Artist to draw dogs at RSPCA Million Paws Walk in South Perth

Caricature artist and Rick Adams, of Ridgewood, pictured with Lady (5) and her caricature drawing at RSPCA WA in Malaga. Picture: David Baylis d492753
Caricature artist and Rick Adams, of Ridgewood, pictured with Lady (5) and her caricature drawing at RSPCA WA in Malaga. Picture: David Baylis d492753

DOGS will be lining up to get their paw-trait drawn at RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk this month.

Rick Adams will be drawing A3 black and white caricatures of pets for $10 at the May 19 fundraiser, with proceeds going to the animal welfare organisation.

The Ridgewood artist said RSPCA events coordinator Molly Haworth asked him to sketch dogs the same way he did human caricatures for the 2015 walk.

“Soon as I started drawing a few dogs in caricature at Million Paws Walk, I looked back and the line was getting bigger and bigger and I was the last person to leave from that day,” he said.

“From that event I did doggies day out event, Whitman Park dog shows and will be returning to Million Paws Walk 2019 this year under the RSPCA tent.”

While the most common pets he has drawn were dogs and cats, Adams has also been asked to do caricatures of horses, rabbits for a Japanese toy seller, budgies, snakes and guinea pigs.

“I enjoy creating pet animals in caricature and it’s something special for the owner,” he said.

“My artwork intends to show off the humour or the playfulness of these pets.

“Working from my home studio, I get commissioned mostly through my Facebook page, SketchMyEvent, where I get clients sending in photos to create a caricatures of themselves, friends or family and with their pets or just the dogs on their own.”

Thousands of people and dogs are expected to attend the RSPCA Million Paws Walk on May 19 at Sir James Mitchell Park in South Perth to take a stand against animal cruelty.

RSPCA WA relies on donations and community support to generate more than 90 per cent of the funds needed for its animal protection work and the walk is the charity’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

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There will be a doggy obstacle course to navigate, a pet parade and other activities on the day.

“Million Paws Walk is a fun-filled day out for the whole family, but it means so much more than that to abused, abandoned and neglected animals across WA,” RSPCA WA chief executive Iain Torrance said.

“Last financial year, donations received from events like this helped RSPCA WA investigate over 6000 cases of cruelty, and impact the lives of more than 10,000 animals.”

RSPCA WA volunteer Ashleigh Freer looks after five-year-old Lady while Rick Adams works on her caricature. Picture: David Baylis

Caricaturist learns to draw on the go

Adams said he had been drawing from a young age, and after college used to sketch random people on the way to work or in the train.

“I would draw quick illustrations of portraits of someone sitting across from me then sometimes show the artwork,” he said.

“Bystanders would mention I draw as a caricature artist; I had no idea what a caricature artist was or do, but I had a hidden talent for it.”

After being praised for drawing in a friend’s wedding book rather than writing a message, Adams realised there was an opportunity to take the street art into events and learnt more about the art form.

His wife came up with the business name, SketchMyEvent, and Adams taught himself to draw a head in 10 minutes at weddings, hen nights, school fundraisers and corporate parties in Perth.

“Drawing live events is the best practice to establish this art form as you get people from shapes and sizes and some just look like caricatures, but I don’t tell them that,” he said.

Mad Publishing approached him to draw caricatures for a collection book of James Bond and a tribute to Robin Williams.

Having turned his hobby into a career after eight years, Adams said the trick he learnt to drawing fast was to draw shapes.

“Most people when drawing see all the detail, patterns and textures but you need to see the outside shape and work within, then detail comes after; that’s how I draw fast and see things differently,” he said.

“If you look at a pet dog you will see the head is almost a square, round or a rectangle on top.

“If you look at a dog’s ear, it’s shaped as a triangle then emphasis from that shape and circle for the nose.”