From My Sketchbook – Forensic Art?

I was away from home these past two weeks playing with the New York City Ballet up in Saratoga, NY.  With 3 rehearsals and seven shows per week, there was not a whole lot of time for sketching or cartooning.  Being in a hotel and having maid service and the chance to watch late night TV in bed was a nice perk, though.  In addition to lots of Food Network shows, my husband and I watched quite a few episodes of Forensic Files.  The latter got me thinking about what it takes to be a forensic artist, and if it is something I would ever be interested in doing (or could do.)  After digging a little online, I was surprised to learn that there are only about 30 full-time forensic artists working in the US.  The field is obviously tiny and highly specialized.  According to this article, becoming a forensic artist is usually somewhat of a round-about process which almost always involves working for law enforcement in a different capacity.  I was also intrigued to read about Lois Gibson, one of the most famous and successful forensic artists in the business today.  The importance of having people skills – forensic artists need to be highly empathetic listeners – combined with having artistic know-how would certainly be an interesting challenge.

For fun (and since I only did ONE cartoon sketch last week, tsk tsk), I asked my husband if he would participate in an experiment with me.  I asked him to think of someone, take a quick look at a picture of them, and then describe their face to me from memory.  I did all of the questioning and tried not to ask leading questions (i.e. instead of “Were their eyes brown?”, I asked “Do you recall the color of their eyes?”)

My first sketch (done in pen since that’s what I usually use for my quick sketches) resulted in this image:

My husband then told me that the nose was too high, the jaw-line should be thinner, the hairline lower and the hair “more wild.”  The second “blind” sketch resulted in this:

After he told me that he had been thinking of Leonard Berstein, we checked my sketch against photos of Berstein.  I think there is a bit of a likeness.  For sure, the exercise was thought-provoking and fun all around!

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From My (Saratoga) Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

Two birds of a feather,

On a bench together.

Looked a bit more grubby,

Than sweet lovey-dovey.

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Friday’s Thought – A Natural Tapestry

“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”

(Richard P. Feynman)

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An Adage Explained (Cartoon Style) –

(The greeting card version will be posted soon in my shop at Etsy.)

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Fashion Faux Pas Cartoon from Joana Miranda Studio

Because life is about savoring those special moments…

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From My Sketchbook – Rhymes and Doodles

Life is well and good,

In the Brooklyn ‘hood.

If you’re in any doubt,

Beards are in, hair is out.

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Filed under art, cartoon illustration, drawing, drawing faces, From My Sketchbook, funny art, ink sketches, New York City, Pen Sketch, practicing drawing, Quick Sketch, Weekly Sketch Project

My Favorite Things – The Early Fruits of Summer

I’ve had a hectic two weeks – including playing 14 Wicked shows and a trio concert in Vermont – so tonight I am relishing having a teeny breather before we head off to Saratoga, NY for more fun with New York City Ballet.  Escaping the heat and noise of the Big Apple is quite welcome at this time of year.  Speaking of fruit, my appetite was piqued on my short stay last weekend with my mom in her cottage in New Hampshire.

Here’s what’s flourishing in her garden right now…

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