Wow, I guess everyone forgot about Christmas this year. I’ve been very busy with gift caricatures, both private and corporate for a few months now. But last week I got SLAMMED with orders. And they all were willing to pay Rush and Double Rush fees to get them this week. Profitable, but more than a wee bit exhausting. It’s a good problem to have though…. that’s for sure. And I get paid to draw! Life is good. Anyway, here’s one of the ones from this week that I liked. The setting they requested was the Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago:
It’s that time of year again! The time of year when I get busy with Corporate and Family Holiday Greeting Cards. I’ve got two groups in my To Do folder on my computer right now. One with ten people, and one with 25. Group caricatures are fun, but challenging, just because you have to leave room for everyone. Composition, composition, composition! PLUS, you have all of the different faces and personalities. Most groups are great, with no problems. But every once in awhile…. you get the one or two people in a group who say stuff like “This is the only picture I like myself in, so draw from it” ( And the photo is fifteen years old), or “My hair, which is blonde, is normally curly like this photo but I want it straight. And red”. Both comments based on actual events, btw.
By the amount of hits I received on this blog yesterday, it looks like a LOT of people have been doing what I did… waiting to hear how someone ELSE likes the new Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus before they buy it themselves. ( I figured I had to say the entire name at least once in this post, and that was it! ). Today’s post is just a quick continuation to yesterday’s, to answer a few questions people have emailed me, messaged me, or asked me on some private forums I’m a member of.
First off, see that little tiny blue light in this photo? It tells you the stylus is “on”, and then it blinks as the Intuos is connecting to your iPad via Bluetooth. Yes, this is a Bluetooth device. I am not a huge fan of that, but it is MUCH better than the ultrasound pressure sensitivity styluses out there ( hello, JaJa Hex 3…. I’m talking about you….).My biggest problem with Bluetooth? Having other Bluetooth devices around you at the same time.
Case in point- when I and another artist were drawing iPad caricatures live at an event a few months ago, we were both using our Pogo Connects, another Bluetooth enabled stylus. Much to our dismay, our Connects began to do stuff on each other’s screens! It’s kind of freaky… and VERY FRUSTRATING.. when your line erases because the artist near you just clicked “undo” on THEIR stylus. Yikes! So, to be honest, with this also being a Bluetooth device, I don’t know how well the Intuos is going to work “in the field”. I’ve got some upcoming live events I’ll be at though, so I’ll let you know. Still like I said yesterday in Part One, even with the Bluetooth and therefore Pressure Sensitivity off, the “bounce” to the tip and the overall feel of this stylus still makes it my favorite one I’ve used. And I think I have used them all!
Now, back to the blue light again. ( Did anyone else think of KMart when I said that? ADD! Squirrel! ) The paperwork that comes with this says that when the battery is getting low, the light turns red/orange. Hopefully I won’t know that for sure for awhile. The Intuos uses one AAAA battery. Don’t worry though, one of them is included in the case with the pen when you buy it:
Yes, I reused the same stock image that I used yesterday…. get over it. ;D
By the way, you are reading that correctly- that’s 4 “As”. I have no idea how much they cost when they run out and you have to purchase more.
WAITTT FOR IT…. ( googling )…..
Eh, when the stylus itself is basically $100, that’s not too bad. As long as it doesn’t go through them too often!
In closing, because most of you reading this are probably artists yourselves, I should probably show some more actual art I’ve done with this thing. Here’s a VERY quick drawing I did of my youngest the other night, as I was trying out the stylus:
Gotta love a kid who loves and laughs hysterically that you drew the “holes” from her missing teeth! Anyway, for this piece, I tried out a new version of Sketchbook called Sketchbook Ink. For my trial run with the app, and with the stylus ( this was actually the first piece I drew with it ), I figured it wasn’t too bad. You can already see some line variation. I switched over to ArtStudio, though ( the app I use the most), as I couldn’t find a good way to shade in this program, and I wanted my Custom brushes I’ve made in AS. But I DO like the “dynamic” brushes in Sketchbook Ink. If you haven’t tried it, you should!
Alright, that’s it for today. Thanks for reading. I gotta go draw some stuff…..
