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You can draw anything... with cartoons and illustrations

You can draw anything... with cartoons and illustrations


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Published by alece
This collection of illustrations and cartoons has been put together to help or assist budding artists, designers, cartoonists, or illustrators; with ideas.
This book is to be used for inspiration. If you wish to copy any of the images be my guest but remember, the joy is in producing your own, tracing is good for honing your styles, copying is good for nothing.
This collection of illustrations and cartoons has been put together to help or assist budding artists, designers, cartoonists, or illustrators; with ideas.
This book is to be used for inspiration. If you wish to copy any of the images be my guest but remember, the joy is in producing your own, tracing is good for honing your styles, copying is good for nothing.

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Published by: alece on Jul 22, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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You can draw anything...

with cartoons and illustrations
Alec Ellis


You can draw anything...
with cartoons and illustrations
Volume 1
Introduction This collection is just a small selection of cartoons and illustrations created for clients over the past 10 years. If you can get into the feel, meaning, if you can understand what the client wants and get an idea who the client is, you can have great fun cartooning or illustrating. You will find yourself chuckling away and even laughing with the result. If you draw with conviction the client will accept it everytime. As a favourite painting or sculpture, if there is soul put into it, the image will stand out of the crowd. So too will yours. This is a journey of experience, how you draw early on will not be the same as in the future, that is why I kept all that I could, once gone it is lost. Please enjoy what you see inside. The purpose of this book is for the budding artist or illustrator to get ideas. If you feel you need to copy anything in here and use it as is, with no change, do it! Your punishment will be that you will have missed out on your own experiences. Use this book to inspire your own art. Enjoy yourself. Alec

Ants! They do so much. This was part of a series of illustrations, the idea was to design a character who could handle any of the experiments. I loved this character, he could do anything. Experimenting with hot water.


Am I stirring it properly? Better not let the heat out of my skull, nice hat!


Hmm... I was sure I could walk on water, oh no this is mud, what to do now?


Wow flickering pictures, I believe this was how they started movie making, flicking, “flickers”... bit of slang for you, meaning cinema.


Woo hoo. Bounce it baby! Bet YOU cant sit there with your legs crossed, bounce four balls with two more legs, use another leg to shade your eyes and the last to look like a tea-pot! Look how high.... yeah!


Hahahaha.... have you ever seen this out in your garden, or on your path, I bet you thought he was just struggling to get up, nah, you’re as funny to him as he is to you. Ha ha.... love em eh?


Hmm... I knew they could make little coke bottles, better be carefull though, but someone shook it up. Hope its diet coke.... cant wait to get rid of this rock between my legs!


I wanna go, no I wanna go, no I wanna go, no I wanna go..... you all have to take your turn. Too many legs.


Time for a cuppa.... oh yeah, me too.... back in a mo.


Sorry got caught up watching this candle with a nail through it and balancing on two cups...... Dont ask!


Yeah it works. Egg, cheese, milk and something else!!! Wow! makes ragged antennae.... coool!


Yeah well, cant always have a good day. Don’t wanna!


Spinning and spinning. I have no idea what this was done for, but I do believe it was for another experiment, or I was a bit frustrated with having ants sit down all the time!!


This was papier-mache day. You can sure make a lot of it with six legs. Finding that, using different things to breakdown the paper, and how long they do it is pretty interesting.... not!


More experiments. Anyone for a cookie! I call them Jec-n-hides... heehee. Come back if you change your mind.


I don’t know.... but I do know I got paid alot of money for this series... yeah baby!


Hey that’s me! Grrr...!


Direct Debit the best way to pay bills Had to show that staying at home in comfort, saving time, doing something else with your time was a certain when you paid your bills with Direct Debit. This was a cute series which I enjoyed very much, as staying in out of the rain and wind etc is my cup of tea.... just part of being British.


Where as baby will agree to staying at home asleep, it will be years before he will experience a seat in front of the fire a fresh brew a paper and the odd collection of carefully strewed books. Better this than off out to pay your bills!


