Monday, January 31, 2011

Caricaturama 3000- James Cromwell

I have (happily) been swamped with commissions that I am working on, so my Caricaturama output has diminished to just quickie pencil sketches: this week's subject was James Cromwell of Babe and The Green Mile fame.
What a nose!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

What's orange and black..

..but not Halloween?
Why, Orioles Fanfest, of course!
Yesterday was a little taste of baseball season in Baltimore. Droves of fans came to the convention center to buy merchandise and/or memorabilia, get a player's autograph, or be drawn as a's a couple of mine:

You can see Mr. Rick Wright lurking in the background behind my easel. We artists had enough room to set up in a large circle, which was a different way to each have our own line.
And, I got to draw with some colleagues I don't see too frequently...Dan Ginter and Dave Thompson, whom I'd actually never worked with before. 
Below--at the end of a long day, this little boy was just entranced by Dan's rendering of him!
I pronounced us Rick's 'alternate A Team'. :-)
Dave, yours truly, Rick and Dan. Yes, live caricaturing is a male-dominated vocation. :-)

Friday, January 28, 2011

New FB fan with caricature avatar :-)

I love seeing when people use my work for this purpose! This couple was drawn last weekend.
Here is the link to my Facebook fan page: Caricatures by Emily
Currently I have 730 fans--- Thank you!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not part of my art supplies, but...

...just as important!
I recently received this message via my LinkedIn page:
HI Emily, 
I looked at your blog and website, they are really wonderful. 
How do you get so many photos from events? Do you take someone with you to shoot pictures? I always wish I had copies of my work with the people I drew, but never have time to set them up for pictures. 
Thanks, Marie! The answer to your question is, I've always been a keen amateur photographer-- I take them all myself, unless I'm in it! Back when I was a kid with a dinky plastic camera, my parents would get exasperated that I'd go through film so quickly. (One of the reasons I like the Hipstamatic app on my IPhone is recreating the look of those old 12 and 24 exposure rolls of film! The photo above, of my trusty Sony Cybershot, was taken with Hipstamatic.)  So, photographing the highlights of a live gig is just an extension of  a lifelong pleasure.

Anyway, at gigs, I like to take some photos when I arrive, of decorations, cakes or anything noteworthy in the venue. And sometimes, there's time after drawing to get a I did when the guests were still dancing at the end of my most recent gig.   
For the in-the-chair shots of subjects with their caricatures, there are two ways to do it, and neither take much time at all---maybe fifteen or twenty seconds.
The first way is to take the photo while the drawing is still on the easel, before you show the subject. This way is very quick and you are in control.
The second way is to ask them once they have seen it, to pose with it. There's more room for error this way, as they may still be laughing and reacting to it, but the result is more spontaneous. 
Which way you go depends on the gig and how hectic it is. If it's extremely crazy. like too many children and not enough time, I may only get one or two photos, tops---and they are easel pics. If it's the kind of relaxed gig where your line consists of a few people at a time, and stays the same size, you have more leeway. Most people are happy to be asked, and I always tell them that it may end up on my website, or blog, or my digital frame of samples hanging above the drawing area on my easel.

I do love my Sony Cybershot--its only failing is that I can't zoom while taking a video. And videos are a whole other story...:-)

Thanks for your question!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

40th birthday party...for TRIPLETS!

I've drawn at plenty of 40th birthday parties...but never one for triplets!

Before the party, as I pre-wrote their names--- Kristen, Leah and Morgan-- on my paper, I didn't know Morgan was a boy! Good thing I chose blue for his name! :-)
It was a fun evening, as I drew to the strains of Billy Joel, KC and the Sunshine Band, and way too much Journey ;-)

This couple were photographed before I showed them the caricature...the second (reaction) shot was an accidental one I took from my lap! Came out pretty good, huh?

Click to see a caricature reaction video from this party on my Youtube channel. :-D

 Above are the triplets and their 'heroic' older brother, (second from right, bottom pic) whom their godmother proclaimed as such when his mom brought home not one but three babies from the hospital.

Thanks for having me, and happy 40th Kristen, Leah and Morgan!

Update 1-29-11: My client for the event, (the triplets' mom) had this feedback for me on Gigmasters:
She's a lovely person and did everything she could to ensure the satisfaction of all her subjects! Everyone loved the idea and the execution of this entertainment. It was all great fun! 

Gig prep

In the morning before leaving for my two gigs yesterday, I pre-wrote the particulars on my gig paper as I always do. Since January is always such an "iffy" month for weather, what with postponements and possible cancellations due to snow, I left it til the last minute. The only issue yesterday was bone-chilling cold, which meant both my gigs were ON! :-)

The second one of my day was to be a 40th birthday party for triplets. The hostess kindly sent me an actual invitation so I could tailor my papers to the party theme/colors, and here are the results!
I don't use Sharpies for any other function in caricaturing, but they serve this purpose well!

5th birthday party for a little princess

The birthday girl was a vision in yellow--and of course, I drew her in color:

I went with a yellow background on the drawings of all the kids to go with little Imani's princess dress. The party also featured a talented DJ/MC, who did face painting too! I'd wish I'd gotten a photo of that, but had to rush out for another gig immediately following...

And this one is of the birthday girl and her sisters (and Goofy!). Happy birthday, Imani!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Evolution of a hand..

