toonpool.com artist Gerardo Llobet’s vision is so deeply held that he can’t draw a line without revealing it. His life-affirming spin on the world is encoded in the DNA of his cartoons. The humor and excitement, hubbub and catastrophe of social life his is subject, in his exquisitely realized bar scenes, street scenes, and beach scenes.
The flow of Gerardo’s breezy, fluid lines creates an almost audible buzz, particularly in his crowd scenarios. In Titus, gesture drawing reaches high art in this bar scene full of life, movement and character. A style like this one requires a dead-on technique. It looks effortless, but of course it isn’t. The ability to draw with this kind of freedom is the result of total self-assurance, technically and expressively. The organic curve is pre-eminent in Gerardo’s work. There are almost no straight lines, and where they exist, they show incredible variation – the same line can begin with a thick dark stroke, and end with a feathery, quivering edge.
Gerardo’s people are a true delight. The bodies and faces of his hilarious characters, their popping eyes and ecstatic grinning faces, their screwed-up foreheads and black-browed frowns, reveal every emotion. We do more than see these people – we know them on sight.
Their personalities bloom directly out of the gestural lines of their bodies, in an ideal fusion of form and character.
In Gerardo’s cartoon portrait Primadona 1, we meet a blonde woman in mid-stride, naked except for the strip of her teal-blue swimsuit bottoms. She’s a squat, confident figure in motion, composed of layers. The heavy-lidded eyes surmount a gigantic potato-shaped nose, and the nose juts out from between the huge breasts. These breasts seem to be the Primadona’s real eyes – two ferocious organs that size up the landscape with piercing pink pupils. She’s balanced on her short right leg, while the other foot stabs the air with ecstatic toes, and waves at us like a hand. Her real hand and arm are flung outward like a tasseled cord. Though her face is submerged, we know she’s a beauty. What does she want, a sunnier spot on the beach? A hot dog swathed in mustard? A new man? Whatever it is, this Primadona has an intensely appealing quality. The tenderness of this portrait is characteristic of Gerardo’s affectionate depictions of his characters, male and female.
Here’s my recent interview with Gerardo
What inspires you the most?
The full moon, a little…and seeing the work of great artists.
When did you first become obsessed with bars?
This is how I get beer! I worked in a bar with my parents in my youth.
Which artists did you admire when you were younger?
Moebius, R. Crumb, Edika, Franquin…and lots more!
How do you get your amazing loose and fluid line?
I developed this technique to make quick notes while taking orders at the bar.
I’m interested in how you’ve combined pen and ink with digital – do you draw first, and then color?
I work on parts of drawings with china ink and watercolor, and I also do ballpoint sketches.
I scan them, and then use the magnetic loop. With the magic wand I select areas in which I use gradients, brushes, filters, and the clone stamp to get the same tone as watercolors.
How often do you draw from life, with something in front of you?
At all times I observe the girls around me. The rest is all imagination.
Are women’s boobs bigger in Spain?
Everything is bigger in Spain!
What would you say your philosophy of life is, if you have one?