A Color Portrait of the Dog who walks with her nose in the Air!

Folks,

Last Week I did this Color Portrait of my Dog. You’ve already seen the Pen and Ink Portrait of my Canine Lady…now I present the color pencil portrait done using the same reference picture.

Here’s the reference photo with the final artwork.

Pet Portraits from Photos - Color Pencil Portrait Art by Artist Shafali.

Reference Photo with Final Artwork (Frame Representational) Actual Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Medium: Color Pencils.

Here are some more images in a chronological order.

When I was just about start giving it the finishing touches.

Color Pencil Pet Portraits - Oorvi's Portrait by Shafali - Almost done...

It’s almost done. Final Size of the Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Check out her eyes and her nose :)

Finished – ready to be delivered (read the story about “how this portrait came to be” at the end of this post.)

 

Color Portraits of Dogs and Pups by Pet Portrait Artist Shafali.

Oorvi’s Pen and Ink Portrait on my Desk with the reference image on the screen.

Later…after the dust settled and the portrait got framed.

Color Pet Portraits - Portrait of Oorvi - Dog and Pup Portrait Artist Shafali.

After Ms. Oorvi got her portrait framed, I took the opportunity to photograph it on my desk :) (CLICK for a LARGER and CLEARER View.)

Now some backstory for those interested :)

Behind-the-Scenes Drama – How this Portrait Came to Be!

Some people and their dogs never cease their demands.

First they demanded a Pen and Ink Portrait of the canine lady in question; once that was done, they wanted more. This is how the conversation went between us – the pup had brought her owner and translator along.

An Innocent-eyed Pup: “Those color-pencils…”

A Curious Me: “Yes, what about them?”

A Stoic Pup: “You still have ‘em, don’t you?”

A Confident Me: “Yep, I do.”

A Pushy Pup: “Why ain’t you using ‘em?”

A Confused Me: “Because I’ve been busy working on my other assignments and they had to be done in Pen & Ink or painted digitally…that’s why.”

An Apparently Illogical Pup: “Don’t you think you should take ‘em out…they could turn rusty, you know?”

A Gloating Me: “Pencils don’t turn rusty…”

A Persevering Pup: “or flaky?”

A Worried Me: “Come to the point.”

A Demanding Pup: “Do my color portrait.”

A Shocked Me: “What?!!”

An Ultra-specific-Down-to-the-Minutae Pup: “A color portrait – with my golden fur and green-brown eyes looking golden and green-brown.”

A Cautious Me: “What if I refuse?”

A Gloating Pup: “Remember the Pen & Inks that you are doing for that book…you’ve not scanned them yet, have you?”

A Filled-with-Trepedition Me: “No…but I will.”

A Smirking Pup: “Oh, yeah?”

So I rush to the drawer where I had them neatly stacked…only to find that the drawer had been denuded of its contents.

A Confident Pup: “You do my color portrait and you get them back. OK?”

A Defeated Me: “Hey, but color portraits are more expensive than the Pen and Ink ones…are you prepared to pay?”

A Triumphant Pup: “Sure…I’ll pay. I’ll give all those Pen and Ink drawings back, so that you can scan them, and send them to the client.”

This is how, ladies and gentlemen, A ” totally brow-beaten me” was brow-beaten into accepting a commission of a color pencil portrait of Ms. Oorvi. I did get my drawings back – all twenty-four of them…and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

 If you are interested in looking at my Pen and Ink Pet and Wildlife Portraits, I request you to visit my Pen and Ink Portraits blog here. I am open for pet-portraiture/wildlife art commissions and you are welcome to contact me with your requirements.

Caricature-Portrait of Serena Williams as her Serene-self.

This Caricaturist’s blog is proud to host the Caricature of Serena Williams :)

The Making of Serena Williams’ Caricature – A Recap.

Ms. Williams has done it again. She’s got another artist to create a caricature portrait of her magnificent self. As some of her awesomeness spills over the edges of the tennis court and floods this blog, I am so very glad to host her caricature here.

After Malcolm Gladwell’s caricature-portrait, I wanted to do something different. Gladwell’s portrait has cooler colors and has no additional objects. I thought of painting a portrait of a musician or a sports-person, because I thought that a musical instrument or the sports paraphernalia would give me an opportunity to work on something different. In one such random yet guided search, Serena Williams came up. In the picture, she was holding the Trophy after winning the French Open World Cup  of…I think…2012. I though that she looked cute and happy and with that sweet smile on her lips, she looked quite innocent too; she also held that sparkling cup in her hands, which was, in my un-sportist opinion, a far better object to paint than a tennis racket.

I was so taken in by the overall image that I decided to paint it – but I wanted the racket too. The racket was the means to the cup – and though the players often toss away their racket after they win…I feel that for a tennis player, the tennis racket is more like an extension of their hand. I just felt that the picture would be incomplete without a racket. So I added one.

While I don’t post my roughs (something that I learned from my fictional hero, Howard Roark of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead,  my mistakes should end in my dustbin,) I must tell you that I made a few changes in my first sketches. They pertained to the angle of the racket, the caricaturing of the trophy, and Serena’s hair. The changes were minor – but they made a difference.

To cut a long yarn short, here’s Serena Williams’ Caricature.

 

Caricature portrait of Serena Williams holding the French Open cup - Caricatures Sports - Tennis Stars

Caricature: Serena Williams Actual Dimensions: 12 inches by 12 inches.

 

Here are the details of her face:

Caricature portrait - Face details - Tennis Star and Sports Celebrity - Serena Williams holding the French Open cup - Caricatures Sports.

Face Details: Caricature – Serena Williams.

I doubt there are any in the blogosphere who don’t know who Serena Williams is, but for my clients from Atlantis and Krypton, I must provide a short biographical sketch.

