Hats Women Wear: Portraits my Heart Painted.

I am painting the fourth portrait now. I started at 2 in the morning.

I love these hats because I paint them for the creator who lives inside me. Each of these hats is special because they lack design. I haven’t attempted to channel or even hide the chaos. Each of these has evolved organically. Usually I start an artwork with a sketch  then paint over it. I do this more out of need, I’d say; when you illustrate for a publication, there’s a review process that entails an approval on the sketch. The hat-paintings are all done without a supporting sketch. I would start painting a face, expressions would emerge; I’d then read those expressions and paint a hat that told the story of the expression on the face.

Artists speak of inspiration, of a portrait that painted itself; illustrators don’t. But within every illustrator lives is an artist. I don’t meet mine very often, but when I do – I paint stuff that’s oddly out-of-place on this blog.

For those who haven’t seen the hats yet.

Hats women wear - hat number 3 - portrait art - shafali - emotional and physical abuse

 

Women Girl Portraits - Face and Hat - Depression - Digital Painting by Shafali

 

Portraits of Women - Face, profile, side face, hats that women wear - this is hat 2, the hat of ambition.

 

The hats happened quite suddenly. Then they stopped. For about three months, I didn’t paint any. Now, I’m painting them again.

I can’t explain my behavior. Perhaps you can. I just know when I must paint them – the why of the hats as well as the inspiration, evades me.

 

Advertisements

Guest Post by Barbara G. Tarn, Creator of the Silvery Earth, Fantasy Fiction Writer and Artist.

Barbara G. Tarn or Barb is a writer, an artist, a cartoonist, and above all, a world creator – all neatly bundled up in one smart package. I’ve known Barb for more than an year now, and her consistent efforts towards achieving her dreams coupled with her infectious optimism have made me a loyal follower of her blog. I am currently reading her new offering, “Air – Books of the Immortals” and despite not being a regular reader of fantasy fiction whenever I click open her book on my iPad (find it on Smashwords here,) I cross over into the beautiful mystical world of Silvery Earth:) I think I may have discovered a new genre:)
I should now move away and give the stage to Barbara G. Tarn:)

The Life of a Self-proclaimed Artist

by Barbara G.Tarn – Author

I grew up with Franco-Belgian and Disney comics, and I always loved illustrated stories. If you really wanted to know the evolution of this specific artist here, you’d learn that her first comic (co-written and co-drawn with her classmate Sara) dates from 1976-1977 when she was about 10.

When I finished high school, I looked for an alternative to boring university courses (and trust me, Italian universities DO NOT prepare you for your future working life, it’s all theory and no practice, hence a waste of time AND money). I found an Illustration course which, on the program, mentioned also comics and thought “That’s it!”.

Except I didn’t come from an artistic school and my talent is more in writing than drawing. My anatomy sucks, but I’m very good at tracing pictures! 😉 So I spent two years learning to use pencils first (which was OK), then brushes – I ain’t no painter at all. Watercolors? I’m hopeless. And I didn’t even get to oil paintings because I didn’t pass the second year (of three). So, waste of money, even if I learned a couple of techniques (pencils and ink with rapidographs – and I can use the name, as I was using Rotring products -, that was the 1980, computers were still for few elected artists). And no comics whatsoever, by the way.

By the mid 1990s, I started to go to Italian comicons, and doing my own zines. Photocopied, black&white comics, or graphic novels as they are now called, because they’re not infinite series with dozens of reboots like Marvel and DC comics.

So I kept drawing (in spite of failing my illustration course) and some 1500 pages later I guess I found my style. I learned (on my own) Photoshop coloring, so my latest works (available on Lulu) are in full color. My anatomy still sucks, but as long as I get my message through, well… we’re not all divine artists, are we?

I’m not Colleen Doran nor Terry Moore (my graphic novelists heroes), but I’m doing better than most, I think – maybe not commercially, but I do keep producing stuff. Perseverance and passion, they say.

