Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Steps to creating a caricature for commission – Part 2 –completing the painting.

Last week I was relating how I’d had an “Urgent” Commission.

I explained the general process. The most difficult stage is really the composition and initial drawing. Sometimes ideas pop up with each draft, the next draft can then be used to work these ideas out. movement lines are especially. There are certain rules which must be applied, such as movement lines must not touch the “moving” objects.

After inking in the pencil lines, I set the picture aside to dry before rubbing out the pencil.

Next stage is painting, which is fairly straightforward. Sometimes I will use  French ultramarine and paynes grey to under-paint the shadows on the face. Before going over them in burnt sienna, yellow ochre and a touch of Alizarin Crimson.

With a gift caricature there is always an element of subterfuge. Usually it’s the client who has to weave complex plots and distraction to facilitate the picture. This time I needed a picture inside the school, but how to do it without being spotted. I had a window of opportunity while the school was at a church service. I was a little concerned sneaking onto school premises with a camera. Fortunately it’s a small village school and people know me! Why the need? Well there is a fabulous wooden train around the back of the school and it was too good a subject not to include.

What do you think? Here is the finished caricature.…


Most subterfuge relates to communications, often in code with false appointments or arrangements. I stop short of actual lies, but sometimes I struggle, especially if the subject is well known to me.

A recent caricature I undertook was for some friends. The husband was the subject and plans were well underway. I happened to strike up a conversation during which he’d discovered I created caricature paintings. He asked if I’d be able to do one of his wife. I soooo wanted to laugh out loud at the irony. It was all I could do to contain myself! But was unable to enlighten either partner with the truth!

Fortunately such instances are part of the joy of being an artist!

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