This caricature of Selena Gomez is one of my recent creations. It’s part of a poster collection that I am working on.
Selena Gomez’s Caricature:
Actual Size: 12 inches by 18 inches.
5 Steps to Painting Caricatures and Portraits:
Digital painting is quite like oil-painting or color-pencil painting (an odd term to use but when you look at the stuff artists create with color-pencils, painting is the only term that really does justice to the magnificent works they produce.)
So what do I mean when I say Digital Painting is like any other painting?
- Begin with a rough sketch that gives you the outlines.
- Block in the basic colors-shades – the darks and the lights, paint in the background to get your edges clean and sharp.
- Mix the colors so that you don’t see them as patches.
- Detail the features (in the case of portrait/caricature painting.)
- Finish by adding the highlights.
There was a time when I fretted about brushes – which to use for which purpose; but then decided that it was too confusing and so I now paint the whole image with one brush – it’s a natural brush that ships with Photoshop – and I just change the brush-sizes, which is pretty easy to do if you paint in Photoshop. If you use a tablet, program your strip to “[” for reducing the size and “]” for increasing it; or just push the corresponding keys on the keyboard.
Selena’s Caricature – A Recap of the Process:
Here are three important stages of Selena’s Caricature.
I begin with a sketch. I always do; and that’s how I think it should be done – mainly because a sketch allows you to fix the important mistakes before you carry them over in the final work. It’s about risking 15 minutes of work vis-a-vis risking a couple of days worth of effort, so the decision is actually a no-brainer.
The sketch stage is where I stretch and squeeze her features to make her face look funny. I am not a distortionist, which means I exaggerate only to increase the funniness quotient of the image. In my opinion, a caricaturist must not just exaggerate certain features of a face, but to also exaggerate the main element of the subject’s personality. A strong man should look stronger, a haughty person, haughtier; a shabby person should look shabbier, and a cute woman, cuter. The last bit applies to Selena’s caricature. (“Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” explains how a person’s features impact the overall impression cast by the person. The book also discusses Neoteny (that specific quality of the facial features that helps them make a face look child-like,) and describes how a feature must be exaggerated to enhance/reduce neoteny.)
Her hair, especially her ponytail in this image, makes her look cuter…or in other words, younger and childlike. Caricaturing her ponytail made sense to me, as she’s an icon for kids. Her eyes are rather small. Small eyes aren’t considered beautiful on a grownup woman’s face, but they do their part in making her look younger. When I did this caricature-portrait, I was asked why I didn’t caricature her frontal assets more. It’s almost a habit among caricaturists to make their women subjects look exceptionally well-endowed – frontally as well as dorsally. (I plead guilty of doing it once – but the subject was Pamela Anderson, whose silicon-enhanced, almost spherical assets have been the subject of much speculation and mirth. I only did it because it was Ms. Pamela Anderson, and her Pancho and Lefty really deserved to be noted.) In the case of Selena, such exaggeration would destroy the young and innocent look that I was trying to achieve.
As you can see, the sketch is fairly basic. In fact, it was done right there in Photoshop…and it didn’t take a lot of time. Until a couple of years ago, I used to sketch on paper, then scan the sketch and import it into Photoshop. I did this for years…but in the recent years, I’ve found myself doing a lot of my base-sketches (that I use as a base for painting) in Photoshop. It’s cleaner and quicker (changes can be made easily and you don’t need to waste your time scanning the sketches in)…so while I still draw a lot on paper, especially when the final artwork has to be done by hand; for my digital paintings, I now prefer a digital sketch.
The intermediate image that you see here, presents the color-coding. I’ve added the colors to the image and have tried to ensure that the light and dark colors are put where they belong. At this point, I am still focused on the face (neck-below it’s still an almost solid expanse.) The brush size is rather large and you can see the paint-strokes clearly. The eyes are almost done (I always sketch and paint the eyes first.) I chose a light background (specifically the sky/emerald blue combination) because it further reinforces the child/girl factor in the artwork. The sequined dress that she would wear in the final image, can merely be seen as a shadow in this image. At this point, I was struggling with the idea of leaving the dress out – too much of work, I thought. But then I caved in to the desire of making her look like a princess.
The final image was the result of a lot of work and ended with my right wrist refusing to bend – it had been in the same position for almost the entire duration of the painting process – poised on the keyboard, helping me use the shortcuts. I am sure that art-schools have a special class on how to avoid the carpal tunnel syndrome.
I really don’t have a lot to say for the final look – except that the hair took a lot of time, so did the dress (on a different note – why women wear terrible dresses with bells and shells sewn on them?) I added finishing touches to the eyes, the nose, the teeth, the neck too…but that was the easier part. As you can see…the sketch makes her look a lot younger, but after I watched her recent video, I thought that it would be a good idea to introduce a little maturity to the face (slight squaring of the jaw-line and the slightly naughty look in her eyes.) Finally, my reviewer OKed it and signed the proverbial release form.
Here’s a closeup of the eyes:
About Selena Gomez – The Actor/Singer who’s won the hearts of millions:
Here’s a shorter version of an already short biography of a very young Selena Gomez.
The actor-singer was born in 1992 in Texas, and she did her first role in Barney and Friends, a television serial, when she was just ten. Her first film was Spy Kids 3D: Gameover in which she did a cameo. She also appeared as Mikayla in three episodes of Disney’s serial Hannah Montana, but her real success came from her role in Wizards of Waverly Place, after which she was also compared with the now incomparable Miley Cyrus.
Somewhere around 2009, Gomez began focusing on music in which she got her first major success in 2010 with the song “Tell me Something I don’t know.” The last four years have been a very busy time for Selena.
On the Personal Front:
Selena Gomez’s dad was a Mexican. While the details of her arrival in the US evade me, she has herself confessed of her fears and wondered what would’ve become of her, if she had remained in Mexico. (It made me wonder too…) Her dad had left her mom and her mom struggled to meet the expenses of the household. (I’ve repeated this story so often that I now wonder if there are many in Hollywood who come from a two-parent family.)
Her Solo Debut Album “Stars Dance” has been doing well. Her single “Come and Get it,” became a top 10 hit and this is why I thought that the poster must mention it.
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