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Archive for the ‘Technique’ Category

This was a bat-mitzvah at Hackney’s in Glencoe.  I drew thirty-five teenagers in three hours.  That’s a clipping pace, which was made possible by the mom’s excellent organization of the event and her decision to go with black-and-white drawings. When the host’s emphasis is on getting the most people drawn, b/w is the logical choice.  Notice, also, that the bodies are not in activities, which also take extra time to draw.  But what I did get into the drawing is attitude, don’t you agree.  Attitude is so important in a caricature!  Especially with kids, where I really don’t do sarcasm.  That would be psychologically risky for young people, I think, and I’m not there to poke them into self-doubt.  (Save that for adults, hmmm.)

Thank you, Keri!

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This was a community center with after-school drop-in programs in north-west Chicago.  The party was for the  social workers and teachers who ran the various programs. Facing unfathomable social complexities, they have to think deeply.  They deserve a break.  I always enjoy making deep thinkers laugh. Some family members were also there to help celebrate.

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Dogs brought their humans to this fundraiser for a canine shelter in Columbus, IN.  There was lots of space for humans to run around and dogs to keep them under control.  Isn’t that how the relationship works? Ha.  We were in one of the hangars in the County Fairgrounds. Very interesting and lots of fun. I hope to do this event again, annually perhaps.

You can see my little work stand in the foreground.

Thank you, Jeanne.

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Someone recently looked at my caricatures and said, “look at that detail!”  That was a high compliment because there really is no detail.  I merely create the illusion of detail with very few lines. In the art of caricature, less is more. The fewer lines, the better the caricature.Can we look at this for a moment?  Consider this detail:

Just three marks. Out of context you can’t tell what this is supposed to represent. But look at the whole drawing and you’ll see that these three marks represent an eye and a very expressive one, at that.

I choose to highlight the eye here because people often zoom in on the eyes, thinking they are the most important, most expressive, feature in a face. I know that, but if I overdraw the eyes, the drawing will not work.  Contrary to popular opinion (and I hear this often) the caricaturist does not blow one feature out of proportion. One feature does not a face make.  The whole face has to come through—in a comical way.  Oh, it’s very deep!!!  Haha.  I give classes and workshops on the art of caricature from time to time.  A good caricature is a drawing that looks more like the person than a photo.  For that you have to get a likeness, duh, and for a likeness the whole face has to come together.  Now, class, it really is deeper than making the nose bigger. Or the eyes, or whatever.

Here are a few drawings that illustrate the less-is-more principle.

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I’ve done hundreds of summer parties & picnics. Sometimes I’m out in the open wearing a straw hat to keep cool or I’ve clamped an umbrella to my chair to keep the drawing paper from blinding me in direct sun.  Sometimes a big oak tree will provide shade. But the best is being set up in a tent.  There is something about a tent that elevates the mood of the whole gathering.  You might think it creates a ceremonial atmosphere, but just the opposite, it loosens everybody up.

This was an international pharmaceutical company. I have no idea what they specialize in or even where their headquarters are.  We were out, way North, in some clearing in a forest preserve. The tent was expansive, but not so huge as to feel “corporate.”

I loved the feeling in this event. You can tell by the drawings.  I experimented with poses and ways of letting the hair fall over one eye, for example.  You’ll find my favorite drawings in the larger format at the end of the gallery below. ——————

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you, Shanna. You really  got the humor in what I do.

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When I draw at parties I always have my little Canon at my side. It handles well and is unobtrusive. When the drawing is finished I turn it around with my right hand for the “victims” to see. The little Canon is in my left hand. I quickly raise it and click the shutter. This maneuver has to go very fast because that precious reaction lasts only a fraction of a second. What makes it precious is that it is uncontrolled. It is, dare I say, a moment of truth. They throw their heads back, they drop their jaws, they howl. When that split-second of truth is over, they collect themselves and make nice for the camera.  Too late, I gotcha!

Here are some examples of the moment of truth from the Wedding in the Park (previous post).

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting adults to crack up is wonderful, but to see kids lose it when they see the drawing is out of this world. Look at those faces!  This is the moment I work for.

The parents were geologists and environmentalists. I love drawing smart people who have an unshakable sense of humor. Look how relaxed everybody is! They just let me do my thing and, you know, that’s the really the only way to pose for a caricaturist.  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, hahaha.

This was a company picnic last September, my first gig in Cincinnati after moving to Indiana from Chicago.  Fernbank Park is on the Ohio and it’s glorious.  I’m staying.

Thank you, Chris.

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