Before drawing a Think vs Say cartoon in pen, I draw it in pencil first on a scrap piece of paper. The pencil sketch is called a thumbnail. It's a small drawing, intended for my eyes only, where I work out the general layout of the cartoon, and the words (dialogue) I'm going to use. Here's an example:
And here's the finished cartoon, titled What's your New Year's resolution?
Getting the dialogue right, or nearly right, can take quite a long time. I often go away and do something else while I'm thinking about it. It's time well spent though. There's nothing worse than finishing a cartoon, and then wishing I'd written the dialogue differently.
Here is an example of a Think vs Say cartoon that took a lot more working out. It's called Where's the Wensleydale?
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Richard Pettitt, cartoonist.