You are browsing the archive for Cartoon workshops.

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival map 2010

April 15, 2010 in General

The Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival is just around the corner, so to help you find your way around the numerous exhibitions, workshops, talks and events, Bloghorn has put together a handy interactive map of what’s going on this year.

Just click on the map markers to get a run-down of what’s happening, or use the link below to view a larger version of the map. If you would like a print guide to the Festival follow that last link to a PDF download.

New to the event this year is the addition of the S-MILE trail (the blue line on the map below), a cartoon-infested walk around Shrewsbury’s medieval streets. Specific details of the trail, and the guided Ghost Tour on the evening of 20th April can be found here (again in a downloadable PDF). And if that’s not enough, we’ve also put together a Google Calendar of what’s on when.

View map full-screen

You can catch up with our event previews here (just scroll down the page) and Bloghorn looks forward to seeing you at this year’s event.

Back to school with Cartoon Classroom

September 23, 2009 in General


Comic artist David Lloyd (of V for Vendetta fame), cartoon historian Paul Gravett and teacher Steve Marchant (author of The Cartoonists’ Workshop) have created They plan to to centralize all information relating to the study of cartoon and comic strip creation in the UK.

The website launches officially in early October and the trio are currently looking for cartoonists who teach or who would be interested in sharing their skills to register interest at Alternatively, you can contact them direct here.

Steve Marchant

by Royston

Shrewsbury 2009 – it's all about action

April 28, 2009 in Events


Here’s Hunt Emerson, underground comics star turned Beano artist, demonstrating comic poses during a workshop held at the appropriately named Infinity and Beyond comic shop in Shrewsbury.

Remember, although the festival is over you can still see the exhibitions, as they run for several weeks. Check the website for details.

by Royston

Cartoonist takes issue with cartoon awards

December 10, 2008 in General

Everyone likes an online row, and cartoonist Rod McKie has provoked one on his blog with a blast at the recent Cartoon Art Trust Awards. (We blogged it here.)

Rod is an established professional cartoonist, well known for his forthright opinions. In this article he dismisses the entire genre of caricature (“It’s a fairly tired old medium now, isn’t it?”) and all political cartoonists (“They are all cowards who row-in with the ideology of the press barons they work for”). His particular beef against the CAT awards is that they are an “insular, parochial, London-based affair”, and he doesn’t appear to value many of those who won awards. Cartoonists have pitched in on his blog – including one of the award recipients – some agreeing and others disagreeing.

Bloghorn takes the view that anyone who sets up an award and is prepared to pay for the preparations, gets to choose how to judge it. You may not agree with their choices, but isn’t this always the way with awards ceremonies? Look at the grumblings that surround the Oscars every year.

But we are prepared to defend the Cartoon Museum itself, which is run by the Cartoon Art Trust. The museum, which receives no public funding, is among the most popular small museums in the country. There are some visitor reviews available here. Rod says the CAT has “never appeared on my radar” and adds that he knows nothing about the museum, as if that justifies his dislike.

Cartoon Museum workshops cover cartooning in all its forms. Pic: Cartoon Museum

The London museum may seem irrelevant to a cartoonist based in Scotland, but if he did make a trip, he would find that they do some great work, and it’s not all about joke and political cartoons or caricature. Look at the work that cartoonist Steve Marchant does there, running endless workshops and creative classes for young people. These cover comics, graphic novels and manga … the works.

We also take issue with the notion that cartoons that appear in British newspapers and magazines are somehow “parochial”. Rod seems to be of the view that in a globalised economy all cartoons should appeal to the whole world. We argue cartoons should reflect the real lives and experiences of people and any attempt to homogenise them for a world audience would be bad for cartooning as a whole.

Discuss. All comments welcome. Comment moderation is turned on.

