Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Can a Caricature help with Portrait Painting?

I'd like to share a blog I subscribe to (Artist Daily) that had a wonderful essay about caricature drawing, etc.  I'm not promoting the site, just sharing it.   I sent this to Sue Brezine who helped Dora Lawson recruit artists for the Fairborn Art Association exhibit now up through September -  "Not your Pretty Portrait Show" .

xox,
Libby


Unexpected Approaches to Portrait Painting
ARTIST DAILY August 13,  2014
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Can a Caricature Help My Portrait Painting?


The Grimaces by Louis-Leopold Boilly, 1823, lithograph, 13 1/8
The Grimaces by Louis-Leopold Boilly, 1823,
lithograph, 13 1/8 x 10.

 

Awhile ago I was in the Met and saw "Infinite Jest," an exhibition of drawings and prints that explore satire and caricature from the Italian Renaissance to the present. I enjoyed the show, walking around and chuckling at several of the drawings, but nothing really spoke to me, and yet weeks later the images from the show are popping into my head as if I had seen them just this morning.


I've been puzzling over why that could be and came to the conclusion that even though caricature is a completely different category of portraiture, it uses the same strategies that can make fine art portrait painting and portrait drawings memorable.


At its most essential, a caricature is an exaggeration or distortion of a person's physical characteristics, but it is still a study of a person's physicality. We've all seen the boardwalk artists at the beach who draw quick caricature sketches in a handful of minutes. The artist gets the shape of the face and accentuates two or three physical features of the sitter and voila, a caricature.


Caricature of a Woman in a Large Hat by Enrico Caruso, 1920, 14
  Senator Dolph of Oregon by Thomas Nast, 1894, pencil drawing wi
Caricature of a Woman in a Large Hat
by Enrico Caruso,
1920, 14 x 20,
pencil drawing.
Senator Dolph of Oregon
by Thomas Nast,
1894, pencil drawing with ink,
13 1/2 x 10 1/4.

 

Although fine art portraiture takes longer to create, a portrait painter still uses the same approach. First, it is essential to get the shape of the head right. This is a crucial step because it determines how the head sits on the neck and leads into the torso, and how the features sit on the face. Think of how you are able to recognize a friend or acquaintance from across the street. The same rule applies for a portrait; the sitter will be recognized first from their big ol' noggin.


With a caricature, the artist will usually exaggerate a person's features�eyes, lips, chin, ears, or hair, even freckles or big eyelashes. It always varies, but usually the artist doesn't emphasize everything and only select one or two features for the biggest impact. Fine art portrait artists should work in the same way. Not in terms of exaggerating the size or proportion of a person's features, but drawing attention to certain aspects of a person with color, light and shadow, and strokes.


For me, looking at a model and first thinking of how I'd draw their caricature can really open up my mind to what I'd showcase in their portrait. And, just like the caricatures that stood out in my mind weeks after I'd seen them, a portrait that visually "heightens" certain aspects of a person's looks will certainly stand out from the crowd. For more on what goes into painting an excellent portrait and how to capture a person's likeness, Alain Picard's Successful Pastel Portraits Value Pack is a great all-in-one resource. Enjoy!


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Courtney Jordan COURTNEY JORDAN
Online Editor, Artist Daily
ArtistDaily.com

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou - so inspiring



Maya, you came through so much in your lifetime....yet it only made you stronger.  You took pain, anger and grief and turned it into an incredible outpouring of your indomitable spirit.  You told stories that "shouldn't be told (CNN)" and thereby brought so much to light.  You entreat us to rise above hate and seek to "be the rainbow in someone's cloud".

I think I need to read more of your words, see your movies, know you better now that you have gone...at least I knew you through I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings but I have a lot to yet discover.

Monday, May 19, 2014

WOW! a prize in the Spring show!

Western Ohio Watercolor Society has a juried show hanging now through May 31 at the Town and Country Fine Art Center at Town and Country Sopping Center in Kettering.  I am most fortunate to have a painting chosen for third place in Transparent catagoy!  Thanks so much to Billie, Yuki, Sharon, Toni and all who help the organization thrive!

I am so very happy....I finished this piece to put into the W.O.W.s exhibit.  It is inspired by the visit I made with our daughter to Warren Wilson College near Asheville, NC while we were researching colleges.

Asheville Spring by Libby Rudolf - $400.00

Friday, May 9, 2014

Feeling Peachy after a week of workshop with Fred Graff!


      I just finished a 4 day workshop under the direction of Fred Graff who is an extraordinary teacher - pushing us at whatever level we came in with - to think of our paintings as more of design of shapes, values, colors rather than simply focusing on the subject.  I have taken a workshop with him before and knew many of the ways he would drive us to push beyond where we are - that's why we're there, right?   I loved painting on YUPO, a plastic 'paper' that allows incredibly free drips, washes, splatters, etc.


I painted this little piece - though I will probably still do a bit more....at the very last bit of time at the end of the workshop - love it!


Just Peachy!



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Winds Cafe - Watercolors: Color and Light

Twenty percent of the proceeds from any sales of paintings in my Winds Cafe exhibit Watercolors:Color and Light will go to Dayton Children's Hospital in honor of Vanessa and all others who fight cancer.  The show will be up through May, hope you can come by!

  

Here's a photo my buddy Theresa took of me setting up the sign for the reception- which was packed by the way.  So many people to talk to, such good wine at the Winds, etc.