Serena Williams – A Short and Quick Biographical Sketch:

On the Personal Front:

Serena was born in Michigan, in 1981. When they were just four-and-a-half, Serena’s dad Richard Williams started giving them tennis lessons because he wanted his daughters Serena and Venus to become tennis players. For a very long time Richard Williams continued to be Serena’s and Venus’s coach. It’s only recently that he married a much younger lady (in 2010.) He divorced the Williams sisters’ mother Oracene Price in 2002. Oracene Price, who did coach the girls technically as well, focused more on building a system of strong values and beliefs in the Williams sisters. Price taught them the virtue of staying pressure-free.

On the Professional Front:

She’s ranked world #1 in women’s singles. She’s got a zillion other things to her credit, but all that is overly complex for this simple-minded caricaturist so she’ll leave you with this awesome wikipedia link of Serena Williams’ page here.

This year hasn’t been good for her so far. Her coach said that she’s going through a difficult period.

————————-This marks the end of Serena Saga in this post—————————-

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures…check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” on Amazon. It simplifies and distills caricature-making to a science. Remember that to draw caricatures you needn’t be a super-painter or a super-sketch-artist: what you need an eye to see the funny angle and a way to exaggerate features in a fun way, WITHOUT destroying the likeness. How can you achieve this? Click the following icon to find out :)

How to Draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist - by Shafali Anand - Click to Download from Kindle.

Click to View the Book on Amazon.

Sorry for a rather longish post…but at times, even we, the visualiti, slip into the quagmire of verbosity.  “Tchah!”

 

About the Crazy Stuff that’s been happening all over this place – A Personal Post.

The more observant readers of this blog must be seeing some changes here – and I hope that the changes meet the approval of my visitors and readers.

Let me sum up all these changes :)

1. The Color Artwork section of the Art Gallery has gone through a complete overhaul. I am no techno-geek but the gallery looks cool in my browser (Safari.) I’ve been told that Firefox plays its own dirty tricks on the presentation of this page - so be it. If I’ve to choose between spending my time figuring out html style sheets and drawing, I’ll choose the latter.

Click the following image to view my Art Gallery comprising my magazine/book cover illustrations, inner illustrations, and other color and black and white caricatures.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations and other caricatures.

2. The top-bar has been cleansed of the sections that I was no longer doing justice to (I know how unfair it is – the pages pay for my disinterest) and it now has a new super cute section – a gallery of my Pen and Ink Portraits. I have another blog dedicated totally to Pen and Ink art, but as this blog is a holistic representation of me and my work, I thought it must be added here too.

Click the following image to arrive at the page.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

3. The sidebar has been shuffled to present the recent changes.

4. The header image has been changed to reflect some works from this year. Hopefully it looks nicer.

The next post will present Serena Williams’ caricature, complete with a trophy and a tennis racket :) (You can steal a glance at her caricature on the header image, but I’ll post a bigger one, with a closeup of the face….and yes, the post would be about my painting experience.) So if you are a sports enthusiast and would like me to notify you about it, click the Follow button :)

 

 

Caricature/Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – The Caricaturist’s blog reaches the Tipping Point.

In my previous post, I had promised a caricature of Malcolm Gladwell. Here it is :)

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell, the Author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw.

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – Digital Painting – Actual Size: 10 inches by 12 inches at 300 dpi.

 

Why Malcolm Gladwell?

An apt question.

Here’s how it happened. I was talking to a friend in Pittsburgh, and she happened to mention Malcolm Gladwell. She had seen him on a TV show and she appeared impressed by him. I had heard of the guy’s name and somewhere in the far recesses of my mind and in my faded and almost invisible schema of the management world that I once belonged to, a forgotten node began pulsating. A decade ago, he had written something that had catapulted him into fame…this was all I remembered of him.

So I did a web-search and there he was. Looking dapper in that glorious cynosure of a hairdo. On his twitter account, he calls himself “The Skinny Canadian,” which of course is a euphemism for his vertically linear framework. He has a rather striking personality, and quite obviously, it immediately struck me that I must caricature him.

The first rough sketch was done right then and there – the two-minute sketch as the art-gurus would call it. I had Mr. Gladwell’s profile beaming at me from the monitor, and I made a rough. It was close but not what I really truly desired. This prompted me to make another sketch – this was done in Photoshop, and this was something that I could paint.

Rest was all painting. As you can see, I was focused on the face and skin… and I wanted to capture that look in his eyes. Unlike my full-length caricatures where fun is the primary goal I strive for; in this particular artwork, I wanted to take it nearer to a portrait in treatment and yet keep it a caricature that adds to the personality of Mr. Gladwell.

As this blog’s tradition dictates, I must now talk about Mr. Gladwell and his life thus far.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

I know I can’t beat the short and succinct autobiographical statement on Mr. Gladwell’s Twitter Account, which just reads “The Skinny Canadian.” I won’t even try to, because I think that there’s actually a lot more to him than the fact that he’s skinny and Canadian.

He was born in England, in 1963. In 1984, he graduated with a degree in History from the University of Toronto. His first job as a journalist was with The American Spectator (now that info byte is extra-special because as some of you know, I’ve been illustrating for The American Spectator for almost a-year-and-half now.) Then he wrote for another magazine before moving on to writing for The Washington Post. It was in 1996 that he began his career at The New Yorker.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Books:

Gladwell’s written 5 books. They are:

  1. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000),
  2. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005),
  3. Outliers: The Story of Success (2008),
  4. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009),and
  5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).

(Source for all the above information is dear old Wikipedia here.)

Gladwell isn’t married, he writes about everyday stuff that happens in malls, in streets, in homes, and in corporate boardrooms – and I think he and his hair are super. BTW, when he was younger, his hair wasn’t that wild. In fact he used to look quite normal :) But then, I wouldn’t care to caricature him then, would I?

