Mailbag

Sunday Mailbag- Workshop Near Me?

February 18th, 2018 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Will you please do one of your caricature workshops in my area/backyard? A: I get this one a lot… every time I announce a workshop in fact. The answer is probably not, but feel free to suggest a location. I choose where I am going to try and do a workshop based on a few factors. Population, obviously, is a major one. I am going to end up doing three workshops in the Los Angeles area this year. I did one in the New York City area last year and am doing another this year. I’ll have my second in London this summer and… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Parental Support?

February 4th, 2018 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I assume you knew from a pretty young age you wanted to pursue a career in art. Were your parents/family pretty supportive or did they try to steer you into a more traditional (i.e. “stable”) direction (“You can always fall back on teaching”)? A: I was fascinated with drawing and comics as long as I can remember, and was saying I wanted to be an artist since probably age 4. My parents were tremendously supportive of my creative career goals. In fact I cannot ever remember a time where either of them expressed any reservations about if I could make a living in art,… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Frustration with Skills?

January 28th, 2018 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Any suggestions on staving off the frustration that comes from not being as good as you want when you first learn to draw. Every time I start practicing and realize it looks bad I get frustrated and stop. A: Actually I tell people that those kinds of feelings, as discouraging as they may seem, are a good thing. Drawing is as much, if not more, mental than it is physical. You need to develop great hand/eye coordination to become good at drawing, but it’s really your brain that draws as it needs to see and visualize what you want to create and then command… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Multiple References?

January 14th, 2018 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: At a workshop you mentioned you use multiple photos for each caricature you develop. Can you explain how you analyze multiple photos and bring them together into one drawing? A: Not for each caricature, but for important ones, yes. Photos lie to you. They are only two dimensional and factors like lighting, focus, angles, and even odd expressions can give you the wrong information when trying to really capture a subject. You can’t really do a caricature from a single picture of someone you are not already familiar with. What you are really drawing is a caricature of a photo, not a person. You… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag- Learn from Students?

January 7th, 2018 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: It is often said that not only pupils learn from the teacher but also the teacher learns from the pupils. What did you learn in your caricature workshops? A: I absolutely learn and grow as an artist doing these workshops. I see things through fresh eyes looking at how the students interpret the subjects we draw, and find myself noticing things in new faces I am drawing later on that relate to what I saw in a workshop. I’ve also found that act of teaching forces the teacher to analyze what they do in order to explain it to others… doing this has caused… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Staffing?

December 31st, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: As the owner of a business that does caricatures in various theme parks, do you have trouble finding people to work on holidays like today (New Year’s Eve)? What do you do if you can’t get anyone to work on these days? A: This: Christmas Eve, 2018… Thanks to R Griffin for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here! READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Visiting Museums?

December 24th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How often do you get to a museum or gallery, if at all, for inspiration or simply to reacquaint with the Old Masters? Do you try to go when overseas, or another American city, when doing your workshops? Who among the “greats” have influenced you — from Rembrandt to Rockwell..? A: My wife The Lovely Anna is the fine art connoisseur, but I also enjoy visiting art museums when we travel. When is comes to “being inspired” by the works of the Old Masters I guess I am inspired only in the way that anyone is when looking at incredible pieces of art. I… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Digital Brushes?

December 17th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: When you make the caricatures in Photoshop, what kind of brush do you use for the inking? Do you have brushes on the internet for sale or free? A: I do not use PhotoShop, or any other digital program, for inking. I still ink the old fashioned way, with dip pens and watercolor brushes and ink. However, I do color with PhotoShop. When coloring, I do not use any special brushes, just the standard PhotoShop “Hard, Round” types. I use the pressure sensitivity of my Cintiq tablet to control both the opacity of my brush and the size of it. I also occasionally set… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Happy Accidents?

December 10th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How much of your drawings are not planned? I mean, are there parts where you are thinking: “Hey, I didn’t plan to draw this line/look/composition like that, but it looks good. I’ll keep that!” A: That’s what Bob Ross used to call “happy accidents”. When you get right down to it, all drawing is like that. As an artist I have an idea of what I want my drawing to look like, and then I spend time pursuing that mental image. Sometimes it appears instantly, sometime I have to chase it down. That mental image is seldom a fully finished drawing in your mind,… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Reference for Poses?

December 3rd, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I marvel at your ability to draw likenesses and your command of fundamental anatomy. But how facile are you at depicting more unusual human positions? If your assignment were to draw someone doing a backwards somersault into a pool, are you able to conjure up the image out of your head…or do you seek out references, either via online photos or taking your own photos a la Norman Rockwell? What do you do to depict the human body in more contorted poses…or, for that matter, even “standard” ones — bending over to tie one’s shoelaces, etc. A: I usually take a crack at any… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: Hesitant to Ink?

November 26th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Do you still ever hesitate when you start inking a freshly penciled piece? Or is it old hat by now? A: I would not say I hesitate to ink anything, but I’m never thrilled to do it because it’s an exercise in controlled chaos for me. However I am long over the “my inks suck all the life out of my pencils” phase. That only happens when you try to slavishly reproduce every nuance of a pencil drawing with ink. I am not a great inker. In the 18 years I have been doing inked illustrations, and to be honest I didn’t do a… READ MORE

Sunday Mailbag: MAD Changes?

November 19th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Does MAD change your submitted final art? For instance: I think you are drawing panel-lines in your MAD-parodies, but there are no more panel-lines in the magazine any more. A: I’ll answer your main question in a second, but first I’ll address your comment about the panel lines and added panel space or “gutters”. What you are referring to is this: Above: Actual art I submitted for a page in the parody of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” Page as it appeared in MAD #443, July 2004 The MAD art staff added the spaces between the panels, Sergio’s marginal, and of course the… READ MORE

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New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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