Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bar Mitzvah on a wintry night

Last night, I joined forces with Rick Wright to draw at a bar mitzvah in a beautiful 1840's ballroom ( we were on the second floor). Unfortunately, I once again left my camera's memory card in my computer, so my dinky little cell phone camera was the back-up plan...

Before we started, we found this painting of an artist in the bar area, so we each posed next to it...

This is the only photo of a drawing that turned out, because the lighting conditions drowned out my linework in the white of the paper. It's actually the bar mitzvah boy and his family, who sat at different times for a group caricature. In addition to we two caricaturists, the event included a roving saxophonist, giant projection screens showing shots of the goings-on, and videos set to the music that the two DJs played. Speaking of music, an especially nice touch was hearing John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy" while a montage of family photos were shown.

Friday, January 23, 2009

92nd birthday caricature

Most of my commissions lately have been digital, but this week I was asked to draw a traditional party-style caricature from a photo--for this spry gentleman's 92nd birthday. It was on a short deadline that happened to coincide with some major plumbing problems at my studio/home because of frozen pipes (thankfully, fixed now). I completed it the day it was due, my client (his daughter) picked it up, and hopefully he enjoyed his special gift last night!

Update 1-25-09: I heard from my client this morning! :-)
My Dad loved the caricature!! I can’t wait to get it framed…thank you so, so much!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caricature of me by Xi Ding of Vienna, Austria

Wow! I just logged on to my NCN forum and found this caricature of me. The artist is a young man from Vienna, Xi Ding, who recently joined the NCN and found my photos on our Firing Squad thread. He also blogged about it today. Despite its unfinished state, I absolutely love it and will have to return fire soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama

I reworked an old digital painting while watching Barack Obama's historic inauguration.
There is much hope here in the USA for positive change with this presidency. He seems to me to have the character and focus to do this. I, and millions of others around the world, wish him the best.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lar DeSouza--"Lartist" extraordinaire

This man is an inspiration in so many ways! His name is Lar DeSouza, and the photo above was taken at one of the many caricaturist conventions we've both attended (this particular one was the Midwest Caricature Convention, Bowling Green, Ohio, early 2007---so it's from my pre-blog life). He drew me in the style of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" and it's one of my favorite drawings I've ever gotten. The drawing of him was one of my efforts at the big NCN convention later that year.

Lar is known for being warm, friendly and helpful; creative, hilarious and a snappy dresser; a big sci-fi fan and one of most versatile artists I've ever known. He is currently the artist behind two popular webcomics: Least I Could Do and Looking for Group. Both have huge online followings. Last Friday night, he made himself and his drawing skills accessible to the whole Internet by broadcasting live from his studio on a site called Ustream! What made it even more amazing was that he responded to comments and questions posed to him by dozens of people in a chatroom that ran alongside his live screenshot. Although it slowed down his working process alot, it was fun and enlightening to watch(and listen)to how he approached doing a comic.

Speaking of comics, I have to say that his accomplishments in that realm were a definite inspiration to Celestia and I with our Girl Caricaturists in Texas comic that was just published in our trade magazine. Here's what Lar had to say about it:
Hey ladeez!
I just got my EF today and had to write to tell you how much I enjoyed your comic adventure! :)) I hope this means I can look forward to future installments of the Girl Caricaturists. The look on Em's face as she was drawing the two rival Texans is priceless! But I think my fave is those carnies hitting on you two :)) Yew gots all yer teeth? What a pick up line!
Is it true what happens at the State Fair stays at the State Fair? Should John and Rob be worried? Hee hee hee
Congrats on a comic very very well done! :)
Much love,
Lar ;)

