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 :(

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.

Obamacare – Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Someone else’s Happiness?

Obamacare reminds me of Atlas Shrugged, and more specifically of Ivy and Gerald Starnes, and the Twentieth Century Motor Company that they run into ground, by their rule of From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

I read that during the recession of 2007, the sales of Atlas Shrugged climbed. I can imagine why. Among all kinds of dystopian worlds that writers dream up and write about, Ayn Rand’s visualization is the most plausible. While I don’t think that Obamacare is the final nail in the coffin of the American way of life, I do think that it has set the ball rolling.

Bluntly put, what Obamacare symbolizes is:
If my neighbor can pay to stave off my death and if government can pay to feed me – why must I work?
And also,
I can’t swim but I am tied to the ankle of the guy who can swim, who wants to live, and who probably has the strength to pull my weight along, why should I learn to swim?

What Obamacare effectively does is – it punishes people to be work hard, earn more, and stay healthy – and it rewards people to do the opposite. It takes away people’s right to choose and people’s need to be productive, because it promises to fulfill the safety needs of people without their having to raise a finger. Maslow’s hierarchy establishes the basic needs as physiological needs and safety needs…and everyone would work to fulfill these needs – except when they are fulfilled automatically. Doles of all kinds result in auto-fulfillment of these needs – and yet I am not against doles per se. Why? Because they allow people to fulfill their basic needs and allows some of them to break out of poverty. Others who don’t want to work because they’ve got habituated to the easy life, become less disruptive, because their basic needs have been fulfilled. So doles do help in keeping societies together.

What I am against however is disguising a dole under a veneer of an “earned” right. If you earn more you pay a higher premium regardless of whether or not you need a health insurance cover. If you don’t earn, despite having never taken care of your health a single day of your life, you pay a lower premium – you get a waiver. And yet both get exactly the same treatment when they need it, if they need it.

  • Does it make sense?
  • How does it make any sense?

Theoretically, this could’ve been achieved by increasing the taxes, or perhaps by revisiting the tax structure and by grading it to make it easier for the low-earning members of the society to make ends meet. But then a dole would still be called dole and if the administration had gone about doing it honestly, a lot of people would have resisted it. It wouldn’t have worked.

Theoretically, this could’ve been done by asking people to be more charitable and people generally are charitable, but when they earn they prioritize and nobody puts his neighbor’s kids before his kids – even when he loves his neighbor. Obamacare requires that you do that – except that you put your money in a kitty with many others…and then that money is drawn and used by many others…and nobody knows anybody else.

So people who could pay were made to swallow the bitter pill by putting it inside a coating of sugar and chocolate. People were told that those who were happy with their plans could keep them…but from what I hear, this isn’t happening. Many Americans have been left holding the short-end of the stick!

To make matters worse, the Obamacare website keeps failing. A gentleman who is my FB friend recently posted his experience with the Obamacare website. He tried for many hours before he could add the information for his wife, and then suddenly it all disappeared. Just like that!

Here’s an illustration that I did around the concept of the failing healthcare website, for the March 2014 Issue of The American Spectator Magazine.

???af_dialog.Label_OK??? by Ira Stoll - Illustration for The American Spectator Magazine March 2014

Accompanies the article “???af_dialog.Label_OK???” by Ira Stoll  (Click the image for larger view.)

I see a lot of similarity between The Twentieth Century Motor Company of Atlas Shrugged and The United States of today. What has made the United States the country it is – is the will of its people to earn an honest day’s wages for an honest day’s work. In the long run, schemes such as Obamacare dry up that will to work, because hardworking people who create value are smart too, and in time they see through any veneer that the administration may use…and when they do realize, something similar to what happened at the Twentieth Century Motor Company, could happen.

If you haven’t read the book, this is what happened at that factory.

All the hardworking people got fed up of seeing the money that was made of their sweat and blood, ending up in the pockets of those who were able to make a case of how needy they were – they got fed up of working to fulfill their neighbor’s need.

In Ayn Rand’s fictitious dystopia, there still was hope – for the prime movers had united and they intended to build America back – but that was fiction and a manifestation Rand’s obsession with super-heroes. What would happen in reality? Who are the prime movers? Are there any prime movers at all?

If America doesn’t go back to its original values, one day the declaration of Independence might be replaced by another declaration – the declaration of co-dependence, and the words “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness” will stand changed to “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Someone else’s Happiness.”

Caricature/Pen Drawing of a Killer.

A bit of drawing…

Caricature Cartoon Sketch Pen and ink drawing of a murderer, assassin, killer - a generally evil man

I drew this in a restaurant. We had gone to the restaurant for a cup of tea and while we waited for our order to arrive, I saw this man sitting a few tables away from us. He was there with his wife and his son who just refused to sit down. The mother was trying to stop the child from running around but the father wasn’t content with his wife’s efforts to curb the child’s enthusiasm. He sat there, glaring at his wife, and this was the look on his face. He didn’t wear a turban, he didn’t have that bunch of keys hanging on the side of his face, he didn’t have a skull-earring dangling from one of his ears, he also didn’t have a dagger in his hand, but that look in his eyes – I haven’t exaggerated it one bit.

