Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Keep drawing... you really WILL Improve. Lessons from DJ DAZE By Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

The old adage, "Practice makes perfect" is a timeless truth that applies to any endevour, especially the art of caricature. Make no mistake about it, CARICATURE DRAWING IS NOT EASY. I meet folk all the time, most of them artists, who think that it is. Being able "to draw" doesnt always translate into being able to draw exaggerated, AND be able to get a dead on likeness. Add the additional element of a live screaming crowd, blaring music, and a time constraint of a live party event, and most of your artistic skills get left in the studio.
Ive seen it happen. It aint pretty.

Reflecting back on when I was a young caricature artist just starting out, I wanted to draw exaggerated right away, and in my arrogance, thought that just because "I could draw",that exaggeration would be another artistic skill I'd pick up easily, and add to my toolbox.

I struggled though, for many YEARS in fact.

I'm Really just beginning to understand how to do this.
A little.
But Ive also learned that we should despise our small beginnings, nor our baby steps. I found an old caricature recently in a sketchbook of DJ DAZE, who according to my blog stats, is a very popular picture that people come to check out.

DJ DAZE, is a Bodybuilder also, who I met several years ago while my son was in Hiah School. We were both attending a school play, and he was sitting next to me and I struck up a conversation which turned to caricature. I drew him that evening and gave him a copy of the picture after drawing one for myself. DAZE was a bodybuilder back then, as he is now , just a little smaller. As time went on, and as I went to several plays, Daze got bigger and bigger and my talent improved as well. I recall asking him and the picture you see posted is the result.

Daze's condition was remarkable, and was a perfect mirror image of how my own skill at drawing evolved over time also. While I was not lifting barbells, I was working out at the drawing board learning anatomy, exaggeration, and shading and the results were night and day. To me They appear to be drawn by different artists.

Im taking a long time to say that you really CAN improve IF YOU KEEP AT IT. Keep plugging away and keep continuing to push and challenge yourself as an aritst and you WILL improve if you don't quit.

Just ask DJ DAZE, he'll tell ya!

Ronald Mc Donaldhouse Fundraiser Caricature By Elgin SUBWAYSURFER Bolling

The Weather That day was GORGEOUS!!! Considering that the day before was raining cats and dogs in my neck of the woods, The Fact that it was a beautiful sunny , 68 degree day was a gift from God.  I was hired by my agent, to draw caricatures two Saturdays ago for a fundraiser  at Ronald Mc Donald house on The Fashionable East Side. I drew a lot of kids that day, but this particular couple stands out, being the only couple who stopped to be drawn. It was there first time drawing a caricature together and they were very much in love and it was apparent. I sang impromptu to the couple , and they both enjoyed it! For the lady, I sang Bobby Darin's hit, "Beyond the Sea" and finished off "my set" with Frank Sinatra's "I've got the world on a string" When I finished my serenade, I happily handed them the caricature and exclaimed, "Not only did I draw an excellent picture, but also created a memory for you two every time you hear that song! " That's why I DO with my art folks, I help to "DRAW PEOPLE CLOSER TOGEHTER" Pun intended!

FIRST IPAD CARICATURE by Elgin Subwaysurfer Bolling

Now that the excitement has worn off with my recent winning of the iPAD from authorSTREAM.com, I felt it was time to start learning how to use this thing to draw caricatures. I went to the APP Store on 14th Street and 9th ave in NYC , purchased a POGO STYLUS, downloaded Sketchbook Pro (At the urging of Angie Jordan) and started sketching.   I looked around for a suitable , interesting subject and stopped at Apple worker, RYAN WEISMEIT. Ryan reminded me of grafetti legend, KEITH HARING, and I immediately approached him and commented on the resembulance. 
Ryan, didnt know who Keith was, surprisingly, but was delighted that he looked like a famous person, and gladly posed for a picture. THIS was the end result of my FIRST iPAD Sketch, and I could tell that Im going to have a LOT of fun with this program.  I I eventually went on to clean up my lines, and colored the picture in, but sadly I accidentally ERASED the finished illustration.

Apparently I need to practice a LITTLE more with my ipad to get acquainted! 

Im still a little shaky on using the POGO on the iPad screen. Thee's a learning curve that I have to overcome before I'm at the point where I feel satisfied with my drawing style, but I wanted to share with you my progress as I continue to explore and improve. Stay tuned for some video Im putting togehter!