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January 31, 2012

Key Differences – Painted Caricatures & Digital caricatures

Filed under: Articles,caricature gifts,Caricature Portraits — Charlie Anson @ 6:38 pm

How are digital caricatures produced from caricature software different from professional caricatures painted by a human being? Well, in some respect, there’s not that much difference at all! After all when an artist looks at a face, she picks out all the details as a whole, and one by one. A professional caricature is the result of careful analysis and synthesis of details – it depends as much on a quick brushstroke summing up the shape of a head in a an instant, as it does on the fine tuning of minute details.

 

Similarly, the facial recognition programs that produce custom vector caricatures look at the bigger picture and at the smaller picture. The caricature software will pick out the face’s outline, identify the head type, and assign the appropriate polygons and algorythms which correspond to that type. Then, the caricature software goes in for the detail: defining the outline of the nose, the width of the eyes, the thickness of the lips, the ears, the angle of the mouth… In exactly the same way as a artist does when she paints professional caricatures.

However, as you might expect, there are key differences. One is purely functional: When working on professional caricatures from photos, artists can gather an impression of a multitude of photos in order to distill the perfect caricature “summary” of that person. But hang on, who am I to say that caricature software can’t also do that – after all, it’s not my line of business! But it seems to me me that custom vector caricatures can’t help but be the result of a narrow process. The bigger picture of producing professional caricatures means not just seeing the face outline – it means seeing the full personality, the particular sparkle that a person exudes. That might seem a bit airy-fairy, but it’s true. Custom vector caricatures just can’t quite add that touch of personality – the best they can do is preserve it – whereas professional caricatures should gather all the elements of someone’s personality from a range of photos.

 

November 14, 2011

Happy family portraits

Filed under: Caricature Portraits — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 2:51 pm

All too often, portrait photography looks staged and awkward. Kids can be particularly tricky to capture properly because they’re not usually big fans of wearing their Sunday best, sitting still, and following precise directions for a prolonged period of time. They’d much prefer to be depicted doing fun things, like baking a chocolate cake or playing football in the park. The best pictures of individuals are always taken when they’re concentrating on doing what they love.

Most families have a range of hobbies and getting everyone and their favourite things into a single frame is a pretty difficult task. Unless you come to us, of course. Caricatures from photos can be created from just a couple of images or a group of different and diverse photographs. If you want just one picture that shows all your loved ones at their very best it’s a great option.

Cartoon caricatures can show every member of the family as an individual, yet make sure they’re all together as a unit too. They provide a wonderful way of celebrating every person’s quirks, strengths, and personal joys, but also showing that the whole group is loving and cohesive despite those differences.

If you struggle to find a photograph that really shows each and every person in your family happy and laughing, consider letting Charlie draw you a caricature from a photo or a handful of photos. We’ll work with you to come up with a design that you’ll all love, and one that will show friends and visitors exactly what your fantastic family is really like.

March 28, 2011

Giving caricature portraits as retirement presents

Retirement is bittersweet. On one hand it’s a time to celebrate the successes of a long career and look forward to more relaxing times ahead, but on the other, retirement does mean leaving. Few people leave their workplace – all the friends and colleagues, all the projects as yet unfinished- without ever looking back.

The perfect present should show your appreciation for the retiring workmate and express sorrow that they’re leaving, but without getting too maudlin. You’ll want something that is precious yet light-hearted, more interesting than the traditional clock or watch, and something that will remind the recipient of the good times they had at work. Caricature portraits are perfect on all counts.

It’s quite possible to create an excellent caricature from photos so there is no need to ruin the surprise. Caricature gifts are a little unusual and even if they do spot a paper-wrapped rectangle that looks like a portrait, they’ll never suspect that the contents are much more fun than an everyday photograph.

Group caricatures make some of the best retirement presents because they provide a reminder of the friends that will be left behind. They also show that nobody in the cartoon is taking themselves too seriously. Not even the most sensitive ego could be bruised by appearing in a funny and well executed group cartoon.

Whether you’d like to know more about group caricatures or order an individual portrait, get in touch today. We’ll make sure that your departing friend gets a brilliant, heart-warming retirement gift.

