Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A little luck o' the Irish for some politicians...

Everybody is Irish for a day on St. Patrick's day, but for these NJ politicians,, it came early (or late) in the form of a presentation from the local AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians) in thanks for their support. Here is a link to the story on their website.
I venture to guess that ONE of them is an Irish-American----the red-headed, pink-cheeked one! ;-)
I did this one assembly-style...drew and colored the lady first, completely. Then I drew each of the gentlemen, and traced the background elements on my light box for each one--and finished by doing one color at a time for everybody. 
Here's a close up:
My client had this to say: 

 "You hit it out of the park and I can't thank you enough for helping making this event so successful.

Sincere thanks, Sean"

Thanks go to my friend Patrick Harnett, a fantastic photographer/artist, who referred me for this work.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Family Reunion t-shirt design

Happy Memorial Day! In the USA, we honor our veterans for their services to country, and the general way we do that is by having parades and family get-togethers. This is a recent digital commission for a family who decided to have t-shirts done with this image on them, to wear to their family reunion:
I was able to fit in something particular about each person, but my favorite one is the fish!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Caricatures go perfectly with family reunions!

Yesterday's event reunited a big bunch of family members from both sides of the country...
and I pretty much drew ALL of them, some even multiple times. It went so well my client doubled my scheduled time there. :-) The day was too breezy to sit outside, even though it was beautiful,  so I staked out a corner of their family room and got busy:
First, a 45th-anniversary-celebrating couple. I asked them if they played Beatles music at their wedding in 1968, and they said no...it was Neil Diamond!
And this guy was celebrating his birthday, so there were all kinds of additional reasons for a party.
Brother and sister...NOT a couple! :-)
More family matriarchs! On the left: she told me she was a big Bon Jovi fan, so I worked him in there somehow. On the right: a sweet middle-school history teacher with an old-fashioned chalkboard. 
These two told me they were "THE NEIGHBORS" and he wanted her to be a bunny and himself to be Elmer Fudd. I love her expression!!
Finally, two brothers who didn't know that another relative had pre-arranged with me to draw the one carrying the other. Took the photo before they saw it:
And here is their reaction:
I do love my job!!!!!

Update 5-29-13: client feedback: Thank you Carmen!!!
    We had 40 people at our home for a family reunion, Emily's gifted drawings truly made the party an unbelievable success. She drew everyone there and some more than once in a short amount of time for reasonable $$. We will definitely ask her to attend our future parties and draw for our friends,she's amazing!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

O's vs Yankees...night game

I'm not a regular artist at O's games---because it is a bit of a hike from where I live---but the NY Yankees were in town midweek, so I went down to do a rare night game with Rick. Before things got busy, I did a little exploring. Across from us is a fried chicken place that had a rooftop bar newly added...so I went up to check it out and see what I could see:
There's Rick in front of the B & O warehouse.
That's the view out the gates into downtown Baltimore.
These are professional baseball players, what everyone in the bar was there for!
The game actually went into extra innings, but the Orioles prevailed, winning with a walk-off homer. But more on that in a moment. Here are some of the faces that sat for me:
 Cousins who were BOTH Yankee fans...
Cousins who were Oriole VS. Yankee fans...
A guy who said he wasn't a baseball fan at all and missed his girlfriend, to much ribbing from his buddies...
...and two lady Oriole fans, the one on the right was attending her very first game. 
At the end of the night, into the 10th inning, people who didn't feel up for a marathon game were walking out. This young lady sat down just as an Oriole banged out a home run which ended the game. Her dad ran back to see the hoopla, while I made the ball in the caricature say, "I'm a walk-off homer!"
She liked that.
You can see that the lighting in our spot is as bright as day, but it was 10 pm in this photo!
Here's the obligatory photo of left-handed Rick gripping his Markette fiercely while caricaturing a slightly inebriated gentleman. :-)
Hope the O's have a good season!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Airbrushed nurse grad commission

Last weekend, this newly graduated nurse received an airbrushed caricature from her friends:
Congrats to Mo! I had fun airbrushing those cheeks.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Caricaturist brain at work (or...check out the big brain on Emily!)

