Friday, February 29, 2008

One-of-a-kind retirement gift!

The retiree receives this digital caricature of himself and his office buddies today!
I'm hoping he enjoys owning it as much as I did drawing it.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stll working on commissions...

Here's another sliver of the same one. It's for a corporate retirement gift...
Yes, I know I still have to draw his hand...:-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Unfinished Digital piece...

These two young ladies (the one on the left is my daughter) will be graduating from nursing school on April Fool's Day (there's an omen!). They've been best friends since kindergarten, and last year I did a digital painting of the two of them. Today, I took the faces from that piece and created a whole new scenario. It's not finished by any means, but it's on its way. They have both seen it and had some input, so I can post it here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My NCN page

I've been a professional member of the National Caricaturist Network for the last five years. Aside from the fantastic conventions, learning opportunities, internet forum and wonderful friends made through this organization, there's another benefit: an online directory of worldwide caricaturists. It's been a great way for potential caricature clients to find me. So, today was the day to update my personal NCN page...look in the list under "Emily's Links."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1st birthday party

Last night, I had the fun of drawing at a little girls' 1st birthday party. Her parents hosted a houseful of friends and relatives, many of whom were drawn with the birthday girl. Earlier in the week, I had emailed a digital caricature (my free offer with parties now), and here are the proud parents posing with it after it had been signed by everyone:
(Little Natalia had fallen asleep by photo time!) One of the advantages to using digital caricatures for sign-ins is that if any mishaps occur, another can easily be printed out. Mishaps? Caricatures are funny, and sometimes kids add to the humor by drawing their own this case, someone blacked out the whites of the baby's eyes! No problem, I told the mom, just print out another one. Once, years ago, before digital drawing, I did a large hand-drawn sign-in board for a bar-mitzvah. Someone drew a handlebar mustache on the birthday boy, and that one couldn't be remedied so easily! I ended up having to redraw his face and gluing it to the board, which already had all the signatures.
Here are some of the guests. At this party, guests were done in BW, and family members in color.
I asked this young man if he ever smiled, and he smiled and said, "No." LOL
The birthday girl is in this drawing, but she was asleep by then-- I'd drawn her so many times by then I could draw her from memory!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

My Partypop Page...

Artists > Caricatures & Silhouettes > Pennsylvania
Find a Caricature Artist or Silhouette Artist in Your Area Through This National Listing of Party and Event Entertainment... featuring Caricature Artist Pennsylvania, Caricatures Pennsylvania, Caricaturist Pennsylvania, and more...

Recently, I've been spending time honing my marketing skills, and this is one of the results. is the largest online source for anything you could possibly need for a party, including caricature artists! My own personal Partypop page is listed to the right under 'Emily's Links'. It sends internet caricature fans right to, and hopefully, then to this blog. Partypop also has local and national listings for studio caricaturists, because digital caricatures can be done anywhere and emailed to the client.
It was difficult to choose representative samples of my work, I have so many photos of favorite faces! And my new favorites are always the next ones drawn...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Prismacolor Art Contest

Some of my favorite, most-used art materials are the Prismacolor brand of pencils, artstix and markers. I've loved using them for their translucent layering capabilities since before becoming a caricaturist. Thanks to Joe Bluhm's blog, I just found out about an art competition that Prismacolor is sponsoring; entries can be of any kind of art as long as they are made with Prismacolor materials. There also needs to be a short artist's statement with each piece. There's some motivation!
See for more information. The deadline for entries is May 31, 2008.
My drawing table has all my pencils and markers arranged in mugs, waiting for inspiration, but sometimes it's hard to get out of a 'caricatures/portraits' mindset.
I was mentally blank as to a subject for such an open-ended contest, then my friend Marlo (she's updated her blog, folks!) asked, 'What do you LIKE to draw?'
I replied, 'People, of course!'
She said,'Draw what you're passionate about. Draw what would be FUN for you..."
That led me to thinking, it might be interesting to do 'micro'portraits' of the worlds within faces... to see if I can express personalities by only using portions of features. Here is the first attempt-- it's all colored pencil with a bit tiny bit of marker for emphasis.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Final Yeltsin entry for NCN contest

Here is my February final for Jan Opdebeeck's monthly contest on the NCN forum. We all had to draw Boris Yeltsin, and the only criteria was that it could not be digitally done. I used watercolor pencil. There are many entrants this month, so it will be interesting to see when Jan posts them all together.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Free Digital Caricature Offer!

