Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Some Rough Stuff

Oftentimes I will sketch personalities from TV with the intention of refining and inking them up later, maybe even doing them in full colour. Here are a couple of recently rediscovered caricatures still in their embryonic rough pencil stage. I was combing through a file drawer full of rough sketches and came across these that I'd sketched a couple years ago, so I thought I'd post them up here just for the heck of it.

The one of Jon Stewart I believe I had sketched from when he hosted the Academy Awards the first time. I was planning to try drawing him again a couple times from "The Daily Show" before committing him to final inking, just to be sure I had the likeness to my satisfaction. That's actually something I often do, waiting for a few days at least before taking a look at a caricature anew with a fresh eye, just in case it then strikes me as falling short of being a good likeness. If I hurry to finish it up immediately after sketching it, I have sometimes been horrified to see that it just isn't the person I thought I had drawn when I look at it later!

In his book, "The World of Hirschfeld", legendary showbiz caricaturist Al Hirschfeld describes this very same dilemma back when he'd been commissioned  in 1967 to do a caricature of TV star Garry Moore for a network ad campaign. After tossing off a sketch of Garry Moore, one of Hirschfeld's neighbours, Mildred Jones, who was visiting with his wife Dolly passed his drawing table and exclaimed, "That's him all right - I'd know him anywhere. Buster Keaton!" Flabbergasted, Hirschfeld ran to his wife to ask her who it was. Without hesitation, she replied, "Buster Keaton". It took him many more furious attempts at sketching Garry Moore before Hirschfeld got a positive identification from wife Dolly, whom he claimed was his most honest critic.

This caricature of Uma Thurman has been languishing in my file drawer for two years as well, although I'm pretty sure it's her, as I had run it by several of my students at Sheridan that year when I was covering the art of caricature, and they all recognized it as lovely Uma. This is one that I really must finish up in colour someday.