Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lynn’s Drawing Style Emerges – Lazy!

In today’s reprint of For Better or For Worse, we have another Farley strip. The sight gag works pretty well. Farley trains Mike to sit, possibly one of the few times we will see young Michael Patterson disciplined. Despite the fact that this is a primarily a visual strip, you can see some of the drawing shortcuts Lynn Johnston is starting to take, which will become emblematic of her art over time. By drawing shortcuts, I mean things that Lynn refused to draw or correct.

In panel 1, the lower half of Mike’s body is off panel, possibly because Lynn didn’t want to draw his hideous pants in all 3 panels.

In panel 2, we see what will become a standard drawing method for Lynn Johnston. Mike’s left leg and upper torso connect, but his right leg does not. Obviously it was drawn last, and even back in the second year of her strip, Lynn Johnston could not be bothered to erase Mike’s torso to make it connect to both of his legs. This is a very common drawing error for Lynn Johnston throughout the 30 years of her strip. For some reason, Lynn also decided to blacken in Farley’s fur on his forechest. It returns to white in the next panel. The darkening of his fur is so close to the drawing and expression of his little doggie face, the blackening is likely a method of repairing a poor drawing of the dog’s head, without erasing.

Panel 3 is the most interesting, because there are so many missing body parts on Michael Patterson. The best part is his disembodied hand, hovering over Farley.

In panel 4, the unusual part is the relative shifting of the horizontal line representing the connection of the floor to the wall. As the action concludes, young Michael has shifted several metres away from the wall as he fell. Farley, on the other hand, appears to be walking in an undog-like manner. Dogs don’t move legs on both sides in the same direction. They would fall over. You can see why Lynn Johnston eventually moved to using drawing models for such things.


Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said...


I couldn't stop thinking about the advice:

5. Challenge yourself to draw well. It’s time-consuming, but it’s so worthwhile.

she handed out in that book. Either she's a hypocrite or she simply can't see how bad her artwork is.

4:38 AM  
Blogger howard said...


The key ingredient to Lynn Johnston's art improvement over time to where she was when she handed out that 2003 advice was her detailed backgrounds. She expressly mentions them in her advice. The funny part is that Lynn would sketch them out and had an assistant draw in the details. So I think the word "hypocrite" would be extremely appropriate.

4:59 AM  

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