I wondered whether it was a suitable subject for a cartoon.

In the end I decided not to let my liberal guilt get in the way of a cheap gag! So here it is, and sorry again Pablo. The cartoon can be seen in the current Private Eye.

It was drawn with coloured brush pens, as I thought that would be better than using Photoshop. And yes, I used a lightbox to get the "Weeping Woman" right. It was quite a lot of effort to go to for an on-spec gag, much more than is usual, so I'm glad it sold.

Royston's portfolio website


  1. This is terrific Royston - and well worth the extra time it must have taken.

    I've been trotting out a fair few art-related gags myself recently. Some in a generic gallery setting, others parodying a particular artist or artwork. They can be tricky to get right, but you've nailed it here!

  2. Excellent toon, Royston.
    I recently got hold of a copy of 'Le mystère Picasso'-French B&W documentary showing him at work- fascinating to see the creative process.

  3. Thanks, chaps. I think a lot of cartoonists do "art" jokes, Rob. Understandable, really. I for one have done more Magritte cartoons than I'd care to admit to.

    Len, was that the one where there's footage of him painting on a sheet of glass in front of the camera? I find Picasso a fascinating character because he produced some great art but never did the whole "struggling artist" thing. He was hugely successful and a great self-publicist. That's par for the course with artists now, of course!

  4. Not quite paint on glass- he's using pens on paper with a bright light behind him- the camera is on the other side of the paper so you see the strokes appearing in real time-Quite hypnotic at times.

  5. Ah, I see. This is the clip I was thinking of: Different documentary, I think.

  6. Brilliant piece Royston! Do you ever get chance to do your own paintings - I'd love to see some Royston originals?!

  7. Thanks, Tim. Yes I have done paintings ("serious" stuff, not cartoons) but only as part of an oil painting course I attended over the past few years. I don't tend to find much time to paint at home. I was considering showing a couple on this blog, but I haven't been brave enough yet!

  8. Very strong idea Royston - and very convincing pastiche!

    (Actually, I have to admit that the only branch of crime which has ever appealed to me is art forgery. Maybe you should think about it!)

  9. Thanks, Cathy.

    Interesting idea. Could maybe forge cartoons, though I'm not sure the profit margins are as good.

  10. I know what you mean about being brave - I often wait to send work off until I'm "a bit better" - but we're always going to have room for improvement!
    No excuses now Royston - let's see some paintings - you might even find it opens new avenues for you!

  11. Er, they're a bit big for the scanner, so I'll have to take some photos. I'll get back to you, Tim!



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