Friday, January 31, 2014

More corporate gift caricatures...

…with their amused recipients, in Germany!
My little Wacom Intuos 4 has certainly been standing up to heavy usage this month. These three digital caricatures were printed here, framed, and flown over with the gentleman in the gray shirt (he's in two of the caricatures, too) to be presented as gifts from his company.
Here's a closer look:
I love including in-jokes.
This one was pretty complex. I love that he's holding flaming pellets!
More silliness. So happy to know these will be putting smiles on their faces every time they look at them. :-)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A 50th Birthday Caricature, complete with Jersey-Rock-Star serenade

I had SO MUCH FUN doing this digital birthday caricature:
There's a few reasons for that. Let me enumerate them…
1. Drawing rock stars (I've been doing it since 7th grade ;-) is always a hoot for me---these particular two are local heroes. 
2. My client, the husband, basically let me have carte-blanche on how to illustrate his great idea….of Springsteen and Bon Jovi singing 'Happy Birthday' (in their own words) to his beloved. 
3. I can commiserate with the subject of this caricature, as my own 50th birthday isn't far off at all…(and she looks FANTASTIC. In her case fifty looks like the new THIRTY!)
4. Both the husband and wife are old friends of mine from high school. Happily, Facebook has brought a lot of people from our (pre-internet, pre-texting…gads, we're old!) generation back in touch.
5. This was a payback gift, as the wife surprised him last year on Father's Day with a family caricature. (I basically just reworked her caricature from that one to be dancing like Courtney Cox in this one.) 
So, now they're "Caricatures-by-Emily COLLECTORS":-)
Here's how it looked framed:
Hopefully there will be plenty of spouses to new 50-year-olds this year to whom I can suggest a gift caricature like this (insert your own favorite 8o's icon!)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Who says corporate presentations have to be snooze-fests?

They're not so boring if you liven them up with caricatures!
The client told me via phone this morning that the recipients LOVED them.
They're all examples of my cartoon-style digital caricature, using some tweaked body templates (I drew two male bodies and used them repeatedly, with small changes to individualize them.) The one lady got her very own exclusive body. ;-)
This project was a lot of fun for me (I mean, LOOK at all those great faces!) and the client was great in providing photos I could work from easily. 
I think I may have to reiterate that I  love my job. ;-)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

PINK caricatures and commentary

This past week, the subject at Traditional Caricature Art Contest on Facebook was pop star Pink (real name Alecia Moore, and like me, she hails from the Philly suburbs---but all similarities end there. She is a gymnastically inclined, powerhouse singer with cutting-edge looks.)
I did a #pencilsketch and submitted it. To my surprise, it generated over 100 likes and some interesting commentary on whether or not it was a caricature or an illustration. 
You can read how the conversation went above (click to enlarge), and it was so nice that everyone's opinions were respectfully given. It's not always a pleasant topic among caricaturists: those who prefer strong exaggerations often feel that milder ones are not true caricature, and the ones who don't heavily exaggerate often look on wildly distorted, out-there caricatures as lacking likeness. Of course, the truth is that masterpieces come in both types. Click here to see the three winners of the Pink contest. 

I've always veered toward the less exaggerated end of the #caricature spectrum. My goal is to come up with the essence of a person within an enhanced likeness, and prefer my drawings to be rooted in reality. A portrait with the volume turned up, as I mentioned in my comments above. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the work of my crazier colleagues!

Also, the level of caricature in a caricature ( hah) is something that is hard to judge unless it's part of a comparison. I've been told in various caricaturist settings that I am both the "meanest" and the "nicest" caricaturist there… :-)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Snowy Sweet 16

My second live gig on Saturday (and of 2014!)  involved some snowy weather, so I gave myself several extra hours to get where I was going, a pretty country club…here's the view once I'd unpacked my gear and set up:
The girl of the moment had chosen a hot pink/black color scheme which looked fab:
I thought her dress, hairstyle and hair bow
 were perfect for a Sweet 16.
She and her friends definitely enjoyed my caricatures!

It was a wonderful evening----until I had driven ALMOST home, when I hit a heavy snow squall:
Yikes, there was barely any visibility! I was really happy to get home---and have a piece of Jillian's leftover cake. :-) Thank you for having me!

Update 1/28/14: Jillian's mom sent me some much-enjoyed feedback (it put a big smile on my face :-) The kids had a fantastic time and were still talking about the party on Monday, most of them changed their Facebook profile pictures to their caricatures!
Thank you for helping to create a memorable night for Jillian and her friends!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

First gig of 2014...