 

A Pen and Ink Pet Portrait from a Photograph – Guess who got framed?

Fridays are Furry Furry Furry! (translating for the un-dogly, “Fridays are very very furry.”)

How so?

Through a Pet Portrait Commission of Ms. Oorvi. (Yep! A proper commission, I got a check for it - and I’m going to buy another box of color pencils with it.) I thought it’s a good idea to show you the photograph and also the Pen-and-Ink portrait, so here it is:

Portrait of A beautiful Dog in Black and White - Medium: Pen and Ink, Done from a Photograph.

Size: 8 inches x 10 inches

 

One of these days, I am going to write a tutorial on making pen and ink portraits. This year I’ve done a bunch of them and I’ve been falling in love with the crisp beauty of the medium all over again. If you are interested in reading how this portrait happened, read about it at my Pen and Ink Portraits blog here.

Caricatures of Malcolm Gladwell & Serena Williams Coming up.

Now to the regular matters of Caricatures etc. I’ve been working on some cool caricatures (the left-brained would recognize the name of Malcolm Gladwell, and the non-studious population of the sport-loving kind would appreciate one of Serena Williams…perhaps.) I’ll be posting them soon. These portraits are special for me, because they are painted upon the sketches that I did directly in Photoshop – something that I never did before. Until about a week ago, I’d always sketch in my sketchbook, scan the sketch in, then send the sketch to the client for approval. I knew that people sketched in Photoshop, but I expected a steep learning curve, and so I stayed away…until last Saturday.

Guess what? If you are doing detailed pencil drawings (for example, the black and white caricatures that I do) where your want a finished look for your artwork; I’d recommend you stick to your art-paper and pencils. However, if you are doing sketches that you want to ultimately paint – Photoshop is cool. Just fetch a really small (say 4 or 5 point) round hard brush from Photoshop’s basic brush library, set pressure-sensitivity on, and start sketching. I found cross-hatching to result in a ball-point sketch kind of look…and I think it works. One of these days, I’ll share a few sketches that I did this way.

But enough of this…you are a busy person and you need to get back to your easel – digital or otherwise.

However, if you aren’t all that busy, do visit my Gallery. It has been refurbished and updated, and I think it looks better than before :)

Caricatures: Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton – Cover Art for Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

This is one of the recent magazine-covers that I worked on. It was for the July/August Issue of Talk Business & Politics Magazine of Arkansas.

Caricatures of Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton - 2014 Senator Elections in Arkansas - Cover illustration for Talk Business & Politics.

Senator Mark Pryor and Congressman Tom Cotton fight it out in the 2014 Senator Elections of Arkansas. – Cover Illustration for the Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

 

US Senate Elections in Arkansas – 2014: Mark Pryor vs. Tom Cotton

The US Senate Elections in Arkansas for 2014 will see Senator Mark Pryor being challenged by Congressman Tom Cotton.

Here’s a quick biographical snapshot of the two politicians that you see in the boxing ring. Senator Mark Pryor is seeking a third term as senator. He is a Democrat, he’s recently been through a divorce, and has a background in finance. Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, on the other hand, is an army veteran, a lawyer; and of course, a lot younger than his opponent. Arkansas is considered to be Republican territory; and while in 2008 Mark Pryor had won without facing any Republican challenger, the story appears to be different this time. According to this article on Huffington post, it’s going to be a closely contested election.

About this Cover Illustration:

A few points that I’d like to draw your attention to – 1. The client required that I make their bodies almost equal in volume and that their faces came up to the same level. However, there’s a lot of difference between the body volumes and heights of the two gentlemen (Pryor is short and stout; Cotton is tall and wiry.) When I read the brief, I wondered, but I trusted the client’s viewpoint (he’s the one who knows the other side; we were too early in the process for me to see the article.) So I researched and realized that the elections are going to closely contested and that both the contestants are being considered equally powerful (here’s the link again.) So, showing them as “visual” equals in the boxing ring, made a lot of sense.

Notice their complexions too. Pryor’s has a ruddy hue while Cotton’s is pale – almost oriental. I thought that I’d color-code their boxing gear to show their political affiliations – and to add more color to the cover. I love color and while I love play with semi-realistic/realistic treatments in skin, hair, and clothes; I like to push the colors…just a little.

So, that ends the story of this cover.

Do visit the website and if you are interested in this very interesting fight that comes to a conclusion on November 4, 2014; find the magazine here.

The Feature Frame Method of Drawing Caricatures – and the Evolution of a Caricaturist.

How to Draw Caricatures

(An Artist’s Eternal Quest for a Technique that always works!)

 

Or “almost” always works…
Because the experimental landscape of an artist’s curious mind forces an artist to change and evolve, defying the use of scientific methods and reducing the chances of a boolean result.

The Feature Frame Method © that you learn in Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures is a scientific method that provides a framework that a caricaturist can use to create caricatures that exhibit relevant-exaggeration and likeness.

Usually I don’t talk about the book. This is mainly because I think that a book should do well or not do well on its own merit. I had been thinking of making a post about how cool the book is – it appears that everyone who writes a book does – but somehow I couldn’t. I’ve always thought of Learning and Medicine as two professions that should rise on their own merit. This is precisely why I didn’t buy my book and send (“gift”) it to sundry reviewers who have no love for caricature-drawing.

Oddly, despite my own non-promotional, finicky attitude, the book’s sales have been picking up steadily. The only reason that I can attribute to it is a kind word-of-mouth.

Oddly again, the stereotypical artist’s aversion to writing has ensured that there aren’t any reviews. It’s fine. I know what being an artist feels like and I know that if reviews were pictures, I’d probably have one from every artist whose device has my book. I am not sure if it would be a cool review, but I am an incorrigible optimist, so I always think that it would be :)

Here’s a small effort to enhance the visibility of this book further. If you’ve read my book and found it useful, or if you’d like to help this book reach more artists/hobbyists who would like to learn how to draw caricatures, do share it.

