Sunday, 29 May 2011

A Humbling Experience

This is my entry for this month's caricature competition. All the entries may be found here. I found this to be a very humbling experience for the following reason: I began this task by searching for an image of Jim Broadbent that really appealed to me. Having found one I set to with pencil and paper and started drawing in the time-honoured tradition of looking at the subject, looking at the sheet of paper and wondering where the hell I make the first graphite smudge. Actually, I tend to start with the glazz-balls, they being the windows to the soul and all that. Having finished the pencils I scanned the image into Photoshop and started "inking" with the Bamboo tablet (kiss kiss kiss - I love my Bamboo tablet!). The finished result has already been laid before you. Left, left - it's over to the left. That's Jim Broadbent, that is.
Now then, why all this verbose preamble? Why all this circumlocutory loquaciousness? Why all the blather? Because, well, look at it. Look at my effort and then compare it with all the other entries - especially the winning entry by Malcolm McGookin. Where I struggled, panted, sweated and gasped to achieve a passing resemblance of a fine actor, everybody else did what was asked of them, which was to produce a caricature (dictionary definition = A pictorial representation of a person, which exaggerates his characteristic traits for comic effect.).
It may well be a steep learning curve for thine truly, but if I had known it was going to be this bloody steep I would have requested a Tibetan sherpa - or, indeed, a yak. You can ride a yak, can't you? Okay, I'll take a yak. Riding piggy-back on a sherpa would merely be a graphic illustration of Western imperialism riding on the back of an oppressed nation struggling under the yoke of.... etc. (To be continued in Marx and Cartoon Allegories: A Cartoonist's Sourcebook by Che Lenin).

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Light Flight

This is my entry for this week's caption competition. Only, it doesn't have a caption but a theme. This week's theme is "Flight". My immediate thought was Moses' flight from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. I am now having whacking great huge doubts about this. Was the parting of the Red Sea part of the flight from Egypt, or is my ridiculously poorly-performing memory betraying me once again? I dunno. I don't know nuffink, guvnor. A couple of clicks on the pictorial representation on your gauche will reveal a few more details than you can see at present. I am particularly pleased with the Hebrew mother shouting at her child (the child isn't as pleasing to my critical eye). It is her channel for the general disgruntlement displayed by the rest of the crowd. Why are they disgruntled? When you're being led to the promised land you don't expect to have to wade through smelly mud, do you? I was hugely tempted to add a couple of other details. One was to have a character coming face to face with a fish on the other side of the water wall. The other temptation was to add a couple of anachronistic tin cans and a shopping trolley. I'm glad that I restrained myself because they would have dissipated the general grumpiness of the crowd.
Techy bit: Well, it's techy as far as I'm concerned. Rough pencils (and, by crikey, were they rough!) scanned into Photoshop and then inked on the Bamboo. I'm beginning to get a better feel for it now, I think. Others may disagree, but who gives two figs for what others think? Not I, for one.
(Whimpering) O lawks! I hope I haven't offended anyone!

Monday, 2 May 2011

James Bond in a Time of Austerity

I think it's fairly safe to say this one ain't going to sell. It's a pity really, because I think this is one of my wittier efforts. This is pen and ink and therefore rather indicative of its age (i.e. it isn't a more recent digital masterpiece. I am currently working on a digital project which ought to bear fruit in a few month's time; more of which, anon). The more perspicacious among you may have noticed that my Bond does not resemble any of his silver screen incarnations. This is not, let me assure you, cowardice on my part. I can do caricatures as well as the next man (yes, that badly). No, my Bond is the embodiment of Mr. Fleming's literary creation, hence the thick comma over the right eye. His, not mine - I don't have enough hair to form a full stop, let alone any other form of tonsorial punctuation. Fleming also had one of his female protagonists describe Bond as looking like Hoagy Carmichael. If you don't know what Hoagy Carmichael looks like then I have captured his likeness exactly. No no, don't bother going over to Google image, just - er - just take my word for it. After all my word is my Bond (ha ha ha!).

If you are having problems reading the caption, may I gently remind you that if you click on the ineffable brilliance that is my drawing you will be presented with a larger version. I say ineffable, but to be honest there are quite a few effs flying around when my ambition over-reaches my drawing skills. Fortunately the majority are internalised, thereby saving the blushes of my neighbours and the intrusion of the local constabulary. Sorry, I'm rambling.

I'll just add that Fleming created Bond in an age of austerity, therefore my contribution to the visual arts is all the more apposite. And to those of you that think these times are not as austere as the post-war years think on this: When was the last time the third in line to the throne had to borrow his dad's car* after his wedding? Eh? Eh?

* An Aston Martin, funnily enough.