Cartooning Competition 2016

Welcome to the official London Art College Cartooning Competition 2016. Our cartooning competition is open to all of our current students. It has the theme of Knock Knock….

Students can interpret this any way they wish. We are looking for good imagination, good cartoon drawing and most of all how loudly they make us laugh!

Only one entry per student, in jpeg format – please try to keep file sizes below 10mbs.
All entries sent to
Deadline for the competition is 1st of April – April Fools Day!
Winner receives £50 Amazon Vouchers.

Any questions please email

Good Luck and Have Fun!!


Peter Hayler

The picture below is my first and only watercolour painting ever.  I painted it for the portrait course. When studying watercolour methods in the course notes and videos, I became fascinated with the great variety of techniques that one could use and the great many effects that can be produced.  That’s for me! So I have transferred to the Watercolour Diploma Course and I cannot wait to start. If anyone is wondering what course to do next, watercolour looks like an adventure.

Peter Hayler
Watercolour Diploma Course

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Rosalyn Van Loock

My name is  and I am currently studying the Cartooning Diploma with John Byrne.

I began in life studying General Art and Fine Jewellery/ Silversmithing. I went on to study therapeutic models and advocacy to empower people suffering with disabilities both mental and physical and disillusioned by what I saw as “Drug Rep Pen Seeking Behaviour”. I was disappointed with both the public and private sector and studied advocacy. I use art to empower people to find their attributes. I have ambitions to one day be a professional illustrator yet will always be passionate as a people helper.

I have been overjoyed to study under John Byrne in Comic Arts. Art and comedy is a great life skill, I really enjoyed the commitment and found the more I explored ideas the more they flowed! It is a generative process.

I persevere even when tired and just play with Art for the buzz without getting hung up on whether it is good or not. People often ask if life imitates art or art imitates life but I believe when we combined that childhood play with the sophistication of an adult it is actually both. So I just go for the joy of it and explore before thinking of a final draft. I have learnt a lot about art and life and it has been tremendous fun! Thanks for the opportunity.

Rosalyn Van Loock
Cartooning Diploma

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Gethin Walters

Hello, my name is Gethin Walters and I am currently doing the D2 Cartooning Diploma Course, which John Byrne tutors. I am a teacher by trade but I find it therapeutic when I’m drawing. I have always ‘doodled’ and enjoyed art but from a very young age I found out that I was colour blind (I remember drawing a light green sun and colouring in the grass on the Welsh flag orange!) I did GCSE art in school but I always felt that I couldn’t really take my art any further as I couldn’t paint using the correct colours.

About 6 years ago I came up with an idea for a picture book series for children and I started doing the drawings for the book myself. I then sent the book off to publishers with the belief that the publishers would see the potential that the books had and that I would then be able to draw the whole series and the money from the merchandise etc would come rolling in! I was slightly naïve in my thinking and the book (s) got rejected by the publishers! However, a number of the publishers mentioned how they liked my artwork and so I decided to start a cartooning course and the one I found was through the London Art College! I actually started the cartooning course in October 2011 but it took me three and a half years to submit my first assignment! (a mixture of being extremely busy and over thinking the assignment!)


At the end of May last year I submitted my first assignment and I have found John Byrne’s feedback and advice to be extremely beneficial and constructive and my confidence has grown immensely over the last year! For the first assignments I was drawing using graphite pencils and then going over the drawings with Faber Indian Ink Pens. I was then colouring in the cartoons with Pro Marker pens, scanning them and then sending them in. I found the Pro Markers and the colours to be excellent for bringing the cartoons to life (and they had the names of the colours on them which helped!) but when I scanned them into the computer they were grainy and didn’t show up the true colour! You may be able to see this in the Desert Island cartoon with all of the electrical gadgets.

During Assignment 3 I carried on using pencil and the Indian Ink Pens but I started using Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 6 and a Huion Pro 610 tablet. I chose the Sketchbook Pro 6 software because it was a) on offer and b) it has colours in groups and when you hover the cursor over the colour it tells you what it’s called (This helps me immensely and it also means that I’m not constantly bugging my wife or children asking them what the colours are or if they can find me a “nice light blue like the colour of the sky.”)


For the assignment 3, I had to do the Humpty Dumpty idea with Humpty having a chat with a dog. You also had to do two birds chatting with each other so I thought I’d draw a brash British (and a bit sexist!) seagull trying to chat up an ostrich! The other two cartoons were two gag cartoons!

John liked the cartoons and gave me a good grade back. He did say that for the ‘Slobs on a settee’ cartoon the slobs’ eyes should have been looking at the Slendertone device in order to really draw the audience’s attention to it and make the joke clearer.


For the fourth assignment I chose to do some tongue in cheek Bon Voyage cards, a topical piece that had been in the news recently and some caricatures of famous people that you wouldn’t normally see together.

