Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Saturday, 20 September 2008 11:38 UK

Cartoonist's sketch books on show

Steve Bell exhibition poster
The display includes original cartoons but the sketch books are the highlight

A political cartoonist's sketch books - which are not often seen in public - are going on show at a Surrey art gallery this autumn.

Steve Bell said he usually begins his satirical newspaper cartoons by following politicians around with his sketch books at party conferences.

The retrospective of his work, at Woking's Lightbox art gallery, opens next month.

Bell produces five cartoons and five strips a week from his Brighton studio.

He said: "Over the years you get a sense for what makes politicians tick, and develop the characters you can work with."

You can sit almost looking up their noses
Steve Bell

He added: "It's very useful to see the politicians in the flesh.

"I usually stick with the photographers and party conferences and follow them around with my sketchbooks.

"You can sit almost looking up their noses and pick up the things that the camera misses."

The exhibition also includes a selection of original cartoons from Bell's archive.

But the gallery said the sketchbooks were the highlight, revealing how the cartoonist was able to "capture the spark of an enduring caricature from just a few pencil lines".




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