I'll digitally draw and email to you an 8 x 10 caricature of your guest of honor...if you hire me to draw for 2 or more hours at your party! You must live within a 50 mile radius of my location in Chester County, PA to qualify for the 2 hour time frame. If you live more than 50 miles from me, then you would need to hire me for 3 or more hours. Contact me by phone (610-996-4064) or email ( to discuss your event! This is a fun idea for birthdays, mitzvahs, communions, retirements, awards, graduations, etc.
Here's the first recipient of my offer, a little darling whose birthday party I will be caricaturing at this Saturday! They will be using this as a sign-in for their guests-- I advised the parents to frame it and have people sign the mat.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Caricature of my friend's father

This is a digital painting of my friend's father. I had attempted him some years back with markers and artstix, but found him a tough likeness, so I put it aside.
My recent learning curve with Photoshop allowed me to try him again, with better results. So here's to you, Russ!


Monday, February 18, 2008

Surprise 40th Birthday Party

Last night, my caricatures were the entertainment at a surprise party thrown by a husband for his about-to-be-40 wife. I arrived and began drawing my usual B&Ws before the guest of honor arrived, and was jokingly told that she was really only 10 years old---her birthday is February 29th! They arrived to much cheering and laughter--then a short while later, he came over to me and whispered, "These are supposed to be COLOR caricatures..." OOOPS! I didn't read past the address/time on my spec sheet from the agent!! So, I sent one of the kids around to collect all the ones already done, so color could be added as time permitted. It all turned out happily in the end, and this artist learned to never assume all party caricatures are BW!
This is the birthday girl, her family and the artist at the end of the party.
Here are some other guests...
She asked for augmentation!
This girlfriend requested for her BF, "man boobs and a beer gut"...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More corporate digital work...

I completed these digital caricatures last week, within a tight turnaround time (whew! :-) for the client, a corporate event production firm. These will be used on a large scale in such a production, and also printed out to be given to the participants. The colors I used for everything but the faces were specified by the client...of course, the real fun WAS creating those faces!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Corporate Formal Event

Last night, I had the double pleasure of not only drawing at a lovely event, but seeing the corporate president be presented with a beautifully framed and matted caricature (drawn by me from a photo last week). The matt was signed by his immediate employees, and it was presented during the speeches preceding dinner. His executive secretary pulled it off, secretly, right under his nose!
This is the actual digital painting:
And here he is with a smile!
The party had a Mardi Gras theme, these were some of my subjects:
Another nice touch was enjoying a sushi buffet during a break. Taking a short break is a rarity during most gigs, as my intent is to get the most people drawn that I can in the allotted time; but here, the other artist and I were able to stop briefly while the speeches were going on.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Afternoon Social...

Yesterday, I drew caricatures at a Valentine's Day 'Afternoon Social' at an assisted-living residence. The subjects and their families sat for me while being serenaded by a violinist! Both the music and the faces were an enjoyable change of pace for me, as senior citizens are usually a very small portion of my live work...
This dear old lady and her daughter told me that they had hung up my previous drawing of them (from two years ago), framed front and center in the mom's room! :-)
The shadow on the drawing in this photo was a puzzle, until I realized the mat I sometimes use on my easel to frame my paper, was hanging open under my light. This lady had such a great smile!
Finally, here's yet another sweet old lady. She was very talkative!
I think only two elderly gentlemen attended the social... this affair definitely had a delicate ladylike air about it, right down to the chocolate fountain!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Digital Caricature Commissions in progress...

I have been working on several complex corporate caricatures this past week, so I thought I'd post a portion of one today. Posting the complete drawing is not an option until they are given to their respective recipients!
Anyhow, this is my digital work set-up...a laptop computer running Photoshop, and a Wacom Intuos 3 drawing tablet with stylus/pen.
Having only one stylus is risky! Once, I left this one in a waiting room--the office closed and I had to drive all the way back the next day to get it.
The paper is taped to the actual drawing area of the Wacom, to give me a more authentic "working-on-paper" feel.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Toon Weekly submission

Last week's Toonweekly submission was not a true character design, as I got carried away with rendering my King Arthur. So for this week's design (theme is "cantina creatures" from Star Wars) I gave myself a strict 20-minute time limit, and tried to base it on organic shapes. This is what I came up with.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sculpture progress on her big day...

