I’ve been a busy bee this whole month. Other than working on certain graphic design assignments I was coloring seven of my black and white caricatures. One of these was a caricature of Charlie Chaplin as the tramp, which I did two years ago. Here is the color painting that I did recently.
I know that you don’t remember the original black and white caricature…so I’m reproducing it here.
The Process of Painting Charlie Chaplin:
While there isn’t a long how-to for this, I can quickly summarize the painting process for those interested.
I worked with a scan of the drawing in the background, because I didn’t want to lose the story nor work on the overall proportions once again. There was a time when I used to paint the character first and then move on to painting the background. I don’t know when and how I moved to working on the basic hues of the background first, but I did and it really made the process faster and the artworks more interesting. When I paint the backgrounds, I try to bring different and often unexpected colors together and then blend them in to represent something that connects with the subject of the caricature. In my opinion, a caricature shouldn’t replicate anything exactly… it should always attempt to exaggerate and surprise – and you can surprise by any departure from the expected – including the colors that you use in your caricatures.
I must confess that I was running against a deadline and I was hit by this evil idea of removing the flute-playing mouse and the rose from the caricature to save time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to destroy the spirit of the artwork, so I went ahead and painted them in :)
Painting the Expression of Charlie Chaplin’s Face:
You must’ve noted the slight change in the expression. I first went with the earlier expression of hopelessness and acceptance, but I then had this urge to change it into an expression that shows him dazed and slightly disgusted with what he was…a tramp! To achieve this, I pushed the brows higher and painted his lips in way that they appeared pursed. In the color image given above, I’ve cut out some of the background details from the actual picture (see the picture below for details.)
About the cracks in the wall, the bricks, and the graffiti:
Most of it is self-explanatory. Where do you find a tramp? On a pavement, against a wall that’s peeling off. The oranges and the reds symbolize the rage within. The rage of being trapped into the persona of a tramp. If I were Charlie Chaplin, I’d not want to be remembered not only as the character I played, but also as the person I was. In his case, the success of his character “the tramp” overshadowed everything else for him.
I guess that’s all I have on Charlie Chaplin.
Now, it’s time for a break so…
If you own an iPad, check out Triangle Tap on the App Store. Triangle Tap is a Shape building Puzzle game in which you use triangles to build the shapes in the puzzles. If you like Tangram puzzles but are looking for something new, here’s the icon to help you recognize the game on the App Store.