George Clooney Caricature Sketch

Caricatures, Illustration

I’m sure many people who draw caricatures will agree with me when I say that drawing someone who has attractive features is so much harder than drawing someone who has, shall we say, unique features.  When someone has distinctive attributes, such as big, bushy eyebrows like Martin Scorsese, or a recognizable hairstyle like Conan O’Brien, it’s easier to launch an illustration from those areas.  When you have someone like George Clooney, who by most standards is an attractive man with handsome features, it’s more of a struggle.  He was, after all, named “Sexy’s Man Alive” a couple of times by People magazine.  If I’m going to draw his caricature by pushing and pulling facial features, how am I going to do it so he remains instantly recognizable?

With all my caricatures, I have to look at various photographs of the person for inspiration.  I scour the images looking for something that will stand out and give me the creative jump start that I’m looking for.  It could be a hairstyle, a shape to the nose, the way someone smiles, or a turn of the head that will show an overall shape that I hadn’t seen before.  With George (I feel like I can call him George now), I couldn’t find that inspiration in photographs and went to YouTube to find an interview with him.  I wanted to see his gestures and his mannerisms.  I’ve seen his movies and I’ve seen interviews with him, but what was it that made him recognizable to me aside from knowing who he is?

I started with his hair.  He has perfect hair.  It’s perfectly cut, perfectly combed and hardly thinning at all.  Damn him!  I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.  I moved to studying the overall shape of the head and one thing stood out to me . . . the chin.  There it was in all its glory.  A large, protuberant, Superman-esque chin.  After drawing that, I began to get inspired at what was happening with the caricature.  Next it was on to the eyes, because if the eyes aren’t right, it’s hard to pull off a convincing caricature.  I noticed that his slant slightly, really squint when he smiles, are set wider apart and are topped by dark, bushy eyebrows.  Wow, I hope I’m not going to give him a complex.  Putting all these pieces of the puzzle together, I really saw George coming together, yet one thing was still missing.  It sort of looked like him, but something still wasn’t right.  Watching some more of the interview, it hit me.  It was the tilt of the head that I needed.  That little gesture took the caricature from just a drawing that looked like George Clooney to one that made it feel like George Clooney.

After another spin of the big Oscar wheel, tomorrow’s caricature will be Brad Pitt.

Thanks for stopping by.

Martin Scorsese Caricature Sketch

Caricatures, Illustration

I’ve been neglecting my sketches lately as I’ve been consumed with other projects and just haven’t had the time.  Truthfully, I really need to make the time.  Sitting down to draw when there aren’t any pressures of deadlines and just for the sake of drawing, is a great way for me to relax and clear my head.  It’s my therapy.

Today’s sketch idea came from my wife.  We were sitting around watching an interview on TV with Martin Scorsese.  As most of you probably know, he’s up for an Oscar this year for Directing Hugo.  I think he’s a great director, and from the interviews I’ve seen of him lately, he’s seems like quite the character.  A perfect subject for a caricature study.

After finishing my sketch of Mr. Scorsese, I realized that last year I looked to the Oscar’s for subject ideas.  I think I’ll try that again this year.  So, after spinning the big Oscar wheel, it looks like George Clooney will be my subject for tomorrow’s post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Kim Jong Il Caricature


Back in 2009, I created a small series of caricatures that focused on leaders around the world.  These caricatures were posted to an old blog that I was using at the time.  I thought with the passing of Kim Jong Il, it would be a good opportunity to revisit his caricature on this blog.  You can also see my caricatures of President Obama and Russia’s Vladimir Putin on my website. Robbie McCord Illustration

Elphland Cover

Elphland, Illustration

Sometimes in the world of illustration, an artist needs to go back to the drawing board and revise a piece they’re working on.  The choice to rework an image may be a result of direction from the client, or it may come from the artist himself.  Either way, an illustrator needs to be willing and open to reexamining their artwork.  This is one of the best pieces of advice I can give to a new illustrator starting out.  Know that there is always someway to make your work better.  Don’t fight, but welcome a chance to take a second look at a piece you’re working on.  You’ll more than often be surprise at what you can come up with.

The final illustration for the Elphland book cover went through this process, and in the end, a much stronger piece and more captivating characters were the result.  I look forward to where these characters will take not only me, but any other future artists that they come in contact with.

Please visit the website, “Elphland Elves”, to find out more about the story and the characters who make up Elphland.

Elphland Sketches #1

Elphland, Illustration

Now that I’m finished reading Elphland, it’s time to begin my character development sketches.  It’s now that I really like to take the time to explore how the characters are going to look.  Here are some initial rough sketches of Krysta, a teenage elf in the story.  As you can see, I like to work through, not only the physical characteristics such as the shape of the eyes or the style of hair, but also different clothing style options.



Yesterday, I was presented with an opportunity to work on a new project with an old friend.  He’s not old, I’ve just known him for a while.  His name is Braul Parajon and he has written a children’s book called Elphland.  Braul and I met a few years ago when he was working for a toy company here in St. Louis.  They were in the market for an illustrator and designer to work on the Girls/Seasonal product line and he thought that I would make a good prospect to join the team.  Even though we both had gone on to do other things, we still managed to stay in touch over the years.

I’m really looking forward to helping create the visual world of Elphland and all of Santa’s elves that live there and through it all, I hope to share on my blog, some sketches and peaks at the finished art that will help tell the tale of this Christmas story.