March 21, 2011

Are your kids bored of portrait photography?

There are few things kids hate more than getting dressed up in their Sunday best, having their hair done and faces fussed over, and then having to sit for a family portrait. Mum and dad will treasure these pictures for years to come but the kids (especially boys) rarely see them as anything more than an embarrassment and a chore.

One things kids do love is cartoons. Having cartoon caricatures made instead of studio photo portraits is not only something different, the results are far more interesting to the younger members of the family. Even the rowdiest of small boys are usually delighted to be included in family caricatures even if it’s close to impossible to get them to stop making faces at the camera under normal circumstances.

You don’t have to get a special photograph taken, although you can if you want to. Caricature photos should show each member of the family at their best, doing what they like most, or you can simply choose a few photos from the family album. As long as we can get a really good idea of the individual features of each member of the group we can create great family caricatures.

Cartoon caricatures can show the characteristics of each family member individually, and provide a very good record of what hobbies the kids had and what mum and dad were doing at the time it was made. They are perfect snapshots of the family unit- their likes and dislikes, their interests and their passions. And they are so much more fun than plain old photo portraits!

November 25, 2010

Everyone loves caricature portraits

Filed under: Caricature Portraits — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 12:15 pm

It can be very difficult to find something that people of all ages and personalities will like. Caricature pictures are sure to get people talking and laughing. Whether you are looking for caricature gifts for your friend’s birthday or want to entertain your guests by having wedding caricatures drawn, you are sure to provide a unique and enjoyable experience.

As caricature gifts can be drawn from photos or with a person sitting right in front of the artist, they will always be totally unique and you will not be able to buy the same pictures from anywhere else. They can capture a person’s personality and interests in no more than a few brush strokes, making it a perfect gift for both people young and old.  It will also be something they will be able to keep hold of for the rest of their lives.
Wedding caricatures will help capture moments from the happiest day of your life in a unique way.

The caricatures will be different from photos or videos as they will express more than what you can simply see in front of you. There will be more feeling and personality drawn in to the pictures, making them more sentimental and more valuable to those who have attended the event. As the artist walks around on the day speaking to guests and drawing their portraits everyone can get involved making it a more memorable experience. They can also take their caricatures home with them as a cherished memento of the special day.

November 10, 2010

Why did people start drawing caricature portraits?

There is a good chance that many of us have seen an artist drawing cartoons and caricatures at a shopping centre or amusement park. Perhaps the person is sitting directly in front of them, or maybe the artist is drawing the caricature from photos. In all these cases it is natural to stop and watch the master at work as he puts the finishing strokes to the caricatures. In history classes, we may even have looked at propaganda posters from the Second World War with caricatures on them.

These days caricatures are even found in magazines and newspapers, so when did this whole phenomenon begin? It seems that they have always been a part of our lives, and the evidence would also seem to suggest this. In fact, they actually date back a few centuries. These pictures were originally introduced by a group of Italian artists called the Carracis.  In fact, this is where the word ‘caricature’ actually originates from. They wanted to capture a piece of the subject’s personality while making them laugh.

Just like today, these drawings were also used as a tool to make a comment about politics or other serious issues. By making the issues more simplified more and more people can understand and enjoy them.  In the same way, they were also used to mock political figures and to carry hidden meanings. So rather than simply drawing something that was plainly mocking somebody, the cartoons were much more clever with their hidden layers of meaning. It is popular now for people to give caricature gifts on special occasions.

October 15, 2010

Caricature Portraits for Children

Filed under: Caricature Portraits — Tags: , , , — Charlie Anson @ 11:40 am

Children notoriously love cartoons and animated forms of entertainment. If your child is one who loves everything drawn in the cartoon and caricature format, and you’re looking for a special gift for a birthday or upcoming occasion, you should consider a caricature cartoon portrait. This form of portraiture appeals to children, not just because of the cartoon design, but because it is designed to highlight the individuals in a fun and humorous light. Caricatures are a great surprise for that special child or grandchild in your life. As well as providing a personal gift, you can know that it won’t just be tossed aside like last year’s toys.

