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Drawing Caricatures: A Short Trip Down Memory Lane

January 29, 2019

I used to draw a lot of caricatures when I first began freelancing back in 1989.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Christmas parties, company picnics, fall festivals, First Night celebrations, bar mitzvahs, open houses, church fairs, street fairs, business expos– you name it.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Here I am, hard at it, back in September, 1997. blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 32 pixels highMark Armstrong drawing caricatures at Cedarcrest Foundation 50th birthday party in Keene NH 1997

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highThe occasion shown above was a 50th birthday party for
the Cedarcrest Foundation, now the Cedarcrest Center,
in Keene, NH.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Cedarcrest provides medical care and education for kids
with special needs. You couldn’t find a better organization
to support.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The director sent me the photo along with this kind note.Thank you from Cedarcrest Foundation for Mark Armstrong Illustration volunteering to draw caricatures at 50th birthday party

Here’s a double caricature that was commissioned as a wedding gift.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I did it in my studio, working from photographs. But it’s
very similar to the caricatures I used to do live: B&W profiles, and I’d draw people doing whatever they liked
to do.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I’d chat away as I drew, trying to put people at ease. Then
I’d add a caption or joke to the caricature based on our conversation.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

I still do a lot of caricatures, but I stopped doing live gigs when I started getting more and more assignments that required color finishes.blank vertical space, 16 pixels highblank vertical space, 32 pixels highMark Armstrong Illustration double wedding caricature bride groom speeding off on long Harley Davidson just married sign

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. My images are different, like your brand needs to be.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Questions? Send me an email.blank vertical space, 40 pixels highRecommendation testimonial for Mark Armstrong Illustration from Liz Novak art director Inside Counsel Magazine Summit Business Media

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2019 4:57 PM

    I’ve never had a caricature of myself done, but I love the art form. It’s so cool to see you being so cool at the birthday party. Of course you were the hit of the party! I’m sure you’re a hit wherever you go! 🙂


    • February 1, 2019 11:28 AM

      It’s true, I was being cool– very cool. But then I read this wonderful comment and it made me blush so furiously, my temperature shot up 100 degrees!! Now I’m warm all over, and I’m thinking warm thoughts about you, my dear Maddie!! Thank you for all your kind support, and for being your dear sweet self!! 👍🏆🌷😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Campbell permalink
    February 11, 2019 2:11 PM

    Drawing caricatures is fun and relaxing, I drew people in caricature from magazines when I was young and first started drawing, which helped train my cartooning talents. College called it anthropomorphic drawing but it was a lot more fun than it sounds, exaggerating the human form. I taught it later in my cartooning classes. The kids loved it, and so did I. And it looks like you’re having plenty fun at your drawing table. Good times!


    • February 15, 2019 8:11 AM

      Ah! I shoulda known you were a caricature guy! Didn’t realize you’d taught cartooning classes, either– excellent. Yes, the fun of caricatures can’t be overstated. I like the challenge aspect, too, because it’s not always immediately apparent what feature is the best candidate for exaggeration. I can never quite get over how two different artists can caricature the same person two different ways, and still have both portraits look correct! Good to see you, Steve, many thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. February 18, 2019 12:41 PM

    What a wonderful offering…wow, you’ve been following your calling and adding magic to the world for so long…lucky world that you are committed to spreading joy and sunshine!!!!! Thanks for being so wonderfully you for all this time 🙂


    • February 19, 2019 7:43 AM

      Whoa! Was that a rocket? a shooting star?? No, that was me going over the moon after reading your Truly outrageous and wunnaful comment!! It took me a long time to find my calling, but I rejoice in the fact that I did find it… I think. Joy, sunshine, and big noses!– that’s the mantra of the caricature artist!! My dear Truly: thank you for being so wonderfully you!! 😊


  4. RKLikesReeses permalink
    February 21, 2019 4:31 PM

    Ooo…so cool! Lookit you in 1997 – just a kid! Nice that had the banter thing going, putting people at ease. I’ll bet you were a great caricaturist. I once sat for one at a local fundraising do & the guy was silent. He skritched on the paper for a few minutes then handed it to me, gestured for me to leave, saying “Nothing to draw for you. Might as well be a mayonnaise jar.” Waaaaaaaahh! Never forgot that. At least he didn’t charge me for the few marks he made. 😂


    • February 23, 2019 3:39 PM

      If that’s a true story, I’d like to find that guy and kick him 6 miles down the road. Inexcusable. I can’t believe anyone could be that rude. I suspect he was incompetent and couldn’t decide what features to focus on (true enough, some faces are more challenging that others), but still– inexcusable. I’m so sorry, RK. Hurtful for you, and the sort of thing that gives other caricature artists a bad name. He clearly had the emotional intelligence of a mayonnaise jar– an empty one!!

      Yeah, 1997– more’n 20 years ago!!– is that possible?? I always had to get to gigs with plenty of time to spare, because I never knew how far I’d have to lug my card table and chairs to get set up!! Thanks for stopping by, and again, I’m very sorry for your bad experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. RKLikesReeses permalink
    February 23, 2019 4:08 PM

    🙂 Well, to be fair, my features were – ummm – all very organized, even, & unremarkable. As a whole, attractive enough but nothing to hang his carcicaturist’s hat on. These days he could have a field day with the wrinkles, tho! LOL


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