For the past few weeks I’ve been learning some things I had wanted to do for a very long time. I’ve been taking video lessons on how to sketch portraits, human figure, different techniques and different media. I’m been really curious about pastel pencils. I remembered I had one of these pencils but am having trouble sharpening it…
Also I’ve been practicing caricatures on the iPad. I’ve tried different apps, like Sketchbook Pro and ArtRage, but my favorite has been Procreate. It’s very stable and once that I mistakenly quit the app, it opened it back exactly where I was. I know I’m still scratching the surface, but the results have been very promising.
ArtRage was a bust, cool effects but quickly crashed with no autosave. Also it is more sluggish than Procreate and Sketchbook Pro. The winning point for me is that in Procreate I can use 16 layers at full resolution, instead of a smaller canvas as in SB Pro. I also find the interface much more easy to use.
Here are some of the caricatures I did, sketching with pencil first, photographing the sketches and rendering with Procreate:
I have always been amazed by how caricaturists work, especially when drawing live. To capture someone’s likeness, abstract it and somehow make it look funny, while tens of people are watching as you go must be a bit frightening. Although I’m used to having people watch me sketch, I’m mostly sketching buildings, while my drawn people have usually been silhouettes. I have been practicing sketching people in action for a while now, very fast scribbling.
Last weekend at Festival de Claridad someone told me I should visit the Facebook page “Caricatura puertorriqueña en FB”. Even though I had only done just one caricature before, I’m always trying to learn new things, styles and media, so decided to stop by.
I have been blown away by the posted images! There are so many different styles and media, from pencil and pastels to digital, so I have had my hands full learning. And the artists have been very friendly and welcoming. So for the past three days I have been crazy drawing and dreaming about caricatures. I have even been thinking of how to make my architectural sketches more emphatic and even exaggerated, much like an “urban caricature” if you will. I’ll definitely give it a try sometime soon.
Last night I did the personality of the week, José Miguel Class -“El Gallito de Manatí”. I looked at reference photographs but I wanted to include some of his charisma while he performed so watched a few videos of him on YouTube. I was just a little kid when he had his TV show so I barely remembered his music. So I studied his gestures and attitude while he sang. I made the first sketch with a 4B pencil on paper and for rendering I wanted to try out a new app I recently got, Procreate. I photographed it with my phone and transferred it to my iPad.
After a few minutes I was feeling comfortable with the app, so it was very easy to learn the basics. It feels a bit like Photoshop, 16 layers, layer modes, opacity settings, transform tools, good drawing and painting tools. For just $5 it really is a powerful and useful app. I know I have just scratched the surface with it, so will look more carefully to all the tools and settings.
Here is the original pencil drawing and the rendered image:
I can’t believe it’s been two months since my last post. And it’s not that I haven’t been sketching; on the contrary, I’ve been sketching a lot. I’ve been trying new materials, new styles, practicing a lot. Tonight I even been practicing caricatures.
I joined a Facebook group of Puerto Rican caricaturists and got inspired to try it out. This week members submit their caricature of the chosen public figure, the legendary wrestler Carlitos Colón. I grew up watching him wrestle and my late grandpa was a huge fan of his. I tried diverse styles, first more cartoonish, with felt-tip pen and watercolors; then tried a more… elegant style? I like more the latter, here are both:
I also have been doing some Virtual Paintouts, last month at Valparaíso, Chile and last night at Vilnius, Lithuania. Here are both:
Also I’ve been sketching on location, especially people in action while I was participating in Festival Claridad. Here are a few of my sketches there:
Best of all is that I’m enjoying the process, learning a lot and having fun.