This morning I read about parents who kill their children, and I was reminded of that face. According to the data, every year 3000 cases of parents killing their offsprings are reported in the US alone. Fathers are more prone to killing their sons, and mothers their daughters. Fortunately, this number is relatively small – most parents love their children and would give their lives to save their kids.  Yet it makes me think, how many parents are there who lie on the continuum that stretches between life-givers and life-takers? A black and bleak thought to ponder upon.

These dark musings aside, this man definitely isn’t one of the good eggs.

Note: I sketched this right then and there – I had a ballpoint pen with blue ink…so the actual drawing is blue and it was done on a page of my diary. In blue, he looks particularly menacing.

A bit of writing…still under wraps. I am writing stories and I am enjoying it immensely. I think Mr. Farland’s Daily Kicks have made me burn my cloak of fear – I always loved telling stories, now I am going to write them down for the whole world to read. More on that later :)

And…

A bit of experimenting. A friend made an FB post on Oppia (Google’s new content authoring tool,) so I checked out Oppia.org and authored a sample exploration. Understanding their interface was a struggle at first, but after five or six tries, I got the hang of it. The tedium waylaid me and I forgot to do a self-review (I often don’t – I am in too much of a hurry to move on to the next cool thing.) So after having forgotten all about it, a rap on the knuckles made me aware of my complacency. But thanks to the lady who took out time to write, I corrected the error.

So if you want to learn nothing much about the Color Wheel but something about how Oppia works, check it out here.

Additionally, I’ve been working on some magazine illustrations. Yesterday I finished working on a cover, which I’ll share with you after the magazine is on the stands.

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.

The Happy Hobo – Happiness is a State of Mind :: A Caricature for the Heart.

Happy Hobo - Caricature, Cartoon, Artwork, Drawing, Poster on Happiness and Spirituality.

Happiness is a State of Mind – The Happy Hobo – 7.5 inches by 11 inches. (All Rights Reserved.) Available for Licensing.

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——–

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas with the Colorful Artworks of “Bigsaw Xmas”

My Dear Visitors,

Let me share with you my favorite Art Assignment ever :)

It’s Bigsaw Xmas! It’s got Santa, Santa’s elves, Snowman, Snowmom, Reindeers (Rudolph too,) Snow, Pets, Holly, Mistletoe, and everything else that just builds the festive mood.

If you like picture-puzzles don’t think twice – just go to the App Store, find Bigsaw Xmas and download it into your iPad…and the biggest news ever? You don’t have to pay to play…rather you can play to pay and open all the puzzles in the game!

BIGSAW is perhaps one of the most exciting picture puzzle ever – and if you haven’t already discovered it, here’s the link for you to download it FREE for your iPad on the Apple App Store.

Bigsaw Xmas - Go Beyond Jigsaw - Icon.

FREE Download

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bigsaw-xmas-go-beyond-jigsaw/id769951884?mt=8

Bigsaw Xmas - This Christmas Go Beyond Jigsaw and Experience a new Addicting Gameplay in a Picture-Puzzle!

Here’s a Screenshot from my iPad…

Bigsaw Xmas - Screenshot - Snowmom and Snowson - A New Kind of Jigsaw for Picture Puzzle Lovers

I’d like to thank everyone who motivated me to create these illustrations. I think they are some of my favorite artworks. Oh, and if you liked these, you can find more colorful illustrations for kids in Bigsaw Classic and Bigsaw Designer.

Bigsaw Classic - Go Beyond Jigsaw - Free Download for iPad on the App Store.

Bigsaw Classic – Download Free on your iPad – Play and Open all Pictures!

Icon Bigsaw Designer - Go Beyond Jigsaw - A Picture Puzzle Creator App.

Bigsaw Designer – Create and Manage up to 100 Bigsaw Albums with up to 10,000 custom picture puzzles!

While Bigsaw Classic offers you 64 picture-puzzles that you can open by playing and earning Bigsaw Coins, Bigsaw Designer doesn’t just offer 100 pictures in 10 Bigsaw Albums (one of them is for kids and another comprises caricatures) it gives you awe-inspiring ability to create and manage 100 custom albums that can contain 10,000 images of your own!

If you are a Photographer, I heartily recommend Bigsaw Designer to you. Make your photographs/artworks interactive and play with them.

Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

My Children’s Illustrations Blog – A Place for the Impossibles!

Friends,

I’ve got a new corner on the web. If you are drawn towards the vibrant innocence of kids’ illustrations, check it out and while you are there click the Follow button too :) Expected update frequency: Twice a week.

