Dr. Seuss's art
Seuss's earlier artwork often employed the shaded texture of pencil drawings or watercolors, but in children's books of the postwar period he generally employed the starker medium of pen and ink, normally using just black, white, and one or two colors. Later books such as The Lorax used more colors, not necessarily to better effect.
Seuss's figures are often somewhat rounded and droopy. This is true, for instance, of the faces of the Grinch and of the Cat in the Hat. It is also true of virtually all buildings and machinery that Seuss drew: although these objects abound in straight lines in real life, Seuss carefully avoided straight lines in drawing them. For buildings, this could be accomplished in part through choice of architecture. For machines, Seuss simply distorted reality; for example, If I Ran the Circus includes a droopy hoisting crane and a droopy steam calliope.
Seuss evidently enjoyed drawing architecturally elaborate objects. His endlessly varied (but never rectilinear) palaces, ramps, platforms, and free-standing stairways are among his most evocative creations. Seuss also drew elaborate imaginary machines, of which the Audio-Telly-O-Tally-O-Count, from Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book, is one example. Seuss also liked drawing outlandish arrangements of feathers or fur, for example, the 500th hat of Bartholemew Cubbins, the tail of Gertrude McFuzz, and the pet for girls who like to brush and comb, in One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
Seuss's images often convey motion vividly. He was fond of a sort of
"voilà" gesture, in which the hand flips outward, spreading
the fingers slightly backward with the thumb up; this is done by Ish,
for instance, in One Fish, Two Fish when he creates fish (who perform
the gesture themselves with their fins), in the introduction of the various
acts of If I Ran the Circus, and in the introduction of the Little Cats
in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. Seuss also follows the cartoon tradition
of showing motion with lines, for instance in the sweeping lines that
accompany Sneelock's final dive in If I Ran the Circus. Cartoonist's lines
are also used to illustrate the action of the senses (sight, smell, and
hearing) in The Big Brag and even of thought, as in the moment when the
Grinch conceives his awful idea.