Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Anatomy of a Caricature Assignment #3

Some time ago I discussed…and illustrated…the process that went into a commissioned caricature drawing – in that case a request by the mother of a bride to draw the girl and her fiancĂ©, for their wedding reception Sign-In Board. This time, it’s also for a couple. But it was at the request of the husband. As a surprise combination anniversary and birthday gift for his bride.

Welcome to the July edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist from Caricatures by Joel.

Sergio wanted to show himself and wife Patricia in hiking gear, in a picturesque setting as is their recreational custom to do so. Oh…and somehow show France and Italy on a map, because those are two places that are dear to the two of them (Sergio was born in Italy).

I worked up a pencil sketch, with the two of them in the foreground, with some kind of forested area behind them, and a mountain range in the backdrop.  

Then I thought, how do I indicate France and Italy? So I took the liberty of drawing a globe – the Eastern hemisphere, with Europe prominently indicated – that would hang in the sky, moon-like.

But I was also asked to indicate those countries through icons familiar to the two of them. So I left a space for the Eiffel Tower in France…and a glimpse of an historic castle found in Sergio’s hometown.

Once I settled on that concept, I black-inked the outlines of all the elements (to, frankly, give it the typically bold look of a cartoon -- as opposed to a softer rendering for more "serious" portraiture)…this time doing some nuanced amending of such things as Patricia’s jawline, and what Sergio was to do with his “free” hand. Stick it in his pocket…or give the more visually active “thumbs-up” sign? I chose the latter.

Then, finally, came the color. I had elected to use color pencils for a more “rough-hewn” look given the nature of the subject. And, to further give the art a “mixed-media” look, I inserted Sergio’s photos that he had sent to me as reference for the icons corresponding to their respective locations.

Upon further (continuing?) review, I thought that the background art was battling too much for attention with the two main sujects in the foreground. So I softened the intensity of the color somewhat by using a simple pencil erasor. 

I also noted that the silver in Patricia’s hair was more prominent than not, so I lightened her hair in a similar manner.

And the final art ended up looking like this.

As you can see, caricature art is not limited to drawing guests live at an event. (Though we’re more than happy to do that!)

If you’ve got someone, or someones, in mind – whether it’s a colleague retiring, a child celebrating a bar mitzvah, a couple getting married, a family member having a birthday – a custom-created, one-of-a kind caricature is a meaningful and lasting way to show your appreciation for those individuals with a truly unique gift they'll always treasure.

See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another rendering of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.