Monthly Archives: April 2012

My First Caricature

I had always admired caricaturists, how they instantly grasp the persons’ distinctive features, but I never had an interest in learning to draw them. That was until a couple of weeks ago, when in Orlando. There was a caricaturist booth at the hotel, and I spent some time watching them do their stuff, and it was almost like magic… Just a couple minutes, a few strokes and, bam! there appears the person in the middle of the page.

To make a long story short, I bought a “how-to-draw-caricatures” book at the booth, and read it once during the flight back home. Every once in a while I read a couple pages, but this past Sunday decided to try to draw one.

But who can I use as a model? I went through my Facebook friends and found the perfect one…what else is your “little” brother good for?

I took inspiration from three pictures, as to grasp his likeness, while not trying to reproduce any of the photographs. His fiancé says it really looks like him, so who better to say?

Here’s my take on my little bro:

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Mesa Clumsy

This post may be a little distant from my regular theme, but as it is part of my artistic exploration I will give it a go; furthermore, it’s all part of a learning process of techniques I’m looking to incorporate into my sketching.

Three weeks ago I started taking serigraphy classes, also known as silkscreen or screen printing. I think it is a cool (although laborious) way to reproduce my artwork, without losing the handmade feel.

The technique I’ve been learning feels somewhat limiting, me being a loose, fast sketcher, having to carefully cut the film with a swivel knife to use as a stencil for each color I use. Probably I’m not gonna be doing that many prints this way, as the X-acto knife has never been among my favorite tools.  My professor is an accomplished veteran artist who saw some of my sketches and told me we could try blocking the silkscreen in other ways, as using wax crayons or tempera with a brush and I could achieve effects similar to what I do with the watercolors. And this really caught my attention.  Still, I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, I want to learn the rules now so I can bend them later…

We were asked to produce a simple graphic with four or five colors, to learn color separation, registration marks, blocking, printing and cleaning. He asked us to do nothing complicated, so we could learn the basics. Here’s the sketch I’m doing:

Yesterday I printed my first color. And what a mess! Mesa clumsy! When in middle school, I took aptitude tests and the results showed I wasn’t too good with repetitive routines. Evidently that is still true. I had to clean the squeegee twice in middle of a print, as somehow I dropped it onto the screen with paint, and that red kept appearing all over where it wasn’t supposed to… The paper, my hands, the frame, the table, my pants. In the end I think I got it, although probably less than half the prints are good.

I ended exhausted! I liked the process though in the future I want to try less “perfect” graphics. When I learn to block with tempera and crayons probably will enjoy it even more. Working with the exactitude of a knife is not my thing. There must be a way to be loose with the brush on silkscreen, so will update soon.


Back to reality

Well, I’m back home, lots of great memories and of course I need now like a week to rest. But no, I have to be back at work tomorrow. Anyway, here are other sketches that I did during the week and didn’t get to post.

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Sketching Pluto

Today we returned to Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Our vacations are almost over, we are dead tired but it was worth it. Today I made some more sketches, and ended with probably my favorite of the whole trip. Since our first day I was amazed by the topiaries shaped like everyone’s favorite characters, and this afternoon I had the chance (and the courage) to sketch one. It’s a Pluto topiary; what these guys do is simply amazing… I chose the easiest, done with pencil and watercolors.

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Two Caballeros

I woke up very early this morning so I had a chance to sketch the sculptures at the pool of where we are staying. I didn’t know the characters, apparently they are the Three Caballeros. However, from the spot I was sketching I could only see two, the third one was almost totally obscured. Maybe later I can “sketch-shop” him in… Here I only used a Crayola set of 12 colored pencils.

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Some more vacation sketching

Here are some sketches I did the last two days while on Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. I am now also venturing with colored pencils, and I like the effect, although it takes me longer.

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Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

Today we are at Epcot, an acronym of a very interesting proposal by Mr. Walt Disney, which wasn’t pursued by his company after his death. What we know as Epcot isn’t exactly what Mr. Disney had envisioned, although an awesome experience nonetheless.

We have made a few rest stops and I have taken the chance to do some sketching.

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Guess where I am…

Had to take a short break so that I could sketch this. I feel like a little kid. This was done on a custom sketchbook, with Arches 140lb, hot pressed. This is my first time with hot pressed; I absolutely love it.

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