Story Writing Contest / Competition – Tell the Story in the Caricature – The Man and the Rat!

What is the story in this caricature?

Could it be that I had just watched Pulp Fiction (Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, and Uma Thurman), and some of it just transformed into this seething, sneering, and fuming man here? And what about the mouse (or the rat, if you please.)? Why is he holding a rifle and wearing a bullet-belt? Was he supposed to terminate somebody before he reported to the boss? Could it be that these two plan to watch Avatar together?

Caricature, Cartoon, or image of a man with beaded beard and piercings, scolding a mouse carrying a rifle or a gun.

What's the Story?

I don’t have a story to tell…but you could have one.

Do you read a story in this caricature? If you do let people read it.

So here are:

The Rules of the Story Writing Contest:

The story should:

  1. BE between 250 and 500 words – the right length for a blog post.
  2. INCLUDE the two characters that you see in the caricature.
  3. DISPLAY this caricature in your post.
  4. NOT include explicit/mature content.

Important: After you’ve done this, drop me a comment against this post with a link to your story.
(Otherwise how my other visitors and I would read your fabulous story?)

Contest Closes: April 30, 2010

The Reward for Competing & Winning:

I’ll link the blog, the story, and the profile of 5 story writers whose stories win my heart, through a dedicated blog post, and if they aren’t already on my blog roll (I am selective, I know:-() they shall be.
(And of course, even if you don’t win now, I promise to be back with more contests!)

(Note: To participate you don’t need to have commented before, but you do need to be a blog-owner. Don’t write the stories in the comments section – Just leave the link to your story so that other visitors can reach your blog and read the story there.)

Let us S P R E A D T H E S M I L E 🙂


Chapter 7, “Caricaturing the Brows and the Brow-ridge” added to the Book!

Dear Visitors,

The book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” is evolving! Today I added the 7th Chapter , “Caricaturing the Brows and the Brow-ridge” to this book. Here are the links to the Chapter Outline of the book, along with the direct links to the 7 chapters that have been added so far.

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

The 8th chapter will discuss the process of caricaturing the lips and the mouth.

If you are interested in recapturing the attention of your lost love of drawing, this book is your cupid:-)


Three Great Artists of the Twentieth Century – James Bama, James Christensen, and Boris Vallejo!

My list of course:-)

Before I tell you about the greats, let me establish a context for this post. You see, there’s art that goes by the name of art and gives art a bad name – now that’s the art I can’t stand. And then there’s art that makes you want to touch the artist’s hands and take away something more than an impression of his
work – that’s the art I love. So here it is – in black and white – as usual.

Art I can’t Stand!

  1. I dislike art that celebrates an absence of skill and that smacks of an organized art-racket.
  2. I don’t like irregular patterns created through a mindless splash of colors.
  3. I don’t like geometrical shapes (circles/squares/rectangles/hexagons, even irregular shapes…) filled with solid colors – ending up in a random title for the canvas.
  4. I don’t like negativity projected through a crazy array of cuttings, pasted together in a haphazard arrangement.
  5. I hate art that makes me feel like an idiot – that makes me say that my neighbor’s five-year-old could’ve done a better job at it.

Art that feigns creativity, gives me creeps!

Art I Love!

  1. I love drawings and paintings that establish a logical path to the artist’s thoughts.
  2. I admire art that makes me wonder whether it was a celestial being who created it.
  3. I appreciate art that tells me that the artist didn’t think that his audience was made of morons…and so he or she worked hard at the creating it.
  4. I love to see colors that complement one-another, and that have a reason to be there in the painting.

Art that celebrates the human ability to improve the perception of God’s creations, makes me smile.

Now you know the art that I hate – I’d mention neither those artists, nor their artwork on this blog.

The art that I love and the artists that I revere, are made of pure titanium. Nothing can corrode them – our praise or criticism means nothing to them. They aren’t even swayed by Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

I open myself to you by listing three of my favorites! These three have struggled to keep the beauty of art alive. These three are known well in their own arenas, but the success that should truly have been theirs went to those in my first list! But it didn’t matter to them – they’ve stuck to their love of skill in art.

