Saturday, May 29, 2010

GARY COLEMAN CARICATURE by Subwaysurfer Elgin Bolling

Poor Gary.... the Beloved child star reached cultural icon status early in his career and was never quite able to break free of his childhood sit com persona. Fans have a tendency to NOT let their child stars grow up, and Gary's case was intensified more than most, due to his diminutive size because of his medical condition. The bubbly, amiable ... Child star who delighted millions across cultural and racial lines, grew into a bitter older man. It's sad what Hollywood can do to you. You ask yourself , "IS FAME REALLY WORTH IT???" Even with tragic figures like Gary to tell us otherwise, people still reach for the stars made of tinsel that ultimately leave you grabbing at air.....

Friday, May 28, 2010


Caricature Couple.... a Female Crocodile and her husband...

Nuthin but TEETH that's what i thought when She smiled! LOL! did this caricature of a couple and believe it or not, she LIKED it!! SOME women actually GET IT that caricature is for FUN! I sure had fun drawing THIS!!!!

In Loving Memory of James

There are some friends in life, that you meet during a transitional period, who unexpectedly connect with you, affect you, and leave you the better an for knowing them.
James Was that kind of friend. Someone I met unexpectedly on my journey. I was a Sunday School teacher and Worship Leader, at a small church that consisted Nigerian congregation members, with a few Carribeans thrown in. James was a member whom the pastor ad invited to come, and we became fast friends after a few Sundays. James was a very private man, who was not given to much conversation, even to the amiable pastor or the church, but he did open up to me. Perhaps it was because we were both "Yankee boys",or maybe it was because we both grew up in Brooklyn. Whatever te reason, I shared many a pleasant, thought provoking conversation with James each Sunday afternoon following morning worship. Like all people who attend church, James was not without hs problems, and was motivated to attend church to solve one of them:Drinking. After spending many years dealing with this habit, he'd finally decided he'd had enough, and sought to enlist Gods help in ridding him of it.

Old behavior patterns, he found out ,are a challenge to extricate oneself from immediately. He was not ridiculed in his struggle, but encouraged to keep making progress, and for a while he did...

But then times came when nhe would miss a Sunday or two. his reason was that he felt ashamed of a drinking binge the preceding Saturday, and as a result fell prey to the great lie that keep so many people from God. "God is mad at me, I've et God down". Ad like Adam, when he sinned, Jaes would hide himself refusing not only to attend church, but also to receive calls. It got to the point, finally, that he refused to even discuss the natter at all, and became angry wgen it was brought up.

You can never force help or friendship on people, so I withdrew, hoping that James would have a change of mood, and would soon return to church to continue our endless conversations.

I never got the chance to hear his voice again. The last time I saw Ja es he was lying still in a hospital bed paralyzed from head to toe. Apparently he had an episode where he drank so much, he lost his footing climbing a familiar flight of stairs, and landed hard on his head and back. Lying there in that hospital bed, the only thing he could move was his eyes and mouth. I asked him to give me a sign if he could hear and understand me, a d he gave me a slight smile.blew me a kiss(the audacity of him!) and winked at me. I takes to him for a while like we used to, only this time the conversation was one sided. He could make sounds, but his speech was too low in volume to be heard. I asked him could I sing a song to him that he liked, and with his eyes, he indicated, yes, and I did so, holding back tears and choking up as I sang. I looked over to see a single tear trickle down his cheek, and told him I'd be back to see him again, soon.
Of course, in true cliche fashion, I never got that chance, as he passed away days later.

The picture at the top was the first ever I drew of him. It was my habit, to draw new members and visitors as they came to the church to make them feel welcomed. I just loved giving people something tangible to take home with them. The original picture is now in the possession of his sister. I was flattered that she would want it. And was glad to have drawn it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


This Guy's belly needs it's own zip code... He probably adds it as a dependant on his taxes and counted it as an extra tenant on the census....Spotted him leaning on the A train subway car door bound for Manhattan. This guy was immense. About six ft five or something, and Most of hs weight was in that gut. Amazing how fat s distributed on some bodies...the rest of him looked kind of normal, proportion wise. This is one example of why I love doing my live drawing on the subway train, rather in a sterile studio environment. You'd never get a guy like this to pose in an art class.


If she had a tag line, it would be "I'LL BE BLACK!!!"

Now WHERE did my Hubby GO??? Wife Loses husband on the B Train...

Okay... I KNOW that OPPOSITES attract... but there must have been something fundamentally off kilter in the universe that drew THESE two together.
She was a tall, amazonian, brick house blond, and he was a so diminutive in comparison that an Ipod to him would have been a laptop. They were obviously in love, and once again my mind began to free associate as I started drawing them on the train. SUDDENLY their KIDS came over to see what I was doing and began cracking up which alerted the husband who came over and started laughing too.

