Coming up soon: Caricatures of Gandalf the Grey, Taylor Swift, and Jesse Jackson.

Have you ever seen them together? In the same place? This has never happened before! But now it will. Now you will see them together here – at this caricaturist’s blog!

Caricatures in the Offing!

Blogging Plans for the Next Two Months:

  • Tutorials – Cartooning and Caricature-Drawing
  • Tutorials – Pen & Ink Drawing
  • A couple of Short Satires (I may not publish them on SmashWords like the earlier ones – just here.)
  • Snapshots/Final Artworks/Caricatures that I do during this time.

Possible To-do’s for First-time Visitors:

Keeping this post short :) Got to get back to sketching a very interesting scene for a magazine-spread. I need a cup of tea before I start…

 

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.

 

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 :)

 

 

Caricature – President Obama Crowns himself King on Cover of The American Spectator.

Folks,

This month, I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting assignment – President Obama Crowning himself King :)  My regular visitors know that I’ve done at least three Obama Caricatures in black and white (you can find them in the Gallery here,) but honestly, none drip humor the way this does.

Let me start by presenting the artwork.

Caricature, Digital Painting - The American Spectator Cover - The good king Barack - Cover Art for the April 2014 issue.

Cover Art – The American Spectator – April 2014 Issue

If you are a conservative and you don’t subscribe to The American Spectator, you can explore it here.

Now the story behind the creation :)

Drawing and Painting President Obama’s Caricature

The Assignment Brief

The Assignment Brief was very clear – Barack Obama crowning himself King, wearing a robe, and could be shown admiring himself in mirror – perhaps a half-figure drawing, and on a solid color background.

When you illustrate for magazines, you walk the tight-rope between design and art. The constraints are important because they set the boundaries for your artwork. So you always begin with the constraints – unlike in Fine Art, where you begin with a concept and allow your artwork to evolve and define its own boundaries.

So the first thing to do was, visualize Obama on the cover – with a solid color background. The solid background made it essential that I visualized the entire color palette within the main figure.

Balancing the Colors

Check out the play of primary colors. The wine-red velvet of the robe and the crown; the golden-yellow of the mirror, the crown, and the tooth – were two warm colors (Red/Magenta, and Yellow)- To neutralize the heat of these two colors, I needed the third primary (Cyan/blue,) and so I decided on a blue tie and offered to paint the Eagle rug from the oval office, under his feet.

That’s how the colors played out, the black/gray/white – the neutrals notwithstanding :)

The Head/Body Ratio

Also note the head/body ratio. In this particular caricature, the expression of glee on the president’s face was the most important element of humor. The body was unimportant – purely a hygiene factor, necessary to define the composition. This is why I went  for a very high head/body ratio – but I kept the hands big – they had to be, to hold such a huge crown.

Face-Details/Closeup

Here’s a close-up of the Caricature of President Obama.

President Obama crowns himself King - Closeup - The American Spectator Magazine - April 2014.

President Obama crowns himself King – Closeup – The American Spectator Magazine – April 2014.

A Few things to note:

As you can see, I added a few ideas to the original brief. It helps to discuss your ideas with the client. Sometimes, your ideas may be tossed out of the window, because they were too “morbid,” or they needed to be “watered down.” Here are a few things that I added – the diamond stud, the gold tooth, the eagle rug, the flag, and if you can find him – a tiny but smooth operator.

The diamond stud in Obama’s ear and the gold-tooth, both are affectations of the rich and they help strengthen the “King” in him. I worked with Obama’s younger and more enthusiastic look – not the older, grayer one…reverse aging is impossible, but in its impossibility it exaggerates the impact of the caricature. I had to do some research on his hands. The color, the veins, and also his wedding band (couldn’t have missed that.) I thought that a crown with a flag would look good too.

If you’d like to learn how to draw caricatures in a methodical way – check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” on Amazon.  

"Evolution of a Caricaturist - How to Draw Caricatures" available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.

Among all kinds of illustrations, caricatures evoke the highest response from the audience. A caricature achieves this by weaving the spell of humorous likeness around its subject.

This book establishes a logical method to harness the creative madness that results in caricatures. The author calls it the “Feature Frame Method” and illustrates how this method can be used to selectively exaggerate every facial feature.

Evolution of a Caricaturist helps you master the art of caricature drawing by presenting around 75 artworks and technical drawings, and then analyzing the features of more than 30 celebrity faces.

Caricature/Cartoon – Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones with his battle axe!

Presenting the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister of  Game of Thrones.  Peter Dinklage who played the role of the dwarf in Game of Thrones, won the Emmy and the Golden Globe award in 2011 for his role of Tyrion Lannister, and emerged a giant among actors.

This caricature just happened. The Bookface Caricature Contest on Facebook was on and for some strange reason this generally contest-averse artist felt like drawing him, but not before I had procrastinated enough to have missed the deadline. So this caricature didn’t make it to the contest and I have a feeling that among all those beautifully colored renditions, this wouldn’t have turned any heads so whatever happened, happened for the good.
Caricature, Cartoon, Pencil Portrait of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

Knowledge and Cunning are my most lethal weapons!

Tyrion Lannister is one of the important characters in Game of Thrones.  In fact, among the three siblings, he is the most intelligent and also the most cunning, but his family (father Tywin, sister Cersei, and  brother Jaime) don’t like him a lot. The reason can be found in Tyrion’s knowledge of things best kept hidden under a shroud of mystery.

About Game of Thrones:

Game of Thrones is a serial drama aired on HBO. It is based on a series of Fantasy novels written by R. R. Martin. The fourth Season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to air on April 6th, 2014. I’ve watched the severely censored version of the first two seasons, but not the third. In my opinion, the censored version loses a lot of its charm because the censoring makes many events appear totally disjointed. Yet, every important character leaves an indelible mark on the audience, and I think that’s what makes an epic. I cannot ever forget Cersei’s single-minded devotion to her son, Khaleesi’s evolution as the leader of her husband’s tribe, or Tyrion’s cunning maneuvering combined with his self-deprecating witticisms.
Find tons of information on it here and here.

