Thursday, May 22, 2008

Other Courtroom Artist Links

I was doing a bit of research this afternoon about courtroom artists. Okay, it may seem a bit after-the-fact, since the trial I was working finished over a week ago. But I learned a lot during that trial and am now able to look at other artists' courtroom work with new eyes. Sometimes I wonder "how the hell did they do that?". Other times it's "wow, that's pretty good". And in a few cases, I wonder how they can even post it on the web. (I haven't listed those artists here!) Still, it's all a learning experience.

Ironic Sans is a blogsite that has an interesting entry for March 4, 2008. He contacted seven courtroom artists about what they do when they're not doing court stuff. It's a good read with samples of all the artists' work, and it has links to all their web sites. They are:
- Mona Edwards. She was a fashion designer, which gives her drawings a spareness that adds to their punch.
- Steve Werblun. He has an excellent ability to get a likeness. Interesting (for me, anyway) is that he draws with markers. I dunno how that's done, but I'm determined to find out.
- Marilyn Church. She works in pastel on toned paper. I tried this approach and it did not, repeat did not, work for me, but she does it very well.
- Patrick Flynn. He also works in pastel on toned paper. His figures are much more simplified than Marilyn's, almost stylized.
- Dana Verkouteren. She lives and works in DC, covering mainly the Supreme Court but also other cases. Her drawings are much more finished than I tried to do, and she works in colored pencils.
- Paulette Frankl. Her works are very dramatic, actually leaning more toward fine art (particularly German expressionism) than typical courtroom illustration.
- Art Lien. Like Dana, he lives and works in Washington, DC. He has a wonderfully loose style while still finishing the works to a high standard. His website is really a blog, and an interesting read.

In addition to these artists, there are a number of others that I've found or been pointed to:
- Bill Robles. He has covered every major trial in LA since the Manson case. His drawings are exceptionally well done -of all the courtroom artists I've found, he's the one I like the most. His website doesn't have much information nor very many drawings - you'll have to do a Google search to find more.
- Mary Chaney. She covered trials in the LA area with excellent drawings and dramatic colorings. The website refers to her in the past tense, though, and I couldn't find any information about that.
- Susan Schary. Susan's in the Philadelphia area and works in pastel on full-sheet (18x22) toned paper. How she does that is beyond me - I work on quarter-sheet watercolor paper (about 11x15).
- Vicki Behringer. Another LA artist, Vicki has a good ability to capture a likeness. Like me, she works in watercolor.


Mike said...

Hi Skip, I like what you said about my friend Bill Robles's work and I agree! A terrific talent! I've known him for 24 years. We worked in the same studio for 6 years at Group West in Los Angeles. He's a great guy and I hope he continues to do the same work for another 25 years.

steve werblun said...

Hi Skip! FYI: Bill Robles, Mona Edwards, the late Mary Chaney (she passed away a few years ago), and myself, ALL use(d) magic markers (albeit in different ways) to create our courtroom illustrations. And since you seem to be so curious, here's how I do it: I create a very quick pencil sketch (on the reverse side of a 9" x 12" sheet of a Bienfang layout paper (prior to the first "O.J. Simpson Trial", when the size of my illustrations (22" x 17") began to distract the jury, Judge Ito ordered me to draw on smaller paper), then I draw directly over my pencil drawing with a black Pilot Fineliner and then, I erase all of the pencil lines so that they don't smear when I color the piece. That leaves me with a "coloring book"-ish illustration that I then "paint", using a variety of full color magic markers. And, that's how I do what I do. However, I haven't done any TV courtroom art (except for TV shows like, "C.S.I.", "The Practice", and others) for about 5 years now, focusing instead on my career as a storyboard artist for the film industry. So, thanks very much for posting my website link here on your site. And, keep up your good work!!! SW