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Frequently Asked Questions
Advice and guidance for getting the best results when you host a Caricaturist at your WEDDING RECEPTION, PARTY or EVENT. If your query can’t be found here then please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.
How long does it take to draw a caricature?
Ordinarily a single portrait should take between 4 to 6 minutes to create.
In some instances the process may take longer if a sitter is overly distracted causing them to frequently direct their face away from the artist for long periods. In this situation it can be challenging to get a good likeness in the preferred length of time but with some gentle direction it’s usually no problem to bring the subjects attention back to the task at hand.
How much does it cost to hire a caricaturist?
I charge £220.00 for a 2 hour session (this is the minimum duration) of live caricature drawing. Every further hour is charged at £80.00.
In many cases additional hours can be requested on the day unless otherwise indicated by myself, please enquire at the time of booking if you think you may need me to stay longer.
It may also be possible to book me for 2 sessions on the same day, i.e. for the afternoon and then later for an evening session*. Please enquire at the time of booking for prices and evening cut-off times which will be based on consideration of travel duration back to Belfast.
*In this instance an evening meal may need to be provided.
What kind of events are suitable for a caricaturist?
WEDDINGS: Presently in Northern Ireland most bookings for a caricature artist come from couples looking for wedding entertainment to fill both the afternoon reception and after dinner, evening period, where there is often a lull while guests try to relax, socialise and generally ‘warm up’ for a great day and unforgettable night!
Hiring Nick to draw caricatures for either (or both) of these slots is a great way to add an element of novelty to a wedding party (without fail guests often note what a ‘marvelous idea’ it is) that provides a fun talking point for guests that breaks the ice and leaves them with a momento that can be displayed at home, forever reminding them of the special day.
Live caricature art can also provide this and more for:
STAG & HEN PARTIES
and many more!
how many people can you fit on a sheet?
I prefer to draw a single caricature portrait on a sheet of A3 paper as I think this creates the best result but I appreciate that many couples, especially at weddings, would like to be drawn together so I am more than happy to do this. However, this can take slightly longer to draw than creating two seperate portraits.
Do you draw from photos?
It’s certainly possible but I prefer not to as it is difficult to achieve a likeness from a few photographs (often on the blurry side and presented on a small phone screen), and can take longer than if the person was seated in front of me.
What materials do you use?
I draw on quality A3 size (that’s double A4) 120gsm weight paper using black alcohol based ink markers. I will then add some shading using either an oil based pastel, a grey ink marker or a combination of both. Time permitting, I will often add a bright oil pastel colour outline.
Due to their size, portraits are given to sitters rolled up and secured with an elastic band.
can you draw outside?
I certainly can though there are a few factors that can make this situation less than ideal. While conditions may be acceptable for guests to socialise outside there are certain considerations to take into account if I am to produce my best work:
- A Strong Breeze: This can cause paper to flap and lift from the easel which can cause errant lines and mistakes that are difficult to correct. If this is the case then I’ll try to locate myself close to a wall or just inside a doorway perhaps.
- Strong Sunlight: While natural light is excellent for drawing if it’s too bright then this can cause eye strain, overheating or sunburn. Should this be the case then I’ll seek a shaded area underneath a parasol or similar.
- Wasps and other critters!: In my experience it is difficult to reason with a wasp that’s taking a keen interest in you but in most cases I’m not too worried about them. However, this attitude may not be shared by your guests and may cause them to be overly unsettled and distracted making my job a little more challenging. If this becomes a repetitive issue then it might be necessary to move to another ‘safer’ location.
can you walk about and draw guests?
Unfortunately this is something I do not offer as I find this causes shoulder pain when drawing. I prefer to sit in a fixed area and have guests approach me for their portrait. This way I can draw for longer in a situation where there is consistent lighting and my easel can be set at the best height and position.
do i or the venue need to provide anything?
My only requirement is that adequate seating for me and 2 guests is provided, positioned at a well lit area within the venue*, I bring everything else that’s needed.
*Please refer to the rest of the FAQ’s for further recommendations regarding placement etc.
what are the best conditions for drawing at an event?
- Good Lighting: Guests often remark that my wrists must get sore from drawing continuously at an event but personally I find that eye strain is more likely to be an issue. This can be avoided if there is enough light for me to see the subject clearly. I will bring my own lighting to an event when needed but you can’t beat natural light, so where possible I try to position myself close to a window or failing that, in a well lit area within the venue.
- A Good View of the Sitter: I need to be able to see the subject clearly from where I’m sitting so it’s important that I’m positioned fairly close to the sitter.
- Reducing Distractions: Caricature drawing requires a lot of focus and concentration with the best results being achieved when the artist can enter, to some degree, into a kind of ‘flow’ state or ‘groove’. Caricature artists can usually get into this frame of mind in most situations but it can be challenging when the distraction levels get too high. To this end I’ll try to position myself, within reason, away loudspeakers, loud bands or a very busy bar area.
What is a caricature? do you make fun of people? what's your style?
A caricature drawing is a type of artwork where an artist exaggerates certain features of a person’s face to create a humorous or exaggerated likeness of them. The purpose of a caricature is to express a person’s personality or character in a fun and entertaining way.
It’s important to note that caricatures, as I see it, are meant to be lighthearted and not intended to offend, make the sitter feel ugly or foolish.
I would describe my own style as loose portraits that are full of energy, using sweeping lines that try to capture both the spirit and likeness of the sitter that is inspired by our brief interaction to create a unique impression of them as they are on the day.