When I finish my current graphic novel SKYBAND, I’ll start a new one which will be set in the same fantasy world but many centuries earlier, when the southern kingdoms are still powerful. I’ll have to learn to draw Indian clothes and Persian palaces, but I don’t mind – throw a blond gay barbarian in that midst, and I’m all set. I thought Shafali’s blog was the perfect place to give this sneak preview on my graphic novel projects because she’s Indian and she’s reading about those southern kingdoms in my novel Air right now! 🙂

I also wanted to say that after more than fifteen years I tend to use always the same faces in my graphic novels. Often the model is easily recognizable (my Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves interpretations should be famous by now, under different names! ;-)), sometimes it’s a mix (like Ylenia of SKYBAND who is a mix of Connie Nielsen and Blas Elias). I wish I were as cute as I draw myself (see either Lady Ice or Axelle of SKYBAND), but well… blame it on my not so great drawing skills! 😀

Anyway, I wanted to thank the Wonderful Caricaturist for having me here today and letting me ramble on art… Drawings, illustrations, caricatures – aren’t they all great?

 Barbara G.Tarn is a writer, sometimes an artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. An indie published author, she blogs at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

The Caricaturist adds:
Remember happiness is many things…

Happiness also is…

Happiness is...Cartoon series by Barb.

"Happiness is..." is a Visual Series by Barb. Click the picture to visit Barb's blog for more Cartoons in this series.

Licensing Caricatures, Free Book, and Some Straight Talk!

Every once in a while, I feel like slowing down, taking stock, and talking:) This is one of those once-in-a-whiles.

The Beginnings of this Caricature Blog

I started this blog about 9 months ago – hoping that it would help me smile.  I began my art-journey as a traditional portrait artist, then I freelanced with a book publisher,  and then I did some work in the fantasy art genre for a couple of American RPG publishers – so there was a time when I managed to sell some stray bits of art,  but that was a long time ago – and it isn’t something that I truly relished.  The only good part was that I never had to do what makes every artist, every writer cringe – I wasn’t ever asked to do rework , except once – when after a couple of non-productive rework rounds, I chose to give up. Then for many years I decided not to publish my art – there was a phase when I’d refuse work, when I stripped away all my artwork from the web – in a nutshell, when I decided to give up.

Drawing is my Passion NOT my Profession!

I’d still draw almost every day – but I drew because I couldn’t stop myself from picking up a pencil (I have a couple of hundreds of those), until one cold December morning, when I saw this funny man in the newspaper. I dropped my comb and I sketched his caricature, which became the first caricature on this blog.  Creating caricatures for this blog has been fun, mainly because I don’t have to work with time-lines, and also because I can draw whoever I want to.  If I don’t want to draw someone, I just won’t draw him or her – and if I want to, it doesn’t matter whether that person is not a very popular guy. In art, I don’t like to do things that I am asked to do – I prefer to do what I want to. I don’t like to ask people to do things for me for FREE, because I value their independence and their time, and I expect them to value mine.

Do you Want to License my Caricatures for Commercial Use?

I’d like to say that with the growing popularity of your favorite blog, I am beginning to receive requests for free and paid work. I think I am doing enough for free (all the caricatures that appear on this blog are free for people to use in their non-commercial products, and the caricature book too is free, if you want to read it online.) If you want to make a few thousand copies of my caricatures and use them in your “commercial applications” they aren’t free at all. I’d also like to make a recommendation to the serious, well-intentioned people who wish to use the caricatures from this blog commercially, to be upfront about their organization, their intention – and if possible, NOT consider me their “vendor” even before I’ve reviewed their requirement. Be nice if you want to be treated nicely – Drawing is my love, not my profession. If you aren’t happy introducing yourself, you should find other artists – and sadly there’s a glut of out-of-work artists in this part of the world!

This may sound arrogant, but I can’t stop myself from writing this. I never thought to write it earlier but recently my mail-box isn’t entirely happy with the kind of emails that find their way there.

Sharing What I know for those who “Genuinely” want to Learn – My FREE Online Book – “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist”

Sometime  in January 2010, I also started writing “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” – A Book on How to Draw Caricatures. This book is almost complete with 10 out of its 14 chapters online. I’ve received some good feedback on this book and I have received an unofficial offer for its publication. I am still reflecting on how I should go ahead with it – but the fact that the 10 chapters that are currently online for this book have garnered about 22000 views so far (Don’t go by the numbers they show there – Knols have a funny way of updating data), tells me that there are people out there who are finding it useful. A big Thank You to all the readers of this book:) I promise to complete it very soon:)

So you think you can Draw?!

Fantastic!