Kate Middleton's hand, precisely. 
Awhile back, I did  a digital piece of Prince William and his new fiance. I showed it here on my blog and also shared it on the ISCA forum (you have to be a member to access it) where I have a thread devoted to my studio stuff. What's so great about that forum is the advice and critiques you may get from peers. Of course, one doesn't have to agree with every crit that comes along, but several people commented that the hand wasn't up to par. With some good suggestions, especially from Court Jones, I was able to improve it by increments and learned alot about drawing hands in the process.

The first hand was done from imagination, since the pose I envisioned did not exist in the engagement photos of the prince and his lady. Aside from poor construction/painting, it also appeared to be floating. On the second try, the construction issue was fixed, but Court pointed out it was impossible to flex a wrist to the degree I had painted. So for the third attempt, I had my significant other photograph me in the pose I wanted, so the reference for that hand is actually...mine. With Diana's/now Kate's ring!! The fourth is a more visually interesting, graceful take on the third version.

Here is a link to the original piece and below is the new improved version:

As a self-taught artist, I'm glad to influenced by others who are masters. Sometimes you need them to point out your liabilities. I hope I never stop learning!

I also know I need to draw more hands.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nurse graduation caricature sign-in...with the graduate!

One of my recent clients just sent me a photo of her friend with her caricature sign-in, all framed and signed at her graduation party!
Since my client was nowhere near my location, she simply printed out the hi-res image herself and put it in the frame. Easy to do, and I can guarantee no one else could have duplicated her gift!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Still dithering with Mr. Jones

David Bowie's real last name was Jones. I'd say 'Bowie' is much more if his chameleon-like appearance and singing/songwriting weren't enough (they are, of course).
I decided to have a go at putting him in a green suit as seen in this video: Under Pressure
However, after seeing the revamped drawing ( done in PS) compared with my previous leather-jacketed entry, I didn't like it as much. And some FB friends agreed...
Here's some different stages for comparison.
Sometimes an artist's judgement is better when they have stepped away from a piece and not looked at it for awhile. 

Update: I kept the 4th version here as my entry, and it got one full-fledged vote and a couple of honorable mentions. :-) 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Digitally painted my Bowie sketch...

Now, it's 50% pencil and 50% Photoshop.  I am now wishing I had changed the leather jacket to one of his severely-tailored suits...hmmmmmm.  Here's the link to Caricaturama.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Caricaturama 3000-David Bowie

The Thin White Duke has cool bone structure! Here's the link to see other versions of him: Caricaturama
This one is 95% pencil and 5% Photoshop.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First gig of '11...

...was a surprise 50th birthday party. The gentleman thought he was going to a beef-and-beer, but instead walked into a roomful of his friends and family. It was all the more poignant because his wife's previous party attempt (for his 40th) was diminished by an 8" snowfall. Yesterday's 2" of snow was nothing this time. (You'll have that with January birthdays!)
 Here are some of the guests. The birthday boy ( whom I did not get a photo of--wasn't thinking by the end of the night!!) was also treated to speeches by his dearest , including a long rendition of  the theme song to the 'Beverly Hillbillies' sung by a neighbor--only it had many MANY stanzas, all about him and it was hilarious! I was impressed by that, and also by how loved this man was. Happy birthday, Jay!

 These are Jay's parents. I want her hair when I'm seventy -seven, as she informed me as she sat for me!
I had to strongly mentally remind myself to write 2011 on all the drawings!

Update 1-11-11. The client had this to say: Thanks - you were great, everyone enjoyed their caricatures and the novelty of the whole thing.  I will definitely recommend you if you need a reference and enjoyed the blog link!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Conan O'Brien in my sketchbook...

My sketchbook is getting filled up lately...I am having fun with the pencil renderings, so I decided to do one of late-night-talk-show-hero Conan O'Brien, who uses fan artwork on the air. Recently, a friend's fantastic digital painting of Conan made it onto the show, and another friend submitted his hilarious take on the red-headed Irishman, so I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring too...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Caricaturama 3000-Amanda Seyfried

Caricaturama Showdown 3000 gave us two weeks for the current challenge; the subject is an actress I have to admit I've never seen...but she's pretty!
This is a pencil/digital hybrid...I wanted to go for a watercolor-washy look, but I STILL haven't found where my actual watercolor pencils are hiding. So I scanned her and speed-colored her digitally in PS3 with that in mind. The whole exercise took me a little over an hour.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RPatz-round 2

Thanks to some excellent critiques from colleagues on the ISCA forum, I made some subtle adjustments with a 6B pencil to my Robert Pattinson to my previous post. And I am still looking for my watercolor pencils!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First drawing of 2011

The ISCA forum is lucky to have a new artist/moderator, Klaas Op De Beeck, take over the monthly drawing contest that has been dormant for awhile. He chose RPatz as the first subject, and so far some of the other entrants (and I concur) have remarked on how difficult he is. People who have symmetrical faces tend to be hard to exaggerate and keep a likeness. My own style is not one of big distortions, but I found him tough as well.
This is my first drawing of 2011, done with a humble 2B pencil. For the next version, I am going to dust off my watercolor pencils, as Klaas suggested we try different media to get out of our  comfort zones.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

I spent my New Year's Eve drawing tweens and teens at a huge party held at a church:
They had all sorts  of fun things for the kids to do: dodge ball, inflatables, food, music, a photographer:
...and of course, caricatures! I had a big chaotic line so ended up with only a few photos. At the end, some very sweet girls came back and hugged me in thanks for their drawings--what a nice way to end last year and begin this one!