Thursday, November 25

Caricatures or Cartoony, Portrait-like Sketches

Drawing people is something I didn't set out to pursue, it just sort of went in that direction. When I was half asleep, the word 'caricature' kept popping into my mind. I couldn't help but think God was giving me direction, because I am always asking Him for help and direction. So I decided to run with it. 

My church was having a penny carnival for the kids so I offered to do caricatures for this. They were excited about the idea. This was my first time trying to do caricatures. I learned a lot! Some were bad and some turned out really good I couldn't believe I had drawn it! I loved looking into the kids eyes and drawing them. I could see so much of their personality just by looking into their eyes for a few minutes. Some kids had mischievous eyes, some I could see their energy in their eyes, others had a certain sweetness, and all were super cute.

My first actual gig was in a small town called New Bothwell for their winter carnival. I had called up one of the people in charge and they hired me to draw portraits which were offered free to the New Bothwellers. I was still not very confident in being able to draw people on the spot so I prayed a lot. Amazing things happen when you pray! They mostly turned out alright.

The second one I did was another winter carnival in St Malo. That was a really fun place because they had live music and dancing. The first sketch I did was of a lady and her granddaughter. It showed a likeness but it took a long time and turned out stiff and very 'unfun', if that's a word. Maybe 'serious' is a better word. But after that they started to look more loose and sketchy and fun. I ended up with a line-up of kids. Here they hired me and the people payed $2 for a ticket to get their portrait done. I decided to not call them caricatures because they're not super exaggerated like a true caricature. They're more like cartoony, sketchy-like portraits I guess. Still not sure what's the best name for them. Maybe portrait sketches.

Then came Summer in the City in Steinbach, which is where the above photo was taken. I paid for a table here but offered the sketches for a donation. The donations went half towards orphans in Haiti (God's Littlest Angels orphanage) and half towards my own savings for adopting a little girl from Haiti. I had SO much fun doing this. I discovered there were a number of people who found it pretty awkward to have a stranger (me) stare at them right in the eyes. I could see I was getting better at drawing people. My first one turned out awful. I convinced someone I knew to sit down and let me draw them for free just so I could loosen up and get some practice. It was bad. But it was good that I was able to do it because the next ones turned out really good! I was really glad to be able to offer it for free for the kids who really wanted their portrait but didn't have any money.

Now I've been doing some craft sales. I was at Sunshine Nursery a few months ago where I also did sketches for a donation, and met someone who hired me to paint their log house. Not paint their house but do a painting of their house. That was very cool I must say. I went and bought real Grumbacher acrylic paint instead of using the old folk art paints I was given 5 years ago. Don't get me wrong though, I painted over 50 paintings with those and am still using them and extremely grateful for them. 

The last one I did was at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum Craft Sale. Here I was confident enough in my ability that I charged $5 per person.

Next! is a Christmas craft sale at the Vineyard Church in Wpg this Saturday. Then another one at Sunshine Nursery on Dec 4. After that is the biggest one yet, ten days at Festival du Voyageur. I need to practice drawing canoes and sashes probably for this one. So exciting I must say!