Jim Cate Brenda Paul (63-66)

Facebook Faces, Jukejoint Handmedowns

I seem to be stuck in caricature mode now. Here’s Jim, another of the ‘Living Room Philharmonic Orchestra’ jam buddies, and husband of my former cello teacher (#12). Seemed fitting since I’ll be heading downtown to the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts tomorrow to catch their band play (hopefully they don’t get rained out). Last year, they had a bit of bad luck when Jim broke several strings on his guitar during their first song and spent a lot of their remaining time replacing strings.
Later in the afternoon, I also did a portrait of another of the ‘LRPO’ members, Cate, who I also collaborated with on some music around 2003-5. This one I went back to basing on a photo that I found on her profile, with some minor alterations, and using a mixture of various mediums.

Long overdue for a caricature in this series of portraits, and since I’m trying to avoid taking illustrations directly from photo reference this week, it seemed like a good place to start. This is Brenda, the wife of the JJHD’s pedal steel player, and who both were members of our informal “Living Room Philharmonic Orchestra” about ten years ago (a group of musical friends who would get together once a month or so to jam, many of whom have moved on to start their own bands in the intervening years). Another of the LRPO group was #38. Today’s caricature is a little different style than the others I have done in this series, and more along the lines of the freeform style that I used for the JJHD cartoon logo.

And as long as I’m in the neighborhood, here’s Brenda’s husband Paul, in a caricature style a little more sketchy yet detailed. (Paul was also a member of the LRPO group, and is currently the pedal steel player for the Jukejoint Handmedowns (but here he is rocking his baby blue stratocaster like he did in his former band).

Also spent part of the morning working on my weekly ‘Blown Cover’ sketch. I had another of those ‘middle of the night’ ideas that turned out to be rather silly when I got up in the morning, but I couldn’t quite get it out of mind, so I went with a variation on it, figuring ‘what the heck’. I’ll post it on Friday evening once the winners have been announced.


Facebook Faces, River Styx

Coming out of Memorial Day weekend, and believe it or not I’ve actually got some work to do today. Taking a break from the portraits and spending the day doing rough sketches for a couple upcoming projects. This one above is for a short story on zombies for a fiction magazine.

Later in the day I had a little spare time, so tackled another portrait from my list. This time I decided that rather than base the portrait on an existing photo, that I’d take several photos and draw something off the top of my head. This one is of my cousin Amy (her Dad was #1, and her brother was #54). Since I was in a crunch for time, I left this one as a pencil sketch. This was a good kick in the pants to my tendency to ‘get in a rut’, so I may stick with this method for the next couple of days. The funny thing, is how the likeness ended up looking a lot more like her mother, without my intending it to.

Memorial Day weekend

Facebook Faces

Memorial Day weekend, and I’ll be taking it easy with the portraits for the next couple of days (quick sketches, easy techniques). I’ll probably post them all here in this post, and then update the archive on Tuesday. First up: a high school chum & ‘skipping catechism cohort’ Jackie (her brother was #45) done in one of my comfortable ‘cartoon’ styles. Next, #60, another high school chum, Mitch (was in my first ‘garage band’ along with #2) done in a sketchy pencil/watercolor style. And finally, this holiday weekend, I did a black and white line drawing of my brother-in-law Alex (married to #39 and his older sister is #24).

Blown Covers & more Faces

Blown Covers, Facebook Faces

Today’s portrait is of my cousin Kathy (her brothers were #28 & 29). Did this one in a sketchy oil paint style.

The ‘Blown Covers’ blog winners are in process of being announced, and this was my entry for this weeks’ ‘Father’s Day’ topic. I’ll be the first to admit that the concept was a bit on the weak side this week, and there were an awful lot of ‘Dads with kids on their shoulders’ in the slush pile.

Today’s portrait is of Dave, the owner of a local bar/nightclub who has given our band lots of good gigging opportunities over the past year or so, despite our poor audience turnout on several occasions. Unfortunately he’ll be closing his doors for good at the end of July (and we’re working on getting a chance to play there one more time before then). I tried to steer clear of the ‘usual’ drawing tools today, and did this one completely using a grainy tint tool and varying the size and contrast of the paper pattern.

Margo (55) Dad (56) Roy (54) Melissa (52) Corey (53)

Facebook Faces

Been a very slow May, business-wise, but got a call from one of my clients yesterday with some hopeful news for the summer. I did a few preliminary sketches/schematic drawings this morning in relation to that project, and then followed up with another of my daily portraits. Today’s portrait is of my sister Margo (her daughter Emily is #28, my other sister Denise is #39, and our Mom is #44). I tried breaking out of the box with regards to style on this one, but didn’t get too far from the comfy confines of my usual tools by the time I was finished. Time permitting, I may do another portrait this afternoon, and try to stretch a bit further (and why not keep in the family today by doing my Dad…).
Was much happier with the way that the ‘Dad’ portrait turned out. A mixture of scratchboard techniques and color and texture overlay methods. (Dad’s girlfriend Sheila was #7)

Today I worked on my weekly ‘blown covers’ sketch/concept, and then in the afternoon did this portrait of my cousin Roy for my ongoing ‘facebook portrait’ challenge. (Roy’s Dad ‘Uncle Lee’ was the First in this series)

The first portrait I did today was of a high school friend Melissa (and yet another friend with a photo on facebook of them playing guitar). I was under the gun, time-wise, due to an appointment, so this one was done in a bit of a hurry, and without much in the way of experimentation.

Later in the afternoon, I found time to do another one. Been a while since I’ve done a caricature, so I chose as a subject, a facebook acquaintance I don’t particularly know very well, to free myself up from too much anxiety about whether I was ‘capturing a favorable likeness’. This is Corey, who runs a traveling burlesque show, and is also a caricature artist himself (our connection is that we’ve exchanged a couple emails in the past, when his group was looking for a bass player, and the fact that I’ve seen him around town in various venues and guises).