April 15, 2021

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Watch How to Draw a Creepy Clown | The New Yorker Video | CNE | Newyorker.com

9 min read

[logo whooshing]

Hi guys.

This is Lars Kenseth.

And today I’m going to teach you

how to draw fear, but funny.

[soft upbeat music]

So what have you, historically in your life

been afraid of?

We’ll spend the first two to three hours

of this call talking about.

Oh God.

Geez.

Well, I am very fearful of tech.

I love tech

and I buy all sorts of technology that I don’t need,

but I’m also really scared.

I vacillate between like

very excited about our technological future and Will Smith

in that I,Robot movie being like

I don’t know about them robots.

That famous catchphrase.

By Will Smith impression you’re welcome.

[soft upbeat music]

So here we have a classic campfire scene.

It’s a bunch of cans around a campfire

and the dad who’s taking them on this trip.

It was, you know, it looks like somebody

who probably works at a plant

or something like that.

He’s holding up his phone

and there’s a little robot arm on it.

And he says to the kids,

I don’t know any scary stories,

so I thought we could just watch

a bunch of YouTube clips of robots,

performing human jobs.

So this cartoon is all about

the moodiness of the background.

Walk us through how you develop that aesthetic.

Well, I knew I wanted to do

a reel over a stark black background

and the middle background with the trees.

And then you see the light of the moon plays on the Lake.

You can see it’s a lake by the little waves in it.

So, I’m curious if you have any like

technical suggestions for drawing light.

The main thing you wanna think about is

where’s that light’s coming from,

find a point in your drawing.

And here we’ve got two points of light.

One is the moon in the background

and the other is the fire in the foreground.

There are three, the phone.

Oh! There if a phone too.

That’s right.

Let’s talk about the phone.

Phone, it’s just a simple little glow.

You can just see it a little touch there.

Then you’ve got the campfire.

The campfire is obviously the main area of light.

You’ve got an explosion of light

on the people’s faces

and then harsh shadow behind them.

And then you’ve got the moon in the background there

and that I knew I wanted to play it off the water.

And then, you know, there were waves out there

even if it’s a Lake, it’s like, you know, you get

you get some little wave action.

So they’re gonna play off the light too.

The fun thing is it’s like

my day job is mostly writing.

So like when I just get to sit down and draw something

it’s like, Oh, maybe it was just try this really pretty.

I’m trying to draw pretty late at night.

[soft upbeat music]

Drawing light is definitely not the easiest thing to do.

It’s almost like playing pool

where you have to keep in mind

all the different angles.

Where’s the light coming from?

Where is the light hitting for this one?

You know, I put a little soft glow on the moon

just to kind of,

you know, make sure it reads is illuminating

and it’s not just some asteroid headed towards earth.

And then on the water

to just make a bunch of little lines

and I kind of play with the opacity

and you know, the brightness.

You know, sometimes you might wanna

actually throw it on a bigger block of white

for the moon and maybe vary it up a little bit.

‘Cause you know, the water’s not still.

So, you know, we kind of play off that

like with the moon it’s obviously very bright,

but it’s very far away.

The intensity of the light is not

as intense as it would be

if for instance, you were doing something

like this fella right here telling a scary story

the lights a lot more intense.

And I use kind of a soft brush to aluminate

but a heavy brightness.

And then I’ll just sort of erase stuff here around his,

I was just thinking where the shadows would fall.

[soft upbeat music]

And for this last drawing here,

I have that same guy

with his little, ooh, ooh ooh, scary face around a campfire.

What I think is fun about campfire

is it’s sort of the middle ground

between the far away light, like the moon

and a really close up light, like a flashlight.

It makes it a little tougher

because it’s diffuse light

but it’s at the same time, it’s everywhere.

So it’s almost like water, light is almost like water.

Like, you know, it leaks everywhere.

And so you have to kind of just use your brain

and think about, okay, what angles would it hit?

What areas would it not hit?

You know, so here I have it,

you know mostly a little glow

and pooling out from the fire itself.

And then I also kind of think,

okay, well, given where the light’s coming from

there’s probably gonna be a little bit of a shadow cast

by that one hand

that’s kind of protruding into his facial area.

So there are some ideas to help

and hopefully not confuse you.

[soft upbeat music]

You got a classic New Yorker therapist, office setup.

We’ve got the diploma on the wall,

we’ve got the therapist

we’ve got the therapy patient.

And then we’ve got in the window

a clown with his mouth stitch shot.

And if you look above you see

that it says creepy clown ruins

a perfectly good New Yorker cartoon.

So this is the first group in the New Yorker.

It is.

Tell us the tale of how long have you been submitting?

Was it all clown cartoons, et cetera.