How to Draw the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister:

Tyrion Lannister is different from other characters. He is a dwarf who has been derided for his looks all his childhood. Even his father doesn’t think a lot of him. His sister favors her twin and his older brother Jaime over Tyrion, and in fact takes Jaime as her lover. Tyrion Lannister, however, is also a very intelligent man who has the ability to think ahead and plan, something that both Cersei and Jaime lack. A lot more humane than his siblings, Tyrion is also a philosopher of sorts.
Caricaturing such a multi-faceted character is an uphill task. While his face has certain characteristic features (his small nose with flared nostrils, his heavy brow ridge etc.,) I didn’t want to exaggerate the features so much that they interfered with the intelligence and cunning that shines in his eyes. The posture in the caricature is imaginary. It shows him just before he makes his final move. The tension in his arms, his stance, and the look on his face – all work together.
As the readers of Evolution will be able to judge, I used the Feature Frame Method to exaggerate the shape of his face, his brow-ridge, and his lips, but I limited the exaggeration to contain the personality of the subject.
A Nuance:
Note that I’ve added the battle-axe (his favorite weapon) in his right hand. Being a south-paw, he would hold the weapon in his right hand only while he is thinking. Just before he strikes, he’d transfer it to his left hand.

Thank You :)

I’d also like to add a quick Thank You Note for everyone who has bought and/or recommended Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures. Evolution has been growing slowly but steadily – just the way a book should. As I’ve mentioned in the Feb Issue of Draw to Smile, I believe that if you find the book useful, you’ll tell your friends about it – and this is exactly how I’d like this book to grow – in your hearts and with your love. Thank you, my dear readers.

Caricature/Cartoon – Jay Leno of The Tonight Show on NBC Retires.

Believe it or not, until the time of creating this caricature, I was completely oblivious of the fact that much before Jay Leno‘s magnificent chin was seen and admired on The Tonight Show, it was seen in Hollywood movies. Recently, a friend spoke about his impending retirement and I thought that I must caricature him, chin and all, to bid him farewell. It was then that in order to present you with his power-packed nano-biography that I went web-scavenging for information and came back leno-wiser.

Here’s Jay Leno, as seen by this caricaturist.

Caricature, Cartoon of Jay Leno - The Tonight Show Host (Portrait, Sketch, Drawing - event: Retirement.)

Handing over…reluctantly?

Jay Leno’s Nano Biography

Here’s his anti-leno-chin biography for my esteemed reader.

He was born in 1950 (April 28, if you want to send him a Birthday card,) in New York. His parents’ parents had immigrated to the US from Scotland (his mom) and Italy (his dad.) His first brush with the stage happened in 1973, when he started a comedy club in his college. However, Leno’s big break came with his appearance on The Tonight Show that at the time was hosted by Johnny Carson (started 1962 – ended 1992). What I didn’t know and many non-American readers may not know, is that Jay Leno worked in some movies too. However, most of Leno’s earnings come from his Standup comedy shows, especially in Vegas.

About The Tonight Show

1987 onwards, Jay Leno started stepping into the shoes of Carson and then five long years later, he replaced him. Many expected the honor to go to David Letterman. It’s widely speculated that this didn’t happen by chance, and a journalist Mr. Carter wrote a book “The Late Shift” (which eventually became a movie,) on this specific incident. If you go by the plot of the novel/movie, Leno’s success should be attributed to her manager Helen Kushnick.

About The Jay Leno Show

For a very long time, things were hunky-dory but then about four years ago Leno’s contract with NBC ended  and another gentleman Conan O’Brien took over The Tonight Show show from him. Leno remained with NBC and started a new show called The Jay Leno show. However, unlike what happened with Two-and-a-Half Men, where Charlie Sheen’s departure and Ashton Kutcher’s arrival worked well for the show, both The Tonight Show and The Jay Leno Show didn’t do well. In a year, Leno was back on the show and O’Brien was given a huge payout ($33 Million, which some say is Leno’s yearly package) to leave the Tonight Show. This however, didn’t help The Tonight Show re-attain its previous glory.

About Jay Leno’s Retirement

Leno’s retirement is imminent and he will be replaced by Jimmy Fallon, yet everyone doesn’t believe that the transition would be smooth.

Read more about Jay Leno’s retirement here.

Interesting Facts about Jay Leno

  • Jay Leno’s got a massive chin, which is known as the Habsburg Jaw as it was first seen as a recurring theme in the portraits of the Habsburg royal family. The Habsburg jaw was considered common in the European royal families. You can read more about it here.
  • Leno was never a good student. His best grades were a “C”.
  • Leno does 1 standup comedy act every two days (in addition to The Tonight Show.)
  • Leno’s pictures suggest that he is left-handed. He doesn’t drink or smoke.
  • He has 190 (!) vehicles!
  • Leno is married and the couple has decided not to have children. (Other notable celebrities who’ve decided not to have kids are: George Clooney, Cameron Diaz, and others. Check out this link.

Art Note for Artists/Readers of Evolution of a Caricaturist:

Notice the following in Jay Leno’s caricature above.

Jay Leno’s chin juts out and drops down. It isn’t just a long and heavy chin that dips down vertically, it’s a chin that projects out (quite like the slide on which children play,) and unlike most other long chins, the elongation starts at his lower lip. He has a good head of hair and his hair falls over his forehead. I was looking for a shape in his face, and the shape that I found did justice to his profile, was of a crescent moon. Note that I have exaggerated nothing else. If you refer to the book, you’ll see that I’ve applied the rule of exaggerating only those features that are characteristic (the hair and the chin) and that deviate from the standard. Here’s a FREE pdf outlining what “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” contains.

Caricature/Cartoon – Liam Neeson – The Profile of a Superb Actor.

Liam Neeson has a striking face with the most hypnotic deep-set eyes I’ve ever seen. I think his eyes must have hypnotized me into drawing this caricature.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Profile of Liam Neeson of Schindler's List, The Grey, The Unknown, and Taken.

For the very few who do not recognize this fabulous actor, here’s a quick biographical sketch.

About Liam Neeson:

Neeson is an Irish actor who was born in Ireland (in 1952) and who finally made his way across the Atlantic and the vast expanse of the North American continent to arrive in Hollywood 35 years later. He almost won the Best Actor Oscar for his role of Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (Tom Hanks wrested it from him for his role in Philadelphia…another awesome movie with an absolutely riveting performance by Hanks.)

Known for his gripping performances in movies such as Schindler’s List, Kinsey, and Taken, Neeson caught this caricaturist’s eye in his role of John Ottway in The Grey, and then more recently in Kingdom of Heaven (he isn’t the main protagonist in this movie – Orlando Bloom is; yet he plays an important role.)

Learning from this Caricature…

Why the Profile?

