Thursday, February 22, 2018


I like this cartoon by Charles Barsotti of a committee of dogs deliberating a rubber ball:

From the inventory of Taraba Illustration Art LLC 

Barsotti is famous for his light hearted, spontaneous style.  He draws only the bare essentials, perfect for his special brand of humor.

There's no "over-thinking" in this drawing... is there?

When you look at the original, you see that Barsotti decided that some of those dog noses would be funnier if they were a fraction of an inch shorter:

And that round rubber ball... maybe it needed to be a fraction of an inch larger to balance perfectly against the dogs:

And as for those dogs... gosh, would the joke go over better if they had eyebrows for facial expressions?

Nope, I guess not.  Better white them out.

This airy little drawing about not over-thinking the nature of play contains ontological ironies:  It requires effort to be perfectly effortless.


Alan Hartley said...

Quentin Blake is another artist/illustrator who's work appears effortless and care free, but I'll bet it isn't. It is probably carefully planned out just like all other illustrator's work is.

chris bennett said...

The laughing ball is enjoying the irony too... :)

kev ferrara said...

Very hard to be like this within earshot of the intensity of the world, or within thought-shot of your own roiling concerns and nature. It takes a good long while to decompensate from the game; to sleep like a baby in order to dream like one. I'd need to become a different person in a different world.

Matthieu Kiriyama said...

There is a word for that in italian, 'sprezzatura.' That concept of seemingly effortless skill and elegance originated in a 16th century book. It is thought to inform the art of the Renaissance, notably Raphael.