Royston Robertson and Matt Buck

Updated at 3pm 9th December 2008:
The Cartoon Museum has kindly sent details of its visitor numbers since Britain’s first dedicated museum to the art of the cartoon opened in February 2006. Curator Anita O’Brien reports that from the time the museum opened in February 2006 until the end of 2006 it had 17,653 visitors. During 2007 this rose to 24,110 and to date in 2008, 27,410.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent
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Professional cartoonist workshops at the Big Draw

October 22, 2008 in General

The PCO provided the all-day cartoon and drawing workshops at The Big Draw. Here, two of our members report on what they did there. Click the images to enlarge

Paul Hardman writes:

The title of the workshop I ran was “Who Do You Think You Are?” It involved a very long roll of paper on which I had drawn about twenty train carriages. Participants were invited to draw a self portrait in each window and then put their names and where they were from underneath. After a slow start (10am) the activity grew and proved to be a great success, continuing throughout the day until we had run out of carriages and children were left asking for more!

An interesting metamorphosis developed as several windows became visual puns on the word “coach”. We had the football coach and the stage coach for example. The results were pasted to the side wall of the “Battle Arena” and made a very effective display.

Tim Harries

Judging by the of amount paper and sponsored pencils we went through, this year’s workshops were thoroughly enjoyed by cartoonists and public alike. Any available large space (blank walls, concourse pillars, some of the heavier cartoonists) was turned into a gallery to proudly display the transport-themed cartoons, comic strips and characters produced. Next door’s Starbucks aided flagging artists and parents as the kids kept us busy from 10am til 5pm, with quite a few families staying the entire day and taking part in each of the five workshops.

My “Creating First Class Comic Strips” workshop was fun to do, as always, and produced some quality work from quite a few attendees who, thanks to the microphone provided, could actually hear my instructions (including the slightly loud and embarrassing “How do you switch this thing off?”)

Other participating PCO cartoonists were Terry Christien, Chichi Parish, Robert Duncan and John Landers. Photos by Gerard Whyman and Royston Robertson.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

The Big Draw: match report

October 20, 2008 in General

A stylish performance in North London yielded nothing but glory for Team Foghorn as the PCOers narrowly failed to carry off the much-coveted Battle of the Cartoonists cheer-off trophy.

The squad of Pete Dredge, Robert Duncan, Kipper Williams and Royston Robertson delivered a fine performance on the competition theme – Transports of Delight – which we are republishing here. Scroll down to see all of the “First Class Gags”. Here are some pictures of the team in action (click to enlarge):

Wounded artistic pride was however much salved by the excellent surround sound as legions of keen children got stuck into the all-day cartoon and drawing workshops provided by the PCO. There was heroic work from Terry Christien, Paul Hardman, Chichi Parish, Lou McKeever, Robert Duncan, John Landers and the indefatigable Tim Harries, who in his spare time, also puts together large parts of our regular cartoon magazine – Foghorn.

The PCO had representatives in all of the competing teams in the Battle of the Cartoonists and as such can report exclusively from inside all of the competitions efforts.

Correspondent Ken Pyne, who played for Private Eye, said: “It’s like Rorke’s Drift with all these crowds.”

PCOer Martin Rowson moonlighted for The Guardian newspaper alongside Andy Davey. We paraphrase slightly: “We were robbed.”

Chris Burke played a blinder as a late substitute for the eventually victorious Independent team. Bloghorn’s Matt Buck, who played here too, said: “What a pleasant surprise.”

The Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation would like to thank the organisers and supporters of the Campaign for Drawing who organise the annual Big Draw events.

Here are the PCO’s “First Class Gags”. Click to enlarge. Images are copyright the various cartoonists. Photos by Royston Robertson.

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

by Royston

The PCO at the Big Draw: update

October 16, 2008 in General

The PCO is running workshops for all ages at the Big Draw event at St Pancras International Station in London on Saturday (October 18). If you’re interested in cartooning and fancy having a go, come along and get involved.

PCO cartoon workshops at the 2007 Big Draw

The workshop timetable is as follows: Paul Hardman – Who Do You Think You Are? 10am-11.25am; Chichi Parish – Time Travel, 11.30am-12.55pm; Robert Duncan – Drawing Near the Station, 1pm-1.55pm; Tim Harries – Creating First Class Comic Strips, 2pm-3.25pm; Terry Christien – On Track for Drawing Cartoon Characters, 3.30pm-5pm.