These gifts are also much easier to keep hidden if your child likes to snoop for their present ahead of time. The method for having the caricature portrait done is simple – just send in a photo of your child and a story or anecdote for artist inspiration. The artwork will then be discussed with you to keep you up to date in the process, before it is pencilled, drawn, shaded and coloured. For the extra special touch, the caricature even comes mounted and framed to your specifications. The caricature from photos method means that you can pick out the photo you like best of your child and have the caricature styled to it.

Cartoons and caricatures are a great, unique present that you can be sure will be kept for years to come, providing a fun and magical portrait for the special child in your life.

October 5, 2010

Caricature Cartoons as the Perfect Gift

If you’re looking for a unique and special gift but are stuck on what to get, you should give your friends or family members a caricature portrait. These artistic portraits are different than your average photograph and exude creativity and fun. You can be sure your present will be different than any gift they’ve ever had before. Whether it’s for a birthday, graduation or anniversary, a caricature portrait is sure to be a favourite.

Everyone wants to give something original, something that is tailored to your special someone, and these custom caricatures provide just that. The artist is committed to creating portraits that capture the essence of the individual, using photos and anecdotes you provide for inspiration and reference.

The ability to create caricatures from photos allows you the ability to select your favourite picture of your friends or family for the portrait’s personal touch. Does the photo have a special memory attached to it, a funny story or event that happened? Send this information to the artist and suddenly your portrait has more life and a story to tell. Unlike simple cartoon caricatures, these portraits offer a scene and not just a simple display of only the individual. You can provide a great present that will be something to remember for both you and your special someone.

Custom caricatures
are a delightfully amusing gift that demonstrates creativity and personality. You can ensure that a gift like this will show how much you’ve thought of your friend on their special day.

August 31, 2010

Caricatures as a Political Weapon

If you are vaguely familiar with cartoon caricatures, you may be aware of William Hogarth who lead the way when it came to making a political point in the 18th century. Hogarth’s caricature cartoons were savage to say the least, targetting the bloated leaders of political parties as well as the aristocracy. Other noted caricaturists included George Cruikshank, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, who were particularly noted for their biting political cartoon caricatures.

Political cartoon caricatures really took off in Britain in the eighteenth century, and between 1780 and 1820, caricaturing reached a feverish pitch. They were produced mostly by amateurs, and a man named George Townshend was one such caricaturist who spared neither friends nor the celebrities of the day in his caricature cartoons.

Even today, with the advent of multi media and the internet, caricatures in newspapers and magazines are still an effective way of making a political point. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in the television series Spitting Image, where sometimes grotesque caricatures were used to attack politicians and celebrities.

But caricatures mean a lot more than weapons to be used against the establishment. Thanks to companies like Charlies Cartoons, you can own caricatures yourself. All you have to do is send him some photographs of the person you want to give personalised caricatures as a gift, and leave it all to Charlie. Have a look through the website and see for yourself just how effective and amusing these works of art can be, and then make your order!

August 19, 2010

Modern Gifts with a Humorous Twist

The tagline for Charlies Cartoons states ‘Modern gifts with a humorous twist’ and if you take a quick tour of the website you will see that this description sums up the company perfectly. There are dozens of examples of the cartoons which have been ordered from Charlies, each one of them different but all maintaining a high standard when it comes to the quality of the artwork. Caricature portraits are becoming increasingly popular as gifts which are both unique and fun, so if you are stuck for ideas for a present for any occasion, giving a friend, relative or work colleague one of the wide range of personalised caricatures could be the answer.

Caricatures focus on the feautures of an individual and exagerate them which means that you can still recognise the person, but there is an amusing twist to the way they are portrayed. If you want to give a friend the ultimate in unique gifts, it really is simple. All you have to do is supply Charlies with a couple of photographs of the person, along with some information about them. You will be kept up to date about the progress of the caricature cartoons, and you can add to the wording if you like.

It is possible in some circumstances to receive your custom caricatures within three days, but generally you should allow around three weeks from placing your order to receiving your caricature portraits. All you have to then is present your friend with their gift and watch the look of surprise and joy on their face when they see themselves portrayed in one of Charlie’s personalised caricatures.

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