Three Greats who didn’t Give in:

  • James Bama
  • James C. Christensen
  • Boris Vallejo

James Bama (American Realist – Western Theme)

I first saw the works of James Bama in an old edition of the National Geographic magazine. He lives in Wyoming. When I went through his bio in NG, the first thought that occurred to me was, “Would he take me under his tutelage?” (Caricatures are a very recent pursuit – I am more of a realist.) The thought was answered by another, “how would you reach him?”

But then his art became my tutor – it helped me understand lights, shades, and textures; the way no book could!

James C. Christensen (Fantasy Artist – Philosophical theme)

I was blissfully unaware that an artist as colorful and as imaginative as James C. Christensen existed, until one day, rummaging through an old-books sale, I came upon his book, “A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen“.

The book turned my world upside down. The images made me wonder how he must’ve created them. The concept, the visualization, and then the execution of each painting was done with such finesse – They looked like they were created by fairies!

And yes, I also wondered why that beautiful book filled with unbelievable artistic treasures was available for me to buy at about 3 Dollars – and why people preferred to buy cheap calendars instead of picking this book of gold! Thank god they didn’t – or I wouldn’t have experienced the pain and the ecstasy of knowing Christensen’s work.

Boris Vallejo (Fantasy Artist – Erotica/Fantasy Theme)

About Boris Vallejo’s fantasy art!
When it comes to fantasy (and sometimes work that borders on erotica,) Vallejo is the best. He works with dragons, castles, men, women, lights, and shadows; like nobody else. His work takes you away into the land of fantasies – it dissolves your reality through its fantastical realism, and it weaves a golden web of almost unreal realities around you. I learned to appreciate Vallejo, about a decade ago, when I did some RPG illustrations, and haven’t stopped since.

That’s all, friends! Step into a world that’s different, and experience art that’s supported by a skill honed over a life time. Begin your journey from the appreciation of artistic mediocrity to that of artistic excellence!

Cartoon-Caricature of the Modern Romeo and Juliet – and my Meeting with Juliet!

Romeo & Juliet, one of the most famous plays that William Shakespeare, the great English Playwright wrote without using a computer, still continues to make us laugh, cry, post, comment, and… now even TWEET (Such Tweet Sorrow)! Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare is a timeless play, where the characters and the situations continue to change, but the story remains the same. What if, the characters tweaked the story a little?

The Caricature – Romeo & Juliet:

Here are our Romeo and Juliet, but unknown to Romeo, there’s mush flying out of the balcony as our modern tattooed and pierced Juliet tries to utilize her time more productively than her Shakespearean counterpart.

A Caricature, Cartoon, or picture of Romeo and Juliet, the characters from Shakespeare's drama, in a modern balcony scene.

O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?

And now…

A Verbal Caricature:

Our Modern Juliet looking resplendent in her tattoos, piercings, and purple hair visits the Caricaturist in her Dreams!

Now, my dear visitors, I shall make you privy to a secret. The Juliet that you see in this caricature – yes, the purple-haired tattooed beauty – well, she visited me in my dreams. I repeat our conversation here – verbatim.

Juliet (sizing me up): So you are the caricaturist who made this caricature?
I (displaying the artist’s pride in her work): Yes:)

Juliet: You don’t look like much – but artists never do. So, tell me – You really think I’d do that – kiss an idiot while I wait for my Romeo?
I (With my artistic features ruffled by her offhand judgment): Yes, Juliet. I think you would.

Juliet: That just tells me how naive you are!
I: Will you care to explain that insult, my dear!

Juliet: Do you think I am ugly?
I: Of course not – you look like a colorful box of candies…gift-wrapped in purple!

Juliet (confused – wondering whether it was a compliment or not): Hmmm. Okay, so you agree that I am beautiful and sexy?
I (not wanting to give in): What did I say just now?

Juliet (not willing to reason it out any further): So what makes you think that there’d be just one joker that I’d be smooching in the balcony?
I (with my eyes popping out of my head): You’d be smooching more?

Juliet: Smooching? What are you? Ancient or something?! You’ve got to be joking. I know the Romeos of my day – there’s no way they could ever climb a rope to reach the balcony, and even if they could, It’ll take them at least a day – So I’d have the whole day, and also the night! I don’t know about Shakespeare’s Juliet, but I’d be bored to death if all I did was kiss them!
I: Oh! I didn’t see it your way – so while poor Romeo struggles to reach you…

Juliet: Struggle? What struggle? It isn’t like I’ve switched my mobile off or something.
I: What’s with the mobile?

