THE BLOG
04/08/2013 10:17 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Kinky Boots and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly

I had the joyful pleasure of seeing the new Broadway musical, Kinky Boots, this past week. It opened last night to some very good reviews. It's a lot of fun, with Cyndi Lauper's tuneful score, and a big knockout performance by Billy Porter in one of the leading roles.

My challenge was to capture a little sample of the fun and excitement on the stage at The Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Because of space limitations, as to the size of a drawing, ( 12" x 17"), and my inability to draw minuscule figures, I usually limit the number of characters I put in a drawing. In this case I had to choose among a large cast of very talented performers.

Billy Porter plays the bigger-than-life drag performer, Lola, so I had to include his character.
So, when I drew Billy, I needed to draw some of his essence, peaking out from behind Lola's lavish, over-the-top costumes, and very theatrical make up.

I've drawn several drag performers in the past, including Lypsinka, Charles Busch, and the man who wrote the play of Kinky Boots, Harvey Fierstein. Even though the drag performer is a caricature already, I attempt to capture both the female creation and the man underneath the wigs and make up.

My drawing for this weekend's Wall Street Journal opinion page is of New York City Police Commissioner, Raymond Kelly. I had drawn Mr. Kelly previously for the WSJ, but it's always fun, and sometimes a challenge to go back and draw the same person again.

Mr. Kelly has great and distinctive features features to draw. Here is a man with a serious look, projected in his stern eyes and firm jaw. In most of the photographs I found for reference, he looked like he was frowning. However, my editor did not want him with a turned down expression on his face, so, I had to use my imagination and attempt and make him a little less serious.

I wish I could tell you that these drawings flow from my pencil, but the truth is that most of the time I use up a lot of eraser to capture that "spontaneous" combination of shapes and random lines to create an interesting drawing.

I hope you like this weeks attempts at caricature.

Cheers!

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