Getting Started on Oscar

Oscar Poster

Every year for the past 9 years or so I have put together an ‘Oscar Caricature Poster’ for my brother’s restaurant in Chicago to present to him on the day of his ‘Oscar Party’ (which he has been hosting at his home since long before he opened the restaurant, dating back to at least the early to mid-nineties). This is usually a complicated undertaking for me, least of which from an organizational standpoint, and more often than not, the hardest part of all is just ‘getting started’. I thought I’d share some of the preparations this year in addition to the usual ‘grand unveiling’. Above is a portion of what I got completed today, and I’ll likely be going back and working on this off an on the rest of the month, whenever I get some free time.

In years past, I’ve experimented with ‘special effects’ for this poster, at one time doing it all in 3-D the year that ‘Avatar’ was in the running, and last year doing it in color to commemorate ‘The Artist’, but I think I’ll be going back to basic black and white this year, and perhaps just tweaking the ‘pen and ink style’ towards a bit more fluid and sketchy line quality.

I usually start with a rough idea of the overall composition, based on at least one or two large ‘front runners’ in the acting category (Lincoln was an obvious choice, especially since it will look so good from a large profile standpoint, anchoring the right hand side of the picture). I’ve also decided to put everyone in a lifeboat this year along with a tiger, to give a nod to ‘Life of Pi’, which is the only ‘best picture’ nominee not to get any acting nominations. Once I’ve started on the first few caricatures, I then start plotting out where everyone else is going to go, and the rest of the project seems to fall into place (although I usually make some organizational changes late in the game for balance or composition, or the need to fit ‘just one more person’ into the crowd). I’ll be posting more of this project as I make further headway, and hope to have it all done by the end of the month.