O'Keeffe is a very gifted dog artiste, and the main character of my clay comic strip. I chose the name in honor of that amazing artist, Georgia O'Keeffe, who just happens to be one of the cartoon dog's favorites among many notable artists (Picasso, Cezanne, Matisse) to name a few. And in the style of Georgia, this cartoon dog usually sports a fedora. O'Keeffe, the dog, is forever creating artwork that she believes to be in the style of these great masters. Other characters in the strip include Noodles, a sneaky grinning dog (much like my Australian Shepherd), Cha-Cha, a frenetic chicken, and Hazel Monk, a loving, bookish gardening enthusiast who belongs to this motley crew.
Step 1: I come up with character sketches for central players that will appear throughout the strip. Next, I come up with a theme for each of the comic strips (usually involving 4 panels) and develop a story board with rough (and I do mean rough!) drawings of the cartoon and dialogue that will appear in the balloons.
Step 2: Let the fun begin! I sculpt the characters and some of the props using polymer clay. Having been a ceramic artist for many years, I had actually never worked with polymer clay, but oh my...it is so much fun! I found that Sculpey III works out best for me; it seems to stay softer and easier to manipulate than some of the other brands.
Step 3: I set up each scenario with the clay figures and props, and then it's time for the camera. I use a Canon SX60 HS and a tripod to capture the image for each panel.
Step 4: Now that I have a collection of images downloaded to my computer, I am ready for "manipulation". Using Corel Photo Paint, I crop and resample the 4 pictures I deem best for the particular strip. Next I use Wondershare software to alter the background color. Finally, I am ready to put the images into a comic strip format. To accomplish this task, I use Comic Life 3 software. Here I can create my strip templates, add the photos, balloons, and words. Voila!
Follow the O'Keeffe comic strip on my Walnut Creek Art Blog. And please contact me with any thoughts/ideas/directions for up-
coming strips. I would love to put your ideas into clay!