Saturday, February 06, 2010

caricatures- Sea World Florida! you're Killer whalecome! + Chua/Tre collabo! (DEC 2009)

Caricatures drawn at Sea World, Florida, during my 2 week visit in DEC 2009

1. I like this one, a fun one and they were great and loved it. I like his eye just poking out of his hair like that. I think this was the 1st shamu I ever drew...and it shows, heh. I didn't really get too much better drawing shamu and dolphins later either.

2. I was happy with this mostly except for the color rendering of his hair, I tried something and it just looks too slapdashy mcwishywashy and needed more of a definite style or shape. I haven't drawn many surfing bodies and thought of some of the stuff my buddy Andy Urzua does when I did this. He's one of my favorite caricaturists and does one of my favorite styles in the park. and out of the park too.

3. my very 1st sketch I did at Sea World. still needed a few days to warm up since I hadn't drawn live caricatures for a month and a half since Dorney closed November 1st for the least that's the lame excuse I'm sticking with, heh.

4. I like the shapes but likeness and more exaggeration could have been better. I like drawing curly hair. and the smell of burnt out candles for some reason. random info just for you!

5. this guy had a great face, he was from the UK and his hobby was taking long bike rides in various parts of the world. his next trek was to bike from Orlando to San diego! I think this is the 1st bicycle I've ever drawn, ha ha. I tried to convince him to be doing something else but he couldn't think of anything else and biking really was his thing so I was like, ok, it's fine. I think I faked it decent enough, heh.

6. I was happy with his forehead forming her cheek. likeness on her could have been better--eyes closer together and smaller, sometimes trying to get the connect line things to flow/line up messes up likeness proportions, a.k.a I sucked it up, heh.

7. I get to do my 1 line swoopy hats that I like to draw, yay!

8. I was working with assistant manager, Edwin Santana who was watching me draw this and was certain that they weren't going to like it and it was going to be rejected. He couldn't even figure out what I was drawing until I colored it, which is many the case with my crazier ones, heh. Edwin has been working at Sea World drawing caricatures for 13 or so years, and has worked along side Joe Bluhm (the park Joe worked at for most of his 5 year park caricaturist career) and said he's never seen anything quite like what I drew, heh. He was surprised that I did sell it and while I was drawing it their family came by and was bursting out laughing. he said I was very brave to draw that, heh. I don't even think this is THAT crazy for me. when I was drawing it, I thought I had a good likeness down, but then after seeing this reference photo, I missed on the woman. I should have made her nose bigger...although sometimes when you are drawing someone depending on that very angle/moment that you are drawing it can be different than another moment/viewpoint. kinda like sometimes when you see a photo of someone, it doesn't quite look like that person.

9. and then we go from that to just a cute-ish quickie. and yes, that is a new species of dolphin that can pop out of the water perfectly horizontal. I drew it that way on porpoise, ha ha, ok not really.

10. a demo, drawn with no undersketch. I jump around from doing undersketching to not, usually the no undersketch actually makes for weirder and crazier solutions/ forces me to improvise/fix things more cause I don't have as clear idea of where things are going...not that I do anyway, heh. they both had great faces with fun features to play with.

11. another quick one.

12. cheeks are very loop sided. was messing around and just winging it. made the eyes a lil too big.

13. I like this one. simple. streamlined. shapes.

14. these nice folks were from France. they were great, the dad was cracking up the whole time watching me draw. I like that his eyes are in his nose thang. I was like, eh, why not and went for it. heh.

15. the previous sketch of the 3 French people got me this one as they waited for me to finish that one to get theirs done. I like the mom, the kids I went tamer on for some reason- blah! why do I do that?

16. I thought this was a good face to go more minimalist on, as far as marker lines. the eyes, nose, mouth and chin line done in marker, hair and body all done with colorstick. I wanna do more like this with minimal marker lines. talk about crappy sun/shadows for pictures. I just couldn't find a good spot to take a picture. I'm asian too I know! you'd think we as a picture taking race could do the impossible!

17. he was with the above girl, they were from China. the country, not the nice plateware although I wish they were from the nice plateware, then I could put them on a pointy stick and spin them around.