Juliet (trying to see if my hair were gray): There’s an obvious generation gap here. Don’t you understand, I’ll have to SMS the poor guy continuously – it’ll keep his morale up!
I: Oh, I though you weren’t interested in Romeo.

Juliet (assessing me): What are you, seriously. A moron? Of course I’d be interested in a Romeo. At the end of the day, I’d need someone I could trust to get me my cough drops and take me to the hospital when I am seventy! In the long run, every girl needs a Romeo!

And so, dear visitors, I realized how naive I had been when I drew this caricature. Nevertheless, what’s done is done. I’ve promised Juliet that someday I’ll make another caricature, which will be closer to reality.

Until then – you be the judge!

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How to Draw the Caricature of Tiger Woods, his Women, his Cup, Nike, and the Devil!

Wondering how to draw the caricature of Tiger Woods? Let me share with you the process of drawing it. Here’s the caricature once again (to help you put your memory into Nike’s jogging shoes!)

Caricature of Tiger Woods - with women, Nike, and Satan.

Who wouldn't?

As you must’ve already figured out, this caricature is about Tiger Woods tumbling wherever with those nineteen or so women. The story is now old, and Mr. Woods is now back in action. Nike stayed with him through these rough times, more for their sake than his, or so I think – because Woods is the Nike icon for the testosterone-driven men who’d idolize the new macho image of Woods far more than his boring, all too predictable, one-woman-man image!

But put all that aside for now. We are right now the students of art – and we want to discuss how this caricature came to be.

Caricaturing Tiger Woods:

Other than the Nike logo on his cap and t-shirt, Tiger Woods can also be recognized by his huge round eyes, his thick lips, and his pearly whites! He’s got a shy half-smile and a nice round nose, which makes his face look rather boyish. Note that his upper eyelids are slightly heavy and they hide the top third of his pupils. You can read about caricaturing the eyes, here.

Caricaturing the Smile:

For this caricature, I selected his smile as his most important feature. As you can see, his lips and his teeth have been exaggerated the most. I focused on the smile because of the context. Think about it. If you were a man (or if you are one,) and if you were offered a cup full of buxom beauties, how would you react?
(You are welcome to add your above-the-waist reactions to the comments.)

Well, I imagined that Tiger Woods’ reaction would be a shy smile.

Caricaturing the Women:

Ah, the women! Remember that women aren’t easy to caricature. You need to ensure that the women in your caricature don’t look ugly. Every woman is beautiful. Period. So at best, you can make them look like the Disney Princesses, and at worst you may want them to look cute like the pixies. So in this caricature, I made the cute little pixies climb over one another, clamoring for Tiger’s attention.

Caricaturing the Devil:

This is the part that I liked best!

This particular devil is a modern guy. It personifies the evils that exist in the modern world, specifically the evils that influence sportsmen like Tiger Woods – otherwise known as advertising! This devil wears his cap backwards, sports an untidy stubble, and wears a tee-shirt with slacks. He carried the Nike logo as his weapon, and incites the tiger in Tiger Woods to indulge in adultery – one of the seven deadly sins!

The Story in the Caricature:

The story in the caricature is told by the Devil. When he whispers to Tiger Woods, and tells him to, “Just Do It,” it makes you wonder how many men in Tiger Woods’ position would be able to resist the temptation!

So that’s that about the Caricature of Mr. Woods and his longtime relationship with Nike and the Devil.

If you want to learn the nuances of creating caricatures in a fun and easy to learn way, you would like to read, “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist.

Download the calendar “Tiger Woods as the Casanova” here.

Caricature/Cartoon – Leonardo Da Vinci’s Thoughts on This Portrait!

I believe that from his studio in the heaven, Leonardo da Vinci keeps a watch on the going-ons in the art-world. I am sure that he’ll see this caricature…and when he does so, he will wonder whether his tedious exercise of creating a self-portrait was in vain!

A caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of the great artist leonardo da vinci who was also a sculptor, an inventor, and a writer.

When Leonardo Da Vinci saw this Caricature...

A Short Biography of Da Vinci:

Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer (Thanks, Wikipedia.)
His array of talents is one of widest ever seen in one human being – he is said the have been the most talented person to have ever lived.