Book to learn how to draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist by Shafali - available on Amazon.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist” – A book for artists and hobbyists for learning how to draw caricatures.

As an artist and as the author of this book, I think that if you are an artist/hobbyist who wants to learn how caricatures can be drawn with confidence, this book is for you. “Evolution of a Caricaturist” is not about painting, nor about sketching. It’s about how you can look at a face and create a caricature of it – using any medium that you prefer. So if people tell you that you draw beautifully, but they aren’t able to recognize the person in your caricature (who they know through real/reel life, of course,) then I’d recommend that you click the following link/image and check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricaturist.”

How to Draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist - by Shafali Anand - Click to Download from Kindle.

Available as an eBook for your hand-helds and desktops. Click the above image to View on Amazon.

If you don’t want to head for Amazon straightaway, first download the preview of “Evolution of a Caricaturist” at ISSUU and then decide. And if you like it – with permission of the artist who dwells within you, please leave a review too :)

Coming up soon is a post with my newest Magazine Cover. It’s already on my Facebook page, do check out if you are interested.

Soon, then.

 

Dog Portraits in Pen and Ink – The Beagle and the Rottweiler.

Fridays are still furry beautiful. This week, I am glad to present two portraits – a Beagle and a Rottweiler.

Beagles are scent-hounds. In my opinion, they are the cutest scent-hounds of all. They look like young precocious children – curious, alert and energetic – unlike the avuncular Bloodhound.

Stephanie Lilley, Regency Romance Author, dog-blogger, and mom to several beagles, captures the beagle-experience beautifully.

“So much to sniff, so little time to bay. A pack of beagles sounds like a symphony with individual instruments–a low oboe, a staccato bell, a bicycle horn, a stuttering trumpet, crescendo and decrescendo until there is just the oboe…and then little whoops…then silence when the scent is lost.”

The Portrait of a Beagle

Dog-portraits, portrait of a beagle - scent-hounds - cute dogs, cats, and other pet portraits by shafali

Beagle Portrait, Medium: Pen and Ink, Size: 8 inches by 12 inches.

And the Rottweilers.

The Rottweilers are dogs of a different kind. They were bred to guard and to protect. Humans being humans, first bred them for protection – because they needed their protection; now they brand the Rottweilers as aggressive and dangerous dogs, because in the protected-by-law environment of today, humans don’t see much use of them.

The press too has been unkind to the Rotties – just the way they’ve been unkind to many other dog-breeds, the worst affected are the Pit Bulls, who were bred to entertain a certain section of blood-thirsty humans. When we denigrate dogs on the basis of their breed, we contradict ourselves on our stance of the nature-vs.-nurture debate.

We don’t automatically brand a murderer’s child a murderer, because we expect that even a child with the genes of a killer father, if nurtured right, has the potential of becoming a law-abiding, even productive citizen of the world. However, we don’t think twice before giving sweeping statements that brand specific dog-breeds negatively.

Dogs, you see, are more amenable to be trained into becoming adorable family dogs. Quite like in the case of humans, dogs too respond to their environment and the treatment that their families mete out to them. A boy born of non-criminal parents, if adopted by an uncaring family could grow up to be a criminal. This is also true for dogs.

So if at all you come across a dog that’s ferocious, check out the family. Chances are that the dog is kept on a leash even when inside, that it’s not petted or scratched or hugged ever by the “owner.” Also remember, a dog is supposed to protect his family and his house. As a human you would do it too – won’t you?

Here’s a portrait of one such misunderstood dog – The loving and caring Rottweiler.

The Portrait of a Rottweiler

 Portrait of a Rottweiler dog - Pen and Ink Drawing - Pet and other Animal Portraits by Shafali

Rottweiler Portrait, Medium: Pen and Ink, Size: 8 inches by 12 inches.

If you love dogs, do visit my Pen and Ink Portraits blog :) There are a lot of other dog and cat portraits, that you can view there. Some wildlife art is coming up too :)

 

 

Another Tryst with Color Pencils – A Beautiful Witch with Hypnotic Eyes Emerges.

Those pencils had been languishing in my desk drawers for a whole year. I wouldn’t have bothered with them, had I not gone to the stationery shop to buy pens for my pen & ink drawings. I had ordered some pens, and the shop-owner had called up to tell me that they had arrived. So yesterday, I went to the shop to pick them up.

Every artist knows how addicting these shops can be. Sketchbooks, notebooks, canvas-pads, diaries, drawing-boards, pencils, pens, brushes, colors, paints…I could go on and on…and still not finish the list. The point is that the way the stereotypical woman is addicted to showrooms that are stocked with clothes, shoes, and makeup material; the stereotypical artist is addicted to a stationery shop.

Let me cut a long yarn short and tell you that the pens that I had ordered were ready, and I should have just paid for them, taken them, and left. Instead, I got hooked. I checked out their paper inventory, their notebooks/sketchbooks inventory, and then I came to a stop right in front of the shelves that held the color pencils!

Color Pencils! I had bought a stash last year!

The rest, honestly, is a blur.

All I wanted to do was reach home and get those pencils out and start drawing.

This is what I drew.

The Beautiful Witch - 12" x 16" - Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

The Beautiful Witch – 12″ x 16″ Cartridge Sheet – Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

 

The head-dress, I admit, is a little odd…a feather, a lace-edged fan sort of thing (a collar from an old ragged dress worn as a head-ornament), a feather, a colorful rag around her head. Why would a beautiful woman choose to wear something as unfashionable as that? Before you admonish me for the strange headdress, allow me to defend myself.

