Australian Fine Artist

Ray Heathcote

Venue: Berwick Artists Society

Topic: Cartooning by and and Digitally on PC

I found a bio for Ray and to introduce her am placing some of it in to begin this blog:

Ray is a registered teacher and has many years experience in the education system. He has been published in local newspapers for over twenty years and has lived in the Berwick area for over forty years.

He worked as an art teacher for one year and was then promoted to principal. He was also conscripted into the army for two years in 1967. He is currently president of the Berwick RSL.

Ray’s influences are Vane Lindsay, Don Martin, Leunig, Scott Adams, Glenn Baxter ad Gary Larsen.

Ray has had one solo exhibition where he sold a few works, enough to cover costs. His work is based in cartooning and not “fine” art which he admits he had a go at but it didn’t stick.

For the demonstration this evening Ray showed us a variety of prepared and previous cartoons from his library of published works. He also went through the files that showed us how he builds up images from a selection of heads with various expressions and body parts. He uses these when teaching kids as well, as these allow children who have problems writing to start composing stories and characters.

His experience of learning to draw character when sick as a child has shown Ray that children who are having trouble with English for example, can benefit from the creative outlet of drawing and building characters from their imaginations.

Ray had an easel with paper on it to show us how he can quickly draw up a simple character with both hands if necessary. The simplicity of the lines means that they have to be very expressive to convey the message. This is especially true with humour.

The themed drawing were of interest showing us for example, the uses for a green wheelie bin and uses for a broken ski.

Considering Ray is using such old and limited software he is producing some very nice and funny cartoons. I couldn’t’ help wondering, however, how much better they could be and easier to produce if he upgraded! He likes to keep the lines simple and not tidied up too much, giving them a look of immediacy, but I can think of a couple of programs that would help him and still keep that flavour to his lines.

Now retired and producing cartoons mostly for the enjoyment, Ray produces work for the Berwick local paper and devotes his time to the local RSL. He gave an interesting chat about his passion and devotion to helping kids to learn. Attendees enjoyed listening to his stories and he gave them a good demonstration of his skills.

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