Going for a ride with baby and me! Better this than struggling in a carpark somewhere. Saturdays are for pleasure, not shopping!


I think I might prefer taking a walk to pay my bills than playing bowls. But that’s just me! Nah... the job was to show you had more time using Direct Debit. Good ain’t it!


Citizens Advice and all it involves This set of illustrations was to show very basic actions within the citizens advice world, and consumer affairs. The illustrations would go behind the text etc, and be used as background graphics, to give the feel of this service.


Pyramid schemes and fraudulent scams, very popular when this series came out.


Free offers, this was signage on a laundrette, lots of signs were plastered over the front of Laundry windows as they were communal get-togethers for the less wealthy, who were picked on the most.


Handing over personal information is never a good idea until all information is researched and you feel comfortable its legit!


Question all contracts, do not sign anything until you are sure.


Beware of phony awards attracting you to contribute, then offering chances of winning things. Lots of traps, but starts off with wonderful offers.


More mail scams.


Back and forward to the post office with your Ebay gifts.


Beware of sale staff offering great deals and easy payment schemes. Be careful not to get trapped into regular payments you can really maintain. Obviously car sale yards were the most common dens.


Wouldn’t it be nice if you REALLY could get part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for only a few bucks... now come on, for real!! Unfortunately there are people out there who are this gullible, and though these scams are the most obvious this illustration made the problem instantly recognisable.


Price changes that are unfair, out of date, stocks appearing like bargains that should be taken off the shelves instead. It happens.


Products made in Australia and in other places. There were many occurrences of what was stated was not actually true or very far-fetched. Labels were to be investigated into but until then it was advised to enquire with the manufacturer if unsure.


Prize packages I had to produce these for a magazine, on average 8 per month. These were prize packages. I was given a couple of plastic bags of items and had to produce a picture of each set, ready for colouring. These were great fun and added another element to the illustration, groups of items and lots of play with perspective.

Emotions and actions in inanimate objects Quite obvious what these were, the descriptions of computer actions, this can be used not only with computers but all inanimate objects. Dan da-da daann! Would find myself making accompanying noises, if you listen close you’ll hear them..... nah not really! In my head.... in my head!!!


Power me up.... power me down... what a life!


A family of buses... aaaah! These were so simple yet so effective. Make noises, talk to yourself... its easier to get into the act, then the pictures draw themselves.


Crowded by overseers, you can use emotions so easily, just an arc upwards or downwards will totally change the feel of the picture, much like life really. Actually VERY much like life, in fact this is what you must think about while your drawing.


General one off illustrations There is always room for an illustration they are easy to do and make great fillers. They also make light of a text solid article or story, plus anything can be portrayed in an illustration. In the above Incident Reports for an accident.


Edison used human hair in the first experiments with creating a light bulb, it was used as the filament, then coated etc. This illustration was used in a science experiments book.


Just a nice little doctors white coat, note the hammer... hehe...cool!




A group of images as a montage, for the local Health Department, showing a variety of services.


Robotic experiments... used in a kids science mag.


The jigsaw of life.




Three Aussie soldiers, native animals and of course the obligatory fly or two. Very different style to usual illustrations, more aggressive style.



Sailing off to Bali and Kuta Beach, one only knows the significance when one lives south of the Equator. Even Bluey can recognise the symptoms.





This was used in a group of images discussing drugs in sport and the banning of them. This was to suggest to talk to your chemist when taking over the counter drugs and doing sport, how will they affect you and your performance, and are they legal.


A set of healthy foods to consider, used in a booklet.







Have a heart! Used with a variety of health illustrations, including Respiratory, Cardiovascular and other issues. This was interesting work, I had to understand what was happening and what the originals looked like, they were realistic with a cartoon bent. To the left was a variety of Aussie animals used for decoration mainly but still had to research and draw at 150%.

Drawing representing atoms, nucleus and chemical reactions, a very general atomic image, simple but effective.