He was born on April 15, 1452, in Florence, and he lived to be 67 – a fairly long life in those days. He trained at the workshop of Verrocchio until he was 20. Da Vinci is primarily recognized as an artist, but not many of his works survive. The inventor and the innovator in him was continuosly experimenting with new mediums and methods. He was an impatient man who often wouldn’t get around to painting what he was paid to paint, until the eleventh hour. Leonardo da Vinci was procrastinator extraordinaire. He was a man of great physical beauty and exceptional intellect, and it’s rumored that he was gay.

Among the three giants of high renaissance (Da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo,) Da Vinci was the oldest.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Most Famous Paintings:

The two most famous paintings done by Da Vinci were:

And now here’s a Did-you-know of the kind that makes you ask, how the heck I am supposed to know that!

Did you know that I share some traits with Da Vinci. Among the traits I don’t share, the biggest is – he’s Great, I am not:-)) but then…

Here are the traits that I do share with him:

  • He was an artist. I am too:-)
  • He was a writer. I am too:-)
  • He was an engineer. I am too:-)
  • He was a procrastinator. I am too:-)
  • He wrote in reverse. I do too:-)
  • He thought of more projects than he completed. I do too:-)
  • He was attracted to men. I am too:-)

Amazing…how you can find similarities, if you want to!

A Personal Note to Leonardo da Vinci:

Dear Mr. Da Vinci, if you happen to stop here (to view this caricature of yours, of course,) I’d like to tell you that I’ve always admired you. You’ll always remain my idol.

And yes, if you do happen to check out my blog from your computer in heaven, please tell me that you didn’t mind my making your caricature. After all, you too drew caricatures:-)…and do subscribe to my blog (click the button at the top-right.) I might draw the caricatures of Raphael and Michelangelo too…and if I go by the history texts, you might want to look at theirs as well.

The Caricaturist Wonders…and Leonardo da Vinci’s Caricature!

I wonder…

  • What is it that prompts us to distort faces?
  • Why is it that we find exaggerations humorous?
  • Who was the first person to see humor in exaggerations?
  • Who was the first person to create caricatures?

I don’t have answers to these questions, but I do know that there’s something about a caricature that makes you think – “That’s another way of looking at him (or her)!”

The next caricature to appear on this blog is of someone who inspires awe in us across five centuries. He, it is said, was the first person who drew caricatures. He, it is said, was the most talented man the world has ever seen.

He was:

  • an ambidextrous person who could write in reverse.
  • a great artist who was an engineer.
  • a sculptor who wrote poetry.
  • an anatomist who drew caricatures.
  • an innovator who procrastinated endlessly.

You know whose caricature will appear on this blog tomorrow, don’t you:)


I wonder what he would say if he saw his caricature here?!

Caricature/Cartoon – William Shakespeare – The Great English Playwright and his Missing Computer

William Shakespeare, the national poet of England, wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and many poems. And he wrote all these without the help of computers!

Now if that isn’t a commendable performance, I don’t know what is. But Shakespeare shifted his office to heaven in 1616, and now when he writes, he often wishes that he had a computer!

The caricature, cartoon, or portrait of william shakespeare, the bard of Avon, wondering how easy it would have been, if he had a computer.

Shakespeare's Secret Wish!

Shakespeare’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

The “Bard of Avon” was born some time before April 26, 1564. He married young (at least by the standards of today) at 18. His wife was Anne Hathaway, who was about 8 years his senior but outlived the great writer. Shakespeare was most productive between the age of 25 and 50. He died when he was 52. At the beginning of his career, he was drawn towards writing comedies but towards the end he became disposed to writing tragedies. Two of his colleagues were responsible for his plays surviving him. They published the First Folio, a collection of most of his dramatic works.

As it happens, most geniuses are recognized only after they’ve settled in heaven. This was also true for Shakespeare. Fortunately, unlike Van Gogh (the artist,) his work earned him not just his bread and butter, but also some respect, even when he was alive. However, he wasn’t considered one of the greats until the eighteenth century. (To be considered a “Great” you need to check out. It ensures that you aren’t a threat to anyone else anymore!)

Note this (taken from Wikipedia…)
Robert Greene (you know him?!) attacked Shakespeare’s work in print, by calling him “an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers…”
What?! Yes, he was talking about the “Greatest English Writer!”

