Second Hand Lions

Walter and Jasmine - Cartoon by Berkley Breathed
Walter and Jasmine – Cartoon by Berkley Breathed

Every once in a great while there comes along a movie that captures your imagination, one that you put right at the top of your all-time greats list. Such is the case with Second Hand Lions. I’m late coming to the movie as it is now five years old, but—as the saying goes—good art is timeless.

You might wonder what a comedic movie about a two old men and a young, bookish boy named Walter has to do with watercolor. Well, the answers are contradictory; nothing at all and a lot. In case the reader hasn’t noticed, contradictions play a large role in the art of watercolor painting!

At the end of the movie there are a few, quick clips (end credits) of some wonderfully imaginative and well-drawn cartoons. However, try as I might I couldn’t link the name of the artist with the cartoons. So, I hit the Internet searching for Second Hand Lions cartoons. I soon located an excellent Second Hand Lions site, and learned the cartoon work is done by Berkley Breathed.

The site reports, “Legendary cartoonist, Berkley Breathed, was persuaded by director Tim McCanlies to come out of retirement to do a series of cartoons which show how successful a cartoonist Walter had grown up to become, his drawings fueled and inspired by his adventures growing up on the farm with his uncles. They showed how a timid, insecure boy had grown up to be an artistic, confident man because , as the adult Walt said himself, his uncles raised him, and raised him well.”

Well drawn, well-designed cartoons are created by artists who have—among other things—mastered the use of line. The Second Hand Lions site has several Berkley Breathed cartoon strips related to the movie. To view these cartoons is time well spent for anyone, but—I believe—it is especially time well spent for any artist intent on learning more about one or more of the Elements of Design.

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