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I get asked a lot about my approach to portraiture. Questions like "Why do you exaggerate?" or "Why is it that you feel like the subject can't look exactly like they are in real life or in the photograph?". My answer is usually simple: I don't consider myself a human photocopy machine. I was trained in all the traditional ways.  I learned how to draw and replicate everything I see in front of me or in a photograph, but things happened. I evolved and developed my own style and my own approach. Perhaps some of it was a natural progression, but I do have to credit art school with a good deal of it. As freshmen we were trained from the ground up, learning to draw the most basic elements of shape and form. I drew everything from cardboard boxes to the ellipses of stool seats. I certainly had prior practice in drawing before art school, but even for the most untrained it brought you from the most simplest of shapes into complex compositions, both organic and inorganic. I've always enjoyed drawing faces, and I think I started drawing at such a young age that over time I learned those beneficial observation skills. Art school also taught me that you should add your own approach and personal touch to anything that you do. What I'm trying to say is that, yes I have a firm understanding of drawing what I see, and replicating it exactly on paper, but that's not my natural approach. I feel like I have to take it further and give it expression, particular in portraiture, and add my own style to the piece. I feel like a sit a fence at times between stylized portraits and caricatures. I prefer the former term, simply because the word "caricature" conjures up associations with state fairs and theme parks where the work is often rushed, highly coached, and doesn't even look like the person being depicted. Stylized portraits is a term that better describes what I set out to do. They're realistic, in a way, but things are emphasized to better illustrate the person's personality or expression in a way that a photograph could not. That, I think, is how I gage my success in a piece.
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:icondarknight06:
darknight06 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012
They're caricatures bub, really good ones, but caricatures nonetheless. Portraits by their definition have to be far more conservative and careful in approach to preserve the likeness, and around my way doing anything more than that instantly puts your work into the realm of caricature. I'm a caricature supervisor at a theme park myself and while in the theme parks you do have those automated robots that draw a stamp design with different facial hair and no likeness, I'm always on my guys to do better than their last sketch and to always shoot for a likeness regardless of the speed of execution. It is more than possible, and to say otherwise is an insult to guys like the late Gary Fasen, Ed Steckley, Dino Casterline, and Joe Bluhm among others.
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:iconcaricature80:
Caricature80 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi *darknight06! Thanks for the comments! Glad to hear you stay on your caricature artists at the theme park to really capture the likenesses of the subjects. It's such an important part of drawing caricatures.
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:icondarknight06:
darknight06 Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012
True that. It gets tough to do that when you got a veteran clone cartoon stamper around that refuses to draw anything resembling a person in his chair, but with what I've shown my new bunch this year I'm hoping that they'll start eventually ripping the guy a new one out there with superior drawing to the point where he HAS to get better to survive. That's the goal.
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:iconcaricature80:
Caricature80 Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Excellent plan! I think that's an awesome outlook.
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:iconmindxscape:
mindxscape Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012
I enjoyed reading your artists statement. :-)
To add, my studies always pushed for photo-realism... and I understand the concepts and applications (and understand that it's an area I could always improve upon). But personally, I found that the more I edged in that direction the less connected and expressive I felt about my work.

You make great portraits. :D

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:iconcaricature80:
Caricature80 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hi *mind-scape, thanks so much for taking the time to read my artist's statement! Glad we have the common ground of adding our own personal spin to our work!

Thanks also for the kind words about my portraits!
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:iconmindxscape:
mindxscape Featured By Owner May 2, 2012
:D Of course! And thank you for being so professional as to create an artists statement!
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:iconcaricature80:
Caricature80 Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
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February 25, 2012
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