Tuesday, August 30, 2011

An exquisitely beautiful woman is tough to caricature...

especially this one:
Motivation to even attempt Vivien Leigh came from seeing this blog post about her and her then-husband, Laurence Olivier, being caricatured backstage by a prominent cartoonist of the day, Oscar Berger: (whom I had never heard of)

I liked the one he did of Sir Laurence, but found the one of Viven to be lackluster, especially in the eyes and eyebrows, features which I consider to be her most important and expressive. However, if I were sitting in front of her trying to catch her essence in five minutes and a few lines, I think I'd be dumbstruck too!
My little Markette doodle took about fifteen minutes and I am not totally happy with it, but enjoyed doing her eyebrows with their distinctive asymmetrical arch...I'd like to do one of her and Clark Gable now from GWTW.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Caricaturama SD3000--a few of mine that have backed up

Caricaturama Showdown 3000 is still steaming along, with over 100 entries every week. I try to keep up, but I haven't been posting my efforts here...til today. Ketchup!
Who are they??

The current week's subject: (I've been trying to go for subtle jokes--maybe they're too subtle. Unlike the SNL skit this character appeared in)
Graphite and prismacolor pencils...
Graphite pencils...
Chartpak, Micron, and Prismacolor markers.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sweet 16 during "Irene"

Last night, just as the outer bands of Hurricane Irene were arriving in my area, I ventured out to do a Sweet 16 party... in my own town! What are the chances of that circumstance--doing a gig three miles from home during a nasty storm?! (I'd been booked for it for awhile, too.) The client and I were both happy about that piece of luck!
The birthday girl wanted the family Labradoodle included. So they ended up in matching tutus...
Everybody got a BW body-with-theme caricature---some examples: as Snooki, as Hermione, and taming a unicorn (which was a new one to me!). I also did a group caricature of all the girls and managed to fit ten faces on an 11 x 14 paper.
Then I did a family caricature: (dog too!)
Happy birthday, Brooke!

After enjoying a slice of cake, I left for my short trek home---and by then, there were no cars on the road, the rain was pelting and the winds were picking up. One large branch was almost blocking my way at one point, blocked by orange cones, but my smaller car got around it easily. At home, I had exactly an hour to enjoy electricity, before it conked out for about sixteen hours!

Obviously, it's been turned back on, or you wouldn't be seeing this blog post. :-) Before it was, I actually drew in a sketchbook, while listening to the song of nearby chainsaws.

Hope everyone fared well through it--Goodnight Irene!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

23 MILLION people affected by Hurricane Irene

I'm hopeful that the advance warning for the entire US eastern seaboard will save lives, if not property...

...and for the less critical matters in life, Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of lots of fun things scheduled for this weekend! I had a summer's-end gig at a community pool that was cancelled. And this party-style gift caricature would have been on its way to a wedding celebration in North Carolina, but now it will have to wait. I feel bad for all the brides and vacationers who have long looked forward to this weekend, but it's better to be safe!
The client said that this couple are serious sunglasses aficionados. I almost felt like I was cheating by not having to draw eyes, but then decided to really go for the tones in her sunglasses. Congratulations, Pancho and Erin!

Friday, August 26, 2011

"Summer camp's over" caricatures

Yesterday, I spent a large chunk of my day happily churning out kids' caricatures in a couple of locations at a summer camp program. In the morning, I was outside in the shade with a nice, cool breeze...then the skies opened and I moved into the gym, where the DJ was pumping out Justin Bieber tunes...

They even had their own Bieber clone!
 According to my imprecise calculations, ( I may have forgotten to tally all of them) I drew 75 or so kids in not quite six hours---that's 4.4 minutes per kid. Not bad for an old lady!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The MAD Art of Caricature by Tom Richmond---I give it 5 gap-toothed smiles!

If you are an aspiring caricaturist, or even if you are a professional, you need to buy this book, written by MAD artist extraordinaire Tom Richmond:

I recently had the pleasure of being a backup, proofreading pair of eyeballs to the real (and amazing) copyeditor of this book, my friend Celestia Ward. So, I am not just banking on Tom's reputation as an incredibly hard-working artist and entertaining (and prolific) blog author---I've read it closely from cover to cover, and it contains:
1. concise explanations and demonstrations of concepts I've never considered that are relevant to caricature
2. things that I had considered, but just never articulated in my head (i.e, things I have always done but never thought about WHY).
3. a treatise on every facial feature
3. Numerous illustrations to make everything clear visually
4. a few in-jokes and familiar faces used as samples

Here's a link to Tom's blog showing a few pages: Head shapes

If you buy now, the first 100 orders get a hand-drawn piece of art from Tom!

My own 'hand-drawn piece of art' by Tom is a caricature he did of me (back when I had brown hair, alas) at my second ISCA con in 2004. It's a pen-and-ink wash, which thrilled me because I love that medium:
 It's hung on the wall in my studio proudly. But even that wasn't my first brush (haha) with his art.