I’ve been submitting for, you know, a few months

and I’d gotten a lot of great feedback.

I was encouraged to really just kind of try new stuff

and just try and find, you know,

push the form as much as my lack of experience

could allow.

Lars are you a clown?

[laughs]

Honestly, the clown does look like me.

So it’s kind of like the sheepish grin

that I usually have.

It doesn’t even look that creepy kinda smile.

He’s kind of cute.

I think

Yeah, I would say he’d be cute

without the like sowed closed mouth.

I like I like I’m with, I like him.

[laughs]

Tell me about like how the exact number of details

you need to convey

that were in a New Yorker therapist office cartoon.

Okay. This I can speak to really well

because not only have I been in a lot of therapists offices

I’ve also looked at a lot of therapists cartoons

and there really are only a few items you need

to make a New Yorker cartoon set in a therapist office.

One, you need at least one diploma framed on the wall.

Then you need a long couch for the patient to sit on.

And then the therapist just needs to have a note pad.

I don’t think it’s required,

but I think one piece of greenery in there

and that’s pretty much it.

And I think you’re good.

[soft upbeat music]

When you’re drawing a therapist,

in the New Yorker cartoon,

there are several key things to keep in mind.

A discerning look on the therapist’s face

is always important.

A finger to the mouth is nice.

A note pad is integral.

Cross legs, another plus.

Glasses, really important

but if you’re not going to do glasses

you better do some kind of facial hair.

My characters all kind of look like potatoes

or I’ve heard lozenge pill thumb people.

If you’re having a hard time,

you know get a potato could be a Yukon Gold

could be a russet

and just, you know, just outline it.

[soft upbeat music]

A Fern in the corner.

some sort of plant, I leave it up to you.

Diplomas, you definitely need credentials on the wall.

I say two is my that’s my nice number.

Now, if you go to a real therapist office

there’s going to be more like 10.

I mean, they throw everything up on the wall.

They’ll throw in certificate of completion

for a spaceman camp.

And then obviously you need the patient

who was a bear, in this instance.

This bear is gonna be a lot of work.

I don’t know why it’s a bear, I forget.

These are all ways to make a therapist cartoon saying.

[soft upbeat music]

So here we have caption list cartoon.

We can tell based on the volcano in the background

and a city covered in burning Ash and lava

that we are in Pompei and as havoc erupts on the streets

and men and women and children run for their lives.

We see a small pushcart,

a man with a gentle smile

selling his wares

in the light of this horrible tragedy.

He’s decided to drop his price one whole dollar.

[laughs]

So you said this was influenced

by Peter Arnaz famous so back to the drawing board.

Well, the Arno cartoon for people don’t know it,

it shows a plane,

traumatically crashing.

Everyone is running to the wreckage.

And then there’s a man who’s walking

actually out of the frame of the cartoon.

His shoe goes over the line

of the border of the cartoon

and saying back to the old drawing board

which is an idiom

that was created by the cartoon.

It didn’t exist before then.

It’s so incredible.

I love cartoons that play with,

you know, play with action

play with perspective like Arno’s cartoon.

It juxtaposes fear and terror

with just Placid, very restrained glee.

We like, how many fleeing citizens do we need before?

This is hilarious.

Emma it was more like,

how many can I get away with.

Like, how few can I get away with drawing?

[laughs]

[soft upbeat music]

So here we have a fellow running.

I start with my thumb head

and you know just general ideas about the body.

Look at those eyes,

just like with light,

just, you know, take a look at yourself.

What you look like running,

next time you go out on a jog

take a look at yourself in the bank window as you pass.

Hopefully not into oncoming traffic.

Be aware of your surroundings.

Be careful, run responsibly.

Gonna give him a little football Jersey.

I think that looks fun,

give ‘Im a little rip in the jeans.

He’s cool.

One leg out.

It’s like it’s a little bit dynamic.

‘Cause it’s,

you know he’s clearly running on the balls of his feet.

You can see that that front right leg

is just touching down

and he’s just gonna spring off that.

I don’t know what it is,

that’s behind him, but he’s scared.

It’s fun sometimes to add little things like

a big cup there I have kind of falling away.

Like he just dropped it.

It’s always very important with running away people

the little cartoon lines that suggest movement.

Clearly he’s wearing the quarterbacks Jersey number seven

zero into the low teens.

You’re looking at a quarterback.

This guy clearly thinks of himself that way.

He thinks, he thinks he’s just a Field Marshal.

He’s just a general marching up down field.

He’s seen it all, but whatever this is

has scared the pants off him

his quarterback ego is out the window, man.

He’s ready to spill like that big cup boy.

I hate to be this guy.

Oh no, it’s so scary.

[soft upbeat music]




2021-01-19 05:55:00


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