Now you think that with all this laughter and merriment that wifey would join in too....

Needless to say she wasnt pleased!!!

I sheepishly offered to GIVE them the caricature but wifey would have none of it. I did draw the kids though, much to their delight.

I could tell the husband really wanted the picture but wasnt about to argue with an amazon.

Mcdonalds Caricature.

Gotta love McDonalds. You always see the most interesting characters coming in. I was near NYU this time and this old grizzly lookin' Viet Nam Vet dude shuffled in, and immediately my crazy cartoonist mind began to free associate as he made his order to the young counter person with the dreadlocks. This is what I came up with.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Never get tired of drawing "da Brothas" they really WORK at that "machismo look
Really do love drawing African Americans. Since I live in an African American community, I of course get a lot of opportunity to draw and observe. Among AA youth, a lot of emphasis is put into having the right "look". This is understandable and sad considering the harsh environment and circumstances some of these kids have to endure on a daily basis. Having the right "look" becomes an initial line of defense in the Urban Jungle, and even your average street thug wants to pick out what he perceives to be an "easy" victim. Even so calked "civilized " folks who live in the hood have a kind of look that says "I belong here" from a purely anthropological standpoint it's fascinating....
Not all of these kids are thugs, despite their visual abd verbal posturing. Many if them are articulate in speech, intropective, and artistic. There seems to be a type of respect they have for creative types. I've had what other folks might consider thugs, encourage me in and admire my creative work. In some cases, I even catch one if them drop their mask have reveal a little if their personalit, like this kud I drew wearing the "doo rag".

A lot of caricature artists, especially white ones, shy away from caricaturing common, objective features African American features like large white noses, and big lips, for fear of being perceived as "racist" This is ridiculous. It's like accusing an artist as being anti Senatir because he draws a Jewish an with a big nise...who happens to objectivey have one.


Ive gotten REALLY GOOD at drawing Babies! LOL! to think I used to really DREAD drawing the little tots years ago! Once you get past the stereotypical way of drawing and viewing them, if you really look carefully, they've got just as much personality quirks as anyone else, and they're facial expressions are really hilarious if you just pay attention for a few moments and look.

Subway Pencil Caricature portraits by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

As much as I love to do gift caricatures digitally, I love the feel and look of a caricature done with my own hand in pencil. My approach to caricature drawing is not just for simple "party whimsy" but for fine art as well. This should come as no surprise, since caricature uses portraiture as a point of departure.

Let me create a beautiful pencil portrait caricature of you. Your love ones or for the someone who wants a unique personalized gift. Prices are affordable, and I am open, within reason to negotiation. Feel free to write me at
For more information.

"Bensonhurst Barone" Soccer Coach HERO!

I drew at a great party last week in Besnsonhurst Brooklyn, and got the opportunity to meet and draw, local hero, Peter Barone, the Soccer coach. No, Mr. Barone, isnt "nationally known" doesnt have his own line of sneakers, or has his pic plastered across a cereal box, but Peter coaches soccer to a group of local kids, most of which were at the party,and doinng THAT makes him a hero in my book. It's so important that children have role models to look up to, especially strong male ones who are willing to spend time, provide guidance and teach them the neccessary skills they need for LIFE. Peter may beel that he's "just teaching kids how to kick a ball" but so much is learned on the field about fair play, teamwork, being able to push hast pain and exaustion, and even being able to lose graciously after doing your best, are skills that children learn early and carry with them into the world that ultimately benefits their families, their workplace, their community and their world.

Not to mention that I think Pete's muc is a SCREAM to draw and I promised him that I would DO THIS HA!!! I personally think it's one of the best Gift Caricatures Ive done this year.

Friday, May 21, 2010

"TOM RICHMOND STYLE" caricatures

Dont know if I ever mentioned it, but Mad Magazine Artist, TOM RICHMOND, is a MAJOR influence om my style of caricature, particularly my party style, along with Kendly Dillard, adn Ed Steckley.
Like most caricature artists,I grew up reading MAD and was mesmerized by Mort Drucker. TOM took on the mantle of Drooker adding his own particular flavor, while style retaining that "Drooker'esque" vibe. Likeness is essential with a littttle exaggeration , but not in a grotesque way. Here is a pic of two "homies" I did at a party some time back I forgot to post. I also drew a caricature of Pastor Fredrick Price's Wife while watching TV one afternoon

This is a workable party style I use when I want to do a little exaggeration, and NOT offend the party goers TOO much. It's nice to have an assortment of "caricature styles" in your trick bag that you can pull out at WILL in order to get a job done. Being able to move seamlessly from style to style depending on the job takes years of practice, but once you have that mastery live drawing truly becomes FUN to do, and not a chore. I've been with other artists who seem to labor so much over their pictures at a live gig, that they really seem like they arent haveing a good time at all, which is a SHAME because IT'S A PARTY!!

