Saturday, June 26, 2010

Caricaturama 3000-this week it's Megan Fox

I have to admit, I haven't seen any movie she's in--but I do think it is pretty sad that a twenty-three-year-old would have so much plastic surgery that she's been reduced to a tight, expressionless mask. Like "overdone steak" as a friend commented...

Check out Caricaturama 3000 on Facebook to see many, many other artists' interpretations of her...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Avoiding art-caused carpal tunnel...

Every vocation on earth must have its inherent risks, and being an artist is no exception. In my case, beyond the mental ones (haha, more on that some other time) I find that I am prone to occasional wrist, shoulder and back pain, depending on what I'm doing. For live caricaturing, having my arm raised to draw on a French easel can bother my shoulder and mid-back if I do it for too long or too frequently. When I use my Wacom Intuos alot or am drawing flat, my wrist tends to bother me. However, thanks to my friend Nick, I found a little gizmo that helps! It's called a Dynaflex Pro, and it works by having a spinning internal gyro within a ball that you twist in your hand. I was a little skeptical when I tried it, but it really does make your wrist exercise in ways it normally cannot. And after you use it, your entire arm feels rejuvenated! ( well, mine does!)

Here's a little video of it in action:

Yeah, I went for the one with LED lights... :-)

Contest: Name that tune! I'll do a free digital line-drawing caricature of the first person who can tell me what song is playing in the background...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Steamy company picnic...

Yesterday afternoon, I joined a few hundred employees who eschewed their company's air conditioning to enjoy (?) a company picnic in their parking lot...

Actually, I'm not complaining. I'd much rather draw in sultry heat than bone-chilling cold, when my fingers are numb. That sure wasn't the case here--it was more like sweaty fingers grabbing slippery markers!

These two youngsters, who were helping run things (one's mom was the picnic-co-ordinator) asked me to include the "man" of the moment...Justin Bieber!
The young man below ribbed all his co-workers while I was drawing them. This was his photo and video form:

One of the perks of being the boss: getting dunked in the dunk tank!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Project Grad and some caricature statistics...

Last night and early this morning, I did a huge Project Grad party with seven other artists. This year, they had us spread out on the elevated track in the gym rather than crammed in a crowded conference room:

It was a five-hour event, into the wee hours, so my preparations included a little cooler of Red Bull! The kids came running en masse and the drawing started. I'd taken photos of the first few, and then someone asked if I took photos of ALL my caricatures. I replied 'usually not'...but then thought, 'why not?'
So, without further ado, here is EVERY drawing I did at this event, in order. I drew 73 people in five hours; that's a rate of 14.6 every hour. It took me approximately four minutes to complete each face. There were forty separate drawings: seven triples, nineteen doubles, and fourteen singles. The ratio of girls to boys was 52:21.
I did not take a break (which is sort of a bad thing healthwise; but I get in the zone and almost forget! Plus a thoughtful student brought me a soda and a plate of goodies to munch while I was drawing.)

Caricature reactions video

Up all night again drawing (and drinking Red Bull!) at a gig, a high school Project Graduation. My next post about it will be a little different from my usual after-gig summaries, and I am working on that now, but here is a little teaser video of some of last night's reactions:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Harry Shearer for Caricaturama 3000

Didn't have alot of time this week for this, so I dashed off another quickie digital pen & Ink:

Caricaturama 3000 has gone from 375 members ( when I joined) to over 850 now!
My vote (and prediction) is for Chris Wahl this week...I'll update here when the winner is announced and we'll see if I'm right!

Update: I was right! Chris Wahl won! :-)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

Here is a commission I did for someone very special: (my daughter)

Happy Father's Day, Ian!
And to dads everywhere, including mine, whom I miss very much.

1st birthday BBQ

Yesterday afternoon, I found myself drawing lots and lots of little kids outdoors, so I didn't get many photos. The birthday girl herself, being one year old, got hot and cranky as she sat for me, but luckily I saw a smile first!

As I drew, Peanut Butter Jelly Time played and it got stuck in my head for the rest of the day! :-D

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Hour at a senior living center!

I love drawing senior citizens!

They're so interested in what I do and how I do it; and they regale me with stories of caricatures or artist interactions of long ago...chatting with them is such a pleasure. And everyone was enjoying a glass of red or white wine, so it really WAS a Friday afternoon happy hour! ( I stuck to ginger ale when offered, saying, 'you want good drawings, right?')

It happened to be this young man's birthday. He said he was like Jack Benny--always turning 39!
They're having me return in August. :-) I'm looking forward to it already!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Roaring Twenties 8th grade grad party...

Last night's event was another Catholic-school 8th grade graduation. The kids arrived on a trolley:

The party was held in the church hall, and upon entrance, this dad was the designated Fog-guy:

Also making an appearance (above right) was the same sign that accompanied one of my recent post-prom gigs! (it's not my sign.)
Below: Two of the guys, and two of the gals:

The kids had a blast!

Boas everywhere:

And of course there were decorated bathrooms:

Congrats, Class of 2010!

Caricature gets a bad rap on the Huffington Post...

