Thursday, October 06, 2011

TURTEL ONLI inspired caricature drawing by subwaysurfer

Okay, remember, the operative word here is TURTEL ONLI INSPIRED meaning I wasn't going for a literal visual interpretation of the Father of The Back Age of Comix Movement, I just took elements from his features to create my own character. This is what character design is all about.

caricature of black musician with geometric Afro hairstyle

Barnes and Nobles is one of my favorite bookstores for a lot of reasons.No matter what branch you go into, there is a plush , professional atmosphere, friendly knowledgable staff, and this intangible chill factor effect that makes you want to kick back and relax. Not to mention that Barnes and Noble has a star bucks inside where you can sit and sip coffee, water or tea, plug into the free WiFi and surf online till you drown in information! What's NOT to love about the place? I particularly love the cross section of the population that comes in and out if the store. As a professional character designer/caricature artst I'm always on the lookout for good faces, and Barnes and Noble is a reliable fishing hole.

I was on my way out when I spotting this massive shock of Bkack hair. It was geometrically cut in such a precise way that was startling. I found myself staring and reaching for my drawing pad...who was I fooling though? I knew I'd never ave enough time to get all this fantastic detail, so I tapped the guy on the shoulder and asked my old familiar question?..

When you blatantly ask a person if you can draw them , or even tae their photo, which I did also, they usually answer with a polite, but firm "No". To my delight he agreed, and stopped just so I could get the right angle. As I had suspected, he was a perfomer, a guitarist in a rock band in fact. I noticed that he also had a big spider tattoo that was in the center of hs chest, the legs extending out over his rib cage, pointing to perfectly chiseled six lack abs. I sucked in my pot belly and completed my preliminaries thanking him for his time and promising to upload the pics on my blog.

As you can see I've done a number of rendition of him which I often do to teach myself how to caricature, exaggerate, and tem simplify, as you can see with the bottom drawing. Whenever you caricature, never bbe satisfied with your first drawing. Keep at it, and you'll make some great artistic discoveries, the least of which is finding your own style.

Live Caricature drawing of man with a big Chin

There are those times at alive gig when all the planets align perfectly the wind is at your back, and you're pumping adrenalin in just the rift amount...annnnnnnd the perfect subject sits in front of you. I had this experience at a gig I did for the prestigious Hampton Classic horse show a few weeks ago. In fact, the gig was exactly the following week that Hurricane Irene touched us here on The East Coast.

I drew this with a Tombo Brush pen, and an indigo Primacolor art Stixx on 8X11 card stock. in three minutes flat. It was pure perfection, and started me on a five hour roll that left me feeling energized, and a little richer at the end.


If you notice, on the upper left corner if the caricature is a printed copy of the company logo. This serves as an advertisement that stays in front of the person as long as they have their picture, and believe me, they keep these pictures. Why not use me to promote your business or special event?


I was coming home energized like I always am after a great caricature gig. This "energizer bunny" phenomenon is unique to us caricature artists after hours of intense drawing. It's almost like a type of drawing fever takes a hold of you, and it takes hours to calm down. I do some of my best "subway surfing" during these times, and today was no exception.

I was fortunate enough to get a nice window seat on a Rockaway Bound 35 bus traveling from Brooklyn. The 35 is the only bus that travels directly to the Rockaways from Brooklyn, and comparatively speaking the ride is fast compared to the train. The only drawback is that you board the 35 bus on Flatbush ave, a major shopping area, with 100 of your neighbors, each competing for the same limited seats.

When I say I was fortunate, I ain't kidding.

Within minutes, however, I almost regretted sitting down. Directly in front of me, was a man so heavily intoxicated that he seemed to be sweating say that this guy reeked of alcohol is like saying Niagra Falls is a little wet. It seemed that Any minute this guy was going to pitch over and vomit on his shoes.... And if he turned just a little to his left... I'd have a lap full of vomit stew.... Not a pleasant thought.

Oh....but what a face he had! Beautiful dramatic angles and folds, and a nose that only a caricature artist could love! I HAD to draw him! But HOW?? I mean, he was sitting right across from me! I had to think if something unconventional.... So I put on a pair of dark shades. Now normally doing this would make draw g a little harder, but somehow the dark glasses served as an invisible barrier that gave me confidence to look at him for extended periods without alerting him.
The strategy worked beautifully, and I managed to get this great sketch without one drop of vomit landing on me. We both got off the bus at the last stop,I went happily to my studio to put the finishing touches on the sketch, as I watched him stagger slowly in the direction of the bar...