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Archive for June, 2012

The wedding ceremony was held in Grant Park, near Buckingham Fountain.  The family then gathered in a private dining room in a fabulous and famed seafood restaurant on Grant near Michigan Ave.  There were forty people and I drew every one of them in three hours—and in color. This is a new record.  Something to crow about, I guess.  I’m sure the congenial atmosphere helped me pull this off, and the fact that everybody was completely at ease, to the point of teasing each other.  Believe me, this flows into the drawings.  I work very much with the whole ambiance of the event.

The first drawing (top) was of the bride and groom, with me inventing the casual clothing for the sake of color and also because they encouraged an informal atmosphere for their reception.  The drawing was then framed by a mat and placed on an easel, where all the guests signed it.  A lovely idea.

Thank you, Renee and Eric!

I’ll show some of the drawings here, omitting the mug shots because you already know from previous posts that the likeness I catch is right on.  I just want to document how distinctive the faces really are.  Please, take some time to study these drawings. There’s no generic way to draw a face—for me, anyway.  This is important.

That last couple encouraged me to pull all the stops and have fun with it.  I did and they loved it. So did everybody else.

And now a drawing of a little girl. Once again:  I draw kids with very different humor than adults.  This is also important.

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The Hostel is on the corner of Congress and Wabash, a well-appointed place, welcoming an international crowd.  It was a party for the guests, a mixer, with a band on one side and that famous caricaturist on the other.  I was set up near a huge mural of the map of the world.  My spot

was right at the tip of Patagonia and from there I drew these diverse faces. Everybody spoke English, of course.  You can try to match the face with a spot on the globe.  Hint: Ireland, Argentina, India, Japan, China, Tibet, Russia, Iran and the US and more. Thank you, Sharday!

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The whole kindergarten class was invited and I drew all thirty-three of them in two-and-a-half hours, plus a couple of adults who couldn’t resist.  The boys were as darling as the girls.  Here are a few photos.

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To get to the County Line Orchard where this fundraiser was held, I drove through beautiful downtown Hobart, IN, and then a spell through corn fields, reading those unfamiliar intersections carefully.

Four hundred people turned out to raise money for the Food Bank of NW Indiana and I drew a goodly number of them, dontchaknow.  Teachers, therapists, judges, entrepreneurs, lawyers, volunteers, moms, and the assorted basketball players and princesses.  I was booked for two hours and because of the enthusiastic response, asked to stay for three, til the end of the bash.  Gladly, enjoyed every minute!  Thank you, Vanessa!

This is post #200!

Here are a few of the good people I drew that evening.

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The family reunion will be held in Mississippi, on the Gulf.  A fellow Evanstonian was in charge of details, like booking the hotel for the hundred or so members of his extended family.  He also planned on printing up t-shirts with the image of the family tree, showing Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Hardy, who had sixteen kids.  William and I met in the public library, where I drew the venerable grandparents for him from precious old photos. He didn’t want a funny caricature, but having studied my work here on this blog, he could tell that I was able to work in different registers, with gradations of humor, including elegant and dignified.

He approved the faces on the spot.  I proceeded with the drawing of the knurly tree and the graceful name scroll.

Perfect, he said, better than expected.  This will look great on all those t-shirts!  Yes!  It’s wonderful to be part of such a project.  Thank you, William!

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

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A line drawing in black/white is elegant. If you love movies from the ‘30’s, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, you’ll want an elegant line drawing.  But if you’re five, you don’t care about elegance.  You respond to color.  In fact, mom and dad will also prefer to see their darling in color.

Earlier this year, in March, I changed my drawing technique, switching to a combination of Utrecht, Chartpak and Prismacolor markers , that allows me to work very fast.  A color drawing now takes about the same time as a black/white drawing, maybe a minute longer if it’s a full body drawing.

The drawings I did for a child’s birthday party in Bartlett recently illustrates this point.  The stripes in the t-shirt take as long to make in black as in red or any other color.  Look how gripping that gaze is.  Without the skin tone, the eyes are not nearly as powerful.  They wouldn’t stand out as much.  Anybody can see that.

In other words, for kids go with color.  It’s worth it!

 

(Btw, kids don’t smile when they’re being drawn and when mom says “smile” they just force a grin.  It’s serious business for them.)

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All satin and rhinestones.  The guys played along by wearing matching vests or ties.  What a great event!  For school, it’s the frayed jeans and now this!  Wow!

I drew fifty-two people in four hours, all full body, of course.  That’s a pretty clipping rate, considering that there was time out for moving the set-up from the cocktail lounge (ha, soft drinks only) to the grand ball room and later,  time out for speeches.

There must have been some sore feet by the end of the evening, what with those ridiculous platform sandals. But clearly everybody had a blast.  Look at these radiant faces!

Here’s a small selection. It’s hard to choose.

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At Michael’s party (see previous post) the grandparents recognized my name.  They saw it every day on the wall in their house.   I had drawn them back in 1995 at a posh private party in a condo at the top of the Four Seasons  tower.  They told me that they enlarged the drawing to double its size and framed it.  It must be about 30” high, judging from the photo they emailed me recently, which shows the 2012 drawing (14” high) next to the framed drawing from 1995.  They love it!

(For my part, I remember the fabulous art collection in that condo.  I was set up near a huge Ed Paschke, horizontal format, showing two masked faces, with green as the dominant color. How could I forget.)

This is most rewarding for me.  Sure, keep inviting me to draw at your parties, keep throwing money at me, thank you very much.  But this!  You enlarge my work and frame it beautifully and love it every day—this truly means a lot to me.  Here’s me taking a bow:  Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

 

(The paper is always a bright white.  The yellow or gray tone in these photos is due to the lighting in the room and the fact that I’m too casual about camera settings.  No time for that.)

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And some bodies, of course.  It was a small party, just one hour.  One hour is perfect for fifteen faces.  Normally the minimum time is two hours, but there was another party later that same day and the timing worked out. So I made an exception to the rule—hey, I’m the CEO, president and accountant here—and I’m glad I did.  We celebrated Michael’s ninth birthday at Party Time Palace in Des Plaines. That’s Michael with his mom, at left.  The grandparents recognized my name from a party seventeen years ago?  The next post will be all about them.  What a great surprise that was!

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

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Continuing the theme of color vs. black/white  (see previous post),  this profile shows what a line drawing at its best can do.  By “best”  I mean that the line is lively and economical, nothing is overstated, nothing can be taken out without ruining the whole.  This style is perfect for corporate events. It’s to the point and elegant.   It’s also very quick. From an artist’s point of view, this is harder to do than color, because in a line drawing like this, there can be no second thoughts.  It’s all there in three or four minutes.  Full stop.

A small convention of very technical techies met at the Hyatt to compare notes and practice their techie lingo.  You can invite me to all these meetings and trust me not to reveal your tech secrets.  They talked right in front of me as I was drawing them and I caught the occasional conjunction and preposition.  I’m safe, I’ll never be a cyber-spy.  They were gracious to me, a mere mortal, and three of them—three!—were art enthusiasts and collectors.  What a treat!

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

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