The topic piece that I chose had been in the news all summer and it was about how the British seagulls had been causing a nuisance and pinching people’s ice-cream, chips, newspapers and I-phones! The stories had also mentioned that they had attacked, injured and killed some small dogs. I based one of the cartoons on the famous ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ picture of the workmen having lunch whilst working high up on a skyscraper with a New York skyline.


For the caricatures, I was really struggling to draw famous people in a caricature style whilst keeping their resemblance. I drew Jason Statham first as I thought he would be easy, and then I drew Ant and Dec. It then just spiralled from there as I added a variety of male celebrities (Usain Bolt, Bruno Mars, Luis Suarez, Gordon Ramsey, Keith Lemon and Ed Sheeran) for them to be seen on the red carpet. I wanted to add Alan Carr and Simon Cowell but I found them too tricky! The cavemen in the background just can’t work out what a typical 21st century man is supposed to be like.

I got a really good mark from John for the last assignment and now I am working hard to try and finish Assignment 5 but I think it’s going to take quite a while! I also don’t want to rush the last assignment as I have been enjoying it so much and I don’t really want to finish it! (I think the London Art College may also be hoping that I take a long time over it so that they can get yet another £25 from me to extend the course – yet again!)

Gethin Walters
Cartooning Diploma







Udayana Lugo

My name is Udayana Lugo, and I have just completed my Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma. I am a designer by profession, and I was taught to think through my pencil. I also learnt to try and understand a shape as a whole volume, so I try to draw characters in different positions/attitudes, and from different angles.

I usually have very limited time to work on my assignments, so I always carry with me a sketchbook  and try to draw whenever I have a spare moment. I draw on the bus, while I’m waiting for my children to come out of school, at the playground, museums, libraries, planes, waiting rooms… I find this part of the creative process extremely enjoyable, and try to use different media, such as lead pencils, ball pens, markers, coloured pencils, charcoal, watercolours or whatever I have at hand.

Whenever possible I try to draw from nature, I think that’s why I chose a squirrel as my final assignment’s character. I also considered a duck or a rabbit. I spent some time at the park luring squirrels with acorns (as it is forbidden to feed them) to draw them. To my chagrin, the only squirrel interested in me at first was the only one without a lush tail! My intention is to understand the proportions, movement and details of my subject. Once I think I got them, I draw them repeatedly until I have found “my” character. The same goes for other kinds of animals, like a tiger, which I have no way, nor intention, of meeting in the wild. I watch documentaries and look at pictures in books and magazines, I use the geometric faces technique until my drawing feels like “mine” and not just a copy of some other picture. For this I also do variations of size, shape and position of eyes, nose and mouth.

I then do more variations: should I put the character on the right or the left? Should it be facing the scene or looking at something beyond it? Resting or moving? I change slightly and tweak details until I am satisfied. I do a small version of the illustration to test the overall composition and colour choices. I leave it for a couple of days somewhere I can see it from a distance so I can evaluate what to leave as it is or change it. I finally draw the composition on same size, look at ti from a distance, correct details and paint it. More often than not I have to do it again because I messed up or realised something doesn’t make sense.”

Udayana Lugo
Illustrating Children’s Books Diploma

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Illustration Diploma….

Most artists have faced the dreaded blank page, canvas or screen at some point and experienced that moment of right brain freeze. You want to create something, but you are stuck for ideas. As a conventional artist you can resort to what you see around you or the ever present ‘spare hand’ (which is actually an excellent and complex subject). If you are a cartoonist or an illustrator you need more to fill that vacuum, as you are not only looking for a subject, you are seeking a story or a joke.

On the Illustration Diploma we provide guidance through the assignments and study units including song lyrics, poems, business ideas and stories. When the student has to pick something of their own we suggest that a comic or comic strip of the events of their day, their favourite joke, or perhaps their version of a folk or fairy tale are all valid vehicles to test out their illustration skills.  I have a different approach for creating cartoons, but for flexing those illustrative muscles one approach I recommend is Rory’s Story Cubes. If you have not discovered them already they are a set of dice with storytelling symbols on them. The base set on my iPad app has nine cubes each with six symbols on it, and a quick roll of the dice yields this:


The idea now is that you rearrange the cubes however you like then tell a story with them. It’s a superb creative tool not only for writers and illustrators, but also as a game for all ages. There are many more sets of dice you can add to this base set, and they even have themed versions on the market now. Check out my Batman Story cubes I got for Christmas!


The cubes are widely available and the app is also affordable and works on both Android and iOS devices. I have the iOS version, and it is a superb interface with stunning animation that really gives the impression that the cubes are rolling inside your iPad. You can easily buy additional themes then tailor your set accordingly.

Yes I know I sound like a salesman but that is because I am genuinely enthused by this simple yet effective tool. The next time you are truly stuck for ideas why not try them out? Sometimes all it takes is a creative nudge to get those juices flowing again, and these cubes certainly do that. Now I have to go and write a story about a turtle named Rainbow who sets off on a quest to find the magical magnetic arrow to enable his village to attract the lucky shooting star and save their apple orchard from blight……

Written by Spencer Hill
Illustration Diploma
Digital Illustration Diploma