The thrust of our 'LES ARTISTES' act is that Ben and I dress as quirky, ridiculously-stereotypical artists (false moustache, stripy shirts, beret, bizarre accents and bonkers posturing) and roam amidst the public, sketching and observing, commenting and drawing.
We are genial and unthreatening, approachable and amiable, silly yet creative. I am a professional illustrator by trade whilst Ben is less artistically skilled (hope he doesn't mind me saying so), which lends itself well to various routines we have built into our act.
For example I can sketch a 'subject' by pushing my arm under Ben's armpits whilst he hides his arms; thus I 'become' his arms.
OTHER BITS 'n' PIECES WE CAN DRAW ON:
We can sketch on each others' canvas's.
A bizarre hat can be used to denote the sitter being drawn, by asking her/him to wear it.
We carry an art frame that we use to frame our subject.
Perhaps we will ask what a sitter had for breakfast and proceed to draw their inner selves (that is, their breakfast!)
I carry an array of drawing materials that can be used in various ways.
Etc and so on.
At the end of each 'sitting' the sitter is invited to take away their portrait. Usually it is pretty good (he says humbly) and they are happy with their prize.
Usually we gather a crowd, interested to see what we are producing. We include the audience in our act, perhaps asking what they think of our artwork or being utterly proud of what we're creating, engaging them in our process.
Silly, likeable, arty, playful!
Both Ben and I are lanky fellows with quirky physicalities and sparky quick thinking brains, especially, we find, when in character.
He is an actual professional illustrator and can genuinely capture a likeness with flair and good humour, drawing on a slightly different set of routines.