On a frigid Saturday morning, I got up (bright and early---so NOT me) to head to my first gig of 2014 at a hotel which was hosting a conference. Kids who had accompanied their parents were enjoying activities in various hospitality suites according to age, while their parents attended a lecture…my subjects were in the 9-to-12-year-old group, and I proceeded to drew all twenty-seven of them, plus their chaperone, in a little under two hours. Understandably, there are hardly any photos, in the interests of speed-drawing.
 I couldn't resist getting a quick photo of at least one boy and girl, though. LOVED his expression. I was also very glad to have time to draw their chaperone, she was a huge help in keeping my line orderly. After finishing my time there, the kids were all excited to head off to the hotel pool. 

 The hotel itself was a mix of historic and modern…they'd built around an old building so that it was in the interior of the lobby!
Below: This is the view from the window, of the heart of downtown Lancaster, PA:
This gig came my way, courtesy of, which is run by the illustrious Tad Barney ;-)
I see him every year at the ISCA convention. On the way out of town, I spied THIS. Yeah, thanks Tad!!
Besides being my first gig this year, I got to enjoy another reason for a great day:  as I mentioned above, in order to get there on time, I was forced to get up at the crack of dawn and therefore, witnessed THIS:
I ran outside with no coat (did hurriedly jam on my boots though) to get this shot!! Worth it, not to miss that incredible light both on the sky and in the snow.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Kate Gosselin, Mother of the Year….not

My sketching fingers decided to depict this train-wreck yesterday…
Taking her thirteen-year-old twins on live breakfast television to "speak out" on their"normal, regular" lives definitely backfired on Kate Gosselin. A few years back, I did a cover caricature for a Jon-and-Kate+8-criticism blog  because I'd seen the show...and my opinion was that Kate Gosselin was abusive to both her husband and children. The show seemed to be thriving on that more than the parents-of-multiples angle, which really bothered me. It seems that KARMA is finally catching up with her now…it seems like those girls sabotaged the interview as best they could.
It's also really interesting to me that she has used plastic surgery/hair extensions so excessively that she has ended up looking closer to a middle-aged Barbie doll---and even less like her young half-Korean daughters than she ever did. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Scandal in New Jersey!

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will cross THAT bridge when he comes to it…
Here's a link to my Vine of this #pencilsketch #politicalcartoon from start to finish:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tribute to Linda...

Last week, a memorial service was held for a dear friend and neighbor who recently passed, too soon,  from a sudden illness. I was very moved to see that her loved ones had displayed her caricatures as a part of her remembrances. Hopefully, they helped her family and friends to recall her with a smile, as she would have wanted.
In addition to being a wonderful neighbor, Linda came along to several of my yearly summer events with her Other Half.  She always thought to ask if I needed anything, especially something cold to drink, since it was usually steaming hot---and I would be madly caricaturing long lines of folks. She was just an all-around sweetheart.
RIP Linda...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Welcome 2014! Adele, etc.

2014 has arrived and with it, a perpetual resolution (amongst several): to remember to sign my artworks with the correct year!
I've finished several caricature commissions already since New Year's, but can't share them yet, so this is a look at a current little project of mine: 

Bodacious torch singer Adele is the face of the week on Caricaturama Showdown 3000. This FB page is one I used to frequently post on, back when it first started several years ago, but haven't done so for quiiiiiiite awhile. Why not? Well, each artist is free to use whatever media they like, whether it be traditional or digital. I like to use both, but digital became CS3K's predominant mode (and one of my friends referred to it as "a rendering contest"). Some of the digital caricatures entered, frankly, looked like nothing more than photo-manipulated…photos. There was much controversy, on and off, as artists accused other artists (justly so, IMHO, in some cases) of painting on top of stretched photos, after using the "liquify" tool in Photoshop. Well, contention between artists is sad, so I lost interest in going there. When I did have time to do extracurricular art, I posted in Traditional Caricature Art Contest, where digital is an absolute no-no.

When I saw Adele was the current face on CS3K, though, I decided to see how things were going there. She's a fun one to caricature (this was done last year and ended up in my portfolio) so I opted to have another go.

First, I did a pencil sketch and posted that, (89 (!) "likes" at the moment, which is astonishing to me) then continued on to paint her using Procreate on my iPad, thus making it digital. Truth be told, I am a rather bigger fan of traditional media than digital. I nearly always sketch in pencil first and scan it before completing a digital commission, and I still have not joined the 'live-digital-caricature' movement. I need to remedy that. :-) There's no organic original with digital, but of course it is far better suited for the fast pace of today's illustration needs. So call me a fence-sitter! 

My friend Celestia Ward, who isn't afraid of public speaking, just did a talk on using social-media-as-an-artist to a group in Las Vegas. My Adele made it into one of her talking points. :-)
Now I just have to finish her, among all the other January-type things I'd like to, website-revamping, and general catch-up stuff. My last two Januarys were spent in Thailand, so it's way overdue.