My new website has been up for a few months now and originally had a large slider on the homepage, showcasing some of my cartoon work as a little taster for initial visitors.
So what’s wrong with my homepage?
The main issue with this is the gallery slider that I was using was a little on the ‘chunky’ side and therefore resulted in the homepage taking longer to load and that visitors may only be seeing one or possibly two cartoons when they visit the homepage.
So, to overcome this, I thought what about a whole snapshot of the sort of cartoon crazies that I create and have them all together in one place?
Given that my website is made to look like it’s made from pieces of card and paper, I thought about having them all tearing forth out of a large piece of paper.
So the first thing I had to do was find a suitable image. Now, there are plenty of websites out there offering ‘free images’, but I wanted to get myself a good one from a stock library – that way it’s a great quality image and also I have the freedom to use it as I wish.
I’m a big fan of the Envato marketplace website, so this was my first port of call – and as always, I found exactly what I was looking for.
This perfect image not only had the paper tearing outward, with several edges for characters to sit on, but also had a nice blue background behind, which ties in perfectly with my primary site colour.
Adding my cartoon characters
So now I have my image, I can begin working on a composition for all of the characters.
I had a couple of ideas in my head as to what I wanted to include, and if possible have them all interacting with each other in some way.
So as a focal point I began with a cartoon dinosaur, as I’m a big fan of dinosaurs and feel they always look great in cartoon form. So none better to go with than a Tyrannosaurus!
And seeing as a tyrannosaurus is always on the lookout for something to eat, I thought he couple be chasing an aircraft. But then, from a cartoonist’s viewpoint, what could be better than an aircraft? An alien spaceship of course!
So we’ve got ourselves a little green, bug-eyed alien zooming off in his flying saucer – complete with oversized drive engines!
Cartoon pirates anyone?
Ok so we know I’ve drawn a few cartoon pirates in my time and as they’re so much fun, I needed to have at least one tucked into this composition.
Then I thought, what if we had the pirate locked in an epic battle with a giant squid? Keeps with a nautical theme then and also that squid would have lots of long arms to interact with the other characters.
Other cartoon characters
So with these two focal points in place, almost like ‘bookends’ I began filling in the space in the middle and mixing up some of my other favourite themes.
There was a lot of space above the squid on the right, and initially was going to fill this with a long necked dinosaur of some kind, but then as we already have a dinosaur, we needed something different – a giraffe!
So with part of our jungle contingent in place, I thought it best to couple the giraffe with a cheeky monkey hanging on his neck, throwing a banana at a poor unsuspecting member of the illustration.
In this case, the banana is bouncing off of the shield of a cartoon knight! Not something I’d drawn before, but certainly something I wanted to add to my portfolio at some point, with his shiny armour and enormous feather his helmet.
But surely the knight would require a steed of some description I hear you say? Well, that’s where we come around full circle and have him mounted upon the Tyrannosaurus Rex!
A few creepy monster cartoons
Being as I’m a big fan of creepy Halloween characters, I’ve added in a few for good measure – we’ve a spooky ghost that has crept in the top of the composition to scare the pants off of the gallant knight!
We’ve also a bloodsucking vampire at centre stage, alongside a mad professor, who’s drunk something a little potent and become a fly! He’s accompanied by a couple of mischievous gremlins, who are just itching to get out and cause some havoc!
We’ve also an Egyptian mummy cartoon, swathed in ancient bandages and accompanied by a venomous cobra, wrapped around his ankh-le (see what I did there folks)!
Ok, so now we’ve got a good selection of cartoon characters in place for my homepage, it’s time to start digitising all of he outlines.
The main advantage to this stage is I can perfect all of the outlines and get them how I’d like and also adjust the composition, so if any of the elements need resizing or repositioning I can do so at this stage.