The PCO is strongly represented in the Battle of the Cartoonists (3-5pm) where four teams slug it out to produce the best cartoon banner, because not only does it have its own team but there are PCO members on each of the other three teams.

They are: Martin Rowson and Andy Davey (Guardian team), Ken Pyne (Private Eye) and Matt Buck (the Independent).

The Big Draw: Get involved

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartoon workshops: inky fingers and flying pickles

May 7, 2008 in General

Workshops and cartoon “clinics” were a major part of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival as usual this year, and PCO members Andy Gilbert, Paul Hardman and Tim Harries were at the forefront, helping members of the public to develop their cartooning skills.

Here’s Tim Harries on how he ran his “Create a Comic Strip” workshop:

“I explained the mechanics of producing a three panel strip, from character design, story refinement to actual drawing techniques. This was all duly noted and I suspect roundly ignored by several of the more boisterous participants, judging by the finished strips. I’m not complaining mind you, invariably the strips produced that day were energetic, great fun and frankly bonkers.

“Children have a terrific ability to just get on with the business of drawing, unencumbered by any doubts regarding their artwork. The young chap finishing off his 12-panel creation Bob the Flying Pickle was in no doubt that Bob was indeed a pickle that flew. More critical eyes would have perhaps renamed him ‘Bob the wobbly squiggle’ but that’s missing the point. Fun was being had, ideas were being explored and pickles were indeed flying. And you can’t say fairer than that.”

Photos by Gerard Whyman.

Click here for British cartoon talent

by Royston

Cartoon workshops at the Shrewsbury festival

April 16, 2008 in General

Tim Harries running a cartoon workshop Click image to enlarge

Cartoon workshops are a key part of the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival, and PCO members Tim Harries and Andy Gilbert will be running two of them.

Tim will host a workshop called Create a Comic Strip on Saturday (April 19) at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, 2pm–4pm. This is aimed at children aged 8 to 12 and families.

Andy’s workshop is called Animal Antics and is aimed at younger children, ages 6 to 11. It’s designed to help them to draw cartoon animals. This workshop is also on Saturday, from 10.30am – 12.30pm, and is held at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

Both are drop-in workshops and are free, with no need to book. Children must be accompanied.

There are other workshops at the festival plus a Cartoon Clinic, where budding cartoonists of all ages are invited to bring their work for a critique and some tips from the professionals. See the events section of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival website for more details.

British cartoon talent

The Big Draw 2007 – Cartoon workshop world

October 17, 2007 in General

The PCO ran a lot of workshops at the Big Draw and Tim Harries, who was bravely in the heart of the action, on both Saturday and Sunday, has this report;

Bigging it up with Mr Blake; Quentin advertises the art while the PCO did the serious PR

I’d seriously under-prepared for this year’s Big Draw. The marquee where our workshops were taking place displayed admirable tardis-like properties, with seating for what appeared to be about 60 people, but actually managing to contain around twelve thousand scribbling children and parents at any given moment.
I’d optimistically brought along 50 worksheets which were used in the first thirty seconds. I briefly contemplated hiding behind the flipchart, but luckily someone somewhere found a photocopier, which I suspect had a nervous breakdown before the weekend was over, such was the sheer amount of paper we went through.
Tim Harries reveals his inner torment while Royston Robertson just laughs at him
The workshops went brilliantly for all involved, and tended to run over into each other, with several things going on at the same time. It felt organised and wonderfully chaotic at the same time. At any given time, I could see caricatures being drawn, the huge chalkboard being used for a spot of reverse caricaturing, and comic strips, cartoons and funny faces being produced on any available workspace.
Anne and Andy Gilbert hard at work enlightening the tiny masses in one of their Saturday workshops
As the day(s) went on, the whole marquee became a gallery with the finished art hanging from the walls and frame. It just needed the music from Vision On to make it perfect. Thanks to all the cartoonists, helpers, and of course enthusiastic public who attended the cartooning marquee. Same time next year…

British cartoon talent