18. not enough lower cheekage. y'know, I wrote some stuff about this one but apparently when I came back the next day to finish writing this post it wasn't saved and I don't feel like writing it again, you suck, blogger. what happened to autosave? don't you autosave like every few seconds and now you don't?! blah!

19. this cool girl was an artist as well and was watching a co-worker draw a customer so I asked if I could draw her as a demo. I don't know why I didn't try pushing it more or experimenting especially cause it's a demo. it's just there, not horrible and not super bad. oh and I asked her what her favorite color was and she said, brown, which is the 1st I've heard of of someone's favorite color, and refreshing....although for this sketch the background brown didn't work as well cause her hair is brown as well.

20. I messed up the likeness on the girl. it's enough to be an ok likeness cause she has strong features but I messed up the proportions.

21. one of those times where I just couldn't think of what to really exaggerate on so it just comes up blandy. kid wanted just a kung fu body, I suggested that he add a shark in there. then I had him kicking it, that's mostly why I like this sketch.

22. they were from Ireland, I think.

23. eyes could have been further apart, but still a cute one. I liked the leaving of hair and most of the forehead without marker and just using color.

24. I think what I drew was a dolphin, haha. I should have studied up on my sea world animals before I got there.

25. it's fun drawing couples with great contrast. don't know what happened to her eye.

26. this couple was from Brazil, I believe. they waited and watched me draw the previous one and then when they sat down, the woman said, "draw us cute, right? not like the last one you did" I'm thinking, argh! why do people do that? obviously, you see how I draw, if you don't like that then don't get one done or wait to get one done by me! anyhoo, I was a bit annoyed and didn't really cute it up too much and thought they might not like it, but they loved it, well, the woman did at least, she was laughing pretty hard at her boyfriend's nose. I couldn't really tell if the guy liked it or not. guess he was just taking all the laughter attacks from his girlfriend, heh.

27. this was kinda fun, I don't do many 3 person bodies, actually, I can't remember the last 3 person body I did. they had fun faces. the coloring got kinda muddy.

28. I like the guy more. I lost likeness on the girl, made her teeth too big, she needed more chin and cheek. they liked it but the guy said "not what I was expecting" heh.
29. the killer whale has a weird humped body. fun looking kid, wish I got a clear picture of his eyes. he go sleepy sleepy nappy nap.

30. this family was awesome, they got what a caricature was all about- that it's suppose to be funny and not take your self to seriously. so obviously they loved the sketch and had a good time. awesome guests rule!

31. I like this one, was happy with how the kid came out especially.


33. I was happy with this one. fun faces. usually, if I'm doing couples I like to sit them both down, so I can better see how to compose them on the page and it's much easier to do my "connect lines" where I have a line from one person connect to the other. although the problem sometimes is that the stand you work at has limited chairs (which is most of the case at Sea World) and you won't have enough chairs cause you will be working with someone else and they need that chair. so this couple comes up, and I'm excited cause 1. I LOVE drawing couples 2. they have great faces 3. my co-worker at the moment (the amazing Tre) was not drawing anyone, so I borrowed his chair to sit both down. so I start working on it and soon after it turns out a customer comes and Tre needs to borrow the chair. booo, so I just resume working on the girl with not much frame of mind/planning out of the guy. then Tre finishes quickly and gives me the chair back. so anyway, the whole point of this is that the line of her hair that goes into his mouth, I had draw that line on the girl and left it open ended and when I started drawing the guy I saw that it lined up nicely for his mouth and so I connected it, a happy accident that worked out in the end. also I saw that his chin could be lined up just nicely to double as her left side cheek, again, I didn't plan for it, but it worked out nicely! it's always awesome when these improvisations work out, it's prolly one of the most rewarding aspects as an artist, at least for me. I would prolly put myself in more of these's just a lot riskier as it could also go horribly wrong/waste, but really, I should attempt more risky stuff. believe it or not, I am still holding stuff I wanna do back a lot of times.

34. one of my favs of my stint in Sea World. I was pretty happy with how the girl came out, she had great round cheeks and I liked the streamlineness simplicity of it. they really dug it, especially the guy.