The headdress is odd, because I wasn’t really thinking. I just wanted to try out the pencils and see how I could blend the colors. I learned that the blending was terrible and that I might have to check out the Pastels when I went to the stationery store the next time.

I do like the eyes. They rivet you. I like the underbite too. It makes her look witch-like in a subtle but intelligent way. It amuses me to think how even the slightest of underbite can change the whole expression – how it can turn a smile into a smirk.

I’m not satisfied with the look, the texture, and the brightness of the colors; but I post this to record my experiments with color-pencils. Note that though I used Derwent Watercolor pencils to draw with, I didn’t use water on the image. The application of water could brighten it up by heightening the contrast, but I just wanted the dry pencil look.

More on this later…when I suffer the next bout of color-pencil inspiration.

Meanwhile, if you want to meet someone who simply loves color pencils, meet Creative Barbwire :)

Caricature-Cartoon Elizabeth Warren – The American Spectator July/August Issue.

Last month, I had the opportunity to illustrate the cover of two political magazines. I’ll post the other cover after the magazine hits the stands. Here’s the one I did for The American Spectator‘s July August 2014 Issue. If you hold Conservative views, pick a copy from the newsstand or subscribe to the magazine here. 

Elizabeth Warren Caricature on the Cover of The American Spectator Magazine - Cover Illustration Shafali

July August Issue of The American Spectator.

 

I must confess that this was a challenging assignment. On the face of it, it looked easy. A lady with a Red-Indian head-dress standing in front of a Teepee… it couldn’t be simpler, you’d say. Actually, you’d be wrong. Over the years, the lady has sported many different hair-styles, her preferred outfit is a loose jacket and a pair of trousers, and most reference images available on the Internet show her waist-up! Anyway, the point is that at the end of it all she looks rather cute standing akimbo in front of that teepee that she didn’t build. Of course, she didn’t build that teepee in the image. I did.

So…

Who is Elizabeth Warren?

Elizabeth Warren is the US Senator for Massachusetts. She is a Democrat and you can read her blog here. The controversy that the tag-line in the cover points to, is the fact that she had once identified herself as a Native American. It turns out that there isn’t enough documentary proof to support her claim. While most of the voters in her constituency say that this won’t affect their decision to re-elect her, the issue has attracted a lot of criticism.

While Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly denied that she’d be running in the US Presidential race of 2016, there are speculations that she might. She is considered to be a Democratic heavyweight and there’s a possibility that she might be in the race, along with Ms. Hillary Clinton. If you’ve not viewed my Caricature of Hillary Clinton, you can view it here.

I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff lately. This included Pet Portraits, a Couple of Wildlife drawings…and oh, yes. I’ve been experimenting with my color pencils. I had tried them out last year and drawn the Caricature of Samantha the Witch and this captive here – but these were both post-card size drawings. This is bigger.

Let me take a picture and show you what it is – await my next post :)

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures, check out my book “How to Draw Caricatures? Evolution of a Caricaturist” at Amazon :)

Learn How to Draw Caricatures in a Step by Step methodical way - A book by Shafali Anand.

Pen and Ink Pet Portraits – My New Site for Animal-lovers :)

 Fridays Just went Furry!

Pen and Ink Portrait Artist's Desk - Portraits of Dogs, Cats, Horses, Tigers…everything furry - other animals and wildlife.

My dog and I are super-happy to present my Pen and Ink Portraits Gallery and a Furry New Website to our readers.

Dear Friends, I welcome you to the new space :)

Pen and Ink portraits of dogs, cats, pups, kittens, and wildlife in pen and ink - created by shafali

Click to View the Pet Portraits Gallery.

Pen and Ink Portraits of Two Handsome Dogs:

Here are a couple of Pen and Ink pet portraits that I did recently. View more at my Pet Portrait Art Gallery.

The English Mastiff (The Gentle Giant)

The English Mastiff is one of the largest dog-breeds in the world. They are tall and big and heavy, but they have the sweetest temperament of all. They were bred to be guard-dogs, but they love to spend time indoors with other family members. I’ve written a detailed post on mastiffs to accompany the portrait. Read the post and see the portrait closer up here.

Portrait of the English Mastiff Dog - Pet and Wildlife Portraits in Pen and Ink by Shafali

 

The Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is, of course, a terrier; and that makes him an earth-dog – a vermin-hunter par excellence. He like his other terrier cousins, was bred to hunt foxes and other small animals including rats; but the Cairn Terrier of today is a family dog. Read more about him and view his portrait in more detail here.

Portrait of the Cairn Terrier Dog - Pet and Wildlife Portraits in Pen and Ink by Shafali

What made me grow fur?

Actually, I’ve always been furry close…I mean very close to dogs and cats. It is said that people are either cat persons or dog persons, but not both. Well, I am both…and more. I love dogs and cats with equal intensity…and every once in a while I experience a crush on a mouse, a lizard, a chameleon, a squirrel…the list is long. I guess I am an animal lover, because that makes me real cozy furry!

This Furry Artist is Open to Pet Portrait Commissions now :)

Now that I’ve gone furry, I am taking Pet Portrait Commissions. If you are interested in hiring me to draw the portrait of your furry son or daughter, and you don’t mind my falling in love with him or her, contact me here :)

 

 

Caricature of Julius Caesar – A Digital Painting and Thoughts on How to Color your Caricatures.

Here’s a painting that I did from an older black and white caricature of Julius Caesar.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of the Roman General Julius Caesar.

“They use the most tender leaves to make his wreath!” – 12 inches x 12 inches at Print Resolution.

 

Following is the black and white caricature that I painted upon.