Shakespeare’s Plays:

I haven’t read a lot of plays written by Shakespeare, and whatever I ever read didn’t make a lot of sense to me (with the exception of The Merchant of Venice, which ends with a simple to understand and logical solution to a grave problem)…yet…here are the ones that I’ve read.



Honestly, I don’t remember anything at all from those wonderful stories that I hardly understood:-( I had been happier had Shakespeare not been part of my syllabus in school – I’d have definitely scored much better in English! But you can’t do much about the Greats – you’ve got to read them. Period.)

Here are some other popular Plays that he wrote:

More Comedies:

More Tragedies:

An Important Note:

I had a crazy urge today. I wanted to draw in color! As you can surmise…I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, or I wouldn’t even consider something as crazy as using colors – but I didn’t just consider it, I caved in! So, now I have a caricature of Romeo and Juliet in COLOR! If you’d like to see it – come back! To find your way back to this blog, either subscribe to it (top of the right sidebar) or bookmark it! (It’s cool tattooed fun – promise!)

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How to Draw the Caricature of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow

How did I draw this Caricature of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow of the Pirates of Caribbean fame?

Look at the caricature closely, and then scroll down to read how it was drawn.

Caricature of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Where is the cheese...Captain Sparrow?

This was an easy caricature to do. Let us see why.

When you are trying to create a caricature of an actor in a persona that has several distinctive features and accessories, then if you focus on the accessories, you can create a likeness of the persona…and because the persona (in this case, Jack Sparrow) is recognized by every human, cat, and dog; you can rest your brush and sleep in peace!

Take the example of Jack Sparrow. Here’s a list of his distinctive features.

  • The head-cloth/rag/band tied at one side,
  • The long matted hair,
  • The beard plaited into two,
  • The beaded hair-rings (!)
  • The blackened teeth,
  • And of course, the kohled eyes!

If you just drew the first three and left everything else blank, I believe most of the humans at least would readily nod their heads and tell you that you’ve indeed sketched Jack Sparrow.

But then, that would be an average attempt, and you don’t seem to me a person who’d accept anything that’s not classy! So next, you’d need to create a likeness with the actor too. So look for the features that the makeup-man didn’t mess with – so what you have now is the nose and the mouth (notwithstanding the blackened teeth.)

Here’s what I did to create this caricature.

Studying Johnny Depp and Jack Sparrow Pictures:

I first studied some Jack Sparrow pictures and then some Johnny Depp pictures. The Jack Sparrow pictures helped me see the details of his accessories and told me a lot about his personality, and the JD pictures gave me a clear picture of his nose, his mouth, and the shape of his face.

Caricaturing the Eyes:

The eyes grew bigger than actual to accommodate the effect of the kohl and the expression of surprise (at the audacity of the mice, of course.) You can read about caricaturing the eye here.

Caricaturing the Shape of the Face:

I’d classify Johnny Depp’s face as pentagonal. So when I did his jaw-line, I pulled out the mirror points to exaggerate the pentagon. Read about caricaturing the shape of the human face here.

Caricaturing Jack Sparrow’s Costume, Accessories, and Overall Persona:

As I said earlier, the accessories become extremely important in characters such as these. Other examples of such characters are: Captain Hook (with the Peter Pan connection) and Agent Smith (of the Matrix Trilogy.)
The head ornament became a butterfly (it brings in a humorous contradiction with a pirate’s personality,) and a huge nut got added to the string of beads that hangs from his matted hair. The twin beard plaits became thicker and more prominent too.

The Joke in the Caricature:

Remember that a caricaturist need not stop at creating a visual caricature. Use words to your advantage. Also remember that a story makes a caricature more interesting and lively.
The concept that mothered the joke in this caricature was the slovenly (and unhygienic) look of Jack Sparrow. Such a man would be quite capable of hiding his cheese behind his ear and the mice would be his constant companions. Voila, two cute little mice jumped out of my pencil and began climbing his beard!

So, that was how the Johnny Depp – Jack Sparrow caricature came to be.

Next in this Series >> How to Draw Tiger Woods, his Women, and the Devil!

If you want to learn the nuances of creating caricatures in a fun and easy to learn way, you would like to read, “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist.