Hi, I’m Carolita Johnson.
And today I’m gonna show you how to draw a wedding cartoon.
So, today we’re talking about
making cartoons about weddings.
What do you think makes the subject so rife for parody?
It’s so full of tropes and cliches
that you’re supposed to want and know already, I guess.
So, you know, what’s not funny about it?
So wait, how do you continuously get
new fodder for your wedding cartoons?
Are you crashing weddings across town just to…
No, nobody invites me to their weddings.
I think because they know my attitude.
They don’t want me saying things.
So I just, because they don’t invite me to their weddings
I have to put my wiseacre remarks into my cartoons instead.
This guy is on his knee at a restaurant
and his to-be fiance is eating some cake at their table.
And she’s saying, Marry you?
I haven’t finished my dessert yet.
Was this based off of an actual thing that you saw, or?
There was this one time when a boyfriend
was gearing up to propose to me,
and I suppose I was envisioning many scenarios
in which he might do it,
and then like what my reaction would be.
And that would have been like buying time.
Like how do I not answer the question.
[Emma] Well I love the sort of, the circular composition
of this one and how the eye is led around
then to this central conflict,
which is ordered between the two people,
but then also at a cross angle
between the rock and the cake.
I do my composition quite unconsciously.
So I’m always fascinated to hear
what people have to say about it.
I’m very flattered that you found
such interesting things to say about my composition.
[Emma] Also, it’s got the cartoon lines
indicating that it is gleaming.
I love those things.
I put them in whenever I can, I have to say.
I’m curious what type of restaurant it is.
Well, you know, it’s obviously a, it’s got lighting,
the candle, the candle lights,
or possibly fake light bulb candlelight.
And I like to put just the minimal details
to indicate where they are and what the mood is.
So you can see in the background, another couple
sitting at a fancy table too, and some curtains.
So it’s like a private scene with candlelight.
That’s obviously a fancy restaurant.
And when you draw your characters,
do you base them on individual people,
or do you have a character profile in mind
when you’re drawing them?
[Carolita] I guess it depends on what
the character’s gonna be saying or doing.
So this guy is obviously probably gonna be rejected.
So I made him kinda dull, not too interesting.
But, you know, he’s obviously made an effort.
He’s dressed up, he’s got nice boots on.
[Emma] Yeah, those are really nice shoes.
I guess I think people who look perfect are funny,
you know what I mean?
Like anybody who just looks too just right
is hilarious to me ’cause I just can never get there.
It makes me wanna like do something to them.
So I guess what I do to them is I put them in cartoons,
and put them in ridiculous situations, that’s my revenge.
Prepared a few characters to show you.
One of my favorites is this guy.
He’s like a nice guy.
He’s not too good looking to be annoying.
His hair is not perfect.
He is trying a little bit.
He’s got a little bit of a faux-hawk,
to look slightly edgy, but you know, he’s not quite there.
Kind of like to give them
a little bit of color in the cheeks.
I give him like an outfit my dad used to wear,
which is a sort of pullover over a collared shirt.
This is a person I’ve sort of recently developed.
It’s a more androgynous look.
She’s a sort of cross between Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett,
and the guy I used to have a crush on in high school.
Then there’s this cutie.
She’s got a sort of pixie haircut.
She might be wearing a turtleneck, a black turtleneck.
Here’s just the classic perfect girlfriend.
She’s annoying because even with her hair messy
she looks good.
I will never be the perfect girlfriend.
And then this guy, sometimes people, they look so perfect,
even though they’ve got messy hair,
they’ve got that tousled look.
He’s like one of those guys that can wear a giant scarf
on a sweater and look cool.
He can look cooler than his girlfriend.
I absolutely forbid my men to look cooler than me
when I go out with people ’cause that’s just annoying.
That’s a lie, actually.
I just like saying things.
I mean, they’re all kind of likable.
I try not to make anybody too unlikable.
There’s a couple and they’re looking at each other
rather earnestly, very earnestly.
And you can tell, she’s been saying something beautiful.
The caption would be, Whoa!
That’s a little clingy.
I literally had this thought while watching
some wedding scene I think in a soap opera,
where they say like, and I promise, blah, blah, blah.
And then I just remember thinking, god that’s really clingy.
I have been on a wedding circuit for the past few years.
And I feel like I could do a whole like,
I promise to be your best friend forever.
To always laugh at your jokes.
That’s something that people always say,
which is so messed up.
Always laugh at your jokes, no way.
Cartoonists, we literally would be like,
eh, that’s not really funny.
Your veil is sort of incredible
because it’s very tangible.
It’s so few lines, but it feels very tangible.
And yet it’s totally sheer.
