Art Classes And Learning Caricature

It’s been an exceptionally busy start to the new year, but I thought I’d catch up a bit. First, I’d been wanting to take an art class for a very long time, but for a host of reasons, haven’t been able to. I’d made a commitment to myself to always improve as an artist and finally signed up for a continuing education class on caricature taught by Ralph Sirianni – an amazingly talented artist and incredibly interesting person. Ralph is a Vietnam Veteran who did a combat tour with the Marines. He has channeled his wartime experiences into an artistic energy that shows clearly in his work – – great stuff. As a teacher, he guides his students patiently, and with a coherent plan. As a cartoonist, I’ve been focusing only on what I know, and don’t tend to stray too far from my typical style of drawing – something I’d like to change. The exercises presented by Ralph push me and my classmates to try things we woudn’t otherwise, and he provides subtle direction throughout the process. Here’s the results of my first sketch exercise – Ralph set himself up as the model till Father Mike arrived:

Shortly after, Father Mike arrived and provided the subject for our next sketching exercise:

Following a life-like sketch exercise, we were directed to try a caricature of Father Mike, which was a great deal of fun and Father Mike was a great sport to the dozen or so students who dissected every detail of his appearance and stretched into a cartoon version.

 And finally, we were directed to focus on the body, the folds and wrinkles of clothing, etc.

I have a half dozen more classes to go, and look forward to learning and improving as an artist. Another benefit to attending these classes is meeting people and fellow artists with their own backgrounds and influences. Father Mike pointed me to some classic cartoons and Ralph mentioned an art festival for veterans – both of which I intend to become a great deal more familiar with.

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