One of the reasons, of course, is that he is most recognizable in his profile. His eyes are deep-set but to realize how much, you need to look at his profile. The root of his nose doesn’t connect with the forehead in the usual depression seen in most other faces, and this deviation is a lot more pronounced in his face because he has a very strong brow ridge. All in all, he has a very unique face and its important deviations are more pronounced in the profile. (I’ve discussed the selection of the important deviations in “Evolution of a Caricaturist.” If you have the book, check out the chapters “Caricaturing the Brow and the Brow-ridge” and “Caricaturing the Nose.”)

PS: I am just wrapping up an App-design assignment so the newsletter will be going out soon :) Thanks for subscribing. (If you haven’t subscribed yet, click here.)

Caricature/Cartoon – Arvind Kejriwal as Saaf Aadmi

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please join me in welcoming Arvind Kejriwal’s caricature to this blog. Most of you aren’t Indians, so you may not recognize this gentleman. However, I’ll try my best to introduce him to you, so read on :)

However, if you are an Indian or an Indo-phile, you will instantaneously recognize this broom-bearing simpleton as the recently Shot-into-Fame Wizard of Delhi’s politics.

Here’s my visualization of Arvind Kejriwal, the new Chief Minister of Delhi.

Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Sketch of Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party - AAP as Saaf Aadmi

Will he? Won’t he?

Note for the International/Devnagri-challenged Audience: His cap states “Main Hoon Saaf Aadmi” or “I am a clean man.”

Arvind Kejriwal’s Shortest Bio on the Web…is here.

Arvind was born in 1968 (and so he’s fairly young to have become a Chief Minister, especially as his dad isn’t a politician,) studied Engineering at IIT-KGP (he was a smart kid – I couldn’t crack the IIT-JEE…so definitely smarter than me,) and then funnily, instead of taking the most common IITian-shortcut to success namely MS in the US, he stayed back and worked for TISCO. Later he joined the IT department and worked there for a while. But then he decided to call it quits and became an RTI (Right to Information) activist.

As this blog’s tradition dictates… I must cut to the chase and talk about stuff that matters. So…

One thing led to another, and Kejriwal found himself working closely with Anna Hazare for the Jan Lokpal Bill. This brought him into limelight (more than the Magsaysay award that he had won in 2006 – because then I hadn’t heard of him…so much for awards.)

He and his team fell out with Anna Hazare when he decided that in order to fight  corruption they will have to enter the political arena. Kejriwal thought that to weed out the corruption in the governmental machinery, they would themselves have to enter the system. Anna Hazare’s opinion was that if they entered politics they too would become dirty.  This resulted in a rift between Hazare and Kejriwal, and they decided to part ways.  Kejriwal and his team formed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with the agenda to clean up the System, and weed out corruption.  

The Delhi Elections resulted in Kejriwal becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi.  Now Kejriwal and his rickety team put together with a band-aid supplied by the Congress Party, is trying to fulfill their 17 promises to the people of Delhi, and his infant party is also preparing to fight the Parliamentary elections this year.

About this Caricature of Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal and his team have a Herculean task ahead because what is corruption to one man is a perfectly honest way of living for another. He has fought white vs. black election for the gray common man. Some among these are closer to white, most are medium gray, and other are closer to black.

The corruption that Kejri cleans up reappears in the system…somewhere else, in some other form – as another “dharna”, as another defection, or as another compromise by the party. Intentions can take you only so far, then you need strength and the ability to make strong decisions…and beyond all this, you need to be there, consistently, for a long time. Systemic changes don’t happen overnight.

This is why the dustbin has a hole and this is why the mice make merry.

The common man still remain where he is – trying to make ends meet through means that he’s learned to use. Some stay corrupt, others made corrupt, and a few honest men and women continue their struggle, working hard hoping that the dustbin will be plugged in their lifetime.

Note for Artists and Readers of “Evolution of a Caricaturist

In the caricature, I wanted to capture Kejriwal’s smile (he’s got a cute smile) and make him appear hopeful and full of trust. This is why I made his features somewhat neotenous (please refer to our discussion on neoteny in the book.) I chose a triangular shape for his face and head (a larger head is a neotenous feature) and focused on his nose, ear, and mouth as the three most important characteristic features. If you relate the exaggeration of the nose and ear to the Feature Frame Method and the corresponding Anchor Points, you’ll be able to follow the entire exaggeration of his face.

If you are interested in exploring the content of the book, you can download this Free pdf here.

The eBook “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” now on the Kindle Store!

After a long wait and a lot of hard work, I am happy to present “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures.

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures in a methodical yet fun way, its waiting for you here. 

Apart from Kindle Readers, Kindle eBooks can be read on the following handheld devices:

  • Android
  • Apple
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry

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

Chapter-wise Content Outline

I’ve prepared a short 18-page pdf that contains the chapter-wise details of the book. You can download this Free pdf for the ebook “Evolution of a Caricaturist” here.

A Journey Behind the Scenes and Into the Author’s Heart :)

Evolution of a Caricaturist - Cover Image - Kindle Store - A Book to Learn How to Draw Caricatures

2013 was a very busy year for me. In July when I had decided to publish the book, I was relatively unoccupied and I thought that it would be a breeze. Yet as time went on, I was doing more assignments and programs, and I realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.

You see, a book about drawing caricatures isn’t like any other book. It’s a journey into a wonderland of faces where you are your reader’s guide, and you use any and all means necessary to help your reader understand, appreciate, and apply everything that’s in there.

The book needed illustrations (it’s got a little more than 70 of those,) it needed analysis of faces and discussions on caricatures, and above all, it needed to be readable. In a nutshell, it needed commitment and time. I am never short on the first, but almost always on the second.

There were times when I wanted to stop because I was tired, but then someone across the world would sign-up for it, and I’d forget my aching limbs and switch on my computer, and then I’d lose myself into the book. I think I’ve poured everything I knew about drawing caricatures into the book – the thoughts, the techniques, the methods, the concepts, and the real-issues with their possible solutions.

I know that most artists would rather draw than read, I trust that most artists like to know how something’s done and then do it their own way, and I believe that this book is written for the artist in us.

With hope and love, I place this book in your hands.

Thank you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures”…almost there :)

Evolution of a Caricaturist” will become available on the Kindle eBook Store sometime this week.