35. these two were really cool! they were flipping out (in a good way) when they saw it and were totally loving it and appreciative. it was also the girl on the left's birthday or in a couple days. the heavier line weight on the left side's cheek really bugs me though, it could have been thinner- it's just too distracting.

36. a fun one, their parents were cracking up while watching me draw this. they were going to get one as well, but had to go. she had a cool sweater. I gave her a whale in her braces, yay!

37. these nice people were from Japan. I made the mom's eyes a bit too far apart, but overall, I liked it and that they are holding their cute son.

38. so it was new year's eye and our stand was open late (till 11pm I think) and it was towards the end of the night and this couple comes and asks me where the portrait stand is. I knew that it had already closed and I told them, sorry, it just closed...and then I say on a whim and all cheesy happy-like, "well, how about a caricature instead?" (also imagine a cheesy grin and two thumbs up in a "c'mon" way) I was thinking people that usually want a portrait prolly don't want to go the complete opposite route and get a silly picture. and to my surprise, the guy goes, "ok." almost without hesitation, heh. win for me! and they had great faces, especially the guy. so I do my thing and the girl laughs pretty hard of how I drew her boyfriend, heh. good times.
Chua/Tre collaboration!
I drew girl/Tre drew guy
39. this is a collaboration between Tre Coleman and myself. Tre (seen drawing above) is an awesome caricature artist that's been working at Sea World for the past 3 years and previously worked at Carowinds for 3 years, he has one of my favorite park sketches that I've seen. great likeness, super slick execution- linework, coloring and he exaggerates pretty much every sketch. So back to the drawing, so this couple comes up to our stand and I convinced them to get a collaboration done and they were cool with it. I started off and drew the girl (I didn't leave much room for Tre though) then Tre did his thang. they laughed when they saw it and bought it. 10 minutes later they came back and said they weren't happy with it and that they didn't think it looked like them, mostly she said it didn't look like her. I mean, c'mon, sometimes I'm off and especially moreso if I push it more the likeness can be iffy but I think for this one, I pushed it AND got a pretty good likeness. anyhoo, they were nice about it and I said I'd redraw it for them. which I did as fast and tame and lame as possible, might have taken me a total of 5 minutes for 2 color faces and they were cool with it. so this was a reject but I still got the sale, which you gotta do at times. I'm all for jacking people up and experimenting but I try to balance it with as much sales as possible whenever possible.
Sea World trip experience thoughts--
so overall, I had an AMAZING time at Sea World. the Kamans crew down there is pretty awesome, everyone was really cool and friendly. I really enjoyed working with everyone and wished I got a chance to stay there longer. It was much slower than I had anticipated and they said it was prolly one of the slowest sales Christmas/New Year's holidays ever, but overall I still did decently considering at my home park, Dorney, it's a smaller park so we don't get AS much sales and traffic anyway. so on a bad day at Sea World it's still considered decent compared to Dorney.

Also, I got to use my "you're Whalecome" saying that I started at Dorney this past season--where that's what I'd say when a guest would say, "thank you" for me directing them to the ride/restroom or whatever they were looking for and I'd have a drawing of a cartoon whale on my easel and point to it while I said it. but NOW, since I'm in Sea World where everyone knows they have a killer whale, I got to use it ALL the time and I modified it to "you're Killer Whalecome!" ha ha, it was awesome, I was in heaven, heh.

I was porpoisely sent to Sea World to help out and make money for them, so there was obviously some pressure for me to perform well. Also, I wanted to push it AND sell some more out there/crazy stuff. I think I did accomplish both my goals decently. Even though Sea World's clientele is typically a much more family friendly park than most parks, and in theory might not be as receptive to the more out there sketches I usually get away with as I have mostly worked in more teen and older heavy populated parks. but I believe that you can pretty much sell anything at any park. just gotta pick and choose your battles. I think you can push it and have fun and still sell. but knowing I was sent there for a reason and was essentially representing my park, I did draw tamer and safer , which I do normally, but maybe I did it a lil bit more here just to make sure I got decent sales so I don't have AS many crazy sketches to show. Also, I only got 2 rejects during my stint. both were sketches where I went tamer and purposely went cute, which ironically, is almost always the case if I ever do get a reject. I rarely get one where I go nuts on. the 1st one, I was drawing a baby and they didn't understand the reflection I drew in the eye and didn't know what that was, which is the first I ever heard anyone complain about. the woman wasn't very friendly at the get go anyway. and she had an obvious mustache, heh. the 2nd reject was they thought I drew their chubby kid, get this...chubby! my bad for drawing the obvious. also, I was drawing next to the legendary Dino Casterline who was drawing their other kid and wanted one simlar to that. hey, once again, at least someone got the sale, works for me.

