Caricature/Cartoon – Christine Lagarde – The Managing Director of IMF in Pen and Ink.

Recently, I had begun to feel the need to draw the caricatures of a few women. The readers of my blog would know that I am slightly averse to drawing the caricatures of women, unless of course, an assignment requires me to draw them. My aversion to caricaturing women comes from the extra-dose of vanity that God injected women with. I’ve burnt my hand often by caricaturing women because a caricature seldom makes a woman look prettier than she is…and at the bottom of her heart, every woman wants her picture to make her look prettier – not funnier, not stupider, not more interesting…just prettier. Unfortunately, a caricature does everything but make you look prettier.

While I have caricatured a few women too (Nicole Kidman, Sarah PalinRihanna, Oprah, Kareena Kapoor, Queen Elizabeth II, Michelle Obama, Halle Berry…and a few others,) I’ve always tried to be more of a makeup artist than a caricaturist.

And then, I read about Christine Lagarde.

Christine Lagarde replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn  as the Managing Director of IMF, when Strauss-Kahn had to leave stained by the hotel-maid rape controversy.

Believe it or not, She’s supposed to have the walls of her office covered with her own caricatures. This, I take as a confirmation that she’s fine with being caricatured, and while I don’t think that she’s escaped the clutches of vanity altogether (she wears pencil heels despite being 6 feet tall – that’s what women want – to look taller and better – even the most powerful women of the world,) I think she’ll take my caricaturing effort kindly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I present a simple  Pen-and-Ink caricature of Christine Lagarde, an inspiration to every woman who wants to stand tall and drive another nail into the coffin of gender inequality.

caricature, cartoon, sketch, drawing,portrait of Christine Lagarde the MD of IMF.

Pen and Ink Drawing – Actual Size: 7 inches by 9 inches.

Here’s a quick synopsis of Lagarde’s Life and work.

Christine was born in the family of a French Professor, in 1956.

She studied to be a Labor and Anti-trust Lawyer. Later she became the first woman to lead Baker & McKenzie, a huge law-firm, which predominantly had male lawyers. She also was the French Minister of Finance and was ranked at the best among all Finance Ministers of the world by Financial Times. In 2011, she became the MD of IMF (International Monetary Fund.)

On the personal front, Lagarde has been divorced twice, has two sons, and is currently in a relationship. She loves gym-ming and swimming.

Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel?
Merkel and Lagarde are a loggerheads on the EU Financial Crisis. In a nutshell, Merkel doesn’t want all the EU nations to get together to pay the debt that’s primarily due to the PIGS nations (as Germany being one of the fittest would have to pay the most). On the other hand, Lagarde believes that they should.

The Lagarde Payback Controversy
In a remark that people thought cut below the belt, Lagarde spoke of Greeks “who are trying to escape tax all the time.” Her remarks were interpreted to say that it was payback time for Greece and they generated a lot of negative publicity for her. Lagarde’s f/b page tried to alleviate the situation by saying that Lagarde was, “very sympathetic to the Greek people and the challenges that are facing.” However, this rubbed people the wrong way yet again.

Here are a couple of interesting links:

And now, an interesting Lagarde Quote on patronizing males 🙂

The best defence when that happens is a very good and solid sense of humour. At the end of the day, they are human beings as well. They have wives, they have daughters,” According to her the best strategy would be to  “grit your teeth and smile“. (Source: This Telegraph Article here.)

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Portraits vs. Caricatures – Some thoughts.

In this post, I’ll differentiate between caricatures and portraits through their intent, structure, and usage.

Portraits – Definition

A portrait is an close approximation of a person’s face/figure in a manner that it captures the person’s attitude and personality. 

Caricatures – Definition

A Caricature is a humorous likeness of a person’s face/figure, created through selective exaggeration of his/her  physiognomy (facial features) and other physical attributes.

(Source: “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” )

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Similarities and Differences

Let us now compare the two definitions.