Two days ago, the Huffington Post blog posted a photo essay which reinforced common negative stereotypes about caricatures and caricature artists.
Here's a quote:
Check out the bizarre caricature drawings we found, ranging from the good, the bad, and the ugly (mostly ugly) and vote for the one with the most "WTF?!"

"Mostly ugly" ???????????

Some of the images used were without permission from the artists, two of whom, Joe Bluhm and Chris Rommel, are winners of the highest honor that the International Society of Caricature Artists can bestow--the Gold Nosey. Furthermore, the samples used are years old, in Chris's case, from 2003. Another artist I know, Chris Chua, does wonderful abstract-cubism-type caricature, and his drawing of a colleague is currently 'topping' their poll.

Now, I know all publicity is supposed to be good publicity, and I know it's someone's opinion. It's the comment section that shows both stupendous public ignorance of our craft as well as support ( in fact the reason I am posting a link to it on my blog is to enlighten my readers about that). In my opinion, I think that this article shows crass laziness on the part of the HP. If you're going to label high-caliber caricatures as "ugly", do some research-- don't just snipe on our livelihood. We caricature artists dish it out, we can take it too...if it's done intelligently.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Two grad parties in one night!

Last night, I drew an awful lot of eighth-graders celebrating the fact that they were no longer eighth-graders! My night was actually split for two different Catholic schools. One party was held at a beautiful country club, the other in the upstairs of a neighborhood restaurant. Luckily, they were in fairly close proximity to each other...
My evening started in a 1901 stone banquet hall situated on the golf course:

where I drew color-with-body caricatures since there were only nine students:

After I got my photo, the parents took theirs!

This young man told me his girlfriend attended the school whose party I'd be doing after his! He told me her name and said to look out for her, and tell her I'd just drawn HIM.

I drove a bit and ended up here:

Here's a few faces:

And here's the exuberant young lady whose boyfriend from the other school had already texted her about my caricatures!

This is the view from behind my easel:

and here are the remains, of the cake where (funnily enough) no one wanted to disturb the icing photo! (except for one missing face someone dabbed off)

Congrats on your graduation to all of you! :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Picasso for Caricaturama 3000

I entered a digital pen and ink of Picasso in this week's Caricaturama 3000 competition. There are some AMAZING entries on there by artists I truly admire!

Update: My friend Paul Moyse won!!! Congrats! Click on his name to see his intense entry.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I had a reject...

It happens to all caricature artists once in awhile, for a variety of reasons...

As I excitedly drew this little girl, (because of Mr. Met on her hat and her sparkly-eyed expression), I sensed some reluctance on her parents' parts. When the line drawing was complete, I overheard the mother mutter, "That doesn't look like her." (Bear in mind that one of my priorities IS likeness).
I continued for a moment, and the mom said it again, this time loudly. I turned to her and smiled, "If you don't like it, you are not obligated to buy--no problem." At that, the little girl (she was about eight years old) jumped up and ran to the front of my easel to see for herself. She exclaimed, "Mommy, I love it!! It looks just like me! I want it!!"
Mommy answered, "But, honey, she made you look like a witch!"
Daughter got overruled, and they decided to have my colleague Gary draw her instead. I told them I would still color my version so as to use for a sample....after a few minutes, the mom came back to me and put a few dollars in my easel drawer (which was very nice of her). She said it was because she felt bad that I had worked for nothing. The dad also came back and actually apologized for not liking it. "I can see that you're very talented, but..."
I told him it was simply a matter of different styles for different people and that I wasn't upset at all.
There was another customer, a lady, waiting to be drawn, anyway! And this one remarked to me that the little girl reminded her of pre-nose-job Jennifer Grey (of Dirty Dancing fame). I had to concur...
Poor Gary had the added pressure of knowing that he had to satisfy my unsatisfied clients. In the end, his version didn't differ hugely from mine, just sweetened a little!
Here are two kids drawn by me whose outcome was happier:

Besides placating victims of witchy-drawing caricaturists, Gary draws a mean Snoopy:

This is Gary next to a super-buttoned uber-Mets fan who was strolling the ballpark during this rare match-up of MLB inter-league play:

Another personage strolling the ballpark:

Everyone loves the Oriole Bird...although I'd rather draw the Phillie Phanatic or Mr Met!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Country club pool party

A tent was set up for me poolside...

where I drew kid after kid after kid! :-)

This last photo has quite the story to go with it. These two boys sat for one of the first caricatures, (note older brother's dry hair in the drawing) when I'd just arrived. I asked the mom if I could photograph them since younger brother had HUGE attitude and style (check out those glasses--I never DID see his eyes!). Anyway, Little BRO adamantly did NOT want his photo taken so I didn't force it. They left and I was a little bummed to have not gotten one, but quickly forgot as my line formed and fun was had by all...
Later, right when my allotted time was up, they came back. The mom conspiratorially sat him in the chair, with her body between me and them, saying, "we're just going to sit here in the shade for a minute, buddy." She then stepped away and I snapped away! But not fast enough for the little guy to react "NOOOOOOOOOOO!"