Finally, if you've noticed the Twitter widget I have just added to this blog, it's how you can find out when the next online-Lartist-session will be, or on the LICD homepage. I also decided to try Twitter for myself because the marketing universe is exploding on the Internet. Thanks, Lar, for everything and also to Paul McCall for spreading the word!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Two birthday parties to draw for... one day (Saturday). The first was an afternoon celebration for an adorable little girl, who fell asleep by the end of her party (that always happens to one-year-olds!). I drew her several times with various cousins, and all the kids got their own single drawing too. It was held in an Indian restaurant with some particularly good food, so I'll definitely be going back for dinner soon!
Then it was off to an evening party in the home of a new fifty-year-old! I kept looking at him and trying to think of which old-time movie star he reminded me of. Then one of the guests said it--Errol Flynn! So the birthday boy and his lovely wife got their caricature in color with a Hollywood glamour theme.
For everyone else, since there were so many people there, I drew in my usual black and white, but without my arstix shading. It made more a bit more graphic look, as I used my Copic Wide marker for dark masses like hair or clothing.
The host's daughter was such a sweetheart...she took coats on a cold, cold night AND she hung all the drawings on the banister for everyone to see. Thank you, Jenna!
And happy birthday to both my guests of honor!

Update 1-19-09 I received an email this morning from the little birthday girl's mother, with a photo! :-)
Hi Emily,
I just wanted to say thank you again for making Shreeya's first birthday even more special with your fantastic caricatures! Everyone loved them and enjoyed watching you draw all the pictures!


Update 1-23-09 The wife of the birthday movie-star-lookalike sent me this nice note:
Hi Emily, After such a busy weekend and a crazy week I wanted to tell you how great it was having you at the party. Our guests were so surprised and loved watching you draw the other guests as well as themselves. You made the night memorable, I received wonderful feedback from all of our friends.
Thanks again!

Thank you both for having me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Pee Wee's facial expressions...

including that one!...were always just one part of all the reasons why my children and I loved him as a character on the various shows and movies he did back in the Eighties. I drew this pencil/marker sketch of him some years back, and pulled it from one of my files to put it to a new use....uploading it to Paul Reubens' new Facebook page! I've never done anything like that before, so I hope he sees it and enjoys it.
I have not really thought of putting Facebook to use as a marketing tool, but perhaps I should. :-)
Otherwise, I have been busy with projects that don't bear posting on my blog yet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My first Caricature Comic!

Click to see a larger version.

Now that it's been published in Exaggerated Features-The Caricaturist's Quarterly and is arriving in NCN members' mailboxes world-wide, I can post my first comic work! Done jointly with fellow artist and friend Celestia Ward, it depicts some of the funnier moments during our stint at the State Fair of Texas last fall.
We had a blast creating it in Photoshop from opposite ends of the country via the Internet (she lives in Sin City--Las Vegas). We brainstormed what each panel would be, and divvied them between us. She took on the actual writing in her usual wry voice. Then, I used my Wacom Intuos drawing tablet and she used her Cintiq to create all the images. So far, several of my artist colleagues have been correct about who drew what panel :-)
We plan to do more in some format, because this was fun!

For more about Celestia, visit

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 awaits

For the past few years, I have reserved early January for my fiance. Being a career caricaturist (and he's always on call in his field too) means oftentimes postponing special times together, so we usually go somewhere together this time of year. In 2009 we've happened to land in both Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Mobile, Alabama for a few days. I certainly didn't know that Mardi Gras parades originated in Mobile long before they became the big thing in New Orleans. We enjoyed a "family-oriented" parade (which Mobile is also known for) last night.

What does this have to do with caricature? Well, when I get home, it's nose to the drawing board. I have been commissioned to illustrate a children's book! Although it isn't caricature per se, it came through someone who saw me drawing you never know what karma can bring your way. I've been doing some preliminary sketches while on my trip, but can't share til the author says so.

I also have some plans to renovate my website, update my self-caricature, and do some more creative marketing this year. We all know the American economy is changing hugely, and I plan on going with the flow to the best of my ability. One thing that can be said about caricature, is that its value lasts for longer than the person looks the way they look when it's drawn!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last two caricatures of 2008

Happy New Year!
My fiance and I are visiting some of his far-flung family I had not met yet--and I couldn't resist drawing their children...
It was especially fun adding the current pop-culture phenomenon, Edward Cullen from the Twilight movie/book, to the teenage girl's drawing!! The young boy opted for his favorite computer game.

To all my blog readers, here's hoping for a wonderful 2009!