Caricature of Julius Caesar the Roman General by Shafali

 

I thought of sharing this image to elucidate how coloring a caricature is different from coloring a portrait. While there’s a lot that I learn with every caricature I paint, there are some caricaturists who have mastered the art of using color in a funny way. There are two caricaturists who I hold in high esteem when it comes to using the power of colors in caricaturing – Vizcarra and Thomas Fluharty. While Vizcarra’s work brandishes color as an almost fatal weapon to gain and fasten your attention to his caricatures, Fluharty’s use of color is subtle – it attracts you in a more sublime manner.

I gravitate towards the sublime. In art, I am a moderate. In caricatures, I stay away from hyper-exaggeration. I recently got a very nice compliment from a client. He said that my style was fun. “Fun” is what I gun for, especially when I create caricatures. I am not pro-seriousness, nor am I pro-ridicule – this is why I call myself moderate and this is why I am more pro-Fluharty in coloring.

Not using the colors for fun and staying realistically close to the actual coloring isn’t my thing for caricature-painting; nor is exaggerating the color values by pushing them to the periphery of the color-wheel.

Here are a few pointers for those who like to moderately exaggerate the colors in their caricatures.

How to Color your Caricatures?

1. Use colors to add color to your art.

So make the reds a touch redder, the blues bluer, the greens lusher, the browns chocolaty…move towards colors that encourage nicer, more fun-feelings in the viewer. This may not always be required, but when it happens, your caricatures look more lively.

2. Use colors to heighten contrast.

Lips are red, teeth are white? Actually, they aren’t. Lips have a red/magenta tinge and teeth vary from grayish-yellow to creme in color. When two different colors are adjacent to each other, increase their contrast. In the lip and teeth example, this would exaggerate the teeth and add to your caricature.

While painting Caesar’s head, I edged the leaves with gold, heightening their contrast with the shadows on his head; I contrasted his lips with his skin (I am sure that an aging Caesar’s lips won’t be raspberry red and so full as shown in the caricature, but painting them realistically would’ve killed the fun element in the caricature.)

 3. Use Stark Highlights and Shadows:

Don’t go super-realistic on highlights and shadows. A shiny knobby nose looks funnier than a realistically painted one, eye-balls that reflect an unnatural amount of light look more lively in a caricature. So stay with stronger high-lights and shadows.

So bring out one of your sketches and unleash the painter in you :)

I’ve also been hoping to tell you that I am rather happy with the performance of “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” though I often wonder why we artists are so averse to writing. If we weren’t, we’d leave a review or two on the books that we read. And yet, I shall stand my ground and not buy/request reviews by sending the book to professional reviewers who aren’t my real audience.

Very Important: If you’ve stopped here by chance and you love animals, follow this blog, because something awesome is coming up soon (as soon as this Friday.)

Until then… Draw to Smile :)

 

 

Stealing is stealing! Period. Don’t disguise Plagiarism as Appreciation.

This post is about creative effort. It’s about the ownership of content. It’s about calling a spade a spade and a thief a thief.

This post has been triggered by my friend Barb’s post here.

Artists, writers, music-composers – all those who earn their living through creative effort have felt the pain of their work being stolen. There was a time when I used to wonder why otherwise “honest” people are quick to steal the creative work of their fellow-beings; why people who’d never, not even in their dreams, steal a watch, a cellphone, a diamond ring, or money – would quite readily pounce upon creative content and present it as their own. But that was another time, another era. Since then, through many such misfortunes of my own, I’ve discovered why.

 

Why People Steal Creative Work?

I’ve realized that there are three main reasons why people steal creative work (an act that’s euphemistically called Plagiarism.)

1. The Quality of Creative Work is Subjective.

 I may say that James Bama or James Christensen are better artists than M.F. Hussein or Andy Warhol, but there are hundreds of thousands out there who’d verbally slash me into ribbons for saying so – and they’d have a more objective reason to counter me – the quantum of commercial success.

When quality of the output is subjective, everyone wants to be there and do that. And people who steal aren’t really the connoisseurs – they are those who just assume that all art is equal and available in abundance, and that if they steal an artwork, they are in fact, putting their stamp of approval on the artist. In fact, they presume that artists must be grateful for the attention.

2. Artists don’t/can’t fight back.

They don’t because the environment has trained them to be at the receiving end, just the way others are trained to think of artists as good-for-nothing bums who are just waiting for someone to notice their work and drop a penny in their bowl. They can’t because most artists whose work gets stolen are not famous and rich yet – and so they don’t have the means to drag the thieves to the court and make them pay. Have you ever heard a famous singer’s work being plagiarized in his or her own country? It doesn’t happen. But across borders, the thieves find their nerve, because law is often biased to favor the citizens of that country. And so the cross-border art-thieves are safe.

3. Copying isn’t Stealing!

In some cultures, copying isn’t stealing. Parents help the children trace, they help the children by drawing/writing for them, they even help the children change a few lines here and there so that the artwork appears to have been drawn by the child. The child grows up with the belief that copying isn’t stealing. Unfortunately, in art, in music, and in literature; IT IS! Rote learning is, in a way, learning to copy and learning to accept that copying is moral and legal. When a fourteen-year old learns an explanation of a passage by rote and regurgitates it on his examination answer sheet, only to get a perfect score, he also learns that creativity is crap.

Three Examples of Creative Work being Stolen

Stuff has been stolen from me all my life. Some of the things were material and I don’t recall most of them, but some were created with my sweat and pain, and I remember all those quite well.

Among many  such robberies that shredded my faith in the integrity of my fellow human-beings, here are three such incidents – going backwards in time.

1. Cross-border Stealing

Some months ago, I got an email from a German gentleman who preferred to stay anonymous. He told me that a studio in Germany was stripping my credentials from my caricatures and presenting them as their samples to generate business. They even had a Facebook Page for it. I tried to harness the power of social media to stop the studio from doing so. Of my 50 or so Artist friends, none responded. They didn’t want to fight back. (Point 2 in the first list.)

