Wednesday, November 24, 2004
I threw this together last night in Painter in about fifteen minutes. I will sometimes take a few minutes to squeeze off a self portrait/caricature/drawing just to stay sharp. I don't think that this is really in any way special or especially good but it's a great exercise. Capturing a likeness is hard to do. Caricature is, itself, an especially subjective art form. As much as viewers will say, "either it looks like him or it doesn't..." there are still a lot of details that the viewer brings--preconceptions, etc... that affect the way they view the caricature. Some of my favorite caricaturists are lousy at creating solid likenesses, but somehow manage to capture something in the subject that makes the caricature spot on.
Ralph Steadman is less concerned with creating a likeness than he is with editorializing on his subject using his own particular brand of ink spatter and madness--the Gonzo style of art. Other artists like Roberto Parada and Daniel Adel manage to create spot on likenesses while editorializing a bit on the subject. Still, they are almost portrait artists who DO caricature. Some of the best caricaturists used to be editorial cartoonists. Draper Hill, Jeff MacNelly, Paul Conrad and, yes, even my very own mother used to do wonderful caricature in their cartoons. Cartoonists today are less caricaturists and more humorists.
I have dabbled in caricature but I find it a maddening enterprise. It's incredibly hard for me to get some of the proportions correct... I have made the mistake of doing caricatures of friends who just don't get it... I spend a lot of time apologizing for accurately focusing on their bulbous nose or huge forehead. I won't make that mistake again.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
These are a couple of images I created in Corel Painter. I am doing these to sell at the upcoming artist market here in our neighborhood. It goes like this: I will take the image and print it out on iron-on transfer paper. I will then iron the image onto a lightly gessoed small canvas that will later be covered with matte medium. The images hold up very well and require little touching up. I have given a ton of them away as presents and they look great. We'll see how they sell. I am also working on a couple of larger canvases to sell as well. Again, we'll see.
I chose big cats because, well, they just seem so serious all of the time. I like making them look a little like housecats... This past sunday in church, I was drawing pics of my overweight cat Frodo during communion. I had drawn a picture of Frodo with a lobster bib on and it was the funniest thing I think I've ever drawn. I had the whole row laughing hysterically.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Well folks, I am taking a cue from the Ward-o-matic and putting my own particular spin on the whole blog thing. It will be primarily dedicated to art, illustration and film. I thought I would kick this thing off by talking about a documentary project I just completed about Revolutionary War Brig. General and South Carolina hero, Francis Marion--otherwise known as "The Swsamp Fox." Our production, which was co-produced by my good friend Wavy Davey at SCETV in South Carolina, focuses mainly on Marion's guerilla campaign against the Brits after the fall of Charleston in May of 1780.
This project started as an illustration portfolio. I was looking for new material to explore in my illustration work and I just thought that Francis Marion would be an ideal subject. Somehow, three years, and about a hundred illustrations later, I ended up with a documentary. Who knows how these things happen? I'm really pleased with it. Technically, it was a little shaky in some parts. Some of the stuff we chroma-keyed out looked a little strobe-ish and there were a couple of illustrations that I'm not as proud of as I am others... I am nitpicking thought.
I created the illustrations in Corel Painter. I then layered and blurred foreground layers to create a depth of field effect. Lastly, I brought all into After Effects and created a simple tracking shot, tracking each layer seperately. I'll post a step by step at some point. It's wicked easy and it looks amazing. I really dig AfterEffects. I holpe to dive into some animation if I ever get some free time. Anyway,...
I do miss the project. Davey and I work really well together and we both are sort of nutty about different details. I'm hoping that he will move down to the ATL so that we can continue to collaborate on other projects. As my good friend Ward-O-Matic is fond of pointing out, it's important for us creative types to stick together to nurture, collaborate with AND, for that matter, compete with one another. There are so many talented people in this city that it's a pity not to have some kind of community to nestle in.
Hopefully that will all change soon!!!