Friday, June 26, 2009

Sketching to get customers...

( A little more finished):

(Early stage):

(Small photos make for big mistakes):

Just sitting around at a caricature stand is no fun, so I recently decided to do graphite portraits of the faces in Keelan's book. People see me working on the "pencil portrait" in my lap, and say "Ah, that's beautiful, and for only twenty bucks?" And I say, "Well, no, actually, this is a portrait sketch, which is somewhat different from the cartoon sketches we do here, like this..." ...and I show 'em a caricature I've done. This usually gets business going. The problem is, I worry that someone might say, "Hey, you're trying to trick me!" But all I've gotten so far is positive result, although people will sometimes say, "But could you PLEASE draw my kids like that, in a real portrait?" I just tell 'em that it's not allowed, but also that it would take most of an hour, and that I'd have to charge $75 or more, even if it was allowed, and then I explain that, no, I can't give them my phone number or email or anything, by contract. Which sucks, of course, since I see SOOO many people everyday. But I think that's standard practice. ... Anyway, everyone seems happy. I give 'em CC's business card and write my name on back, if they persist.

The photo here is a recent example. About a half-hour of work, so it's a bit rough looking, and has errors, but, boy, the other day, people were really stopping in their tracks to see me work on it in my lap. I mean, the thing is, this sort of sketching is REALLY slow. I'm just going scratch-scratch-scratch with the pencil lead, slowly working-up toward the right values. But that's the point. Slowly observe, scratch-scratch-scratch, build-up the values, learn-learn-learn. It's an inefficient process if you want to make any kind of decent money doing portraits, I would think. Although I suppose I need the money. If anyone DOES want one of these, just let me know. 75 bucks.

....The main thing is, this is simply good practice.


Esly Carrero said...

Nice work Tim! Haha... I actually was never able to visualize that kid as a sketch.. cause Keelan made such an *icon* (like you explain) out of him there.

Wow.. what a different take!

Tim Gardner said...

Yeah, ANY kind of sketching/drawing is an INSTANT attraction-getter. The best sales pitch in the world is to sit quietly and draw in public. It leads to compliments and conversations, and sales. ...And I don't know what I'm worried about. I'm just sitting there drawing pictures of people, which is more-or-less my job anyway...

Esly Carrero said...

" I don't know what I'm worried about. I'm just sitting there drawing pictures of people, which is more-or-less my job anyway..."