Recently, I had an fMRI---for the sole purpose of scientific research into creativity:
To be more specific, at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Dr. Charles Limb currently is in charge of a study on what parts of the brain are firing up as caricaturists draw. (His last study was on jazz musicians!) While lying in the tight confines of an MRI machine, I did what I do almost every day---looked at people and caricatured them!
 I was given a small pamphlet of close-up photos of various faces (all with neutral expressions---so that I wouldn't be reacting to any perceived emotion, which is a whole other phenomenon). The photo was on the left, a blank page was on the right. The drawing implement was....a golf pencil! The booklet rested on a small board on my lap, and I wore headgear with mirrors so I could see my hands (an MRI requires the subject to lie flat and not move the head.) 
A weird environment, to be sure, especially with all the clanking, buzzing noises made by the machine, but once I was drawing, I forgot about it. 
Each drawing had a time limit of under one minute, so it was really only a very basic gist of a caricature. They also asked for likenesses, not exaggerated, for comparison, as well as just to look at faces but draw nothing. 
My friend and colleague Sean Gardner was game for an MRI as well, and I was able to be in the control room as his took place:
About to be put to the magnet! The researchers used an audio tone to cue us to turn the page for each drawing, and Sean remarked that it sounded like "Tron racquetball"---they loved that metaphor!
 All we could see on the monitor was the back of the clipboard and his knees as he drew.
 How crazy it was to see Sean's profile and the innards of his entire skull!!!!! When I saw my own (top photo) it seemed beyond surreal-- and I immediately knew that my son is walking around with the shape of my cranium!
Above: More of Sean's brain during the procedure. It's going to be hard to wait for the results, which are probably a year or more in the future.
We made sure Dr. Limb was okay with us sharing our experiences at Hopkins on social media, and his response was "no problem!" It's the data and conclusions from this research that are proprietary until published in scientific/medical journals. Or on social media!

If you have sixteen minutes to spare, that link above to Dr. Limb's previous experiment is reaaaallly interesting.

Finally, the MRI technician had a caricature of herself (she said it  was done at a party many years ago, the signature said 'Laura') hanging in the control room... so she was a fan of our artform! :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sunset on campus

One of my weekend events was an RA appreciation party at a local university. As it was a pleasant evening, I set up outdoors in the parking lot, next to the students' barbecue grill and beer pong (!) with a great view of the skyline:
Three-quarters of these young ladies are exchange students from London, so I got to enjoy some British accents:
This guy reminded me of another bearded, pony-tailed specimen I'd drawn recently at the same university. Click on link and and scroll to the video to compare!
 Some more happy RA's:

By the end of the gig, the sun was just setting, reflected in the skyscrapers:
... and then I was off to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant nearby for take-home to my Other Half. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

60th birthday party...with an OH WOW moment for me

Saturday's second event was in the evening, in a private dining room of a trendy restaurant. My client was a doctor's office manager who pulled off a wonderful surprise party for her boss's wife...more on that in a minute. First, the OH WOW moment: here is my client with her two men---Alfred E. Neuman on the left, her hubby on the right:
Why Alfred E???
He's like family to her, she (a native New Yorker) grew up with him!!!
Her uncle, Len Brenner, is a former art director of MAD magazine, and often appeared in the crazy photography of Irving Schild. I have a book with two photos of him:
In MAD Art by Mark Evanier, Mr. Brenner is shown as the tomato-sauce spattered chef in a Contadina spoof and as a corn-flake eating band musician with an unusual cereal bowl. :-) 
She also said MAD's founder Bill Gaines was like an uncle to her as well, and nerd that I am, I got all excited at my two degrees of separation (is that right? ask Kevin Bacon) from someone who has had UNTOLD influence of generations of artists in many spheres...
Of course I told her that I had met quite a few of MAD's current gang of idiots. :-) 
Then it was on to caricature the guests at the party. The good doctor sat for one, you can guess his area of expertise:
That's his lovely wife next to him, the birthday girl...
and here are a few more.
What a fun night! Ya never know who you're going to meet in my line of work! :-)
Thank you for having me! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Little Leaguers and their siblings

Saturday's first event was a Little League celebration that just avoided being rained on...so, the face painter, balloon twister and I were each able to do our particular thing for the kids under the pavilion.
Yes, I can (usually) draw kids who have been painted on!
Below: The lurking baseball player is their dad, who, according to their mom, has the uncanny habit of being there one minute and not the next---so his nickname is "Shadow". I love incorporating stuff like that in my drawings!
Happy Mother's Day! I know I did several drawings yesterday that were Mother's day gifts. :-)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Recent birthday digital commission

Happy ??th birthday, Granny! :-)
This is an example of my "Cartoon-style" digital work. 
Below: I took screen captures at various stages:
Kinda fun to see the progression!