For that, we'd have to go back to 1991, when I bought an unusual comic book (and they were not my thing, I was never into super-heroes). Actually, I bought it as a Christmas gift for my then-husband, but of course, I read it cover to cover myself, because it was about a guy as far from a super hero as you can get:
Tom did all the crazy-facial-expression Al Bundys in the background on the cover, and all the inside inking. So, who knew that twenty years later I'd have a sneak-peak to his magnum opus, one of the most definitive how-to books on caricature to be penned??  :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Happy folks at a 20th anniversary party

On Sunday evening, my easel and I found ourselves in a rain-washed country club, along with a lady harpist, to help celebrate the 20th wedding anniversary of a much-loved couple...
 I told her how nice it was to hear her artistry (instead of the umpteenth repetiton of 'cha cha real smooth' ad infinitum). Here is a link to her website: Ruth Hunter
The party guests, who spanned quite a few different age groups, were really receptive to caricature (you'll see in my blog post tomorrow, as I video-ed a few reactions):

And last but not least, the anniversary couple (and their daughter), done in color:
Thank you for having me, Deborah and Landon! And congratulations on your twenty-year marriage plus 35-day courtship!!! You know a good thing when you see one. :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Be-boppin' block party

Yesterday, I was part of a block party that also doubled as a birthday party---it had everything from two bounce houses to pony rides to a balcony-sitting DJ to a petting zoo to face-painting clowns to a caricaturist (me) to, finally, a juggling magician who was quite amazing and funny....
The petting zoo was across the street.
The animals made house calls, too!
Now for some caricatures:

After my drawing time was over (the client extended it by an hour! :-) I was able to enjoy the next entertainer. The Juggling Magician really had a rapport with the crowd, and told them when asked the inevitable question, "how did you learn how to do this?", that it was practice and determination! Both qualities are needed to be a good caricaturist, too! Check out my video of him in action:

Friday, August 19, 2011

People-watching doodles

Right now, I am readying my caricature kit-and-kaboodle for this weekend's gigs, and just found these doodles from last Saturday's rain delays...
Yes, the man on the left is wearing a kilt, accessorized with Keds. He had a bowtie too, but wasn't facing me enough to get that in.  The other two guys had interesting stances. I used my Copic multiliner pen for these, in live caricature it's good for eyelashes, thin eyebrow hairs, and stubble.

As long as I have a pen or pencil and paper, if there's people around to draw, I'm never bored...(actually, my other boredom-killer is playing Tetris on my phone. Which is another subject unto itself :-)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can you spot the difference?

This little one's birthday was this past weekend:
A family member ordered a party-style caricature from a photo through my website, and little Hannah Sophia's name was spelled correctly in her email...but this artist DIDN'T get it right on the marker/artstix version. I shipped it out---sans H!  I think maybe the phone rang or something when I was doing her name, or some such excuse ;-)
Anyway, luckily, she didn't live terribly far away, so I combined a nice dinner with my other half in a town near my client, with a quick visit to fix my mistake, by re-styling the letters and fitting that H in there! Happy 1st, HannaH Sofia!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two happy client feedbacks...and caricature copying info.

I recently received this sweet, handmade thank you card from one of my clients--she'd asked my permission before reproducing my caricature on all her cards---:-) AND she included my website info on the back!
Emily, Now that's what I call a tea party! I was absolutely thrilled with how well everything went. I received so many compliments on your caricatures and your ability to make everyone feel comfortable while you were drawing. You made it fun! I do hope I have an opportunity to attend (or host) another event where you are plying your trade. Fifty and fabulous, Stephanie

Thank YOU, Stephanie! Your party was one of the highlights of my summer. :-)

I do want to mention here on my blog that any party caricatures I do can definitely be reproduced for personal use---that means thank you cards, party favors, Facebook avatars, or just extra copies for family and friends to enjoy. 
However, I don't wish them to be used for business purposes---as the artist always holds the copyright, (even though the subject may own the physical drawing) any profit-making use of the art means the artist should get a portion of that, therefore I recommend studio commissions for those interested in caricatures for their business. It's kind of a murky subject---and one that has to operate on the honor system with live stuff, as it's not likely I would ever find out. But it does happen occasionally. I remember a story from a colleague (can't remember who, unfortunately) who was occasionally asked by live sitters (who just happened to be real estate agents) to include a house with a "For Sale" sign in the background. He'd draw a dilapidated money-pit with a shoddy sign! :-D

Here's one more happy client feedback:
What an amazing talent, Emily wowed my guests with her quick work, and captured the fun of the evening with her drawings, I would absolutely reccomend her for your next event! My guest's are still raving!! THANK YOU Emily!!!! Leslie

Thank YOU Leslie! I had just as much fun as your guests did!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Irish caricature reactions galore!

Enjoy some video snippets of my day!

Being as I'm 25% Irish, (and my hair color  seems to be inherited from that grandmother), I felt right at home!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Irish smiles at a fund-raiser...

On Saturday, I met Commodore John Barry and his friends at a party in his honor:
Who is Commodore John Barry, you ask? He was the United States' first commissioned naval officer, a Revolutionary war hero, and has been largely forgotten as most people think of John Paul Jones as the first American naval hero.  Baltimore's chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is raising funds for a memorial gate to Commodore Barry (a native of County Wexford, Ireland) to be erected on the grounds of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. So a party was in order--food, music, beer, and caricatures!

The street in front of the Irish Shrine Museum was closed off, and I started out drawing there, but battled the rain that fell in torrents every now and then...
 Once everyone arrived, I moved to the back patio area where the food and music were:

Drawing a foursome of buddies!

Didn't get a photo of these subjects, but this caricature is of a lovely ninety-year-old gentleman (who reminded me of Dr. Suess) and his son and daughter:
I have some video from this event to edit. Look here tomorrow...