Everyone can draw. I can draw, you can draw, they can draw, we can draw, my neighbor’s daughter can draw, and your neighbor’s dog can draw!

Drawing is no more complex than removing that little fiber of chicken that gets stuck between your teeth, or scratching your back with a fishbone. Drawing is easy. You need to find something that puts a mark on something else that you can find – and you can draw.

So now – the question is – can you draw?

Of course you can.  The technical definition of the term “Draw” is: “make a mark or lines on a surface”! Can you do it? Of course you can! Now…say it, “Yes, I Can!” (If that reminds you of some slogan that you heard about two years ago, I should plead coincidentality…if there’s a word like that!)

The point that I am trying to make here is – you can draw – the question that you should be asking yourself is…what is it that I should draw?

There’s stuff that anyone can draw, and there’s stuff that needs some focused practice.

The stuff that anyone who can “make a mark or lines on a surface” can create is called “abstract art.” You’ve got to work on your ability to “surprise or shock” people – and if your idea “clicks” you could be selling canvases with blotches of paint that just happened!

The other stuff that needs focused practice could be:

It could be anything that requires that you draw a line, a curve, a circle…anything with a purpose. This would require practice – this would also require focus.

Just the way writers who’d write anything and expect people to understand it (or not), but who hope to sell (and sometimes do sell) their books thinking that readers are foolish and that they’d be able to fool them by saying that their stuff is for the “intellectuals” – there are also artists who’d draw anything and hope to sell (and sometimes they do sell) their art to the “connoisseurs of art.”

I prefer to be an artist with a purpose – and I prefer to draw something that’s understood by everyone – because everyone has the right to be delighted by art. Art shouldn’t exist for those few who sit at the far right of the IQ bell-curve – it should exist for everyone. I would draw portraits, caricatures, cartoons, compositions, scenes, mountains, rivers – but I would draw them in a way to ensure that whoever looks at them connects with them not in an “abstract” way – but in a very real, transparent, and emotional way…through my skill of drawing.

I prefer and hope (though without a right) that if you are young and if you can draw, you’d create art for everyone too. Draw to bring a smile to your own face and to the faces of others. Don’t get caught into the specialization-racket! Draw whatever catches your fancy. Let your art flow, but let it not become idiotic; don’t let it become a senseless orgy of colors and lines – let it speak to everyone, let it establish a personal connection with anyone who looks at it.

So, if you think you can draw…

DRAW!

and…

DRAW TO SMILE 🙂

Shafali’s Caricatures…The Story So Far!

It’s been quite a journey. I started this blog on December 11, 2010. The reason was simple – It had been a while since I had felt happy…and so I picked up the pencil and began to draw. I drew and smiled…and then I drew some more…and then, someone who I’d trust with my life said that I should share what I drew.

So I did, hoping that when people visited my blog, the smile on my face would hop on to theirs:) I think my wish is coming true.

The first caricature that I had created for this blog was of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of the Caribbean fame. The two mice climbing his braided beard, trying to find the cheese that they hoped to find hidden behind his ears…they just happened. And then, the jokes went on happening. I’d look at face and read about the person behind the face – and the story would emerge.

I’ve been drawing ever since I remember. I’ve been having this light-dark kind of affair with drawing for a long time…and I often wonder whether this is my calling.

Until tomorrow then, when I shall post the other half of Brangelina, Ms. Angelina Jolie. (View the caricature of Mr. Brad Pitt as Achilles here.)

Cool Caricaturist – David Levine (1926-2009)

David Levine‘s Caricatures are a phenomenon. Levine’s caricatures used to regularly appear in The New York Review of Books. As a child he dreamed of becoming a painter, but to sustain himself, he turned illustrator. he continued to illustrate until the 1960s, when he became a caricaturist for The Review. In addition to The Review, His works appeared in “Esquire, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Nation, Playboy,” etc. Wow! Isn’t that something? (Source: Wikipedia.)

View some of his caricatures here (at The New York Review of Books Gallery of Levine’s Caricatures.):

In 2006 (Three years before his death about a month ago,) he was diagnosed with an eye disease that leads to blindness. I don’t think that there’s anything that can make an artist feel worse than a disability that could interfere with his ability to draw.

This post is a tribute to this prolific caricaturist and his art. His caricatures and his confident line-work will continue to inspire us.