One of my artist friends once remarked that we shouldn’t waste our energy on trying to stop the scum from stealing, instead, we should focus on creating. I’d like to ask the artists who believe that there’s no need to fight back – if someone stole their car, would they be as willing to step back and let the thief have it, as they would if someone stole their art?

Stripping a creative work of the credit and using it – is stealing. Period.

2. Within-borders Stealing

A little more than a year ago, one of the most prominent newspapers here (this publication also happens to be one of the largest circulated English daily newspapers of the world) , carried a caricature that I had done three years ago. My credit, my signature, all neatly cropped off. It was presented in a manner that it cast the impression of having been created by one of the caricaturists that caricatured the guests at a restaurant featured in the newspaper. It didn’t just hurt me, it also hurt all those who went to the restaurant hoping to get a caricature in the style and quality that was mine. But that shouldn’t hurt me, right? After all, who am I to say that the caricaturists hired by the restaurant at possibly a measly $10 an hour weren’t better than me? Remember point 1 in the first list? The quality of creative work is subjective.

I wrote to the editor…she sweet-talked, then she tried to pin the responsibility on a junior editor, next on an external party – never once apologizing. I was willing to let the matter go, she only had to accept and apologize. So I gave up and wrote to the Managing Director of the Publishing House. I never got an apology, but those I know in there, told me that she did get pulled up for it.

Not apologizing doesn’t mean that it wasn’t stealing. It was, and it will remain. Period.

3. Stealing from a Child

When I was in eight-grade, I used to draw pictures (generally, figures with decorative borders) and sometimes leave them between the pages of my books. A teacher, let’s call her SB (those are her actual initials,) borrowed my book so that she could ask us to read the passages from the book. From my place on the first bench, I saw her open the book and surreptitiously drop that sketch in her desk drawer; my friend saw it too. I felt sad, because it was a rather nice sketch and I wanted to go home and show it to my father. Nobody said anything, but the whole class knew that our teacher was a thief and she stole from the kids.

People who tried rationalizing this for me, told me that she did this because she liked my work, and that I should take it as a compliment.

So, if you like someone’s wife, steal her, because you are just paying a compliment to the man.
If you like someone’s pen, pilfer it, because you are merely expressing your appreciation for the pen.

You won’t.
Because your morality tells you that it’s not right. Because you know, that you cannot clad the act in the cloak of appreciation.

In truth, when my teacher took my drawing without asking me, she stole. Period.
In truth, when you take a creative work and make it look like you did it, you steal. Period.

I know you won’t.
Because you know that it’s immoral. It’s like saying that you fathered another man’s child. You wouldn’t do it. Would you?

So my dear otherwise honest friends, if you want an image for a non-commercial purpose, request permission from the artist. If you want to use it commercially, pay for it. It’s that simple, really :)  

 

Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen (Stories for Kids) is Free to Download Today – View my Children’s Illustrations.

“Rose S. Ferguson’s Fables – The First Dozen” is available for a Free Download. Please note that it’s a promotional offer by the author and it will be available free only on May 27th and 28th.

If you want to check out my Children’s Illustrations along with twelve cute and funky children’s stories – download it now. The stories are cute, crazy, and completely off the track!

Click here to Download “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen” from Amazon.

You don’t need a Kindle to download it – Any hand-held device/computer will do. You can download the Free Kindle Reading App for any of the non-Kindle handheld devices (Tablets/Smartphones) from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771)

Here’s the cover once again :) (Yes. I just LOVE it!)

Cover Art for Aunt Rosie's Fables - The First Dozen

 

The 12 stories are:
1. Supercool Sewster and his Super-dream 
2. Emoti and Emoto – The Mushroom-dwellers 
3. Moms are Cool! 
4. When Fibby was Caught Lying 
5. Romulus – The Rodent Soldier 
6. When Terry Challenged Harry 
7. Rolly – The Tourist from Antarctica 
8. Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson 
9. Mumbo – The Mouse-elf 
10. How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer? 
11. Zick, Zack, Zuck! 
12. Smucko and Sparky – An Odd Friendship 

My personal favorites are:

  • Romulus – The Rodent Soldier
  • Rooney Reinster Learned a Lesson, and
  • How Justin Rooster became a Good Singer?

So go check it out :)

This week’s going to be uber-busy. I’m doing two magazine covers and one interior illustration. The first week of June’s going to be a little relaxed with just one book cover artwork for my dear old friend who’s an awesome client too. So, I’ll reappear in a week from now. Until then…go meet all those fun characters in “Aunt Rosie’s Fables – The First Dozen!”

I know that a post on “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is pending…perhaps the next one.

Caricature/Cartoon of Narendra Modi as BJP Wins Indian Elections 2014.

India witnessed something totally unprecedented today. For the first time in the history of India, BJP is slated to win the Indian General Elections of 2014, and come into power with complete majority. What Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP started but couldn’t finish, BJP finished with aplomb. Narendra Modi, the three-time Chief Minister of Gujarat, is being credited as the man who created this wave of positivity for his party. He is going to be India’s next Prime Minister.

The Indian National Congress Party headed by Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, which has been in power for the last ten years, suffered the worst defeat ever.

I did Narendra Modi’s caricature to commemorate BJP’s victory in these elections.

Caricature of Narendra Modi as BJP wins the 2014 Indian elections.

If you want to use the artwork on your blog/website/Facebook page etc. (but not print media) – you are welcome to use it as-is (without modifying it in any way.)

And for those who want it without the sepia tint, here it is – on pristine white background.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of Namo, Narendra Modi, the Gujarat CM who became India's prime minister!

In these elections, India has voted for Change. Here’s to Change!

Cover and Other Illustrations for Aunt Rosie’s Children’s Book

I spent the last two weeks working on something different. Moms of young kids may want to check it out. It’s called “Aunt Rosie’s Fables   of Courage, Honesty, Hard Work, and Wisdom – The First Dozen.” It has 12 stories that can be read to kids at bedtime or if the kids are a little older, they could read them on their own too.

