Archive for the ‘cartoons’ Category

sub 5 club crop

Just created a Facebook group for live caricature artists who can produce lightning drawings in five minutes or less  “Sub-5 Club”.

In the UK especially, we have an established tradition of quick draw caricaturists, trained to draw in a hurry, while standing up, at busy live events and they are truly talented eccentrics on the whole. But these social butterflies are often over shadowed by the thriving American booth (retail) caricature market, setting trends for protracted full colour artwork, a trend which is creeping over to the UK.

I am a member of and even moderate several international Facebook groups and pages, dedicated to caricatures, but most seem to concentrate on hyper realism and highly finished studio or US booth style caricatures. I found this unfair when posting spot on caricatures, drawn live in under 4 minutes, which seemed to go un-noticed, in favour of other full colour, more time consuming caricatures. There simply should be no comparison. Therefore a dedicated group seemed the obvious solution.

The group has been widely welcomed and we already have 150+ members, many of whom are posting daily photos of their fast work. That said, I have already had to deal with the odd digital artist or booth artist, bent on posting glossy full colour creations and hoping to slip under my radar! Much as I admire the full colour work, there are already dedicated group pages where these can be displayed and full colour caricatures rarely take less than five minutes!!

Please check out the group page and support it, to help keep this tradition and skill alive.

SUB-5 CLUB

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

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A recent ISCA post by Dave Stephens:

Without likeness, there is no value in a caricature. But profit?
Yeah, you can make a profit without likeness. But do you really want to?”

A common (and valid) complaint concerning Caricatures is that some artists repeat eyes, mouths, noses and even head shapes instead of accurately capturing the unique aspects of their subject – this approach (or deficit) is called “Cookie Cutter Caricatures.”

This is my take on the reasons for the “cookie cutter” habit:
50% of cookie cutter artists have an inability to “see.”
25% of cookie cutter artists have an inability to care.
25% of cookie cutter artists fear giving offense (a bravery deficit)…

To break it down further, Tom Richmond said something like, “Anyone can be taught to draw, but nobody can be taught to SEE…” In my opinion, artists that “cookie cut” because they have difficulty ‘seeing’ and understanding the intricacies of shape, size and arrangement of the face might explain 50% of ‘cutting’ caricature artists… Just a guess.

This article refers to the common practice of duplicating facial features, without gaining a likeness and it has caused a storm within the ISCA community.

The practice is common among artists and frowned upon by both caricaturists and public alike, leading to cries of “He/she’s drawing the same nose… looks nothing like me!” often rightly so. I think Dave sums it up pretty well in his argument, the bulk of which I agree with and Tom Richmond goes further in his article here;

https://www.tomrichmond.com/2018/09/14/generic-caricature/

But who are we as professional caricaturists to judge the techniques of other artists? My answer to that is simple – if Joe Public can spot a ‘Cookie Cutter’ and judge them, why shouldn’t I? Why should I defer commenting on a poor likeness or a formulaic rendering, when the paying customer may be complaining or raising an eyebrow? True to say that many of these formulaic artists are very successful and popular among the retail end of our industry, because they cater for the lowest denomination, the least discerning of punters and hope not to be rumbled. All power to them, as there is a place in every market for mass production techniques for the mass consumer, but I personally prefer catering for the more discerning consumer, who looks for a likeness. This way I pleasantly surprise Joe Public, who constantly exclaim “Wow – that actually looks like me, spot on!”

I believe the essence of caricature is to capture a likeness of a sitter, not simply to flatter or placate, that is the job of a portrait artist. The first step towards a likeness is observation, followed by opinion – you should draw what you THINK of the sitter, not just what you see or have been programmed to draw. Drawing from memory will never be as accurate as drawing from life, so open your eyes and look, then apply to your rendering, this way you will achieve a better likeness.

I see no point in merely slagging off ‘Cookie Cutters’ as it is a relative term, which could equally apply to me in some others’ eyes. Instead I try to dispel their myth and undo the harm they have done within our industry, by proving that good caricaturists do exist and that “YES – it is supposed to look like you!”

Other caricature resources:  https://www.caricatures-uk.com – https://www.wedding-caricatures.co.uk – http://www.caricatures.live – https://www.itoons.uk/ 

For those of you still unclear as to the difference between a cartoon and a caricature, below are two clear examples. One illustrates a simple amusing gag and the other captures its subject’s soul! See if you can guess which is which?

Image result for simple gag cartoon

Image result for jan op de beeck

Cartoons are merely a vehicle to put across a message or gag, with no skill needed. Caricatures however exhibit a rare talent to capture a likeness and hopefully some personality, so the gag is in the rendering, not the punchline. Are we clear now?

 

*Credits: Mark Ewbie and Jan Op De Beeck

Visit https://www.caricatures-uk.com/ for more caricatures

Robbie Williams GQ

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Launching soon, my new website venture, catering for the corporate market, offering digital iPad caricatures at exhibitions and events.

I’ve been drawing digital on tablets since their early invention, around 2008, but have always been frustrated by the poor technology, speed and results. Being a perfectionist, I held back from offering the service, until I felt my results were good enough. I experimented with every latest piece of kit, from Samsung Slate to MS Surface Pro, but nothing did the job until I found the iPad Pro a couple of years ago. Around this time I realised that no one else seemed to care about quality – indeed there are some shockingly bad iPad caricaturists out there, selling their scribbles to a hungry corporate audience. So I ploughed my energies into polishing my craft and launching a dedicated website, aimed at the business world, stepping in at the mid-market stage, hopefully fit to compete with the top digital carix in the UK. At worst I can offer better quality than the worst in the UK! LOL

First step was to buy the domain www.itoons.uk, then trademark the name “itoons.uk“, then design the logo, then build a website from scratch and finally to launch the product online. Happy to say we’re on the final stages of designing the website now, so I thought it a good time to float the teasers… I hope you like the results!

Last November I received the call from Brad Pitt’s PA, saying how much they loved my Pulp Fiction artwork and that they would like to commission me to draw Brad Pitt for his 50th birthday gift! I jumped at the chance and headed south to the set of his latest movie, which was being shot in the UK. I spent the most exhilarating day with Brad and his film crew, on set, watching the explosions and drama unfold before the cameras, while I snapped a few shots and drew the crew.

I toiled away at the composition, which included his Personal Team (hairdresser, lookalike, PA, driver, dresser) for over a week and when it was finished I had the honor of presenting it to Brad Pitt on set on his birthday in December. Unfortunately he decided to shoot a ‘closed set’ on his birthday and so I did not get to see his reaction to the artwork, but he must’ve liked it because he asked for a copy of my Fight Club poster too!!

Unfortunately I signed a Non-disclosure waver, which means that I cannot impart any details, but as I retain original copyright, I assume I can now share the artwork with the public.

Brad Pitt Caricature

Happy Birthday Brad!

It was a joy to be on set with Brad and an honour to be chosen as his artist. Best day of last year for sure 🙂

 

If you commission a caricaturist to draw your caricature, surely you are doing so because you wish to see your likeness through HIS/HER eyes and not your own for once? So why (when shown your caricature) would you choose to edit the features and have it altered, just to match your own perception? If you want that, then surely a photograph would be more suitable than a caricature. If you can’t handle the truth, don’t look through the eyes of a caricaturist! Simples 😉