Here are the similarities…

  • Portraits and Caricatures both have a likeness to their subjects. (Read about Likeness here.)
  • They are both an artist’s interpretation of a person’s face/figure.

and the differences:

  • A Portrait is a close-approximation of the real face/figure, while a Caricature uses selective exaggeration.
  • A Portrait is based on a serious study to capture the mood, while a Caricature creates a humorous likeness.

These differences can be analyzed and reorganized under Intent, Structure, and Usage.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Intent

They differ in intent, or in the intention with which they were created. Portraits are usually created as a memorabilia. Sometimes they are created to celebrate a person’s status or to mark an occasion. Generally they are created to address the esteem needs of a person.

Caricatures, however, are tight little bundles of humor, wit, or satire. They are created to present the subject in a funny manner. Caricatures ridicule and sometimes even insult the subject. When the objective of a caricature is merely to present the subject in a funny light, selective exaggeration of the features does the job. Ridicule and Insult usually requires that in addition to making the subject look funny, the caricature should also tell a story.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Structure

Portraits are created by replicating the proportions and the colors as closely as possible. The objective is to achieve 100% likeness (this objective however is seldom met, except in the works of the hyper-realists, perhaps.)

Caricatures on the other hand, are created by exaggerating certain/all the features of the subject. Thus, a long nose becomes longer, small eyes become smaller, light wrinkles go deep, and a jutting chin juts out some more. Such exaggerations aren’t limited only to the face. A man with a slight stoop bends over totally, a woman with a tiny waist ends up with almost no waist at all.

Portraits vs. Caricatures – Usage

Portraits find their place on the walls of  the living-rooms, the conference halls, the important buildings…in fact, portraits bring forth the need to respect or at least acknowledge the subject of the painting. If you see a portrait of someone in a certain place, you can be sure that the subject of the portrait is/was an important person for the inhabitants of that place.

Caricatures often have a shorter life and generally people don’t want to display them in prominent places. Political/celebrity caricatures are often created for magazines and newspapers so that they may print them alongside to present a witty/humorous angle to their features and stories. Individuals too sometimes get their caricatures done, usually to mark an occasion (such as marriages, birthdays, etc.) Quickly drawn, sketch-caricatures are often drawn live. Live-caricatures are often used to spice up parties and other such events.

To sum up, Portraits and Caricatures are different in more ways than one 🙂

Now the Spoiler:

If we look at the dictionary definition of Portraits, we’d be stumped to discover that portraits aren’t necessarily required to be “close approximations.”

Here’s what my table-dictionary has to say:

A portrait is – ” pictorial representation of a person showing the face.”

So, technically speaking, a caricature too is a portrait 🙂 

Cartoon of a Delhi Girl… all buttoned up!

I always thought that my fashion sense left a lot to be desired, but then this lady who entertained the whole male and the cartoonist female population of the Delhi Metro about a week ago, gave me a superiority complex.

Now anyone who knows anything about EZs (erogenous zones) would not have designed those trousers, unless they were meant to do a specific job, which is flag down people looking for a specific kind of…should we say, gratification? While a tiny pattern on the fly would be a subtle use of EZs, those three huge Mother-of-Pearl buttons glowed like a neon signboard that screamed for attention. “Look here. NOW!”

Here’s the lady whose buttons forced me to draw her. Note that the exaggerations are minimal.

cartoon pen and ink drawing of delhi girl with huge buttons on her fly - texting away on the metro.

All Buttoned up!

The story of these EZ-flaunting dresses begins with those aesthetics-challenged dress-designers who bunked their fashion design classes, and who let their erogenous designs loose on Janpath (the fashion-mecca for exploding lower middle class of Delhi.) These EZ-highlighting designs are then picked up by the young girls who’ve just arrived in the city of their dreams, and who want to get that hep Delhi Girl look asap.

This lady, however, has only worn a pair of trousers that would make men get fixated on her…well, buttons. I’d put it only a notch above tight belly button displaying tank-tops, or the low-rise, edge-of-panty on display, denims. In fact, I found myself appreciating this lady’s no-nonsense, direct, and to-the-point approach of directing the viewer’s attention to stuff that really matters.