These were drawn with a PITT Artist pen. I know Ive been singing the praises of the SHARPIE marker for a while now on this blog, but the ole Pitt is STILL the king for line quality and crispness. When it WORKS there's no smoother pen out there!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Son Of Promise

Sometimes when I think about my son I just smile.... This caricature is based more of my funny IDEA of him that anything that's reality based. He's lost all the weight, is a lot better looking, and looks less comical .
He's a gifted speaker, performer, theologian and vocalist, which he does really well. I drew this picture.. secretly.. heh after a recent visit to him at College earlier this year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Sneak peeak of the Chancellor's pic Im doing for THE WAVE newspaper.... such a great mug... WHY hasint anyone else caricatured this guy???? show you the full toon on Friday once it's "officially printed". What's NOT to love about the Chancellor's mug?? He's got a shiney dome you can view your reflection in, a Nose that he can suck on in place of his thumb, five o clock shadow that shows up at nine in the morning, and to top it off, inky black curly hair that he combs into a MULLET!! LOL! again , I ask, WHY HASNT ANYONE ELSE CARICATURED THIS GUY????

1 Train to South Ferry

Caricature of this old dude who looked like He was having a bowel movement....

David Fliss and The Subwaysurfer put their game faces on...

David THE CHINN FLISS came to NYC to visit and we went out lookin for trouble with our game faces on...heh...

Gift Caricature , logo , Avatar of AJ the Bartender

Best Gift caricature Ive done this year. I got an email from AJ a Bartender in the city who loved my style and wanted to be caricatured subwaystyle. LOVED how this turned out and did it in two styles. The first one is done in my style, with a focus on character design.Who knows I may even use AJ's Character for some other stuff! LOL the second one is drawn in a "Peter Bagg"slash Andy Urzua Style. I was just Goofin on this one after being in such a good mood of nailing the initial likeness.

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Subway Caricatures.... mostly

The guy with the pelican like jaw at the top was drawn in March and I just found him hiding away in my notebook and had to post along with these others. To think I drew this pic with a regular sharpie marker is a real eye opener for me. For years I laughed at artists who used these markers thinking they were for "caricature novices" but now I find that they are very reliable for consistent ink flow, and although I have to work harder to get the line quality variety I like, overall my satisfied with their performance. Cant complain about their availability either. Just go into any CVS or Duane Reade and you got a tool you can use right away.
The Bald dude with the large eyelids looked up at me long enough at the 14th street station on the A line, to see me sketching him as he was talking to his girlfriend. He moved away from me quickly, but not quick enough! heh....
The homeboye with the large fish eyes is a pic Id drawn before of a commuter on a Manhattan bound A train. This pic captures his vibe a little better than my previous one. His eye was so unusually large I thought it was gonna roll out of his skull on to the dirty subway floor....
Speaking of "dirty" I couldn't resist throwing this picture of the "scuzzy Dunkin Donuts coffee shop dude in this series. He was listening to his girlfriend chatting on about her job and whutnot, and by the look on his face you could just TELL that all he was thinking about was getting her alone in his room.... I looked at her and looked at him and wondered just HOW do some people hook up with others? ......
Saw these two business people on the train during rush hour and they reminded me of an X Files or Men in Black team. All Business... No Smiles. Fun to draw!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Caricature of the Day

Yes, her butt really DID stick out like that.... She tried to "tame it" by wearing a jacket, but a caboose that size just would not be contained.....

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Concordia College Gurls

My daughter asked me to do a gift caricature of her two buds at a recent visit to her school. Never could resist a request from my little gurl... who's not so little anymore...sigh....anyways, her two buds had the most interesting contrast in their faces which is what makes a group picture "work" Master Caricature artist, Jan Obdebeek taught me that a good caricature always has a "funny head" which is something that is often overlooked by caricature artists who focus primarily on features of the face. Not that it's "wrong" to do this, but if you want a truly animated looking caricature, paying attention to head shapes are crucial. In order to do this I simply look for the parts of the face that "seem to want to go in a particular direction", no matter how slight, and exaggerate that to death. Master Jan also taught me that you must do a LOT of preliminary pics in order to get to the one that you like, so I also did a LOT of drawing on each individual face before I got to the one that was perfect.
Since Im dabbling more in animated type work these days, my caricatures reflect that simplicity.