This book has evolved considerably since its advent on the Knol Platform about two years ago. The number of illustrations/artworks/method-drawings have more than doubled. I’ve revised the book to ensure that its examples are more effective. I have also included analyses of the facial features of about three-dozen celebrities. The book bears my brand of humor, so if you enjoy my verbal caricatures, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that the book not only helps you learn how to caricature, but also entertains you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist” is organized into 14 chapters. It begins by establishing the basic concepts of caricature-drawing and then introduces and explains the Feature Frame Method for caricaturing the different facial features. Chapters 5 to 11 in the book discuss the different facial features and illustrate how they may be caricatured using the Feature Frame Method. The last three chapters help you complete the picture and present a story through your caricatures :-)

COMING TO THE KINDLE STORE THIS WEEK :-)

Evolution of a Caricaturist - A book on how to draw caricatures - a Kindle eBook for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for the announcement. All of you’ve been a great source of constant motivation to me. Over the course of last three months, some of you have subscribed more than once – Thank you for that. You’ve inspired me to put in my most constructive thoughts in this book.

If you haven’t signed up for the announcement, and would like me to inform you about its arrival on the Kindle Store, please visit the   the web-page of the book “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” to sign-up. You can also sign-up using the form given in the sidebar.

If you download Kindle books regularly, you probably own a Kindle device or have a Kindle Reader installed in your touch device/computer.  However, I have collected the following links to help those who don’t read Kindle eBooks but would like to make a beginning with my book  :-) The Kindle Reader is a FREE download.

  1. The Universal Kindle App for iPad and iPhone
  2. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Mac
  3. Kindle App for Android Tablets and Smartphones on Google Play (the Android Store)
  4. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” Windows 8 Smartphones
  5. Kindle App for Personal Computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP
  6. Kindle App for BlackBerry: Please visit amazon.com/kindlebb in your BlackBerry browser to download.

My New Year Resolutions for 2014 :-)

——–H  A  P  P  Y    N  E  W     Y E  A  R——–

Dear Friends,

I wish you all a Fantastic New Year ahead. May this New Year bring you Health, Happiness, and Joy.

It’s 2014 already :-) For me 2013 was a tough year laced with many tough decisions, and I am glad that it’s over.

Here’s a short list of Resolutions that I intend to keep come what may.

1. Publish “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures.” The book is almost final and I am working on its cover. If you’ve got an e-Reader (Kindle, an iOS device, or an Android device,) this book will become available for download from the Kindle eBook Store in about a week’s time.  Yesterday the number of signups touched 100. Thanks so much for your interest in the book, please expect to hear from me in a couple of weeks. If you haven’t signed-up for the announcement yet,  you can signup here.

2. Put all my illustrations for kids together and bring them you through my new blog Illustrations by Shafali I am aiming at making a post a week on each of my blogs. (I can see that smirk on your face. I know that you think I can’t do it – and you want me to look at the past-trends – don’t you? I can and I will. You’ll see :-))

3. Create and publish a Monthly Newsletter called “Draw your Dreams” for the self-taught artists around the world. I’ll announce it before January end. While you don’t know what it is, but if you trust me enough to know that it would be something useful, you may want to  read more about it and Signup for the Newsletter here.

4. Continue work on my next book, Evolution 2 – “Evolution of a Cartoonist – How to Draw Cartoons.” Half of the book is already written and sketched, but it still exists in the form of two notebooks. I need to enrich the chapters, make the drawings, and ensure that it doesn’t stray from its goal of providing real learning to the budding cartoonist. I hope to complete it by the end of July 2014, and I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

5.  Find time to create some caricatures especially for this blog. Recently, most of my time is spent working on art-assignments, which doesn’t leave me with sufficient bandwidth to create drawings especially for this blog, but I intend to correct this trend.

6. Visit other magnificent blogs and make some new cyber-friends.

This long list is a tall order for this short caricaturist, but she hopes to keep her promises.

——–H  A  P  P  Y    N  E  W     Y E  A  R——–

“The Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures?” is being republished.

Folks,

I know that everyday some of you arrive here looking for “The Evolution of a Caricaturist,” my book on how to draw caricatures. I know this because WordPress catches the search-phrases used by the visitors to this blog, and prints them out in my dashboard. The searches for the book always top the list for me, and this has been happening for about an year-and-a-half, ever since Google pulled the plug on Knol, where I had first published this book.

I should tell you that when I first put the book on Knol, I had never expected such a heart-warming response. I had written and drawn it because I just wanted to share my experiences in an organized manner – so that if one went through the book and learned how to caricature each feature using my easy-to-use anchor-point technique, they would be able to create caricatures that exaggerate the right features without losing the likeness in a face. However, the book was received extremely well – the comments that the readers left, the questions that they asked, all told me that the book was useful.  Unfortunately, I had to take it down when the Knol platform died.

I then began thinking about how I could bring it out again but in an even more useful and interesting avatar. I confess that I love interactivity, and more so, I love designing interactive experiences. I think that a live book that allows you to read, see, tap, zoom, pan, link, and sometimes do; is worth a lot more in learning than the traditional book where you just read and see. So I’ve been rewriting and redrawing “The Evolution of a Caricaturist,” – the spine of the content has remain untouched, however, the scope, the examples, the chapters, and the experience – all have expanded.

The book shall soon become available on the App Store and will be priced competitively. If you own an iPad/iPhone/iPod or a Mac, you may be interested in looking for it on the App Store in 4-6 weeks from now, or if you’d like me to remind you of it, you can use the following form to signup for an announcement email.

Signup to receive the Announcement:

Thanks once again for inspiring me to republish it.

Importance of Likeness in Caricatures vs. Portraits and Cartoons.

“Likeness” is a word that almost doesn’t sound like a word. Yet, while other terms such as resemblance, similarity etc.  could be used to replace it, we artists tend to stick to “likeness” because it’s means precisely what it says :)

The following definition presents the essence of it in words.

Likeness is “The state, quality, or fact of being like; resemblance.”

(Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/likeness)

I’d like to present the essence of “likeness” in “your” words. Look at the lady’s face in the following image and answer the question that follows the image.

The Caricature of the First Lady Michelle Obama with Two Rabbits.

Scroll down only after you’ve answered the question above.

——————————————————————

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last six years or you are more absent-minded than I am, your answer should be (c) Michelle Obama.

If your answer was (c) Michelle Obama, you’ve just understood “likeness.” When a caricature or a portrait doesn’t need the crutches of a name to help you recognize its subject, it has achieved likeness.

I can see a question floating in the air.

Is Likeness absolute? Is there either “full Likeness” or “no Likeness”?

