Friday, April 30, 2010

A charming scene in Charm City

After drawing this young man, he and his mom walked away a bit and I noticed this scene in time to snap a photo: (awwwwwww)

It's just barely May and already it feels like summer! The recently renovated Bromo-Seltzer clock tower, down a block or so from where we caricature (which hadn't worked for a few years) looks impressive against the sultry night sky:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Into my way-back machine....

Since posting yesterday about my blog's anniversary, it got me to thinking about how much has changed since then. 2007, was also the year I bought a Wacom tablet and started doing digital work. On the ISCA forum right now, there is a discussion over the values of traditional media vs. digital, of which I am proudly right splat in the middle--I love both!

This is my first ever digital painting created in January 2007 with a MOUSE. Yes, it only took this one piece to convince me to buy a Wacom tablet. However, since I didn't have one yet, I did this whole Patsy Cline very slowly and deliberately with the mouse. At that time I was using Photoshop 6.0 on a Dell laptop. The original pencil drawing was done in a sketchbook and was only her face. I decided to draw more of her, so I had to cut her out, since she was at the bottom of a page and tape her to a larger piece of paper. You can see the line of demarcation on the scan of the sketch. After, that it was a matter of trying out different things until my personal lightbulb went on, with help from some digital pro friends on the ISCA (then NCN) forum.

Reminiscing is fun!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy anniversary--to my sketchblog

My blog's anniversary was eleven days ago...and I completely forgot to take note! This photo is the very first one I posted, from a bar mitzvah, three years ago on April 16, 2007:

According to my calculations (and remember, as a right-brainer, my math skills are suspect!), since I have put up 729 caricature-related blog posts in three years and ten days, that's an average of 1.4 per day. Seems my original motivations for doing a blog
(making art and marketing it) are still working! :-)
Thank you for reading here, I appreciate it!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

9th birthday party!

My third and final gig this weekend was...another birthday party! I frequently have multiple events in a two-day span, but just as frequently, they are all different types of events. This time they all happened to be someone's special birthday.

This party was a lot of fun in that, because of the small number of girls, time allowed for full-color and quite elaborate caricatures. The girls had fun coming up with VERY original themes: the birthday girl scooter-riding an ocean wave; a flute-playing snake-charmer with a golden retriever looking on; a genie coming out of a bottle being held by a rabbit; swimming while reading a get the idea! However, Mom opted for quite a popular theme that I have drawn before: slinky evening gown, tiara, and glass of wine! :-)

My daughter's art project...

It's not exactly caricature-related, but it's still kinda interesting...

My college-freshman daughter's 'Intro to Art Appreciation' course called for her to do a self-portrait, using real paint, in the style of an assigned artist. She got Roy Lichtenstein, famous for his comic-book-style pop art. I should add, tracing and copying using mechanical means were permitted. She asked me if I had any suggestions...
I told her to get a photo of herself she liked, posterize it in Photoshop, print it out, then use a light box to pencil it on the required 11 x 14 bristol board. She did so, then flat-painted it, and here's the result. She's still trying to decide what to put in the word bubble :-)
Her unlucky friend was assigned Mark Rothko :-(

Backyard Sweet 16 party...

Last evening, I joined a new 16-year-old and lots of her friends to celebrate her birthday with caricatures!

Below--I love it when my subjects have funny expressions!

This little munchkin won't have to get a caricature at Disney World now..she's headed there this week! (Sorry, Keelan! ;-)

Isn't this cake just perfect? Happy birthday, Ashley!

1st birthday party, high up!

Yesterday, I drew for a cute little guy's 1st birthday party, on an 8th floor patio overlooking south Philadelphia!

Here he is with his mommy and daddy, in color of course...
Below are some guests, with whom I had a total hoot--both in chatting and sketching...

I told this gentleman he had 'Gene Wilder hair'... :-D

With these two, I debated where "North Jersey' actually becomes 'South Jersey'... :-D

Above is the party's genial host, Grandpa, with his lovely wife and three daughters depicted as looming large in his life ;-)
Below are the amazing views I snapped before the party started, while the sun shone warmly--it had gotten overcast by the time I finished.

If you look to the top right in the above photo, you can just make out Citizens Bank Park, where I spent many hours honing my skills while drawing at Phillies games. Below you can see the Walt Whitman bridge and one of the many beautiful murals that adorn the city.

For the whole scene, nothing beats a video clip!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More jungle progress...

Neko's jungle is finally starting to be what I envisioned before I started painting...

Back posts on this topic: click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Neko's nursery painting progress...

My grandson Nekoda is growing by leaps and bounds, (he's almost 3 months old) and his painting isn't finished yet! An elephant has joined the menagerie, though. :-)

You can see my reference photo on my monitor next to the painting. As the elephant was added quite a while back, now that I look at this photo, I can see the eye placement is too far forward. Sometimes stepping back from a piece for some time gives the artist a fresh perspective.
If you want to see previous stages of this painting, click here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Five-year-old's birthday party...

Today, I got to share a cute little guy's early birthday party!

