Busy Queen bee - drawings morph into cuddly cartoons

Busy Queen bee - drawings morph into cuddly cartoons

15 May UPDATE 

The Queen Cartoonified products are now available

Original post

Since this first post about sketching her Majesty I've had another three drawing and design development sessions with the Queen as my subject (hee hee). Not quite finished yet but getting there.

These are the aims I had for each session:

  1. Simplify (or should I say cartoonify) the drawings and make the style consistent.
  2. Add props - by this I mean draw objects associated with the Queen to add interest and context.
  3. Figure out how to incorporate the Queen character drawing into a repeat pattern design for fabric.

So quite a lot happened and I wanted to share as I'm excited! Hope you will be excited too when you see the ideas growing and shifting across the drawings.

The Queen becomes a proper cartoon

Testing a background using a complimentary colour. I felt this might work better if the background was a pale shade.

Queen in heartsDrawing in cafe

Imagine Queen hats like emerging submarines in a pond. Why not? Or Benny Hill style, behind bushes and phone boxes?

Queen in pondQueen behind objects

Top heavy

Once I'd drawn the Queen a few times, I started to realise the importance of the bosom. Think of Brimful Of Asha by Cornershop - "everybody needs a bosom for a pillow". The Queen has a lovely figure and her beautifully tailored clothes harmonise with her figure and her personality. I think she has a very warm look. She places her hands comfortably under the bosom in a way I decided to accentuate in the drawings. 

Four queens getting cuddlyCuddly Queens close up

Line drawing Queens

I took the exaggeration to an extreme - just to see how it would look. I ended up with a female, royal version of Fred the HomePride man. Could be good for a version of Monopoly? Board games producers get in touch!

Queen looks like Fred the Homepride man

This is turning into an obsession

I want to be able to draw the character fluently. It's harder than it looks to keep it consistent because I'm not aware of the exact formula that makes it appealing. For example - if the coat gets a little too long it loses something. And just how big should the hat be?

Just keep on drawing and hope it will fall into place.

Four Queens togetherPea green queens

Couldn't help trying a royal gloved hand waving, but decided to put that aside because - too many variables.

Spot the difference

Yellow queen 1Yellow queen 2Yellow queen 3

Enourmous red hat?

Enormous red hat

Or medium enormous hat?

Medium enourmous red hat


Blue queen

Green queen

Purple queen

Headscarf queen

Another anomaly as the face is revealed so I will set this one aside too.

Outline or no outline?

Mauve queen no borderMauve queen with border


Like a theatre, the actors need props.

Royal tea cup

Spitfire flyover

Mixing it up

Queen with topiary

Queen with flags

Queen with corgis

Repeat pattern ideas

A rough sketch of Queen shapes on green strips of lawn grass.

Queens on crazy lawn

Decided against this as I feel the background is too overpowering and dominant.

Queens on lawn 2

This one is more appealing - little round areas of green grass with flowers. Easy to repeat this pattern and I think a floral touch suits the subject.

Queens on circles of grass

Queens on shaped grass

This is so sketchy it's hard for anyone else to see what it refers to but basically I was imagining each Queen to have some different props around her. Flags, or spitfires, or corgis - that kind of thing.

Queens with mixed backgrounds

Multiple flags (like a crowd scene) are quite intense. 

Queens with flags


What do you make of the outcome? Do you like where I'm going with this? Does anything in particular appeal? Let me know in the comments.

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