The trick is, I don’t know if you can see the veil,
you can see the religious person,
the deacon, or the priest, or what have you,
his book, you can see that the veil makes it
just ever so slightly lighter.
And that’s the indication that the veil is in front of it.
And that’s always like, you gotta remember to do that.
It’s also like I find that white wedding dresses
are always fun to draw.
And the veil, because it’s just like a few lines,
and then a few swashes of gray shadows, like wash.
It’s like shoop, shoop, shoop.
All right, so this woman is in a call center.
And she’s received a call,
and she’s like, You hear women screaming?
Are you sure someone didn’t just announce their engagement?
We’re gonna talk about wash now.
And I have always understood wash
to mean areas where there’s paint.
My washes tend to be very watery, I have to admit.
So here’s where I’m doing her hair.
I think I imagine her wearing blue.
So this is like how blue or navy
shows up in black and white.
You see the fact that I’ve wet this already
helps receive the wash.
It means that the wash won’t look too streaky.
And in the background, someone who’s in the background,
you’re not gonna give her as much presence.
They’re gonna look almost more like a shadow
so that you know she’s not the focus.
Now, the other thing I like to use wash for
is to create a, what they call a vignette.
And a vignette is, I’m sure everybody
who does Instagram knows, it’s when you have a,
the focus goes out towards the edges.
I like vignettes because they remind me
of old fashioned illustrated books.
All right, so this is a rough, okay.
We’re gonna call that a rough.
When I end up with a very watery thing like this
I take a couple pieces of paper that I’m not gonna use.
And place one behind it and one in front of it.
And I have this amazing thing,
I do not know what it’s called, but it has little magnets.
I don’t think you can see the magnets here on each corner.
And you place your wet, well your damp drawing
that’s all buckled, in between these two panes
of heavy plexiglass, and it just flattens it.
It will flatten it overnight.
So there’s two women and they’re jogging
around the reservoir in Central Park.
And one is wearing her entire wedding outfit.
She’s holding up her skirts and she’s saying,
I paid three grand for this dress,
I’ll wear it wherever I want.
I guess it should be about, you know,
I know people who have spent eight grand.
And by now it must be 12?
I was gonna say, if I was editing this now I’d be like,
Tell me a little bit about how you draw cloth in motion
because this is a very dynamic drawing.
Well, that’s one of the things
you learn in art school actually.
Like at the ends of her dress, that’s like,
almost like a drawing trope.
It’s so easy to convey just by doing that sort of, and then.
Here’s a wedding dress.
This is the wedding dress that I threatened
basically to wear for a whole week.
When my mom said, Oh, before I die
I just want to see you in a wedding dress.
And I was like, Yeah, I can arrange that.
Basically, you just draw the lines
and then you add some shadows.
You want ’em to be dark enough to register.
See what I’m doing?
But not so dark that it looks like
you’re drawing spots instead of shadows.
See how fun this is?
So that’s a white dress.
And that was easy to draw.
Oh, I might note, if you’re gonna wear a dress like that
you need to have messy hair.
You can not have perfect updo hair in a dress like this.
It needs to be a little bit crazy,
or else you are gonna look nuts.
This was the wedding dress I almost got married in.
It was actually a vintage thing.
I had this straw boater hat
that I wanted to wear with it,
that I didn’t in the end wear.
I wore a sort of semi cowboy hat.
It had little, little dots.
It’s like all white cotton,
but it has these little raised bits of cotton on it.
That was gonna be my wedding dress.
But, problem was, I had started exercising and I outgrew it.
So I had to make arrangements with a friend of mine
to get a different wedding dress.
The last one is the wedding dress
of the person who’s just impossibly gorgeous,
and that you’ll never be able to live up to.
They always have like this deep, deep V.
And you’re just like, how can anybody wear that?
How is there not gonna be a huge wardrobe malfunction?
Just a few shadows and you’ve got a wedding dress.
Yeah, you need to make the hair darker
when it’s not under the veil.
But lighter when it is.
And then you need to get a few of these lines.
So that’s wedding dresses.
I think I was just born this way.
I mean, ever since I was a kid
I never wanted to get married.
And I always swore that I wouldn’t
get married before I was 50.
So, and then I got married at 51.
And you were married to the late,
great cartoonist, Michael Crawford.
What finally made you break down?
You know, when we moved in together,
I was like, Should we get married?
And we were like, I don’t know.
And then finally I just said,
It’s such a pain in the neck.
How about, let’s not and say we did.
And that’s how we left it ’til we actually did get married.
And I mean, it sounds a little sad, but we got married
because Michael started getting sick,
and I started worrying about
will they let me in the hospital,
will they let me in the emergency room with him?
And then I just wanted to make it sort of a gift to him
to make him feel better.
It was like no wedding you’ve ever seen.
And it was really pretty and cool.