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.....


  1. Excellent, John, as your caricatures always are.

    What an odd approach from the client. I hope you get the job, but the cynic in me suspects that this client may well be building up a nice little collection of free caricature portraits of himself on the back of a non-existent event. I hope that's not the case here, but even if it isn't, do remember to knock off four minutes early if you get the gig. ;-)

  2. I have actually got the gig Steve! It was a pretty awful situation to have a day's event hang in the balance based on a caricature from one really crappy photo. I'll never understand clients and their decision making processes. Anyway, thanks for the kind words.....