Click to visit Shafali's Blog on Children's Illustrations.

Please await news on The Evolution of a Caricaturist, which will soon be available on iPad, Android, and Kindle through Kindle eBooks.

The Caricaturist colors herself in a different hue and Illustrates for Kids :)

My friends in Cyberland,

I’ve been MIA because I was caught up in something new.

You know that this caricaturist wasn’t into illustrating for kids. In fact, until about a couple of months ago, she’d was over-awed by anyone who drew for kids. Using solid colors and simple lines to create a character or a place that would draw the kids (and their moms, of course,) into a story, appeared to be magical to me.

Then Bigsaw happened. First there was Bigsaw Designer and then Bigsaw Classic…and for both these wonderful picture-puzzle collections, I was called upon to create Albums for Kids. Granted that only one the many albums in each had pictures of kids, but I ended up creating 18 artworks in all. I felt blessed, because I could let my imagination go places where it hadn’t been before. I just let myself slip into the past and become the little girl that loved picture-books. What I saw from that little girl’s eyes, magically and almost effortlessly began to form on paper. Among the first ones to appear on the pages of my sketchbook was a snake mom coiled about a branch to form a swing for her little’uns, a pencil getting a haircut in a saloon with the sharpener having shaved off the lead, and a goldfish giving math lessons to little goldies in a fish bowl.

After I had sketched for a few days, I had about 40 ideas ready to be colored. I randomly picked eighteen of them, inked them in, and colored them up…hoping that they’d look good. However, the response that I got totally swept me off my feet. I was told that they looked really really good, and that kids loved them too.

Believe it or not, I’m still having a hard time accepting that I can draw for kids. I’m thrilled to be illustrating for kids because these illustrations are so full of happiness, innocence, and…colors.

So friends, that’s where I’ve been – in the beautiful fantastical world that exists in a child’s imagination.

I’ll shortly be sharing some of these pictures with you, but if you are in a hurry and you want to check them out now, download any of the Bigsaws for iPad and checkout the Kids Albums.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

 

 R.I.P.

NELSON MANDELA

(1918 – 2013)

Nelson Mandela, the man who despite all odds remained the Master of his fate and the Captain of his soul, and who rose to become the first African President of a nation plagued with Apartheid. With respect and awe, I present this caricature of Nelson Mandela.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of Nelson Mandela, the first African President of South Africa who fought a long battle against Apartheid.
I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela the son of the Tembu Tribe’s Chief, on July 18, 1918. He completed his B.A. and then joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944.He completed his study of Law, but that was later, perhaps while he was in prison. At ANC, he worked towards the Apartheid policies of the ruling party. He was tried for treason in the latter half of the 1950′s but was acquitted in 1961. However, this didn’t dissuade Nelson Mandela from following his ideals, and he was once again charged with the attempt to overthrow the Government. Following his trial, he was sentenced to life-imprisonment, and he was jailed for 27 years, from 1964 to 1990. In 1990, he was released. It was in 1994 that South Africa held its first multi-racial elections, in which ANC (Mandela’s Party) won and came into power.

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for the American Spectator Magazine.

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to caricature two most talked about talk-show hosts of America: Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Most of my readers are aware of the pains I take to hide my ability to travel through time. But as they say, it’s impossible for talent to stay hidden for long. Someone must’ve blabbed about my ability to time-travel, to the American Spectator Magazine. They hired me and my time-machine to transport Limbaugh and Hannity into the past, dress them up as the nobility of those times, and transform them into pamphleteers!

While I usually don’t like to take passengers on my trips into the past, I couldn’t refuse this particular offer. After all, these two distinguished gentlemen have been striving hard to make America see the pluses of Conservative thought. I also knew that they’ve each got about 15 million viewers of their talk-shows, and if only 1% of their viewers thought that they looked awesome in their retro-gear, and decided to hire me as their fashion-designer, I’d be famous too.

So this caricaturist hauled up this precious cargo to the past, dressed ‘em up in wigs’n frills, made ‘em stand in front of a printing press, handed ‘em those pamphlets to pose with – and shot this picture. Then she got ‘em back, took out her wand and used the obliviate spell to wipe their memories of this event. (This is why they’d deny ever accompanying me on this trip!)

Here’s a snapshot of the magazine on my desk :)

Caricatures-Rush-Limbaugh-Sean-Hannity-American-Spectator-November-2013

Click for Larger View.

I know that you’d like to see the details of their dresses (especially, if you were to hire me as your fashion-designer,) so here’s the closeup.

Caricatures of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity - Talk Show hosts - Illustrated for the American Spectator Magazine - November 2013 issue.

Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity

Both these gentlemen have their websites too. Check them out at:

I’ll return with more next week, when Bigsaw Classic arrives on the App Store :) In the meantime, download and play with Bigsaw Designer – a custom picture puzzle-making machine for your iPad.