On one of my last blogs (the caricature of the golfer smashing the head of one his colleagues down the fairway) I mentioned that seemingly unusual requests are quite common. Well, it’s happened again, with a request for a caricature for a 50th birthday present. This time I was to incorporate a love of skiing, the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, a love of both hunting and fishing, a reference to his home in London and something showing that the party was taking place in Marrakech – PHEW! Initially there were more details to this caricature request, but I managed to to persuade them that less is more!
I set about producing the rough which I usually complete in pencil and then add digital colour to the basic caricature on the Samsung Galaxy Note. I like to try and keep the rough a loose as possible but still give an idea of what the final caricature will look like. Hence I prefer to keep the basic caricature as central as possible and have the various details around it. This allows me to play about with the scene should the client come back and ask for a few changes to be made. Drawing a complete intricate scene for the caricature means that the whole thing might have to be re-drawn should the client request changes. Once I’ve got the OK I make a start on the final artwork.
I start by transferring the pencil rough of the caricature to art board. It’s always tricky to get the spontaneity of the rough to the final artwork – so I scan in the rough, flip it in Preview so it’s a mirror image of the original and print off a copy.
While the ink is still wet on the print out, I transfer it to the card by placing it face down and rubbing the back of the paper with a pencil. This gives an impression of the original rough as close as can be. I then start to trace this over with a fine waterproof pen – using a dark flesh colour for the face and black for the rest of the image.
I then paint in the background colours with acrylics. The permanent pens show through the paint so it’s nearly impossible to completely cover it over. I gradually build up the flesh colours, starting with the mid-light tones and gradually working darker. I then add the lighter highlights toward the end.
I hope the images give an impression of how the caricature progresses!