Monday, 10 December 2012

Wedding Invitation - Start to Finish

Thought I'd take you throught the process of producing a caricature to be used as wedding stationery for a couple who are tying the knot. This is Susan and Johnny. I've known Susan since we were teenagers (many moons ago now!) and we used to work together part time stacking shelves in a Spar store when we were both still at school. The 'glamour', eh? Anyway, it was kind of her to look me up again years later and commission me to do a caricature of her and her partner for their wedding stationery. This is what the final piece looked like...Click to enlarge any image.
 To begin with, the client will email me some photos of the people to be drawn along with some ideas of how they'd like to be depicted in the picture along with details about clothing, pets, visual 'props', etc, to be included. Susan and Johnny sent me a fair few pics to work from, but I'm just posting a couple of them both together here, to give you a general idea of their looks...
 The next stage is for me to begin sketching caricature likenesses from the photos provided. I'll maybe do 2 or 3 sketches which I 'tweak around with' until I am happy with what I've got. As the work will be used on the wedding stationery, the intention is to produce purely 'fun' caricatures...and stay away from creating anything which may look 'offensive' or 'cruel'...! The roughs are then emailed to the client for approval before I go to the 'inking' stage.

Once the 'face roughs' are approved, I first of all I draw the heads along with the bodies in pose and clothing / props as suggested by the client, then ink this in with black ink pens, so we have a clean, black and white drawing of the couple together. The couple wanted me to include their 2 pet cats and Johnny with a sax as he is a musician. They also requested a pigeon flying past with a ribbon with their names and wedding date emblazoned on it - a nice little personal touch! They also provided details about what clothing to depict them in, which also makes the work more personal to the clients.

Once the linework is done, I then finally colour the piece. I colour all my work by hand in the traditional way. I use a mixed media of colour pencils, pro-markers, water colours and acrylics. I never colour or create work digitally via Photoshop, etc, simply because I've haven't learned how to do so...yet! Johnny and Susan opted for a simple, plain white back ground, which I think works just as well as, (and can sometimes have more of a 'visual impact' than) a background cluttered with lots of visual 'props' and references. This is a simple caricature of both of them, but I feel it works really well and I was happy with how it turned out.
The finished colour artwork is then scanned on to a disc for printing purposes and given to the printers / designers who add text to the work and then print up the wedding stationery. This is as far as my involvement goes on the project. I just concern myself with producing the 'artwork only' for the clients. I am a caricaturist, not a graphic designer, so I leave all the text and font choosing, etc, to those guys...There are infinite possibilities when it comes to adding texts / fonts, etc, which can take up a lot of time, therefore I'm happy to pass this task on.
So, finally, the text is added, the stationery is printed up and the job is done!

Once the job was done, I received the following great feedback from Susan and Johnny...

"Hi Edd

Johnny and I would like to say how delighted we are with the artwork and also with the whole process from the draft to the final drawing. You were very professional and the artwork managed to capture not only the essence of us but our cats as well! it is fantastic! We also received loads of great feedback from family and friends about the invites. We wanted to have very personal invitations and you helped to make that happen! Thank you so much." - Susan & Johnny xx

So there we have it. Personalised wedding stationery. Why not commission me to caricature you for your wedding, party or special event? Email me at:

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