No it isn’t. Sometimes a picture begins to look like someone’s picture when you look at it for a long time. This means that likeness exists but the viewer has to apply his/her thoughts to develop the link. “That nose’s got to belong to Lennon“, “that unruly hair – looks like this must be Harry Potter“, and so on.

So,

  • A portrait must have a very high degree of likeness.
  • A caricature must have a lot of likeness to the subject.
  • A cartoon could be acceptable despite very low likeness.

The right amount of likeness depends on what you are drawing. I know a wonderful digital artist who’s great with lights and shadows, but his caricatures often suffer from a lack of likeness. Every once in a while, every caricaturist fails to get sufficient likeness, but it’s our job to bring as much of it as possible in our drawings. When I look at Kal‘s cartoons, I marvel at the concept and the details, but his cartoons don’t score too high on likeness. This is fine because cartoons have stories that helps you figure out who the characters are. Unfortunately most caricatures carry their stories within – in their faces and their bodies, and so their need for exuding likeness is far greater than that of a cartoons.

It’s easier to establish likeness in portraits than it is in caricatures. The reason is simple. Portraits are expected to recreate the same proportions, shapes, and colors for a given subject, while a caricature is expected to exaggerate the same three factors. Exaggerating a characteristic feature of a person without losing likeness is tough, and it gets tougher when exaggeration moves into the realm of distortion.

Aim for achieving likeness in your caricatures. It always helps :)

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Drawing – 5 Golden Tips!

Some of us would like to draw…others draw.

What is the difference?

I think the main difference lies in our attitude towards drawing. Those who would like to draw can easily swim to the other side and become someone who draws, and trust me, it isn’t all the difficult. Yet there are many who look at the drawings done by others only to sigh wistfully with longing. Who would like to draw, but who think that drawing is some sort of rocket-science (forgive the cliché, but it fits… and to use another cliché, I am not going to reinvent the wheel if I have ready access to a wheel that fits the chariot of my thoughts.) Actually, in the beginning – drawing is quite like driving or cycling…you practice it to perfect it. Once you’ve perfected those lines, then it becomes a vehicle of your innovative ideas; then your work transforms into art.

The first thing to do, as you can see, is to perfect the skill.

Here’s a short To-do list for everyone who wants to acquire the skill of drawing :)

1. Always be Prepared to Draw!

What this means is that there should be no place or time when you shouldn’t have the basic drawing material with you. An artist is always ready to draw. While most people prefer to fill their leisure hours with activities such as watching television, chatting up with friends, reading a novel, and so on and so forth; and artist prefers to draw, and to draw he or she must have the drawing material ready.

Here are the possible places where you can put your rough-sketchbook/notebook and a pencil/pen.

1. In the kitchen
2. In your car
3. In your living room (preferably next to the television)
4. In your office-cabinet
5. In your back-pack/brief-case/carry-all women’s handbag
6. Near your bed
7. Perhaps even in your bathroom if you spend a lot of time on that seat (Before you ask, I don’t have one on the magazine rack in my bathroom, but I have a strong intuition that many artists do.)

So, make sure that you are always prepared to draw. No matter where you are.

2. When you draw, just draw, don’t analyze!

You must draw. In the beginning, the lines will form tediously – they’ll squiggle, wriggle, dance, and jump. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone and with practice everyone grows out of it. If we’d still walk the way we did when we were just learning to lift our butts off the floor, we’d move like drunken zombies – but we don’t. Because we learned. And we learned through practice. So, just draw. Let that pencil become your friend.

What if a snooping friend of yours checks out your precious treasure of funny looking drawings?

Challenge them to draw better than you do. If someone is criticizing you for something, he or she should either be better than you are (and then you must take the criticism as directional feedback,) or shut up.

So draw.

Combine 1 and 2 to get, draw anytime, anywhere.

3. Don’t let curious onlookers stop you from drawing.

People are funny. They think that only witches, wizards, and other sorts of magical beings can draw, and so when they see you drawing in a restaurant, or in a train, or in a park, they stop to look. Perhaps they don’t have anything better to do, unlike you who has something…so feel sorry for them, recite a short prayer for the poor misguided, bored-with-their-lives souls,  “they stand here and watch because they can’t draw… Dear God, give them this day, something more useful to do,”) and  continue. In a few months from now, you’ll be accomplished at drawing stuff – and now when they stop to watch you, they’ll gasp at your work and tell you that you are really talented.

4. Remember that Drawing has nothing to do with Art-Supplies!

Don’t worry about the types of pens, pencils, brushes, colors, paints that you should use to draw. Also don’t worry about the types of paper, canvas, other surfaces that must be used to get that oh-so-nice effect. Effects are effects, drawing talent is drawing talent. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to work with any material with ease. So, use what’s easiest for you to lay your hands upon.

Some of my best drawings are done on Xerox paper with an HB clutch-pencil, and most of my doodle-cartoons are done using whichever pen I was holding at the time when inspiration struck. Art-supplies and art-material would bother you only when you begin to draw professionally. For about six-months to a year, draw with anything on anything.

5. Tell yourself – Practice Leads to Perfection

You can walk, run, even run up a staircase, with a perfect-10 perfection – and you can do it because you’ve practiced it long enough and consistently enough.Drawing is no different. Practice is your best bet. Don’t begin, then stop, then start again only to stop… Draw everyday…and then one day, you’ll wake up and an inner voice will confirm that you indeed can draw :) When that day arrives, you’ll stop waiting for approval from others – you would have got the most important approval – from the most important source – your inner voice.

So if you are interested, pick up a pencil stub, find a scrap of paper  and start drawing :)

“Drawing Caricatures and Cartoons” a Half-Day Free Workshop in Noida, Delhi NCR – Announcement.

Dear Friends from the Cyberspace,

I shall be conducting a FREE half-day workshop called “Drawing Caricatures and Cartoons” on the afternoon of September 23, 2012, which is a Sunday.

I know that most of my visitors are from the United States and other parts of the world, yet there are many who reside in India, and some who live in Delhi and around. I receive emails from budding cartoonists and caricaturists all the time, asking me whether I could find a way to share my methods with them. They also write to me for my book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” wondering how they can read it, now that isn’t available at Knol anymore.

About sharing my caricaturing/cartooning methods

I am trying to make a small beginning through this workshop. In this half day workshop, we will discuss and draw caricatures and cartoons. Please find the details in this pdf here. I’ll convey the exact venue and time to the invitees through email a week before the workshop. I hope that the budding illustrators of Delhi and around, who have an inclination towards making cartoons and caricatures, will find it useful.

