Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Caricature Commissions II

Well last weeks post on my personal cartoons went down well. People I hardly know---who had found my post on Facelessbook, Twitter, Instagram ect---just came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed it.

Well it's always nice to hear that my work and blog posts are hitting home and getting noticed in places I never even knew they were. And through the power of people sharing my posts, even more are finding our little corner of the web.

Okay, so this week, as promised, I'm going to be showing you some stage sections of a couple of caricatures I've been commissioned to do lately.

I would like to say that I'll make this a regular feature but the nature of caricature commissions is that they are very sporadic; Christmas time being it's most busy. So maybe more around that time..who knows.

But that aside the first one was for a chap called Mark who was having one of those 'landmark Birthdays'---his 60th I believe--- and worked as a JCB digger operator. He loved his job and his little dog, was a tea lover and went away in his caravan whenever possible.

I always ask for as much information as possible when producing these caricature commissions and I work on getting as much detail in as possible. Below are a few of the stages involved in this particular caricature commission.

The first stage is to light-box the accepted rough through to some heavy stock watercolour paper. I trace it through because there are fewer lines to cover over with the water colours later on. This means I'm able to build more subtle layers.

Then it's onto the masking fluid. Normally I will mask the whole image area off and allow the large sky washes to find all their little crevasses and cracks, but in this illustration the sky was fairly high up in the picture so I just spot masked the image.

Next I scrape away the masking fluid---after the sky is put down and it has dried---then I lay the basic colour washes. I always use Windsor & Newton watercolours and sometimes mix it with Windsor & Newton Gouache. Sometimes, and particularly in this caricature commission, I am given colour schemes to work with and with this particular caricature they were largely muted tones. So I chose to pump up the colour by making the JCB lighter.

From this point onwards I build up the layers, one by one; making sure the colours don't clash and have an over all balance.

Finally I start to build up the areas that wont have any pen and ink outlines, like the countryside scene behind.

Although you can't see it in this picture, I placed sheep in the field, simply by dotting them with blobs of white gouache.

Then comes the final stage; the outline finished inks and signature. Then it's packaged up and sent out to my customer. In this case, Mark's wife who commissioned it as a birthday gift idea.


And now, another caricature God, I spoil you!

Next up came Raymond and another 60th birthday gift.

Raymond loved to wander around Radyr Woods---a local beauty spot to him---mess around on his boat, play the saxophone, dress up as a pirate (oh yes he did) and fish. Oh and he had an unfortunate incident once with a low bridge while not looking where he was going.

Like the previous caricature commission I light boxed the pencils through, masked off the image and laid down the basic washes; once again with Windsor & Newton.

The basic washes in this picture were a lot more involved and needed a little more definition.

Next came the building up of the layers, especially the face. In Raymond's case he had a face for caricaturists to die for.

Once all the layers were down it was time to work on the outline. With my caricatures I like to give the outer lines a bold, thick look and do all the fine details with a dip pen and nib. I use Windsor & Newton black India ink for all my outline work and a Daler Rowney No. 1 Daylon Brush.

Then it's in with the dip pen line work. This is ideal for all the subtle shading, cross-hatching that accentuate the folds in the clothing; it also works well on the distance stuff like the bridge and rocks; the grass and fine tree detail.

 Then it's the final stage and sign it and dispatch it to the client.

Et voila! Another look over my shoulder at how I work. I hope you enjoyed it.


It is worth mentioning at this point that I am always open to caricature commissions. All I need is a few good clear and preferably close up photos of the person you would like caricatured and as much information about them as to make their painting as personal as possible
They make ideal Birthday, wedding, anniversary, retirement, Christmas and special occasion gift ideas and are always very well received.
They are produced in high quality watercolour paints and placed onto the best, hardest wearing watercolour paper.
For more details and prices, please feel free to email me from the 'Contact Me' page above where I will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.


On Friday don't miss the first page of the new Brabbles & Boggitt tale. This, like the Tales from 'Toonsville comic strip, will run every week with snippets of my thoughts on the story and the processes and techniques involved. So please do come back and keep on coming back; and while you're at it, take a look around the site at all the other things on offer.

If you like what you see, and want to see more, then please sign up to my email list and have every blog notification sent direct to your email box and don't miss a single post ever again.

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post. If you did then please share it like a demented sharing person and keep on coming back for more of the same, and a whole lot besides.

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