Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Caricatures pt 2

Gee, I started waffling on a bit in that last post.

First up here's a couple of relics. This first one was done back when I was in college. Obviously "Terminator 2" was the big movie of the year. This particular guy, I think his name was Mike Burns, was just this poor bugger that we all loved to caricature for some reason above everyone else and he popped up in all manner of scenarios. This was my "movie poster" one. I must have had some fun doing the shading. This little epic was done at one of my first jobs out of college (in a copy centre -animation was hard to come by in Perth). Both this and the one above were done from memory, or the person at least close at hand. The ones I did in high school also were done from memory, it's only later that I've become slack and used photo's. The benefit of doing them from memory is that you create more of an impression of the person, what's striking about them at first glance, rather than a more or less accurate representation.

The two older guys here who ran the business were fun and easy targets being older men. The women were tough tho' and from memory, I did some of the work on them discreetly at work. I also went a bit crazy with all of the machinery and details.
Here's a more recent one. This time of my wife's grandfather. This one was done from a photo, again, not the one supplied below -I notice his glasses have changed. I recall that for this one it was quite a good photo. The benefit of using a photo (generally I prefer to have a couple, so you can see what a different angle looks like) is that you can be a bit more accurate, plus not have to worry about freaking the person out by staring at them. Here, at least knowing the person or being familiar with them as well, you can remember the overall impression you get from them and apply that to your drawing too. That's where working from a photo can be a trap, because you are pretty much limited to the angle in the photo, and you mightn't be able to get the right sense of the person from that angle. For example, if someone has a big nose, a front-on photo isn't going to show that like a 3/4 will and your caricature won't capture their best asset.

This probably also explains why these family caricatures are a little "safe". With a public figure, be it a politician or celebrity, they are more easily identified and therefore you can be more extreme in your exaggeration of their features. They're also not going to come back at you and say "Who and what the hell is this?"
Here's the real Neil for comparison.
To look at a completely different approach, check out the work of one of my former Disney colleagues Andries Maritz. I'll also post one of his pics of me in the next post.

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