To my visitors who aren’t from Delhi-NCR, I’d like to say that while I deeply regret not being able to connect with them through this workshop. I hope to take it online in some way, some day – and then we’ll meet and draw together :)

A Free Illustration and Cartooning workshop in Delhi-NCR by Shafali.

Click the image to download the details of the workshop.

About the How to Draw Caricatures book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist”

I haven’t forgotten those 60,000 or so views and those lovely remarks that you shared on my book when it was on Knol. In fact, your emails will allow me to forget neither the book nor the fact that there are many artists who I have promised that the book will be back soon, in a new avatar. I must tell you that I’ve been working on the book and that I hope to bring it to you around the time of the New Year. A Christmas gift perhaps. If you are interested in the book please follow this blog. When the book comes out, I’ll let you all know about it here.

This book is for all my dear visitors from everywhere, and I hope that it will help you all enrich your caricaturing experiences.

Thanks again for your interest and attention.

I shall look forward to meeting some of you on September 23, Sunday Afternoon.

Best Wishes,

Shafali the Caricaturist

DRAW TO SMILE

The 5 P’s of the Creative Process or The 5 Golden Steps to Creative Nirvana

(Download this article as a PDF here, and if you want to read it in your eReader, download it from Smashwords here.)

The 5 P's of the Creative Process or the 5 Step Model for Creativity and Creative Thinking

Creativity – the stronghold of the right-brained has always invited the envy of the left-brained. Oh, how they’d love to dissect and then logically analyze our brains to understand how they work and what processes they follow.

I am writing this post to tell the world that the mystery is solved and after a great deal of research and observation, it has been concluded that the creative process has been distilled into 5 distinct steps and miraculously, their names all begin with a P! I think I must be the second person after Philip Kotler to have arrived at such a P-articularly P-eculiar P-rocess.

Instead of killing you with anticipation, I’d rather kill you with my mint-fresh P-rocess.

Let me tell you about the 5 P’s of Creativity.

Warning: I stand absolved of all responsibility for lost assignments, irate clients, angry audience, whittled remuneration, and any other unhappy fallout of your using this process. However, if this process works for you, I’d appreciate if you pass this document to your friends, colleagues, spouses, children, neighbors, or even your TV-repairman  (who might be a struggling artist, for all you know.) Thank you. Now muddle on.

Step 1: Procrastinate

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-1-procrastinate..Folks, if you want to be creative, you need to first learn to procrastinate. I find this step extremely useful when I don’t experience one of those proverbial flashes of inspiration – and believe me, there seldom are any flashes of inspiration. I am prepared to go back on this statement-o-mine, the day I become famous – because creative flashes (gentlemen, note that these are different from hot flashes!) add an aura to an artist’s personality…but then that day mightn’t ever dawn. (Sigh!)

Research indicates that the duration of procrastination depends on the urgency of the assignment and is directly proportional to it.

How to Procrastinate Correctly?

In order to procrastinate effectively, you need to:

  • Avoid all mention of other people’s ideas on the subject in question, especially if they are in the same creative domain (writing for writers, art for artists, cartooning for cartoonists, and so on and so forth.) Such ideas would make you feel lousy and inadequate, which isn’t a healthy state of mind to be in.
  • Avoid contact with the left-brained, logic-driven, process-hogs – as they’d push you for what they term as “output” and mercilessly murder your creativity.
  • Devour news and information on the subject in question, whenever you are hit with a guilty conscience bred by your tardiness. It will make you feel less worthless.

Step 2: Panic

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-2-panic..After you’ve procrastinated enough, and when the deadline looms large enough to cover your entire horizon, you have to panic. This is what I do. After I’ve procrastinated enough, something begins to nag me to look at the calendar, and when I look at the date I panic.

Now don’t panic at the mere mention of this step. Look at it like this. When you panic your body gets into the state of high alert and you begin to look at all possible options to get out of the situation, which means you are now ready to generate ideas. Do you see how Procrastination leads you to Panic and Panic results in ideas? You see it – don’t you? Good.

Now the question is…

How to Panic Properly?

If you are to make best use of your panic you need to panic properly. Here are a few tips.

  • Email, message, or phone your family members, friends, and, acquaintances, and tell them that you’ve got to deliver the drawing the next day and that you are experiencing a creative blackout (something similar to what the writers bandy about as the writer’s block). Ask them to help you out. I’d call this method: Creativity Mining. Note: this sort of thing has to be done very delicately…I am sure you know what I mean.
  • If you stay with your family, darken the room and go on a limited period hunger strike! Though your family won’t realize it, you’d be able to emotionally blackmail them into generating ideas for you.
  • If and only if the above measures fail – sit down with your notebook in your hand and begin doodling – sometimes great things happen while you are doodling, just the way some great people are born because someone was out…well…doodling (also known as “sowing his wild oats.”)

Step 3: Precipitate

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-3-precipitateThis is the step where you make sense of your doodles. You begin connecting the dots with the topic in question. With the deadline glaring down upon you, ideas begin to flow. Everything begins to come together, and it coalesces into a beautiful workable idea.

This is also the time to have an encyclopedia, your references, and an Internet-enabled computer close by. Why? Because your imagination may end up ruining your life! Recently I did a caricature-cartoon for a magazine, in which in addition to the main character, I had to draw myriad other things, including an evil-looking shark. I got the main character right, I got the TV and the people in the TV right, but I didn’t draw the characteristic dorsal fin of the shark! And you know why I didn’t? Because I was too damn sure that I didn’t need a reference.

So…

How to Precipitate your Ideas Correctly?

  • Make a rough sketch – especially if you are creating a composition. You need to get the proportions right (or deliberately wrong – if you are a caricaturist.)
  • If you aren’t sure about how something looks, find some good references for it. I mean I couldn’t have drawn Caesar, or Napoleon, or even the Queen – if I didn’t use some reference pictures.

Step 4: Produce

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-4-produceWell. Now get your final worksheet/workbook/paper/canvas…or whichever work-surface you prefer, ready – and draw it – then color it if you must.

This step is easier to handle if you haven’t cut corners while “Precipitating” your idea. My personal experience suggests this step is usually the shortest (“Procrastinate” often takes the longest.) It’s also important to remember that if you’ve “Procrastinated” and “Panicked” enough, you should be really short of time by now.