Here’s the Cover:

Cover Art for Aunt Rosie's Fables  - The First Dozen

Click here to view Aunt Rosie’s Fables on Amazon.

I’ll be back with some caricatures soon. Unfortunately, there’s been so much to do in such little time. I am not complaining, but yes, I do miss posting to my blog.

If you are Children’s Book Author and looking to hire an illustrator, I’d love to explore the possibility of working with you.

I’ll be cross-posting this to my Children’s Illustrations blog too.

Cover Art – for a Novel – Romantic Suspense Thriller.

Last week, I did a novel cover of a slightly different sort (Not my usual – this one has no characters on it.)

I happened to create the cover of Chris Elhans’ “Scars of Gold.” It’s a different sort of cover – more abstract, keeps the mystery intact, and trust me, there’s tons of mystery in it. It had to supplement the character of the book. In places, the book is brightly romantic; then the suspense builds, and you see the other colors – some darker, a few brighter, but in the end, they all change into the color of satisfaction.

Here’s the cover:

Novel Cover for Scars of Gold by Chris Elhans - Kindle eBook Cover Artists

Cover Art: Scars of Gold – A Novel by Chris Elhans

While we are at it, I’d also like to direct you to two other covers that I did for B.G. Hope – an Urban Fantasy writer. 

Are you writing a book and looking for a cover artist?

Look no further :)

 

 

Random Black & White Caricatures :)

I was lost in the swirling mist of random assignments – a novel cover, some writing, and a few caricatures.

While randomness rules, here are a few random caricatures that I collected from the past :)

Caricature/Cartoon – Gul Panag – Chandigarh’s AAP Candidate – Indian Elections 2014.

Recently, I had the opportunity to create the following caricature of Gul Panag – the Aam Aadmi Party candidate from Chandigarh.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Poster- Gul Panag- for Game Is Baar Gul Panag - AAP Candidate from Chandigarh - Indian Elections 2014.

 

 

I did this caricature for an Android Game developed by Mr. Gurpreet KANG.  If you own an Android running device, check out “Is Baar Gul Panag” on Google Play.  There’s another game by Mr. KANG that you may want to check it out. It’s called: Is Baar Chalegi Jhadoo. It features a rather cute caricature of Mr. Arvind Kejriwal (Nope. Before you ask, that one’s not done by yours truly.) And yet, I’ve tried capturing Mr. Arvind Kejriwal’s Safaai in his caricature here.

About Gul Panag

Read about her, here.

About Chandigarh and Indian Elections 2014

Last evening I chanced upon a cozy tea-time interview of Gul Panag (AAP), Kirron Kher (BJP), and Pawan Bansal (Congress), by who else but Barkha Dutt. You can imagine the scene. Pawan Bansal, literally sandwiched between two dimpled beauties, trying hard to put in a word or two; Kirron Kher in her Punjab di Sherni avatar; and Gul Panag trying to hold her ground the best she could. As they sat there; Gul Panag looked pretty but harrowed, Kirron Kher appeared strong but on the verge of being aggressive (remember, we Indians don’t like aggressive women – but she needs to convince people – Abki Baar Modi Sarkar) and Pawan Bansal seemed to be walking the tightrope between being nice to ladies and not being sidelined. I’d say, it’s an even fight – and I’ll eagerly await the results.

About The Caricaturist

She’s been feeling tired – wearing too many hats, juggling too many things – so the caricaturist has been sleeping a lot – trying to charge up :)

 

The Creative Clutter of a Caricaturist’s Corner :)

Creative Clutter?

It better be creative – because if it isn’t, all my lady-associates of -iL and non-iL kind, will have the last laugh. Those voices still ring loud and clear in my ears. “Her room is so untidy,” “her kitchen is so disorganized,” “there’s dust on the table,” and then the sin that overshadowed all other sins…”She made my cartoon!”

One good reason to be born a man in India is that if you don’t tidy up your place, nobody comes after you with a verbal dagger! There are days when I honestly don’t care – when I’d rather sit and draw or write for the whole day and most of the night, without wanting to clean up the damn place…and trust me, that’s the time when these goddesses of perfection would turn up – as though someone had been tattling on me.

But all these critical yet otherwise good-natured ladies who look down their beautifully crafted Nicole Kidman noses on me and my spherical knobby nose, haven’t been listening to Dr. Albert Einstein.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

(If you didn’t get it, you might be one of the uncluttered lot.)

I’ve met some OCD-ishly uncluttered people, and I can’t fault Einstein’s reasoning. One spends so much time organizing stuff only for aesthetic reasons, that there’s little time left to do anything else. It’s true for me – and I truly think that the uncluttered geniuses must exist only to prove the rule that Einstein stopped short of formulating.

I’d rather stay cluttered and ignore the sniggering, giggling critics. And honestly, my cluttered desk does help me think more clearly. Ironical – but true. So, let me present another addition to the clutter on a hurriedly cleared portion of my desk.

American Spectator Obama Crowns himself - Issue April 2014 on my desk

Wondering why the desk doesn’t appear cluttered to you?

Here’s the reason why.

In the pictures, you don’t see my other two desks, where I push my clutter when I want to take a picture to post here. Who knows when one of the ladies  whom I so highly speak of, and who watch my every step hawkishly, arrive here and discover another missile that they could add to their stash of ammunition.

I’ve been busy with some writing,  and a caricature of Gul Panag (the AAP candidate from Chandigarh,) which I created for a Game App that a gentleman is creating for Android devices. When he sends me a link of the game, I’ll share it here :)

That’s all folks. I go back to re-cluttering my desk. Right now it’s too organized for me :(