I love cartoons and animation, especially caricatures. You can tell that from my painting style, too. I grew up on MAD magazine and was thoroughly influenced by their brand of visual satire. Humorous exaggeration brings out the traits that make something loveable—or, in the case of certain politicians, despicable.
I can draw a single-person caricature in about 10 or 15 minutes, which is slower than the five-minute event caricature standard but mine are a little more detailed and shaded. They’re more like exaggerated portraits. I vary my levels of distortion according to what I think they (or I) may be comfortable with. I do full colour studio caricature portraits, too. I’ve always been faster at depicting people than doing my panoramic landscape scenes. I have years and years of people in old sketchbooks.
Event Caricatures – You Can Hire Me!
At events or public places, I’ll take picture with my cameraphone and work from that if the subject wants to wander around and do something else than watch me squint at them and draw. I’m always happy to talk and draw at the same time, too. Some folks are more comfortable being drawn than others.
I’ve also been known to sketch random people when I’m waiting for a plane or something. Sometimes this goes over well and sometimes not so much.
But you can hire me! All I need is a table and some people.
Here are some examples of my work over time with photos of the real subject.
Painting, like writing, is usually a solitary practice. It isn’t audience-oriented like theatre or music. Yes, there are many entertaining live painters and there are a lot of art battle-type competitions done in front of audiences, but most of the artists I know prefer to take their time on their work. Layers, contemplation, addition, reduction. And, frankly, watching someone paint, scrub off, and repaint a canvas isn’t as entertaining as watching a musician play or an actor perform.
But live caricature is the one performance thing I can do! It always surprises people when I’m not as mean as they expect.