Friday, February 13, 2009

Caricatures and Professors

Wow, so much has changed since my last entry just one week ago. I went out to buy new Dove chocolates, started a new load of wash, repainted a door inside the playroom, changed the rabbit litter...and that's just the exciting stuff.

Don't you wish you were an artist like me?

Actually, one interesting thing I did was go to a teaching seminar (there is one a week for a period of time, each dealing with a different topic with different panel members, etc). It started me to thinking (again) about teaching style. If you were (or are) a college student, what do you prefer, an authoritative figure who you call 'Mr.' or 'Professor' and has definite guidelines for you to follow (and if you don't there are dire consequences)?

Or, do you think you would rather have a more informal professor who tries to have a more fun environment, lets you call him or her by their first name, etc? Which do you think works best for you? And, do you think that method works best for everyone?

I go back and forth between those two options, and question how good I will be as a teacher much of the time. Do I need to be an entertainer? A facilitator? An authoritarian? A buddy? What's your take on this?

On a lighter note (unless you look inside my wallet), below you will find a few items for sale, as well as a look behind the scenes at the sketches that went into the making of said pieces.

Also, always remember, I do commissions as desired. So, ramp up that desire!

Today, it will be caricature funtime! Whoohooo! Below, you will see sketches for each piece, the finished piece and price (and a paypal know you want to!), and a little explanation.

You'll notice two versions of Jason Lee as Earl. The one at right was done first, trying to figure out what to emphasize, the bane of caricature work. At left is a better version, also containing some of the other elements (though not all).

This was a fun image to do. I did it on illustration board, to have as much control with fine line work. As usual, it's watercolor, and about 15 inches square.

The second piece was done for a client who was trying to help Hillary Clinton get elected. I did an additional piece with McCain and one later for Obama alone. You can see in the sketches my trying to work out all the other candidates. What I was supposed to do was make more outlandish caricatures of the other candidates, and keep Hillary (though still a caricature) more attractive. I also obviously separated Hillary from the others by color. If you saw a previous piece I did of Hillary, you can understand why the client wondered if I would be able to do this (check it out at This piece is watercolor, about 16 x 20 and does not contain the text.

Lastly, you can see a music related piece done in a mixed media technique invented by the great illustrator C. F. Payne. Below you see the usual working out of what to emphasize or diminish. Neil Young was easy...Dylan not so much, and Cohen was the hardest. I don't know if I really captured him as much as I would have liked.

And below, the finished, piece. Mixed media, about 15 inches square.

Speaking of music, last week I neglected to mention how much I have been listening to the new My Morning Jacket. It took awhile for me to get it, especially with such wacky tracks as the title track, Evil Urges, or especially Highly Suspicious. But, man, do I love it now. It has the exhilarating guitar histrionics, but a real playfulness as well. A great follow up to my favorite, the previous release, Z. I mentioned Fleet Foxes last week, and they sort of sound like MMJ without the guitar wails as well as a little more homespun. Sorta like if MMJ just crawled out of the Appalachian woods.

Have a good weekend and please, comment!


Anne El-Habre said...

Hey Ken!!! Love the new work! Come join the Savannah Art Association.

Anonymous said...

Testing to see if I can leave a comment....It's a very nice Blog, Ken. I will be coming back to see what's new!

David said...

Hi Ken. I hope you get lots and lots of comments. Good luck!!!!

KatWoman said...

Hi Kenster,

Cool blog.

Peace out,

Ruth Hunter said...

Cool charicatures, Ken!! You're a funny dude!!

CGriffin said...

I loved my informal professors. They took me under their wings, weren't afraid to admit thier faults, and made art seem REAL. I had a particular one during my undergrad work, a Micheal Cornfeld, who was such an incredible influence, even though he hated the color green.