I am still working with my sculpture of Amy Winehouse, and she's still working on herself in rehab, hopefully! It will be interesting to see if her talent nets her any Grammys tonight in spite of her personal life.
This is the first attempt at photographing my end result. I plan on making the background more of a graveyard, and drawing her skanky tattoos, with Photoshop.

PS. She won FIVE Grammys last night!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cute little girl from Texas...

I just finished this drawing for a family who lost this little one to cancer last year. That made it important for me to show the sweetness and courage in her smile...
Marker and artsix with just a dash of Photoshop (for the tiger's whiskers!)

Friday, February 8, 2008

Birthday and wedding caricatures...

My little nephew is celebrating his birthday this weekend . Last year, I actually caricatured at his party, which was held in a firehouse. (He has a fascination for firetrucks and firemen!) My marker/artstix drawing featured him putting out a burning Precious Moments figurine (which his mother has a fascination for!).

This couple (she's a caricaturist) are from the Netherlands, and I met them last fall at the NCN convention in Reno. They fit as a couple so perfectly even their names are cozy together..Johanna and Johannes. Congratulations to you both on your wedding day!
I drew this in art markers and pencils at the convention, but I added the wedding details this morning in Photoshop.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Triple Pet Portrait

Those dog portraits I posted the other day reminded me of how much I used to enjoy drawing animal likenesses, and now I want to pursue doing that again. After all, pets are like people in that they have a huge range of appearances and personalities! The best caricature/portraiture catches that psychological essence in the physical form, and that's my goal no matter what media I use. This colored-pencil piece (Prismacolors on blue Canson paper) was done several years ago from three separate photos... The client was quite pleased with it; she hung it over her piano in her living room.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My evolution in business cards...

My focus lately has been on personal projects and marketing, as most caricature artists experience a bit of a lull this time of year. In doing so, I came across my old business cards and flyers. It's quite an personal eye-opener to see how my perceptions have changed in my work. What I thought was good then, is not what I would be proud of today. The upside to that is, it shows growth and perseverance, which I am proud of!
Here they are-- from most recent to long ago: ( that would be ten years ago!)

Late-night gig... a health club this past weekend. It was quite a change of pace from my usual type of party, but I enjoyed the challenge. Here's one of my drawings.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Pen & Ink portraits of dogs...

Next month, I will be attending another NCN convention, a mini-con in the Midwest this time. One of the seminars will be "Inking Caricatures" with Tom Richmond. Tom is an award-winning artist known for his humorous illustrations--which appear in magazines and advertising--but his big claim to fame is being one of the 'Usual Gang of Idiots' in MAD magazine. I've had the pleasure of meeting Tom on several occasions, and his blog is in my links list. What does this have to do with dog portraits?

Well, back in the mid-nineties, before caricatures were a gleam in my eye, I did pen and ink pet portraits. They were time-consumimng, but I enjoyed bringing pets to life. These three were my favorites. The top one, a friend's cantankerous mutt, actually won a prize in a juried art contest. The second one was a commission from the mother of a college freshman, who missed his pets dreadfully. The third was a portrait of a friend's beloved Rottweiler, now in doggie heaven.

I just may be inspired to get back to pen and inking!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Toonweekly submission

Thie week's theme was "Medieval". I chose an existing character to draw, Graham Chapman as King Arthur from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which is one of my all-time favorite movies. My particular aim in this piece was to learn more of Photoshop's abilities.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

2nd attempt at Yeltsin....

A whole slew of fellow caricaturists entered this month's NCN sketch competiton.
See Paul Moyse's blog ( in my links list) for a video of him drawing his entry!
I was not satisfied with my first try so I drew old Boris again from a different photo.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Painted my sculpture today...

The painting stage of my Amy Winehouse sculpture/figurine, whatever you want to call her, is pretty much finished. There are still some details I want to add (a fence, some moss), then the next step is to light her and photograph her properly. I was pretty pleased that I found a use for the wire from my old cell-phone earbud!