How many caricatures can you do in an hour?

It depends on the type of caricatures. If I am drawing Black-and-White Shaded Faces (which is 95% of my gigs) the speed is 12-14 faces per hour. If it's line drawings only (no shading or background color) I can draw 20 faces per hour.  The event name and date are pre-written on each paper, and I use a one-or-two-color background which fits your theme, school, wedding or corporate color. For color caricatures, I can generally do 8-10 per hour. If bodies are desired, they perhaps add another minute or two to each drawing. These are approximate speeds, I have been known to draw even more faces per hour than I quote! It also depends on how quickly people get in and out of my chair, their age, if they are chatty, etc.

How many people can you fit on one paper? Do they all have to sit there at once?

 I can fit four (and sometimes five) faces on one sheet. It takes the same amount of time as drawing them all singly---it's always funny to me when people think it's faster to do lots of people on one sheet! They don't all have to sit at once---generally there's only one or two chairs for my subjects, and until I train my left hand to draw simultaneously with my right, I can only draw one person at a time! :-)

Do they have to sit absolutely still?

No, I generally can draw even squirmy babies if they can look in my direction for just a minute or two. That first impression is when I get the general likeness down, the rest of the time is for details and shading.

What kind of space do you need to set up? 

I use a portable slanted drawing table. The client provides me with two or three chairs---one for me, and one for my subject---two, if there will be many couples drawn. A small table is appreciated if possible--I can do without if necessary, but it's nice to have a place for my sign, supplies, and for folks to put their drinks, etc. I also need access to an electrical outlet, for my easel lamp.

If the event is outdoors, I need full shade so that my subjects don't squint. And please don't seat me next to speakers or generators, so I can converse with your guests!

What size paper do you use?

I use 11" x 14" sturdy cover stock. A clear plastic bag is always provided with each caricature.

Do you offer frames or mats?

I can provide 12 x 16 personalized black mats (for a small fee per mat) if asked beforehand. I don't carry frames since they are easily available and such a personal choice.

How many hours can you draw? Do you take breaks?

I do have a two-hour minimum for all events. If an event is quite far from me, I may ask for a three-hour minimum.

However, I can draw almost any amount of time. I've drawn practically non-stop for twelve hours at some festivals I've done! Most gigs are between the two-hour to five-hour range. As for breaks, I take brief ones only if necessary, as I want to draw as many of your guests as I can!

How do you deal with lines?

Generally, the best way is first-come, first-serve. Sign-in sheets generally don't work as time is wasted looking for the next person if they wander off. The beauty of live caricature is that it entertains many while they are waiting to be drawn themselves! My scheduled drawing time is posted on a sign next to me so people will know when I am finished. If I am asked to stay longer, I note that on my sign, too.

I'd like to book you for my event. What do I do now? 

Once you've emailed me for availability,  I send a simple contract that lists the particulars of your party--client name, contact info, date, time, event location, and anything you'd like me to keep in mind  (such as whether the event is a surprise, if there is a theme, what you'd like written on each paper, any special directions, etc.). I require a nonrefundable 1/3 deposit to hold your date for you (once I receive it, I turn down all other requests for my services for your time slot.  If by some circumstance, I cannot do your event, I either refund your money or send a suitable replacement-- but so far in twenty years of doing this, that's never been necessary :-) Then I join you on your day and start drawing smiles and laughter!

Live Caricature FAQ

Above: These are typical examples of what I do at most events---shaded B/W caricatures with a color background. They are done with markers and colored pencil sticks and I can draw 12-14 faces per hour. 

Shown here is a full-color-with-body caricature. This is done for guests of honor (brides and grooms, graduates, the birthday person, etc.) I can draw 8-10 of these per hour.

 Live Caricature

Above: Line drawing only, no shading...when speed is of the essence! 20 faces per hour. 

Your guests will be charmed and AMAZED (read her reviews!when you invite #CaricaturesbyEmily to your party! It's so much fun to watch spot-on, yet light-hearted likenesses emerge from her pen, in only minutes per face. It's not just entertainment--it's also a party favor that your attendees will treasure forever!

Emily has caricatured everyone from newborns to one-hundred-year-olds...and is proud of her many years of professional experience at all types of events, from casual to formal. As an award-winning Gold member of the International Society of Caricature Artists, Emily is passionate about her craft. At events, her clients remark that they can plainly see how much she enjoys what she does for a living--putting smiles on faces, both literally and figuratively! Please visit the Pricing page for rates.

Below: two examples of full-color caricatures.