One of a few “mouses” a cartoon of a real mouse with a cable for a tail, this computer mouse with a nose and ears, and another like this with a tail.... it was actually great fun and the results were very nice and made the client laugh too. You know when its good, you cant help a giggle.






This was great fun, no smoking signs for a health department, used in posters about helping smokers give up. I did quite a few roughs, but eventually came up with this and still love it, the colour version was good too.


Another aggressive drawing. This series was an exercise in illustrative freedom. More art than demand.




One of a few small illustrations for the Defence Department, for a newsletter. One of 6 months of issues.


This was a very cubist style illustration. Another more artistic solution, this was the start of realising that you didn’t need to restrict yourself, and you were an artist too.






The Toucan, created to go on a milk carton. Had to have a character that was able to express the full range of emotion, the simplicity ensured the body actions wouldn’t get in the way. It was quite fun, but didn’t go ahead.... the client liked the dog instead.... never mind, the dog was cool too.


The Toucan laughs....

On the right side: this was for federal Aboriginal department. This represented motherhood, the leaflet was approved by elders and the illos were commented on positively, that was better than being paid.



A second illustration for the motherhood leaflet.



Cartoons With a hint of humour and artistic licence. The above cartoon was used as part of a series in a book of experiments. The audience for this book was school children , thus it was great fun coming up with little stories within each cartoon. I had to look through the book, pre-written and choose interesting examples to illustrate for that page.

This was part of an experiment that proved the benefits of wool. The illustration was one of an average of 15 per month, used for publishing in a kids scientific magazine.



As shown, one of the panels on a leaflet showing how coins were made, I had great fun with this, they weren’t sure what style the design should follow, meanwhile I came up with this idea of a mad scientist conveyor belt system. They loved it! .... Me too!!

This was part two for the Australian Mint, it connects to the previous cartoon.


One of a few cartoons as examples of how DNA adjusting can be used in agriculture.



Which to choose, open the box or take the money. One in the hand is worth two in the bush!


The caterpillars choice is not an easy one.


A student with head down in the Saturday paper, pretty obvious what the problem is.


Another employment cartoon, this was used as a small icon style cartoon. There are all shapes and sizes when cartooning, some images are bigger and need more detail. Small cartoons are best down at 150% so you can see that they are busy enough when they are reduced to use.


Another icon cartoon with great simplicity but effective when used at a small size.


... and yet another small icon style. This was to represent employment. Research the subject: brief case, wages, clock and paper. Old fashioned items still suggest overall subject.


... eating out at your favourite restaurants.


One of a series of cartoons used in a brochure about checking for Drugs in Sport. Doing work for this agency was great fun, there was so much scope and once you get to know your client and they get to know you, they let you go off on your own judgement. These are the best clients and you produce the best and wildest results.


Though this was a cartoon for the aged and computers, it is now quite obsolete, as it has been shown that people who use the internet and the computer personally the most are people in their twilight years, probably that fact they don’t have task masters anymore and can get on with using their brains!!


A government department I worked for was moving to new premises. I had worked for these wonderful people for 10 years providing graphics, illustration and cartoons. It was a great pleasure working for them and like I mentioned previously, was easy to come up with gems. Most of these characters represented someone in the staff, and even at this size most people could recognise themselves. I got a great acknowledgement from the Director of the department. ...... I was very happy.


A picture of health....


This was so cool! I laugh everytime I see this cartoon, sorry, I know its bunnies but the myxomatosis virus put paid to alot of these seemingly gentle kind, vicious monsters. (hmmm). The bunnies would stare, in the middle of the road, at oncoming traffic just before they were road kill. I love the question marks!!



A little worse for wear. Now.... I could have shown a nice clean and orderly wig, all prim and proper. But I have a friend who works in this field and with stories of the hours they work, and what they go through, listening to all sorts of amazing stories from all sorts of amazing characters, that I have drawn this wig to what I think it would look like after one week of sitting on the bench!