As any artist would tell you, there isn’t much to this step.

Yet a How-to is warranted, so…

How to Produce your Creative Heap?

  • Sit down, concentrate, focus, and then…. let it all out. (I know…I know – it sounds just like that – and in fact…the relief is commensurate too.) If you are a budding caricaturist, you might find something useful in “The Evolution of a Caricaturist – A Book on How to Draw Caricatures,” other kinds of creative artists would do well to find their own fountains of tips and tricks to help them along this step.
  • Scan or Print your artwork. Check it out from all angles, gloat over it for as long as possible – and tell everyone around you that creative work drains you and saps you of your energy. If those around you can’t draw, they’d deify you – who knows, they might even want to get you stuffed for their living rooms – but take that chance, and enjoy the limelight.

Step 5: Pray

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-5-prayBefore you deliver your painstakingly created artwork to your client – Pray. Believe me, this step is almost if not more important that “Procrastinate” – because it adds that something extra to your work – this is step where you pray and you resolve that if your client likes this piece of work, then you’d never ever use the 5 P’s Process of Creativity again. This is the time when you tell yourself that when you receive your next assignment, you’ll have it ready before time…etc. etc.

I guess most artists do it already, but if you don’t you’d probably want a quick how-to on this too.
Here you go.

How to Pray and Repent for the Characteristic Artistic Tardiness?

  • Kneel, fold your hands, close your eyes, and pray that the client and the audience like your work. In the field of creative arts, prayer is the most creative art of all, so pray in a creative manner – so that your prayer catches the attention of the God or Goddess who’s in-charge of the Creative Department in heaven.
  • Write “I shall not use the 5 P’s method literally and will banish tardiness from my life,” on the drawing-sheets that you had used for rough work, at least a 100 times.
  • Tear the sheets on which you did the lines into tiny pieces, and flush them into toilet.

Repeat the 5 P’s when your next assignment comes your way.

And if you are busy with any of the five steps right now – you might want to download the PDF file for this path-breaking model for creative thinking by clicking the following icon. You can probably infer from the icon below that this PDF file comes complete with a flow-chart that you can print and tack to your soft-board as a ready reminder!

Icon for the 5P's of Creative Thinking Model pdf, which includes a printable flow-chart.

Click this picture to download the PDF of this article along with a printable flowchart!

Drawing Tutorial – 5 Ways to Generate Likeness in Caricatures

I happened to look at some caricatures today. These caricatures were executed with a high degree of finesse, and the technique used was perfect. However, something was amiss. The caricatures didn’t “belong” to the personality that was caricatured. The artist, I am sure, believed that he was caricaturing that specific celebrity, and through the eyes of his mind, he saw the face of that celebrity morph into that caricature; yet, if you looked at the caricature – even after knowing whose it was – you couldn’t see the likeness.

Likeness is possibly the most important yet the oft-ignored characteristic of a caricature.

“A Caricature is a humorous likeness of a person, created through selective exaggeration of his/her physiognomy (facial features) and other physical attributes.”
 Source: Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures (Chapter 1)

Note that likeness is important. Without likeness, the caricature doesn’t belong to “a person”; without likeness, the caricature might as well be a cartoon.

Likeness isn’t easy to achieve, especially in caricatures, because you go about distorting the person’s features, and with every little distortion, some likeness is lost – unless the distortion is done selectively.

Here are a few pointers that may come in handy for generating likeness:

  1. Before you begin a caricature, remind yourself that likeness is primarily based on the structure of the face. Great technique could change your caricature into a masterpiece, provided you had built in the likeness when you were sketching it. No technique can compensate for the lack of likeness.
  2. Remember that you don’t have to exaggerate everything. Recall the Gestalt theory of Figure and Ground. It applies to faces too. In every face, some features stand out; others recede.

    In every face, there are features that standout – that make that face the face it is. Identify such elements and focus on them for exaggeration. Try to limit the number of features you exaggerate to 4. It should help.

  3. According to the Geon Theory by Dr. Biederman, “we recognize faces (and other objects in our environment) by breaking them (figuratively speaking) into geometric elements.” So, focus on the shapes of the characteristic features. Is Morgan Freeman’s nose spherical, are Rowan Atkinson’s eyes elliptical? Exaggerate not just the size, but also the shape. Don’t meddle with the eyes. Repeat. Don’t meddle with the eyes – unless:
    1. you think that the eyes are extremely important (figure?) or
    2. you believe that you can really caricature them without letting them lose their character.
  4. Remember that it’s easier to learn the sum of all the art-techniques, than to learn how to draw the eyes with true likeness, let alone exaggerate them. In most cases, if you don’t exaggerate the eyes and instead you draw them with complete fidelity; irrespective of what you do with the other features, your caricature will maintain the likeness.
  5. Let someone else look at your drawing, before you shade it in or color it. This might save you a lot of heartache later. It’s good to remember that all caricaturists go wrong sometime or the other…but if you get another “brave” opinion from someone who doesn’t really care a lot about how he’d (or she’d) end up in your bad books by criticizing, you could end up being the caricaturist who seldom goes wrong :-)

I hope this helps all those fabulous artists out there, who make beautiful portraits and who have great technique, but who wonder why likeness eludes their caricatures.

A Personal Post – More Caricatures and Some Plans.

Very Important Note!

This post will not interest the occasional visitor who is here looking for “Sachin with Ball(?) like the World Cup“, “Lady Gaga’s implants“, “Oozzie“, “hitler was a paid hollywood actor in real life“, “the divinci guy“, or
mafia cartoon mouse“! If you are looking for something specific, use the search button on the right sidebar, or visit the gallery.

This post will also not interest the visitors, who are here looking for “funny sex caricatures” or who wish to figure out “how to draw a wine glass“. In fact, there’s nothing on this blog that’ll help you with what you need. The closest that I’ve ever got to drawing a funny caricature of the kind you’d like, is Pamela Anderson’s caricature here.

And finally, if you are here looking for “posthumously famous artists“, visit in another three-decades :) By that time I should most definitely be dead and thus, famous!

Now, having put you all on the right track, I return to my post.

The Upcoming Caricatures

The upcoming caricatures are:

The New Caricature Hitlist

I am also in the process of preparing my new hi5 hitlist. All spaces are currently vacant! I am looking for suitable candidates to fill the positions and your recommendations are welcome.

The Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival

I have plans of bringing the Story in the Caricature Blog Carnival back. The caricature for the April Carnival is almost ready – and it will be up soon:)

Another Book?!!

