Whitney Darrow, Jr. (1909-1999) produced about 1500 cartoons for the New Yorker. A fine draftsman who studied at the Art Students League, Darrow put a lot of careful planning into his cartoons.
|"Reverend, you certainly sold me!" Whitney Darrow, Jr., 1950|
The original drawing was 9x12 inches, built up with carbon pencil line and charcoal, and solidified with watercolor wash.
Once he got an idea, his first step was to make a number of small sketches to help visualize the situation. Should it be indoors or out? Should the salesman be taller than the reverend?
After he worked out the composition, he submitted a rough to The New Yorker. He had two possible captions: "You certainly sold me!" or "Well, you certainly sold me!" The caption actually used (see above) was still another variation.
Once he knew the setting and arrangement of figures, he did a larger sketch to work out the perspective and the cropping.
The final drawing may seem spontaneous, but it was the result of a lot of preliminary work to finalize the gestures and expressions.
Adapted from the Feb. 1950 issue of American Artist. Thanks, James!