speaking of Dino, he is the person responsible for starting caricatures for the company we work for, (Kaman's art shoppes), he started it about 20 years ago at Sea World, Florida. He pretty much set the standard and "Kaman's style of caricature" that you'll see in pretty much every theme park our company is in, which is about 30 parks. He still draws live caricatures at Sea World on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to get drawn by him (the caricature right below) during this visit! I'll have to draw him back soon!
Much thanks to the crew down there! they really were the main reason why my visit was so enjoyable. I love going to new parks and meeting and hanging out with new people. Shout outs to: Dino, Edwin, Tre, Sean, Jen, Regis, Jimmy, Jon, Nina, Chris D, Johnny, Vince, Chuck, Mark, Michael, Megan, Corey, Stephen, Donna, Rita, Giermo(sp?) and Greg...I think I missed some people? sorry if I did! also to Sam, who was also visiting to draw portraits, and was my roommate the whole time I was there. we got along swimmingly and it was great having him as my roomie. we'll have to do it again next year! 3:10 to Yuma!! boooo!! ha ha...Sam and I watched that movie and I hated it and he liked it.
I also got a chance to meet Dan Hay, Ken Knafu which was cool since I've been fans of their work. It was brief and wished we got to hang more, hopefully next time I visit!
more posts coming soon, stuff I drew at Cripple con 3 (best party/art party every year! go to it!), some misc art, and some reviews that I am collecting from the net about the 4 pages I did for Marvel...and wait until you read the HATE for me, ha ha.
also, I lost all my e-mails recently, so if you e-mailed me recently and are expecting a response, please resend it to the same Tenton e-mail. also, I lost all my contacts so if you know me, just send me an e-mail so I can update it. "David" who asked me for the caricature commission of your wife, if you read this please e-mail me again, as I don't have your contact info to reach you.


Eric Goodwin said...

Sounds like you had a killer (whale) time in Sea World! I really liked reading your description for #8 haha. Drawings #1, 4, 8, 10, 26, 33 and 35 would have to be my favorites.

Anonymous said...

I am the "left girl" from drawing 35! I have that hanging up in my room. It brightens my day every time I glance at it. What a great birthday present.
I am keeping tabs on your work because it is so bombass. cheers.

Kamikaze panda said...

Man your work is so awesome, thanks for the drawing, and fun advice. Im always checkin up on your stuff, its amazing, watching you do them in person was even better!

Ive been posting my art on facebook, i will soon be doing a digital peice of you! Thanks again for the drawing! Its definately one of the most out there sketches of me I've had.

Orlando misses you!

chris chUa! said...

eric- ha ha, yes, I did I have a killer whale of a time. glad you like reading the descrips, and thanks for pointing out which ones you liked best, I always like seeing which ones people like!! and the ones you picked are some of my favs as well.

seventies- ha ha!! hey, that's cool you found my blog! I'm really glad you like it, it really does make my day to hear people really enjoying their sketches...especially the crazier ones that I like as well, and I think yours may have been one of the craziest ones I've done while there. it would be great if all our customers were as cool as you guys!

sean!- hey, no prob. keep on rocking! and I look forward to my digital sketch! I miss Orlando too!

Aaron said...

I love the fuzzy texture stuff you do, mr chew.

justfrancesca said...

Another great batch from the Chua-monster! 33 is my favorite, the lines are really winsome especially on the guy. Funny stuff:) Whale, gotta go! hahaa!

chris chUa! said...

thanks fran! 33 is one of my favs as whale. :)

Aaron said...

HAHA I just read the writing. You worked at SeaWorld Orlando. That's cool.