This was a fun little project for a really cool client of mine. He asked for a caricature of him and his girlfriend with the theme of the famous Martin Lawrence TV show.
Anyone who grew up in America in the 90’s knows about this show. This and the Simpson’s were probably the most defining of 90’s TV at my home growing up.
In my mind I visualized this one as a full blown illustrated caricature, like the 2 children I drew or the couple of the opera singer and photographer, but when I found out that he wanted a standard caricature I was a little disappointed.
The early part of this drawing I was a bit distracted and didn’t put too much effort into the thumbnail. As you can see here I simply drew the bodies without much distinction, at this stage it’s not important to have all the anatomy worked out or all the details and I’ve learned how to intervene on myself when I focus on that stuff too much early on.
The good thing about this project is my client wanted a lot of progress shots as I worked, so I kept sending him snapshots of my messy work, it helped me keep things loose :).
In the end I was happy with the end product even though I felt that it could have been better. I’m happy with it.
Here are a few pictures of my client and his girlfriend.
Here’s my client with his big happy smile
Here is my client’s pretty girlfriend
This turned out to be quite a learning experience. Partly because it involved a baby which I’ve always had difficulty with but also because I’m so SLOW.
The initial black and white drawing I did rather fast. I decided to draw 4 different layouts of the concept, I had watched an art video where an artist talked about the importance of thumbnails. This phase of the drawing was fun although I was already feeling a little stress because I hadn’t done anything on the commission in the almost 2 weeks I got it. I was busy updating the Schiller-Institute webcast after our conference, but I was also waisting time because a part of me wasn’t excited to draw kids.
I don’t remember at what point I decided to do coloring but I remember just forcing myself to fill in areas in really broad and fast strokes. It was exciting and exhausting, I kept wanting to check my phone or do something else but I wanted to move on to the next phase, to see progress.
The next passes of the creating were just work. It literally felt like clocking in and clocking out of a nine to five. I didn’t feel any real excitement but I noticed whenever I made big changes I would often stop to look at what I did, and those stops were way too long and full of doubt – what if I messed it up. My saving grace was my wife, she literally saved me from my own doubt by giving concrete criticism and suggestions. I would always be a little defensive at first but once I thought about it it always made the piece better once I did it, it got to the point where I would look for her advice. But then she started to tell me to hurry up, I could tell her advice was becoming less because she knows I’m a perfectionist.
I would say my biggest lessons for this piece were
1.) Don’t waste time
2.) Listen to your wife
3.) Clock in and clock out (make a schedule, pace yourself & set goals)
4.) Don’t over think it
In the end the piece was great and I feel much more comfortable painting with colors instead of using the layered approach, I can’t wait to do some new studies now.
This was an early anniversary gift for my fiancé.
A photographer commissioned a caricature of him and his girlfriend, she is a classical Opera Singer.