Saturday, October 04, 2014

Caricature and portrait jobs for the Wall Street Journal

Realised I hadn't posted some of my recent pieces for the WSJ, so here they are!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Week cover illustrations

Here are the last two cover illustrations I did for The Week magazine in the UK. Two very different subjects!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Tom Hiddleston digital portrait painting

Really had fun painting this, the reference was a studio photo of Tom to promote the stage production of Coriolanus he was in recently (by photographer Spencer Murphy).

I've printed 10 copies of this (A3 size) which I will sign and number individually. The price is £20 inc p&p (for the UK, there will be a small postal charge if you are overseas) - so the first ten people to e-mail me and place an order will get them! I'm only going to print 10 in total so once they are gone that's it. My e-mail is neil@caricatureclub.co.uk :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Digital portrait painting

This is a fairly fast portrait painting (probably about 4-5 hours max) done in Photoshop. I feel like I'm getting a handle on this type of work and I really want to spend much more time doing this sort of thing if I can :)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Prof. Alice Roberts portait

Continuing the scientists theme I seem to be building, this is a digital portrait painting of Professor Alice Roberts who is a well known science TV presenter, author, clinical anatomist and Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.

With this I was trying to both keep a really loose painterly look, while also having plenty of detail. It's something I see other artists achieving beautifully but I find very tricky to get right. I think this works ok, but I may have over-rendered the face - the skull and hands are better. A good learning experience anyway :) What scientist shall I do next...?

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Prof. Lawrence Krauss for The Skeptic Magazine

One awesome physicist (Sean Carroll, see earlier post) is swiftly followed by another - Professor Lawrence Krauss! Although this was done quite a while ago and is my more usual caricature (starting to want to do portraits instead these days, not sure why!). This was fun, as there's a time gap between painting it and looking at it again now I really don't like some of it, but I like the blackboard idea anyway (that's real physics! Don't ask me what they all mean though).

You can subscribe to the brilliant Skeptic Magazine here :)

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Portrait of cosmologist and author Sean Carroll

This was done in an afternoon, for fun really - I'm a big fan of Sean's books and lectures so it was great painting this while listening to talk of bosons, leptons, quantum fields etc. Here are links to a couple of his books and a couple of great lectures:

The Particle at the End of the Universe: The Hunt For The Higgs And The Discovery Of A New World

From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time

Lecture: Poetic Naturalism

Lecture: The Particle at the End of the Universe

Farage and Clegg for The Week

This was a fun job to do as I'd been quite looking forward to caricaturing Nigel Farage for a while. The idea was to have him standing victorious over Nick Clegg in a wrestling ring. After struggling to get an idea that worked, I did a sketch that I thought worked really well:

Unfortunately the focus needed to be Farage rather than Clegg and from above rather than below, so I re-jigged the whole thing and came up with a different composition (not as good but more appropriate):

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A few recent gift caricatures

A few of my recent gift caricature jobs - the last one is my best mate Steve who just turned 40 and is training to run the London Marathon this year - good luck dude!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Erik Prince for the WSJ

This was a fun job as again the team at the WSJ let me run with an idea I wanted to try out, of having a sharp focus to the features of this man's face which bled away to quite a blurred outline. I think it works nicely! Erik Prince is an interesting chap: "ex-Navy SEAL, ex-CIA spy, ex-CEO of private-security firm Blackwater" as described in the WSJ article, which led me to choose the almost solid black background to this piece to give it slightly sinister feel. The expression requested was confident, which was tough as none of the references I could find had him face on with that look, so I had to draw the features face on but from a couple of three-quarter shots and a tiny grab from a TV interview. Tough but rewarding!

Click here to read the article.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

A belated Happy new year! Here are a couple of recent Wall Street Journal illustrations and the latest cover for The Week UK which is out today:

The Michael Gove caricature for The Week looks to have been horribly cropped in publishing which is a shame but otherwise I'm really happy with the look of it, they like bright, bold and eye-catching colours which is what I went for here, even though the trench setting isn't obviously that colourful!

I have some vague ideas for a project of my own for this year, which I'm already starting to do new work for - but it does mean I need to keep it all back until I've worked out what I'm doing and have built up enough new work. I'll try and keep posting new stuff though when I can :)

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Recent works

Time flies, didn't realise how long it was since I last posted! Here are some of the jobs I've done recently:

This is the latest cover for The Week, of David Cameron off schmoozing a (really fun to do) Chinese dragon. Below is the previous cover I did, which was all about the dark side of the internet. A bit rushed and not that great really! Still, always learning:)

Below are three more pieces for the Wall Street Journal. They tend to push me more towards portrait than caricature, which I'm happy about as I'm wanting to go that way myself I think. In order they are Camile Paglia, Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia and Darrell Issa (a US politian).

Friday, October 11, 2013

Two current magazine covers

Here are a couple of new covers, one for The Week and the other for The Skeptic magazine:

This is Karl Marx, to illustrate the story about Ed Milliband and The Daily Mail scrapping about what they printed about Ed's dad. The headline is "Can a Marxist be a patriot?"

