Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thomas Fluharty

We are studying the brilliant work of Thomas Fluharty. He is a brilliant caricature artist who wonderfully caricatures animals and people alike. However, before we get into people, we are going to start understanding our animal friends first. Last week each student selected a career, personality and animal. This is a Chihuahua is not one you'd want to meet in a dark alley.

A key element into understanding how to caricature is understanding the base anatomy so you know how to exaggerate. This is why we drew at least 3 poses of our selected animal as studies to understand our animals better. Remember when creating your character you are essentially giving that character a voice. The exaggeration should not be a distortion, but a search for a greater truth. Caricature is an enhanced reality that uses the impression of how you feel to create believability. 

Why does this illustration from Fluharty work? Batman is a guardian, and so typically are Doberman Pinchers. The brilliance of this drawing is Fluharty's wonderful observation connecting the Doberman's ears to batwings. 

Again, it is very important to experiment with form to help find the right solution. 

It's through experimentation we make discovery.

While anatomically very exaggerated this feels right. Remember why Ferrell showed you how to use the tracing paper to exaggerate your forms pretty freely without loosing what parts of your original drawing were working.

When crafting your images play off preconceived notions and twist familiar stories to assist you, but avoid clichés at all cost.

This tattooed shark that's flinging tiny people is using the preconceived notion of tattoos equal toughness. The tiny people give a sense of scale. Nothing feels cliché. So Fluharty's triumphs at feeling fresh and original by playing with familiar story tropes and twisting them into unfamiliar territory. Tattoos feel right on sharks, but where have you seen that done in real life? I'd love to see whom or what is actually tattooing these sharks. 

Animals can feel safer to caricature than people because our psychological conditioning puts mental barriers on how we judge people. Our exaggerations are not negativity, but finding the deeper truth. If it doesn't feel true it won't work. This is as true with caricaturing animals as is its with caricaturing people. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

We are going to begin a Special Project Inspired by Peter De Seve and Chris Ayers

We are learning how to appreciate form and story tell with it by exaggerating it through the art of caricature. In doing this, we'll be studying master illustrators and concept artists Peter DeSeve and Chris Ayers.

We will be learning the proper process for studying form so we can manipulate it.

Once you understand a form you'll have the ability to add a personality and punch up its expressions. Look at the study of a whale below by DeSeve.

Chris Ayers is also a master of form who also uses animals as a device for story telling. 

A key technique is adding human characteristics to the animal forms being exaggerated. We know what exhaustion feels like, but what does it look like? How can we make our viewer feel that feeling too. 

The more you can bring your personal experience into your work the more your audience will be able to relate to it, and 

An important writing trick is to write what you know. Well no one can experience everything, but we can have similar feelings as almost anyone and exploring this can give us the power to convey almost anyone's story. We have to find our link so that we can convey that link to our audience.

Ask these questions:

Who am I trying to convey?
How do you think they feel about their lot in life?
Have I ever felt that way, and what did I look like when I did?
How do I make what they feel like more convincing to my audience?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Introduction to Caricature

We are going to learn how to caricature!

Caricature is a very old art form that often uses exaggeration to tell a story.  You can tell a whole story about someone through the stretching of their features. Also there is a very important point to why one would use caricature to tell a visual story. The most important reason is sometimes an impression can feel more real than the actual reality. 

While the above image says its going to rain does it feel like rain? 

Raining cats and dogs while an exaggeration feels more real.

What says hot more?

 or this?

Look at this ice cream truck! That's heat!

We are going to use Mad Magazine Tom Richmond as a basis for our approach to caricature.

 His website is a wonderful resource that you should refer to for assistance with this blog.

There are three key concepts that you have to understand to being successful with caricature:

 Likeness- If you can’t tell who it is supposed to be, then it is not successful. All good caricatures incorporate a good likeness of their subjects. 

This looks like Jay-Z. The image captures his attitude. He wears sunglasses like these.

  • Exaggeration- Without some form of exaggeration, or a departure from the exact representation of the subject’s features, all you have is a portrait. The level of exaggeration can vary wildly, but there must be some departure. A straight portrait is not a caricature.
  • This is a picture of Bob Ross. Bob Ross is a famous painting instructor who known for telling people to paint "Happy Little Trees."
  • This caricature is an exaggeration of his features but still are good representation of who Bob Ross is.

  • Again here is another exaggeration, but it still feels right. Does Ross have huge hair? Yes. Does he have a big beard? Yep.

  • Comedian George Carlin said it best that what is funny has to be true. So an exaggeration is different than a distortion. If you gave Ross short hair and no beard then it wouldn't feel right.

  • Statement- I believe a caricature must editorialize in some way. The artist must be trying to say something about the subject. It might be something to do with the situation the subject is drawn in, it may just be a play on their personality through expression or body language, it might be a simple as making visual fun of some aspect of their persona or image. Exaggeration itself can accomplish this in some cases. The best caricatures say something more about the subject than that they have a big nose.

  • The foundation of what Art that it's communication. So communicate something! Have an opinion. This establishes why what you say has meaning. When you repeat what is already said or known you are being a glorified copy machine or a parrot.

    You are not a parrot, but a human being! Have an idea. Say something with your drawing.

    Here are some very different pictures of Michael Jackson. Each are showing him in a different point of view depending on the view of the artists.

    Monday, August 14, 2017

    Vince Low

    We are going to look at Malaysian Artist Vince Low for several reasons...

    First, Low is a great a capturing likeness and mood. He does this by focusing on the eyes on the face. They don't call them the windows to the soul for nothing. The eyes also can establish a system to measure by.

    The Second reason we are going to look at Low is because of gesture. We want to create movement and energy in our work. So we are going to study Low's line work to embrace the energetic power of his drawings.

    The third reason also involves gestural lines. Low's wild line work allows for the artist to make discoveries. These discoveries lead one down a visual path to success. When you find what works you darken the lines to emphasize out what is working. This is like singing that amazing note your voice hits a little louder so your audience can really appreciate you got it right.


    Welcome students to Braden River Art's Blog!

    In this blog you will be able to link to class assignments, find explanations of projects, gain access to reference materials, and advanced classes will be able to post assignments. I'm hoping this will further reflect the professional world and make your learning environment even better. 

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    Also, please check out our gallery site at

    Monday, May 22, 2017

    Exam Review

    Finish Movie & Decorative projects...
    Exam Review

    Movie Poster Rubric

    Completed Projects Should have the Following Elements

    Completed Drawing Spray Fixed
    Oil Wash
    Gesso/Acrylic Finish

    The following elements will be graded
    • Story (Is your image appropriate for the story?)
    • Composition
    • Value
    • Color 
    • Professionalism (Presentation, how clean the image is, well referenced etc..)
    Decorative Rubric

    • Pattern
    • Repetition
    • Use of Shapes
    • Use of Lines
    • Contrast
    • Presentation