This is day 20 of the online ‘Caricature Resolution 2023’ challenge to create a caricature every day in January based on a list provided by The International Society of Caricature Artists. It is quite a commitment to find time to create and post something each day, even with my approach of quick portraits, but it is probably worth it for the learning and opportunity to explore lots of different faces with differing levels of success.
Here are a few favourites from the past few weeks. The first two were fun and relatively easy to create with their characterful faces – both connected by being comic actors and Barbara Streisand even played Fanny Brice in the film ‘Funny Girl,’
My ‘sketchy bitch’ pal Pat added a comment of ‘You got her!’ to this caricature of Streisand (and Pat rarely comments and/or praises). It is worth noting that I used an old photo of Streisand with her wonderful characterful nose for this portrait, as sadly she has had plastic surgery since.
I failed to create a caricature of Jean-Michel Basquiat, as didn’t really know what to do with his beautiful face. This is still one of my favourites, because it helped me rediscover Basquiat and his painting (and now I’m longing to create a big Basquiat-style painting!).
The final favourites are a couple of portraits of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who I originally drew like this,
Another ‘sketchy bitch’ friend, Emma added a comment to say, ‘I misread Bader for Badger’ and of course this was too tempting to cartoon,
My biggest challenges remain:
a) how to create interesting caricatures with the ‘pretty’ faces, as it’s particularly tricky to create character with perfect symmetry.
b) how to create caricatures that are kind. Perhaps ‘kind caricatures’ are oxymoronic…
At the moment, my new approach hopes to work with both of these challenges. This approach fuses a few favourite things and influences. Basically, I have decided to fuse inspiration from the work of ‘characterist’ (he didn’t like the use of ‘caricaturist’) Al Hirschfeld and Lene Farmer, who is from my online group ‘the Sketchy Bitches.’
I’ve chosen Al Hirschfeld for his incredible use of one line technique (or continuous line), as illustrated below. Of course, Hirschfeld explored this technique over an 80-year career, so this can only ever be a referential nod. Only Hirschfeld can do Hirschfeld,
I’ve chosen Lene Farmer for her wonderful abstract approach to creating portraits, where she explodes the face into open abstraction. Here is her portrait of Oscar Wilde,
At the moment, the results are tentative and unsure, but there are still 11 days to explore this fusion before the end of the Caricature Resolution 2023.
Leopold, D. (2015) The Hirschfeld Century – Portrait of an Artist and his Age. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
The International Society of Caricature Artists: