Friday, January 19, 2007

My First Caricatures

Marco Bratt is the man who I turn to when I need ink etched under my skin in elaborate Japanese designs. In the way I am the man he turns to when he needs any illustration and or dsign work done. Usually things like t-shirts, flyers and stickers; promotional stuff. The same with the latest assignment a t-shirt with a caricatue of him and his two buddies, Travis and Paul (who he shares his shop with) on the front of it.
The thing is I have never really done any caricatures before. Not on purpose anyway (I did a drawing once of a guy who, in the right light, looked like the late great Pope John Paul II). But I never back down from a challenge so I said "Sure! No problem at all!" And hit the pencils and pads as soon as I got home.
Then nothing really came out for about a month or two, plus I had to do it in between other projects because I had said I was going to do it for free. Every once in a while I would get back to it, but nothing would come out really.
Untill about a week or so ago. I was checking out a few blogs, one I check regularly Chris Wahl's and also Wouter Tulp's and Greg McCullough's blogs in parcticular. These guys are just plain geniusseses at it. So I was looking at their work and I was looking at the photographs I had of my subjects and it just sort of seemded to click. Then the drawings just fell out of my pencil.

The thing I found hard to decide on was which bit of the face to exagorate and which parts to keep (kind of) realistic. Especially for Marco's face, since he doesn't really have any one very 'obivous' feature, like a nose or eyes or whatever.
First I made his mouth and jaw bigger then the rest, but that wasn't it. Then I tried the same thing with his forehead. Still no success. But then the coin dropped, it had to be both... his obvious thing was that he just has a big head.

With Travis aand Paul the fact that I had their faces on 3/4 view helped a lot. Then it's just easier to have feature stick out of shrinck in more. I gave Travis' eyes a bit more of a relaxed look because in the final composition (they are all going to be combined into one piece) he'll be holding a spliff (something he only likes to do in his spare time I hasten to add). Paul will be holgin a dirty spattering tattoo machine (because doesn't use a foot switch but has his machine on constant current he makes a bit of a mess of his work station, his clothes and himself... but not his art though! Marco by the way willl be giving us the finger, something that best suits his personality....

...and Paul

This really made me respect the guys who can just do this at first glance. I really have to study the face and then think and sketch and decide and then slowly I come to something that comes to a recognisable (because there-in lies the trick) caricature.
As I said these are the first ones I've ever done so I don't know how the seasoned caricature pros do it, but although it took me some time, I'm quite happy with the results.
If any of you pros out there read this I would very much appredicate comment and or critiques.

I'll show the inkings and the development of the rest of the thing (as I wrote above: they'll all be combined into one piece) in future postings. Keep 'em peeled.

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