The birthday boy and his sister were done in color, and all their buddies in BW, with popular themes, of course. But when I asked the little sister what she liked to do, and she said "SWING!" that's one I haven't heard too often!


Last night, I found myself at the Philadelphia Airport...NOT! In actuality, it was a high school lobby decorated as the airport, with various rooms transformed into American cities, all for the seniors to enjoy for their after-prom party.

I wish I had a photo of the parents who did the check-in, dressed as airport security (complete with dogs!) but these were what I was able to snap after setting up and before the kids arrived...

My caricatures were done in the South beach, Miami area, on the right in this photo..they built a little deck for me!

One of the parents obligingly snapped this photo :-)

Here are a few of the dozens and dozens of caricatures I did!

All the party activities ended at the same time, so the kids could enjoy the magic of John Cassidy, whom I've crossed paths with at many post-proms!

Of course, had to take a photo of the bathroom before leaving!

I appreciate that this school and its parents have had me back year after year! Thank you! :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two talented caricaturist friends, for your viewing pleasure!

Two of my friends have ventured into short film-making, LOL. ( No, seriously...Laughing out loud IS the result!)

Marlo Meekins
Marlo, of Philly, is on the third episode of her completely self-done show (writing, animation, illustration, acting, make-up, costumes--whew!) She's had over 4000 views since putting up the first show about two weeks ago. Go Marlo!

Jeremy Townsend (Jert)
My favorite is "How to draw awesome caricatures" :-D
Jert is from Atlanta currently, and literally just got started with his artist advice clips, but he's had hundreds of views already.

Both of these two are mega-talented, multiple-award-winning caricature artists, but they are both so much more than that! I hope their new ventures take them wherever they want to go. :-)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

FB fan page contest winner...

Over on my fan page, I ran a little contest yesterday asking if anyone could tell whose panel was whose in my joint comic with artist Celestia Ward. I say little because the second entrant, fellow Philly caricaturist John Sprague, won---the prize was a BW marker/artstix caricature! John asked me to draw his cat, and so I did:

I scanned my marker drawing, then played with it a bit in Photoshop. White whiskers are much more suited to rendering digitally! :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our 2nd full page comic strip, about being girl caricaturists at the State Fair of Texas...

... has been published in the ISCA quarterly, Exaggerated Features:

My comrade in caricature crime, Celestia Ward and I again cyber-worked on it from Vegas and Philly, respectively. It's actually our third collaborative comic effort, but the second was just a half page aside that didn't focus on our time in the Lone Star State. It was totally done in Photoshop using my Wacom Intuos and her Cintiq, which allowed for us to cram lots of details in, sometimes to the detriment of font size!

If you'd like to see the photos depicting some of the events and flavors shown in the comic, click here and here.
Here is the first year's version, fun to see how far we've grown in our craft!

It occurred to me that I have nerve calling myself a 'girl' in the title when I'm somebody's grandma now!! :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Phanatic and friend...

This young lady did me a big favor this past weekend...she's my daughter's college roommate, and she graciously allowed me to use her bed during her absence so I wouldn't have to drive quite a distance home after my late-night gig there. She's also in the same public speaking class as my daughter, so I thought a nice 'thank you' would be a drawing of her with her favorite team's mascot! (Her speech is this week--on mascots!)

The Phillies are certainly off to a good start this season. Drawing the Phanatic is still a cinch! (Some years back, I spent four baseball seasons drawing fans at Citizens Bank Park, so I ought to know how to draw baseball's best mascot!)

And in a slight difference from my norm, I used a Markette marker instead of my beloved Copic Sketch. I have actually used many different makers over the years before settling on the Copic as my favorite, starting with Sharpies and going on to calligraphy markers, Chartpaks, 229LFs, Prismacolors, and the aforementioned Markette. They ARE a nice marker, but the drawbacks are many. They are hard to find, the points break off easily and they dry out and cannot be refilled...but I still have many of my old ones! (I'm an art hoarder, I'll admit it! I guess I am hoping they'll spontaneously regenerate a new ink supply;-) On a whim today, I pulled one out and it was still juicy, so I used it to draw Nicole. It definitely has a more delicate line than my Copics...but I like the long-term advantages of my Copics much better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

First late-nighter for 2010, a college event!

I had a five-hour gig, drawing college students this weekend---and I mention that fact because the five hours were between 11 pm and 4 am! The occasion was a 'Relay for Life' fundraiser for cancer, which happens overnight at many schools this time of year. The students form teams to do laps, for which pledges are given, and must always have at least one student actually walking during the entire length of the event. The other students have many fun activities to enjoy, one of which was getting a caricature from me!

(Above) You can see my line of students on the right in the mirror in this photo.
(Below) One of the students took these two shots of their friends, right BEFORE and AFTER they saw their caricature!

And here they are, WITH it:

They actually asked for American Gothic!

You better believe I drank both of these Red Bulls during the course of the night (or I should say early morning by then!)

The really cool, serendipitous thing about this gig was that it was held at my own daughter's college, so I had a dorm room to crash in afterwards, and the chance to have breakfast with her and her friends the following day (ok, it was really lunch by then :-)