Monday, 23 August 2010

Hugh Laurie caricature

This is a quick caricature of the actor Hugh Laurie in his role as House. It always amazes me that this is the guy that has that amazingly stupid looking face when acting in Jeeves and Wooster and the Blackadder series and looks so completely gormless and yet when he plays House.........must be an actor or something....oh, hang on....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

An unusual find

When I first saw this teapot I found it confusing as it suggested a persian origin but then I realised that the green larchlap towards the top would suggest a Dutch manufacture. The hallmark on the bottom immediately told me that it was manufactured by the well known craftsmen, the Van Corag brothers, who were at their prime in the mid 18th Century when their factory was based in the outskirts of Amsterdam (it later moved to larger premises in Haarlem). They were well recognised for both creating the perfect internal facilities for tea infusion while still maintaining very spacious living quarters. I believe it was the Van Corag brothers who first introduced the the two way 'frogget' valve which enabled the boiling water (essential for the perfect brew of tea) from scolding those living below. The only other interesting fact about these brothers is that, although they always agreed on the the design of the main body of their structures, they could NEVER agree on the handle and spout and so they designed these individually. One brother was gay and so it was suggested that he always designed the handle but this isn't documented in the factory records.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

More photos

I thought I'd share some photos taken of my recent work - they're of various guests at weddings or dinners etc proudly holding up their caricatures for the camera. I hope you can make out the caricatures:

Some people tell me it's very intimidating having me look (stare!) at them as I draw their caricature but I thought I'd share this last photo with you showing how intimidating it can be for the caricaturist!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Wedding caricatures but not as we know them....

I was recently commissioned by a bride to be to draw a caricature of both the bestman and usher (from photographs) which is not very usual as I normally draw them AT the wedding itself! Anyway, I'd been working on a new technique (for me anyway) where I don't draw any prelimenary pencil lines but put the black ink down straight away and if it works i.e. I think it looks like them, I put the watercolour wash on. The results are below and yes, they only wanted black & white images rather than full colour:

This was the bestman

and this was the usher.....

I've been trawling through the teapot temple images again and I came across this one:

You'll notice that there's been a bit of damage to this teapot between the junction of the spout and the main body which has obviously been very badly repaired. That'll greatly reduce the re-sale value.....

Monday, 16 August 2010

Busy weekend

It's been a busy weekend working at weddings etc and so I thought I'd share two emails I recieved last week from a bride's father and the lovely bride and groom themselves who's wedding I recently attended. They said:

"I'm Clare's dad. May I, on behalf of myself, my wife and family, say how much we enjoyed your company at Clare and Paul's wedding. Your caricatures are absolutely marvellous and provided us with a really entertaining evening which everyone loved. So, thank you so much for making it special."
Paul Commane

"Myself and Clare have just returned from honeymoon, and we would like to say how much we enjoyed you being there on our wedding day. So many people have told us how great you were and how pleased they were with their caricatures. We also really love the one you did of the two of us! Thank you so much again.
Clare and Lee Palmer"

wich was all very nice!

I don't know where these images come from but here are two more from my developing Teapot Temples series:

I think there's a bit of a chinese thing going on with this one:

Monday, 9 August 2010

Loose style

I was booked to work at the Reebok Stadium over the weekend where Bolton Wanderers had organised a per-season Family funday for their fans. After drawing something like 30-40 caricatures at the stadium I had to get myself over to their Training Ground where the staff and players were holding a barbeque. I'm not a football fan per se but I did recognise the striker Kevin Davis and the Bolton manager Owen Coyle when I drew them. I just wish I'd taken my camera with me for a souvenir photograph!

I may have mentioned before that I've been trying to create a looser style when producing studio caricatures. I do this by drwaing the caricature directly in pen and ink (using no pre-drawing with pencil for example) and if it doesn't work then I have to start all over again. As an example I tried to draw the the football manger of Fulham (now Liverpool) Roy Hodgson and my first attempt is below:

The thing about caricaturing is that soemtimes you really can't tell whether it looks like the person or not when you're drawing it - you have to leave it for a while and come back to it to look with fresh eyes. In this case at the time of drawing it I thought I was close to a good likeness and coloured it up before leaving it for a few hours. When I revisited the image I realised I hadn't 'got' him at all and so I drew him again. Below is the second version:

I think this one is a much better likeness.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Live v studio work

When you work as a live caricaturist you're expected to draw as many caricatures as possible in the alloted time and so, over the years, I havel become faster at drawing caricatures. All this means is that those watching me draw see me produce a finished caricature in about 3 - 4 minutes. The idea then sometimes pops into their heads that I can do the same if they show me a photograph of someone. "Can you do one from this photo on my mobile phone it'll only take you a couple of minutes?" They sometimes get very irrate when I say I can't because it's not the same thing at all. What people don't realise is that a photograph is only a two dimensional image while a real face in front of you is obviously three dimensional. What people don't realise is that it can sometimes take a couple of hours to draw a really good caricature from a number of photographs (please note not just one!). So that you can see what I mean I've posted below a photo of a man I was recently sent with the words "Please draw a caricature of this chap and if it's any good we'll book you for an event".

Not quite the same thing at all but anyway you can immediately see that the image is not terribly good i.e. not very good resolution and looks quite blurred. Anyway, I realised that there was no point trying to produce a typical studio caricature and, since they were considering using me as a live caricaturist, I thought I'd have a go at doing it in my 'live' style. It took a number of attempts and took considerably more than the 'live' time of three to four minutes!

I don't know from the photo whether he has red hair or not but I added that after sending it off to the client. Did I get the gig? I'll let you know.....

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Robbie Coltrane

This is a recent caricature of Robbie Coltrane. Don't ask me why I decided to put him in a tutu but there you are.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Robert Green

This is a caricature of the unfortunate England World Cup Goalkeeper, Robert Green, who blotted his copybook by conceeding a very silly goal during that game against the USA. Anyway, this caricature was drawn straight onto paper, with black ink, followed by watercolour (no initial pencil work) in an attempt to keep the looseness of the line (ooh, err!).

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Riverboat event

This was a photograph taken at a recent works event held on a riverboat in the Midlands which was actaully great fun. It's always great working with another entertainer at an event and this time it was a young magician called Ben Hanlin. I was booked to work for three hours but since the boat trip was for a total of four hours it was difficult to get a break. I eventually had to take a 'comfort break' and was just washing my hands in the lavatory when one of the (female) guests spotted me and shouted to her friends "This is where he is - he's in here.......!" Her friends did work out (eventually) that it was not the done thing to crowd into the gents so stood outside the door waiting for me to emerge.........that's popularity for you that is.....

Monday, 2 August 2010

Studio work

It's been another hectic weekend with caricaturing at weddings and private parties etc but, in the background so to speak, I've been working on a series of four, A5 colour drawings for a client, as a form of storyboard for a wedding gift for a lucky couple. It's quite demanding to put such a detailed image into such a small space like this (well, it is for me) but it was quite fun. Below are the resulting images.