Another lady whose cartoon will not be published here (because this is a family blog,) would win the “Accident-Causers of Delhi crown” without batting an eyelash. She too made me think better of myself. You see, I am very, very, very absent-minded – but I’ve never gone shopping without wearing a lower garment!

50 pairs of eyes that were anchored to their delectable target, had helped me spot this lady in one of the busiest markets in Delhi. Men of all ages and callings had their eyes fixed on the rump of a young woman wearing a canary yellow shirt that barely covered her posterior assets. As she swung her hips, a flash of black confirmed that she had her panties on (I confess, I had my doubts.)

I saw people slowing down their bikes and cars to get a better look; I saw even women doing a double-take because they couldn’t believe their eyes, and to put the icing on the cake, I also saw the happy-as-a-pup-with-an-icecream-tub guard who had the opportunity to get a close-up view because the absent-minded lady who had forgotten her lower garment home, decided to go into a shop that was on the first floor. May God bless that yellow canary whose bottom brought so much happiness to everyone in that market.

But then there’s an underside to everything – a dark cloud with every silver lining. That day, people did bump into one another and I suppose some bikers did too. I’m sure that if our canary had displayed her assets on a busy road, she’d have dispatched a few to their permanent abodes in heaven.

Delhi indeed is a dangerous city!

– Reporting from Delhi,

The Caricaturist.

Caricature/Cartoon – George Washington voices his opinion on Gun Control – A Painting of the First President of the United States.

I painted this framed caricature-portrait of George Washington yesterday. This morning, I added the small table with the flower vase, and then…I became me and added the cellophane taped paper with his name to the wall. I know that the taped paper is an eye-sore…and this is precisely why I had to add it 🙂

A Caricature Cartoon painting of George Washington, the first President of the US.

About George Washington:

George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and he became the first President of America. He was born in a affluent family but he lost his father early in life. He served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and fought the British Forces. When in 1783, the Continental Army won, George Washington resigned because he didn’t want the nation to continue with dictatorship.

Washington also presided over the committee that drafted the US constitution. Later he was elected the President of the US in 1789.

George Washington’s education was interrupted due to his father’s untimely death. In those days, most of the affluent planter families that had arrived in the US from England, would send their sons to England for their education. Washington, however, was home-tutored, and when he was fifteen and he could’ve got an appointment in the Royal Navy, his mom created a ruckus. Through their contacts (perhaps the brazen use of “contacts” is something that Indians picked from the British?) he got the job of a surveyor.

One thing led to another and in 1789 America had its first President.

George Washington’s Death:

In 1797, Washington had retired and gone back to his plantation. Two years later he caught cold while he was out inspecting his plantation. When his condition worsened, he decided to drain some blood out of his body – as he believed that removing some blood could help him fight is illness. Unfortunately it didn’t.

Those days and these days…

I can’t stop myself from making this observation – from the days of Washington, who “couldn’t tell a lie” … to the days of Bill Clinton (200 years later,)  who lied when under oath in reference to Monicagate! America was built by people with strong value systems…those systems are weakening…and the symptoms are everywhere. It’s also important to note that those who built America weren’t the socialists, and this is why the country thrived. I am not a political commentator so I’ll stop now, and let you form your own opinions.

George Washington Quotes:

  • Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are peoples’ liberty’s teeth!
  • The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.
  • If freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. (Did I get it wrong, or did he have slaves who did all the work on his plantations?)
  • It’s better to be alone than in bad company.
  • The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it. (I totally agree – and this is why I hated The Roast – The Trump Roast is the only one I watched – and it will remain the only one!)

When I read that first quote, I had to create the following picture 🙂 So, if you aren’t in favor of gun-control, you may appreciate it.

George Washington on Gun-Control:

Caricature, Cartoon of George Washington the first president of the US and the architect of the American Constitution voices his opinion on gun control.