Sunday, April 10, 2016

Anatomy of a gift caricature drawing

Retirement Poster and gift drawing for the

Vancouver Fire Department

Step one: I review the email and/or phone conversations with the client to try and develop an idea of how the drawing will take shape. Sometimes I know exactly how the drawing will go due to a detailed interaction with a client that knows what they want. Sometimes I'm given a list of ideas for the drawing but no clear expectations. I always start the drawing with an idea of where I'm gonna go but allow myself to be flexible with changing that plan.

In this case I was given a small list of ideas but enough to get going on. He played lacrosse, hockey, soccer and he likes to wear shorts and sandals. He has a dog too that everyone at the firehall sees often, so I'm to incorporate the dog somehow. I envisioned in my mind how I wanted to see him and his dog in the drawing but really hadn't settled on a background other than, it's the fire department and the city is Vancouver. So I start drawing with no clear idea of what the final product will look like.

Step Two: Gather the reference photos together and create a rough sketch

Step Three: Once I am happy with the rough sketch, I'll reduce the transparency of that layer, add a layer on top and start the "inking" process

Step Four: Create layers underneath the line drawing and build up the colours of the face. Once that is done, I'll combine all the layers to create one layer for his head.

Step Five: On another layer I rough sketch out a body, following some of the info from the client, shorts, sandals and a lacrosse stick.

Step Six: Ink and colour the body and combine together on one layer.

Step Seven: Hide the layer containing the body. Then import the picture of his dog and create a rough sketch, ink it and colour it. Here is where I decided to incorporate the soccer ball.

Step Eight: Combine the man and his dog together and come up with a background. I decided that he had just driven an old firetruck up onto a hydrant with the city in the background. Not a huge idea but I think it looks good.

Step Nine: Send a low resolution water-marked image of the drawing to the client for perusal. This is where 90% of clients finally start getting creative, sometimes too much but I walk them through the process. I allow a bit of revisions within my price that I originally quoted but major re-draws or constant changing this and that requires additional payment. In this case the changes/request were relatively minor. The clients(s) decided that the shirt should be a firemans shirt with captains bars, that I needed to add a hockey stick somewhere in there and there needed to ne a bumpersticker with the name Norman on there. This guys name wasn't Norman but they said he would " get it".

Here is the final, approved drawing.

I love my job. If you want to order a caricature cartoon as a gift contact me by e-mail or visit my website.