Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Me, Caricature & I

Do you know what's the meaning of Caricature?
Let me go ahead and cut and paste it for you here...

car·i·ca·ture
ˈkarikəCHər,-ˌCHo͝or/
noun
  1. 1.
    a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect.
    "a caricature of Jimmy Durante"
    synonyms:cartoonparodysatirelampoonburlesqueMore

    verb
  1. 1.
    make or give a comically or grotesquely exaggerated representation of (someone or something).
    "he was caricatured on the cover of TV Guide"
    synonyms:parodysatirizelampoon, make fun of, burlesquemimicMore

    a representation of a person that is exaggerated for comic effect (found here)

    a. A representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject's distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect. b. The art of creating such representations. (here)

Well, you got it... Right?

If you use 'Google Images' for this particular word, you'll find such an overwhelming sight of Caricatures done by Artists all over the world. I feel so small... tiny, actually- in the midst of them all.

Let's see a few awesome samples from Mr.Google that I found-






The word EXAGGERATION is the KEY, my friend.

Ahhh... it's easier s.p.e.l.l.e.d than done.
And that's what I've been struggling with every time there's a face for me to draw.
I mean, if you see a face with a prominent nose or big mustache or small eyes with ears sticking out, perhaps it's going to be easy to exaggerate.
But what if... there's nothing much to be exaggerated when you see a face? Err...

A face with no story? no character?
Naaah... every faces comes with a story to tell and its own character if one look closely enough.
It's true.
But sometimes, I just can't see it! Huhu.
Yes, for me Caricaturing is still quite a challenge. It's easier to draw a real face with no exaggeration- just follow it as it is (but again, there are other challenges that come along with this... and that's another story).

Let me tell you another "challenge" about Caricaturing.
It's when the person you drew could not accept his/ her FUNNY looking self!
Now, when you ask for a caricature, do you really expect yourself looking 'perfect'-ly good?
I do get..." err..please don't make my eyes too sepet (when for me, it was her eyes that made her who she was!) " / "...make my face look thinner, please.." (when it was her chubby face that defined her character and deserved exaggeration- hihi)/ " Hey, why it doesn't look like me, eh?" (okey...if I heard that, I knew I was in trouble or maybe I exaggerated too much (??)- But this seldom happened!)

Don't get me wrong. I don't mind these requests.
In fact, because of this particular challenge, you may find my caricatures following more of a 'safe' path. I don't exaggerate that much. I would love to do it but I hate myself for being quite afraid to offend people with exaggerations, sometimes.

I guess, you cannot take yourself too seriously if you want a caricature of yourself.
And as a Caricaturist, I have to loosen up too.

Recently, I've got an order to make a Group Caricature by looking at just one picture reference. This Caricature will be a Corporate Gift for a soon-to-be-retired Board member.  Below is the first attempt :-

 

But when one of the Bosses saw this, he gave quite a few comments and asked me to redo. His staff later gave me a few more picture references of each people to be drawn.
Two days later, I came up with this... and they're all VERY happy :).

"Portrait-Caricature"

If you refer to the original meaning of Caricature, you can see no comical effect in the above picture except for the fact that they look funny with big heads and small bodies. Well, that will do...as long as they're happy with the result.

Basically, caricature is supposed to be FUN to look at.
Take it as another way to appreciate yourself with all those God's given features.

You know, I began learning and doing Caricatures since 1990s- just for fun during College years. I didn't know much about it and only looked at Lat's cartoons as my references back then.



File:Lat cartoon on coconut water.jpg



I mean, you can't beat Lat's confident strokes and simple lines to produce those faces!

And over the years, my love to draw faces make me draw more and more real portraits and caricatures... Inevitably, I've developed my own style of drawing with rooms to improve from time to time.

Since I offered my caricature service online, I've had many happy (and repeat) customers. I never thought this was possible because I know there are many better (and cheaper-perhaps) caricaturists out there. But I treat my caricatures like I make other 'serious' paintings. My hubby once said I've wasted my time and energy to produce such artwork for a small amount of money... because for the same size of fine art painting, I could make a lot more. Well, I can't argue more about that but... as long as time permits, I'll take orders and make my clients smile when they look at themselves :).

Most importantly, I hope you enjoy my Caricatures as much as I enjoy making them.

Thank you for supporting my Art.









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