I am thinking of writing another book…a smaller one, perhaps, which addresses the problem areas in drawing portraits, caricatures, and cartoons. If you are an artist – write to me about what you’d see included in it:)
(Read “Evolution of a Caricaturist – A book on How to Draw Caricatures” here.)

Guess that’s all. Soon I shall return with a brand-new caricature!

The Final Chapter of the Book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” has been Written!

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

Hello Readers and Visitors,

I’ve posted the final chapter of the book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist“. This chapter is titled, “The Final Note – Weaving a Story around your Caricature,” and it’s about increasing the “stickiness” of your caricature by adding a visual story to it.

With this chapter, the book ends on Knol. As I mentioned earlier, I would love to get it published through the print route and I’ve been trying to figure out how. I’ve been weighing the option of self-publishing but I am not sure if I should go for it…especially as there’ve been a couple of inquiries from some cybernetic well-wishers. I’m going to swim along with the current and so if you want to send any inquiries/information, or even good wishes my way – you are welcome!

I have plans of including a lot of other stuff in the printed/formally published version, but I believe that if you want to truly develop the ability to caricature, the online version of it should be sufficient to put you on the fast track.

 

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. ‘

Sidebar Image - Cover - Evolution of a Caricaturist - A Book on How to Draw Caricatures - by Shafali Anand

It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

The Evolution of a Caricaturist

With this chapter, one of my projects come to an end. I had hoped to complete it last year, but with food-on-the-table work occupying about 90% of my waking moments, I just didn’t find the time. I hope that the regular readers of this book will forgive this lapse and enjoy the final chapter :-)

A Request:

If you’ve read this book, I’d like to ask you what you’d like to see included in its printed version. Please send me an email at my email id, which is DrawToSmile[at]gmail[dot]com.

And a Note of Thanks too :)

The book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” was visited more than 30,000 times in 2010. Some readers left comments, some sent me emails, and a few sent me the caricatures that they had drawn using the methods that were discussed in the book.

I would like to thank you all – for your visits, your comments, your emails, and your drawings. You were there watching me. Whenever I felt tired and wanted to give up, you did something to inspire me. You don’t remember it – but you were there, telling me that if I wrote another chapter it’ll help you DRAW TO SMILE :)

So…

A BIG THANK YOU!

Art Philosophy – The 4 Types of Artists – Classification and Explanation

Once again, a personal post for friends old and new. Others who’ve reached this blog through searches/recommendations might be more interested in the Caricatures Gallery, the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, or the book “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist.”  You are welcome to click the respective links and explore the site. You are also welcome to read this post, if  you have the patience:)

On December 11 2010, this blog completed its first year, and the funny part of the whole deal was that I forgot, and I didn’t make a post. Now if this isn’t a sure sign of dementia setting in – what is? But seriously, I am bad with remembering dates. I don’t know when but somewhere in my journey of art, I learned to present my forgetfulness as a trait common in artists. I realized that people suddenly became more forgiving when they realized that I could draw and paint too. Guess they thought to themselves – we’ve got to carry those artist types around – because who knows one of them might turn out to be a Da Vinci, a Van Gogh, or a Picasso!

Personally, I’d want to be Da Vinci or die unknown. (If I sound like I am suffering from megalomania, please put it down to my being an artist.)

But…am I really an artist?
I mean what makes you an artist?
And…if you are an artist what kind of artist are you?!

Well. There are the following types of artists (and I speak of artists not artistes!)

  1. The Starving Struggling Artist
  2. The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist
  3. The Posthumously Great Artist
  4. The Richie Rich Artist

The Starving Struggling Artist or the SS Artist!

This is the most commonly found species of artists in the world. The Starving Struggling Artist is characterized by his impractical dream of making it big without paying attention to the theory of probability (which obviously he can’t as he’s shied away from Mathematics and Logic all his life.)  I ask the left-brained readers, if about 100 artists have made it big from a pool of 500 million (approximately) what is the chance of a random artist making it big? What would your answer be? Come on. Be honest. Tell us.

In my opinion, this kind of artist is worse-off than the unfortunates who walked the streets of London during the time of Jack the Ripper!

The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist or the ML Artist

This artist is that 1-in-5 Million artist who we talked about earlier. The Made in his Lifetime artist is either smart enough to know what’d really catch the fancy of the buyers or who is lucky enough to display the right thing at the right place at the right time to the right audience. Note that you seldom come across this kind of artist. They are conspicuous by their near-absence.

The Posthumously Great Artist or the PG Artist

You know this kind – don’t you? The best example of course is Van Gogh. Remember that he was once a Starving Struggling Artist who went crazy and chopped off his own ear. Van Gogh created work that Da Vinci wouldn’t have allowed in his studio – yet after his death, he managed to become famous! Now to be a Posthumously Great Artist you need to be able to pull some strings up there. It’s my belief that most of the Starving Struggling Variety of artists have a pure heart and so they end up in heaven – but I also think that up there, they continue being their non-diplomatic selves lost in their own dreams of making it big in their next life – and so they don’t pull the right strings. Hence they don’t become posthumously famous. The point to note it – if the artist has a family and a couple of good-for-nothings, then such posthumous fame can come in handy…otherwise, it’s all wasted effort!

The Richie Rich Artist or the RR Artist

When you are born with either a silver spoon in your mouth or a strong social network through your parents’/spouses’ connections, then you are a Richie Rich artist. Then you don’t really need talent to become famous. Such people become artists because they’ve got to do something with their time – and there’s really nothing that they “need” to do. You can teach your dog to pick up the brush and color the canvas – and you’d have a masterpiece selling for a million dollars! Then of course, you can take the limelight away from your dog and bask in it, as you pose in front of the canvas. This of course is a very common way of achieving some degree of fame, which isn’t all that bad – right?

So am I an artist?
I don’t fit into any of the above – and so I am not an artist. But the good news is, there’s no law against people calling themselves artists, and there’s no law against blowing your own trumpet (whatever that means) – and so…even though I may not be a starving struggler, an unbelievably lucky person, a dead artist with god on her side, or even a well-connected rich kid – I still have the right to say that I am an artist.

And being what I am, one day I might wake up and exercise that right – just like that…and again put my quirkiness down to my being artist!

The Megalomaniac speaks again…
If you can determine where I contradicted myself, you’ve won yourself an opportunity to write a guest post on my blog:-)