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Archive for May, 2011

What makes my caricature drawings distinctive is the fact that my faces and figures actually look three dimensional and that I achieve this effect without using a smudging technique.  I use markers.  Markers are a clean, dust free, permanent medium that does not smudge and requires no spraying.    Kids standing around to watch me draw often say,  “ohmygod, it looks so real.”

The key to three-dimensionality is shadow.  You can see in the drawing of the girl with the full head of red hair, that the bangs hanging over her eyes cast a grayish shadow.  Without that shadow, the drawing would look flat.  Those all-important bangs would lack character.  Can’t have that.  In fact, I draw the shadow right after the line drawing is done, before I add any other color.  This freaks some younger kids out, because I also put a shadow under the upper lip and under the upper eye lid.  When there’s no other color in the drawing, this lavender-gray streak can look weird.  But then when they see the other colors coming in, it’s “ohmygod, it looks so real!”

In the examples below, notice the shadow cast by the upper eye lid and the eye lashes,  and also the shadow over the teeth cast by the upper lip.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Sixteen, sweet, smart…and funny!  I drew a serious piano student, a tenor sax player, a baton twirler,  a criminology enthusiast, a novel reader, a devoted teacher, a math lover, a strong soft ball player and a girl with a mop of red hair. And a drawing enthusiast who spent much of the evening watching my technique.  We talked shop, about papers, markers and the best places to buy art supplies. The party took place last night in Tinley Park during a raging thunder storm.  But pizza and caricatures will make for a cozy evening .  Thank you all for the great evening, the giggles and the inspiration.  Happy Birthday, Lauren!  Rent “The Big Sleep”  and you’ll see Lauren Bacall at her best, working with a smart script.

Thank you, Jim and Valerie!

 

 

 

 

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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In the final stages of getting her PhD  from Notre Dame, Sarah deserves to be portrayed with the mysteries she explores:  fuzzy bugs and mercury.  The mercury part I got, but “fuzzy bugs” I’m sure is a way of talking to the unwashed public.  Her electron microscope probably is a black box the size of a dishwasher, but to make these technologies pictorial, we have to get very literal, very primitive.  The old magnifying glass, so easy to understand.

The cat apparently jumps on people and hugs them like that.  Notice the tattoo: Sarah is nuts about elephants.

This is stuff I can work with!  Thank you Jennifer.  Congratulations, Sarah!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Baby Grand

Gary is finishing his first year at Julliard.  That’s already an accomplishment.  He worked so hard and practiced so much that sometimes he forgot to put his pants on before leaving his hole-in-the-wall apartment.  No, that must be a joke, but that’s what I was asked to draw.  (This way of playing a grand  comes straight out of Peanuts:   Schroeder plays Beethoven,  Gary’s favorite.  Thank you , Mr. Schulz.)

Congratulations Gary!  Keep practicing; you know that’s the only route to take to Carnegie Hall.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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We were in the field house near Belmont by the lake, in a ballooned party room with yummy cupcakes, milk and juice.  Emmett was celebrating his first birthday and he got his drawing in color, but to maximize the number of people who could be drawn in two hours, everybody else got black and white drawings.  For a child’s birthday party, the parents often make that distinction.  I drew twenty-four people in that time.

Now for some shop talk:  Color is generally perceived to be more desirable. It’s true, I can use color to heighten the humor (VERY blond, VERY rosy-cheeked, VERY blue-eyed, etc.),  but  what people like to call the “essence” is already there in the line drawing in black marker.  I love working in both, color and black/white, but—trade secret—black/white is harder to do.  I love the intensity of working in b/w and I love the fact that I get to draw so many more people.

The guest of honor, Emmett, did not pose with his drawing because he was busy attending to his guests.

Happy Birthday, Emmett!

(A note about lighting:  The paper I draw on is white, but my camera read it as grayish.)

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Weddings are becoming more informal in many ways (for example, you can have a caricature artist at your reception) but at the same time the planning is as intricate as ever.  This involves the “Save the Date” mailing.  Since it’s not the embossed invitation, some levity is in order.   Ta-tah, have a caricature of the bride and groom standing on the wedding cake.  The caricature has to be gentle, of course, maybe it’s not even a caricature, just a sweet drawing.  So charming, like a fairy tale.  There they are, idealized on the wedding cake.  Best to you both, Deb and Pete!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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This party was a benefit for the SEDOL Foundation.  It also happened to be the double-birthday celebration of its chairman David Raye and his wife, Donna—soul mates who met in kindergarten. (At left is my drawing of them.)  A hundred-and-fifty of their friends were there to make this occasion festive, in a casual sort of way, at Mickey Finns in Libertyville.  I feel privileged to have been chosen as the entertainment.  David gave a little talk about the work of SEDOL, a foundation that helps children with hearing impairments.  I was busy drawing at one side of the bar, while he talked with warmth, wit and tremendous energy and enthusiasm at the other end of the room.  My subjects were bright teachers, wise-cracking lawyers, eager gophers, photogenic importers of handmade goods,  toothy cooks, fidgety music students, former marines, reticent marketing types, burly firefighters, elegant  wearers of spooky jewelry,  sweet drummers…just your not-so-ordinary collection of engaged, smart, compassionate, good-humored people. Can you tell, I enjoyed this gig thoroughly.  There will be more birthdays and more benefits, I hope.  Best to you SEDOL!  Happy birthday, David and Donna!

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Learn more about the SEDOL Foundation  at http://www.sedolfoundation.org/

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Sometimes clients want a caricature, but, mmmm, not really.  They find me on the web or through references and when they study my drawings on my web site they can see that I have a way with faces.  They can see that some drawings are funnier than others and so they figure, she must be able to go really, really gentle, too.  And so I can.  I can draw on a sliding scale of funny.  Sometimes I even put it that way:  “on a scale from 1 (mild) to 10 (hilarious),  how funny do you want this?”  At 11:00 o’clock at an adult party in the solarium of a McMansion in Vernon Hills, say, things lean towards barefoot, yes-I’ll-have-another hilarity.  But for a gift, very often—though not always!—what the gift-giver commissions is a gentle drawing.  A little sassiness, sure, and certainly an animated, lively figure.  But hilarious? Mmmm, not so much.  So, when a marketing exec at Saks gets transferred to Indianapolis her coworkers in Chicago want a sweet drawing that they can frame with a mat that they all can scribble their names and best wishes on. Whatever the degree of humor you request, it’s all fun for me to draw.

Best to you, Brittany!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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At Maggiano’s on Grand I got to listen to Mozart and Broadway tunes performed by a duo consisting of clarinet and cello. An unusual and wonderful combination!  We were celebrating Izzy’s bat-mitzvah. I love this age because the kids are both goofy (pizza hats and balloon shoes) and sophisticated (“that’s not a completely logical analysis”).  I drew twenty-four of these bright people.  The drawings were right on, but my camera settings were less than expert, as anyone can see here.

Congratulations, Izzy!

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Contact the clarinet and cello duo at www.amarantechicago.com or jenniferwoodrum@yahoo.com

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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Couch Potato

After I had drawn the faces, we spoke in code.  “Couch Potato”  and “Coke”  is all the wife said.  I don’t know anything more about Mike.  But I did get the feeling that he’s a very sophisticated professional who happens to know how to relax.

Happy Birthday, Mike!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://artamaze.wordpress.com

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