At Busch Gardens, Dion introduced to the National Caricaturists Network, or "NCN." I was looking forward to attending their upcoming convention in Orlando. The NCN has an online forum where I used to post stuff from Busch Gardens. This was before blogs got really popular, so this was where you went to see the work of your peers.
One section of the forum was called the "Firing Squad." Members post pics of themselves, then you draw them and post the results. These two are of Andrea and Marco, respectively. Both were drawn with the Dixon Markette in 2006.
I'm obsessed with getting a nice quality of line, variable-width and tapered curves. There is a certain aesthetic to a line, which is why I prefer this sort of cartooning over hyper-realism, where every detail down to the last pore is depicted. (At one point I had gotten all into 3D software like XSI and ZBrush, with the intent of unleashing hyper-realistic caricature, but after investing a lot of money, time and effort, I had a mid-life crisis: Gimme back my markers and crayons!)
Anyway, the Firing Squad is a chance to experiment with different styles and get some feedback from other members of the NCN. It's also a challenge to draw from photographs. It's much easier (and more fun) to draw a caricature when the subject is sitting right there in front of you.