Sunday, December 2, 2018

Playboy Cartoon With Prelims: December 2012

caption:  "Every year I leave Cookie out for Santa."

Since the early 1960s, Doug's submitted thousands of loose-style gag roughs to Playboy; close to 500 were approved by Hef for final art and ultimate publication.

After receiving the notice for an upcoming cartoon meeting, Doug would immediately call and/or email his writers with the requested topics - sports, entertainment, holidays, etc. - and the due date.  He liked to receive their gag lines two weeks before the deadline.  When they arrived, he'd take a couple of days to read them over and select those he thought would be visually interesting and also get a good laugh.

Once the best gags were chosen, he'd go to the drawing board in his studio overlooking Lake Couchiching in Orillia, Ontario and began to work.

The process started with a quick, loose sketch in pencil on standard 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper, to block out the characters and set the scene.  When these were finished, he'd go back, using a black Sharpie permanent marker, and add the caption and details.  Sometimes he'd overlay changes by cutting out a piece of paper, gluing it down, and then drawing over it.  Although some artists work with graphics programs, all of Doug's work was done by hand.  If there was time, he might also decide to enhance the roughs by adding color - first the flesh tones then the other colors, one by one.  He'd lay out six to eight at a time on a work table and add highlights using Dr. Ph. Martin's aniline dyes, which Doug used to render all of his Playboy originals.  This added step made it easier for Hef to quickly visualize the essence of the gag during a meeting that involved hundreds of cartoon roughs from several different artists.

Also at this time, Doug added his signature, generally in a lower corner, with the writer's initials under it.  This identification was important since Playboy paid the gag writers directly, it allowed the magazine to match initials with mailing addresses and issue checks to the right people.

Approved - "OK color page H" in black Sharpie - loose-style gag rough original, cartoon published in the December 2012 issue on p. 87.

early pencil rough (image area 8 x 8 1/2 on heavy tracing vellum)

later pencil/black Sharpie rough (image area 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 on heavy tracing vellum)

To see available Playboy cartoon originals, approved loose-style Hef gag roughs and pencil and color prelims, visit the Doug Sneyd Premium Gallery at:

(blog entries by Heidi Hutson)

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