The army have a step they use which is basically a “get out of step” step, for crossing bridges. Apparently, if they don’t, when crossing the bridge, the frequency of the march can match with the frequency of the metal or forces in the structure. End result is the collapse of the bridge. Unfortunately this was disproved by the “Busted” team. Don’t you love em.


One of a series of finance cartoons for the defense department. The cartoons were used to assist the information as there would have been so much text which was hard going. It became a little booklet and theme was Contract Performance Management.... woo hoo.


Beam me up Scotty... note the Echidna and the startrek craft. You can so much fun when you have a good relationship with your clients. They can trust your judgements, and allow your humourous quirks. I ride a motorbike too.


A different style yet again, this style came later and was less cluttered. The faces were minimalistic, but had just as much character.


Too little icon styles for the local bus company. I had 5 years of providing all artwork and layouts for the company newsletter. The company provided the stories, via an external editor, who just left the layout and illustrations to me. This was so free that I wasn’t advised of anything... this was yet another favourite client. You need freedom to produce quality.

Guess who... the US and the Aussies. A financial alliance.


Two more small icon style cartoons, one was for the busses and the other was part of the science series.


Planting and gardening is such a tiring effort, the bucket and the plants have human qualities of their own, one might think that the spade’s human side is out to lunch.... hoho! Nah... it is what it is... gardener will be back soon. All good fun!


Stack of papers can represent lots of work, heaps of research top work through.... or.... a stack of papers, when illustrating its accuracy that is required, when cartooning it is what the cartoon suggests most commonly.


Roaming around space... on a bike, yeah, I was probably taking something I shouldn’t. Love the startrek model though.. eh? A space craft represents aliens and space travel etc.... a startrek illo suggests the same but with fun.


This is a powerful icon, just the closed eyes and opened mouth, the blackness stands right out.


Caveman having made the first wheel, just finished stonehenge in the background. Doing cartoons like this is a favourite of mine, I like lots of things happening in the background, I tend to create illos and cartoons that tell more than one story.


Sheep in winter woolies. They look very happy too.


Business cartoons were the most common I had to do, that is because the greatest part of government is business and not the actual subject the Department is named for. But this does give a great variety of practice for honing your skills.


When I would draw a cartoon about a subject, for instance the one above about the need for final check lists, I couldn’t help putting in my own humour. When you read the brief (the client’s needs) more often than not you get an instant mental picture, then its just the question of getting down a very quick rough, a note book would be great but a scrap of paper would suffice, at least until you get back to the drawing board.


The need for decisions, there are so many directions that one needs to research. The choice is then much clearer.


Winter woollies... are great unless twenty sizes too big.... probably best for avoiding the dangerous slopes.


I cant remember what this image was used for but it is obviously America wrapped in paper and a ribbon. I do love the little crafts though, four little icons that say so much and give the cartoon such character.


Yes I got this idea from me!... lots of notes and sticky tape! Also I like to use a large loose drawing board..... just feels good.


What would you prefer doing instead....??


One of the staff of the local bus company was leaving, he was going to be truly missed This was part of a very nice article about his life on-the-buses.


When a small business is becoming a bigger business, the lesson here was the need to recognise this fact and to plan for expansion before the growth happens too quickly. I had to show a frightening situation.... I think that happened!


A nice little group...



This was fun, explaining x-rays in the science magazine. This followed a series style of child.


Gardening illustrations These came from one job to make as realistic as possible but in a cartoon feel, with detail as a crucial requirement. With the photos I had, and having met one of the people in the photo, the client, I was able to get right into the joy of gardening these people quite clearly had.


One of the staff at the nursery and displaying one of the plants of their Gardening Kit.


This was the clients mate and copartner, a very jovial guy.


The total contents of the Gardening Kit. All the cartoons together made up a flyer which was to be used on top of the kit, bound in using clear plastic. It was very effective and gave the kit a fun appeal.


The Client, he says it all.

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