This is an illustration of Prof. Elizabeth Loftus who is world renowned for her work on memory. The idea I came up with is for her photo to be part of a police suspect list. Not sure how well that actually comes across, I made the other photos some of the characters from The Usual Suspects just as a bit of humour. Fun to do but perhaps not all that successful!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Howard Gordon for the WSJ

Something a little different once again for the Wall Street Journal - this is Howard Gordon, producer of TV shows '24' and 'Homeland' amongst others. I was asked to do a background echoing a promo photo for Homeland that had a character with a pinboard full of paperwork. Also it's a portrait really, not a caricature as I normally do. Quite a challenge to get it all put together in the time, but lots of fun. It went down really well at the WSJ too, which is great.

Click here to go to the WSJ article online.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A few Wall Street Journal jobs

Here are a few pieces I did recently for The Wall Street Journal:

Top to bottom they are Klauss Heymann, Lady Pamela Hicks and Patricia Racette. I love these jobs for the WSJ as they do let me experiment a bit with things :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Syria cover illustration for The Week

I'm really pleased with this not because it's that great an illustration, but because it was my idea (unlike my earlier covers for The Week which were the editor's). This was decided Monday lunchtime and a lot has happened since then, so I'm glad they went with my idea rather than another less important story. I'm doubly pleased because it was a real joint effort to get it to the final stage.

After pitching my idea, this is the rough sketch I sent for approval:

This was the image I had in my head - a pair of UN inspectors almost silhouetted against a ruined Syrian street, with a UN white 4x4 in the middle ground. I got the go ahead and worked on it a bit more. The UN guys were way too dumpy and badly proportioned so I adjusted them as well as putting more detail into the scene:

At this point the editor wasn't sure they UN guys were really connected to the rest of the picture and he wanted it to feel like you were looking over their shoulder at the devastation beyond, to increase the impact. So he suggested pulling them back much closer to the viewer. I really didn't want to do that as I was attached to my two-man silhouette, but I agreed to give it a try. I knew that I couldn't fit two guys that close without losing half the scene so I just pulled one back and put the other in the middle ground with the car. Of course the final image looks SO much better, the editor was 100% spot on and now I'm really happy we got a decent image that does the story at least some justice.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cover for The Skeptical Inquirer! But not...

I was lucky enough to be asked to do a cover illustration for The Skeptical Inquirer, which is the official journal of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry over in the USA. Fantastic! They wanted a caricature of the "psychic" (or twisted, lying fraud as I like to say) Sylvia Browne. This person really is a piece of work (get a copy of the mag and read the article if you can, it's unbelievable). She's recently been in the news for telling a mother, on TV, that her kidnapped daughter was dead, when in fact she was alive and being held prisoner. The mother died without knowing this. A truly horrid story, but just one of many for Sylvia.

I was excited to do the illustration but I didn't want to do a funny caricature, or anything that made light of this person - I really wanted to illustrate her as creepy and evil, but not in a way that would be too jokey. What immediately came to mind was a painting my friend and fellow illustrator Jason Seiler had done for The Weekly Standard (scroll down his blog page to find it). It was a straight portrait done in a very loose painterly style that had such a great feel. Now Jason is leagues ahead of me as an artist and so I thought I may have been taking a bit of a risk to try and do something similar, but I could see in my head what I wanted and so I suggested the idea to the SI art director. He liked it so I went ahead. Here's the illustration:

As well as making her look as creepy as I could, she's well known for her long red talon-like fingernails, so I switched them to black, just to suggest her digging her claws into the poor grieving family... etc, etc you get the idea.

I'm pretty happy with how it looks, like I said I'm no Jason Seiler so the quality of the painting is not what I'd want it to be. But it does what I wanted it to.

Unfortunately, even though they liked the illustration, the editors of SI thought that being on the cover of the magazine has an honorific status to it and so didn't want to put her there so prominently. Which I totally understand and agree with. But it is a real shame, as the illustration does loses all its impact on the cover as small as it is:

So it's a little bit disappointing it didn't quite work out how I would have liked it to, but I'm still really glad to have been asked to do something for SI, hopefully it won't be the last thing!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Paul Moyse - Heads and Shoulders Kickstarter project

My friend and fellow caricature artist Paul Moyse is working on a new book of caricature work, all original drawings and paintings. I've already got Paul's first book and also an original drawing hanging right in front of my computer, so I'm really hoping his Kickstarter project is a huge success for him!

Check out this video where Paul talks about the project:

If you're a fan of caricature (and if you're reading this you probably are) please consider backing Paul's book project, the rewards on the Kickstarter page are awesome. There are already some sneak peeks at a couple of new pieces, and you could even buy the original drawings and paintings if a book just isn't enough for you!

Here's the link: Heads and Shoulders - A Caricature Book

He's even managed to get Derren Brown involved, both to help promote the book and be a caricature subject in this awesome painting:

Can't wait to see who else is going in the book!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A few gift caricature jobs

Here are a few recent jobs, plus a card I got in the post today to say thank you (for the caricature of the triathlon runner below) - how sweet is that?