pictures and words by paul mccall

March 2008
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All Women!
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 7:34 pm

Today I drew at a “Head to Toe” party for a very interesting, fun group of women in Plainfield.

And one guy, the chef.

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Birthday Party Studio Job
Filed under: Studio Caricatures
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 8:11 pm

Here’s a studio piece I just finished for a birthday party for two people born on the same date.

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History Lessons Take One
Filed under: History Lessons
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 8:02 pm

I’ve instituted a new category, “History Lessons” in which I find things in my files from 31 years of my illustration career that I think may interest people who stop by here.

For a period in the 90s I was the editor/publisher of “Scientifiction” the newsletter of the First Fandom organization. Just a brief description; First Fandom, formed in 1958 is the organization started by the original fans of science fiction literature. The real original members were those who could prove fan activity during the time period of the first World Science Fiction Convention, 1938. I’m not that old, but I became friends with a lot of those great people. Chief among them was Julius Schwartz who was one of, if not the first agents for science fiction writers and later became an editor for DC comics working there for 40+ years. Not to mention being the publisher of the first SF fanzine! I used to do as much art for the publication as I could, here’s a cover piece, a caricature of Julie Schwartz, writers Ed Hamilton and Jack Williamson. (I re-used this piece for the cover for a collection of reprinted interviews from Julie’s ‘zine Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine.)

Arthur C. Clarke died last week. One of the many interesting experiences I had with FF was at a convention gathering of members there was a long-distance speaker phone call from Clarke in Sri Lanka to speak to his fellow FF members. He was kind enough to say some nice things about my publishing efforts. Here’s a caricature I did of him as a young man in England.

Now - why I call this category “History Lessons.” If I feel there is a bit of advice I can offer to artists with less career experience than myself, I’ll inflict it on you.
My time spent doing all the desktop publishing for “Scientifiction” and creating art for it was unpaid, in money. But the memories I have of the people I met and the stories I heard in those gatherings are more than satisfactory compensation for the time spent. If you get a chance to donate your time and talents to a good cause, do it!

Not all my “History Lessons” will be so benign!

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Anderson IN booking
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 11:52 am

Last evening  was up in Anderson, IN for a two hour session for the Center for Mental Health.

They asked for the enhancements!

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Golf Commission
Filed under: Studio Caricatures
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 3:19 pm

A retirement gift for a local club pro.

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Another BarFleet Party
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 3:01 pm

Last Saturday night I packed up the digital rig and did some caricatures for the local BarFleet party. Alas, I didn’t take any shots of the subjects with their prints. Just lazy I guess, I had the camera, loaded sitting right next to me, but no shots. But since they are digital I do have the heads and the body formats they chose. Trust me, the heads look like them!


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Caricature Progress 03
Filed under: Studio Caricatures, Caricature Step-by-Step
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 7:11 pm

Back to the progress shots of the BSG caricature. While at the caricature convention I “inked” the figures and laid in the broad areas of color.

The background lines are still there, just made invisible for your convenience.

Then I laid in the colors to be modeled using the oil painting brush in Painter X.

This is a detail since I forgot to save the entire image at this stage.

This is the finished image for the “Body Shop” version. I blended the harsh lay-in of modeling colors using the blender tool “Just Add Water.” That’s it for this size. Later I’ll try to document taking this image into the 11″ x 17″ format and fully painting it!

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NCN St. Louis Mini-Convention
Filed under: Workshops
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 1:15 pm

This week, from Sunday to Wednesday night I was in St. Louis for a min-convention hosted by the St.Louis chapter of the National Caricaturist Network. This was the first such gathering I have attended after years of trying (things kept interfering and I would have to cancel) and I was surprised at how much fun I had and how educational and inspiring it was. I had read all the glowing reports from previous cons but I had to experience it myself to really believe it. The guest of honor was Tom Richmond, one of Mad Magazine’s “Usual Gang of Idiots.” Tom was under a deadline to finish a MAD TV parody so he set up his equipment in the main function room and worked while the attendees gathered around and peppered him with questions.

Tom was a theme park caricaturist for years so working in the public is second nature to him as it is to all of us who were there.

One of the mainstays of these conventions is drawing and being drawn by as many of the other artists as possible. Many of the folks there have been attending conventions for years so any fresh face is immediately pounced upon. That would be me, this time. Every time I sat down for one artist I would look around and see that I was being drawn from every possible angle by other artists.

These shots are by me from my viewpoint as I sat for another artist.

A couple of the results;

After awhile I settled down and started drawing others;

This artist came from Israel!

The Dad of one of the St. Louis artists.

There were presentations for artists by artists. Tips and techniques on how they approach certain aspects of our business. This one was “How to Work the Crowd” but at this point Jerry Dowling, a well-known Cincinnati artist, is detailing his appraoch to dissecting a face for exaggeration.

There are competitions. This one was for party artist, the judging revolved around how entertaining the artists are when interacting with the subject, how they deal with hecklers and uncooperative subjects.

I didn’t enter that one, it was more fun to be among the subjects and inflict on them all the things I have experienced.

The walls of the function room are divided up into equal sections and the artists are encourage to put up the drawings done of the others as well as an studio work they brought along. For this min-con it was mainly drawings done while there.

My wall. I didn’t draw as much as others. Being my first time I was wandering around soaking up as much as possible from others.

The last couple from my wall.

A very enjoyable, educational and somewhat exhausting artistic retreat. Thanks Share, Debbo, Okie and all the St. Louis artists

Saturday Night Birthday Party
Filed under: Live Caricature
Posted by: Paul McCall @ 10:03 pm

I started doing full color but the number of people wanting drawings divided by the time for which I was booked caused the client to suggest I go to black line only. I did one other in color, a Mother/Daughter couple before this but they asked not to be placed on the blog. That’s fine, I try always to tell the sitters why I’m taking their photos and if they would rather not be placed on display (my phrasing, not theirs) I don’t take their photos, or in this case I delete them while they can see that I did so.

Sometimes the camera is just not fast enough to catch little boys facing the lens!

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