Stephen Kroninger
VIP: How I Work: '56
Some of Virgil Partch's contribution to the Famous Artists School published in 1956.

Simplification: I do not, for each picture that I draw, make an anotomical sketch as I did here. However, the details, through past studies, are stored in my mind and can be trotted out out when needed.
The same pose is simplified, still realistic. Thick and thin lines become important with absence of shading.

 The characters and pose remain, but they are simplified into my cartoon style. The poker paraphernalia seemed a good idea at the time.

On my first rough for this drawing I felt that the car and the child were unnecessary. They didn't pep up the scene. The victim looked as though he were merely tripping. I decided to put him flat on the sidewalk with his hat still rolling to indicate that he just dropped dead.

I wished the speaker to be oblivious to his pal's fate. This, I felt, would let only the public in on the little secret (no one in my picture knows the victim's fate) and would let them imagine what would follow this little scene.

 "Boy! If looks could kill, eh, Steve?"

Once the basic gag is established the process of refining and pointing up starts. My preliminary sketches are done in the simplest possible terms-just enough to tell where I am going. in this case the ring of blank looking natives not only hold the picture together but added to the humor.

"You'd think they'd never seen a guy take a bath before."

1. For a Sunkist trade ad campaign aimed at store managers, I had to put across the idea that something pretty pleasant was going to happen if they followed the client's advice. This is the first rough sketch on bond paper.

2. The second rough, trying for a bit more composition. A child added for a more complete family.

3. A bit of work for my own information-detail worked out for the young lady in the stocking.

4. For the next rough, I "flopped" or reversed, the tracing on my lightbox. This is the rough the agency showed the client.

5. The finished art. The child is really in the act now-her delight is a good contrast to the mother's dismay.

VIRGIL PARTCH: Far from being the zany, haphazard humorist that a look at his work would imply, VIP is one of the most careful craftsman in the business. His mastery of anatomy and solid drawing is refined into his apparently simple style, which gets his mesage to the reader in an hilarious hurry.

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