I’ve found that there’s no need to hire models, or get your friends or relatives to pose for you all the time in order to get practice drawing caricatures. Here are a few pictures of some ladies I drew in a waiting room. They were waiting to be called up to see the counselors for PSE&G to see if they qualified for a subsidy on their their energy bills.
The great thing about waiting rooms is that people usually don’t move that much, so you’ve got fairly compliant subjects. But as low key as you can get, people will often notice you drawing them and get a little self conscious. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes I’d show them my work afterwords, but it can make it difficult to draw strangers if you’re shy.
It’s also a lot easier to draw women than men in these situations. Without being sexist, it’s a lot scarier trying to draw a big guy, than a smaller woman in public, you just never know how someone is going to take a caricature drawing done of them. I’ve never had any problems myself, the worst that usually happens is that the person you are drawing moves too much, or leaves altogether – this forces you to draw quicker and make better decisions when drawing – working in ballpoint pen also forces you to commit to the decisions you do make.
I wish I was as prolific as Robert Crumb, the ultimate sketch artist, who’s sketch books you can buy at Fantagraphics books, I have 2 myself, and he has some great ideas on types of things to draw when your head is empty. I love his drawings of old cars and buildings, he can make them have a life you wouldn’t see without his eyes.
Enjoy! I’ll figure out what I’m going to do with this blog once I start writing with more regularity…