Drawing on an iPad to me is always like swimming upstream a bit. Things that SHOULD be easy… aren’t any more. But for the ease of transporting it, the ease of coloring with it, and the sheer coolness of it, I’ve made my peace with it’s inherent limitations. ( That doesn’t mean I’m not always looking for a better substitute though! ). I have friends that do amazing work on them, using just their fingers. But I am a stylus guy and I have a TON of them for my iPad. NONE of them are perfect. But the newest one ( I bought it at Best Buy just yesterday ), is my favorite one so far. Let’s just jump ahead a bit and show you a piece I did with the WACOM INTUOS CREATIVE STYLUS last night as I was subjected to yet another episode of “Project Runway”. Hey, what can I say… I live in a house of girls. At least the “contestants” ( my LEAST favorite of whom I drew in the pic above ) are artists and it’s not that ridiculous “America’s Next Top Model” that I sometimes have to pretend to watch. It’s at least slightly interesting. But I digress…
What YOU really want to know about is what this stylus can DO, right? Well, take a look at the photo here that I took of my hand drawing in my favorite app, ArtStudio. Niiice line, right? The Intuous Creative Stylus gets its Pressure Sensitivity via Bluetooth, and it works pretty darn well. It still has the annoying rubber tip, but this stylus is by far the best I’ve used so far on the iPad. It seemed to work really well in Art Studio, Sketchbook Pro, ProCreate, and the new Sketchbook Ink apps. Oh, and in Wacom’s own Bamboo app, too. But I’m not a big fan of that one yet. ( Still waiting for my second fave app, SketchClub, to support it.)
WHY do I like this stylus best? For one, it has a great design and just feels good in your hand. It’s a bit heavy toward the tip, but not too bad. Very similar to my pen I use on my Wacom Cintiq each day. Plus, it actually DOES give you real pressure sensitivity, unlike most of the styluses ( styli ? ) I have tried thus far ( despite their claims ). I’ve been Googling for more info about this pen since I first used it, and it has something called a “Z-Axis”. Seems pretty technical to an artistic mind like mine, but they may be talking about the very thing I like best about it – it has a “bounce”, similar to a brush pen, or even a crowquill pen. I like it so much that even with the Bluetooth turned off, in programs like the aforementioned Sketch Club, it is still my favorite stylus for the iPad. Now is it worth $99? Yeah, I think it is. At least compared to all the other disappointing styluses ( styli ? ) out there!
One of the cool things I get hired to do at events is to go out and actually draw the event. I do a large 18×24 black and white line drawing of the party, or whatever the event is, as it is proceeding. After drawing caricatures for 20+ years, I’m pretty quick at capturing likenesses, so I include any VIPs who need to be in the picture, and anyone else who stands out to me. ( I also usually hide myself in the drawings somewhere, when feasible). These samples are from a wedding I drew at:
This client paid for gray toned paper and shading on their drawing, which is an option I offer. I can also do these digitally, on the iPad, when preferred.
Hey, that guy’s hair on the left looks awfully familiar….
The Best Man’s toast! I love drawing groups of people, so this is a perfect fit for my talents. I’ll share a few more of these on my blog here in the upcoming days, as I locate the photos of them on my computer….
Here’s a more time intensive, studio caricature I did awhile back for a friend of mine, Floyd Scholz. Floyd is the MACK DADDY ( yes, that’s the official term ) of bird carving. The dude makes a boat load of moolah for his commissioned pieces, which is why he was the first person to make me seriously question if I had gone into the wrong area of art. Google him… his work is amazing.
Here’s some fun toony artwork I did recently for a mailer and some ads. Yep, there are companies out there that specialize in JUST Christmas Carol groups, and their big season is obviously fast approaching. Check out these guys’ site…. they’re the BEST in the biz! http://carolingcompany.com/
I take a sketchbook and my iPad on any trip I go on. In the Summer particularly, we seem to travel a lot ( One of these days I am going to have to finish and publish one of the many autobio comic stories I have started of some of our trips).
Anyway, for today’s post, Here is a quick sketch iPad caricature I drew this Summer of a buddy of mine ( Hi, Sean! ) at the AMC ( Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita ) convention. ( Visit the AMC Support page at http://www.amcsupport.org/ )
At the upcoming International Society of Caricature Artists ( ISCA ) con, I’ve been asked to do a seminar on my last twenty ( ! ) years of drawing caricatures at Walt Disney World. I tweaked my recent self caricature a bit for the class, as you can see here:
I’m a big fan of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons by Paul Rudish and the gang ( http://blogs.disney.com/insider/articles/2013/06/25/making-a-new-generation-of-mickey-mouse-cartoons/ ), so I went with that style of Mickey for this.
My “class”, “lecture”, or whatever you want to call it, will be an overview of my history at Disney, and that of my company, Caricature Connection. I’ll be talking about our retail outlets , our artist talent agency, and my freelance work. By the way, if you’ve never attended an ISCA con, you should! It is a caricature bootcamp and will whip you into shape! ( www.caricature.org ) I can’t recommend the organization highly enough!
Here’s a recent Logo Character Design commission I did for Four O Seven Cakes ( http://four0seven.com ). I had a lot of fun with the retro style on this one.