Today is Jimmy Fallon’s Birthday. Yes, I’m talking about the new Donald Trump 🙂
Your Interview of Donald Trump was Fabulous.
Happy Birthday, Jimmy Fallon.
This is huuu……………..uuuuge. Isn’t it?
This gallery contains 12 photos.
I am appalled!
A $400 Million donation to a $30 Billion Institution!!
But when Malcolm Gladwell, the author of several non-fiction super-sellers such as The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, did those smart and sarcastic tweets on John Paulson’s donation to Harvard, some low-thinking individuals tried to bring the house down upon his head. (Read: Malcolm Gladwell just went nuts on a Wall Street billionaire’s $400 million donation to Harvard)
Here are some of his tweets:
First, I’d like to ask the Malcolm-critics:
What’s wrong with Gladwell criticizing the donation?
He’s got all the right in the world to drag Paulson’s name through the mud. After all, even I deserve that $30 Billion more than Harvard does. Why? Because I don’t have a billion, or even a million. I am so much poorer than Harvard – and that makes me more deserving of Paulson’s 400 Million donation.
Twitter has played cupid and made me fall in love with Gladwell who has said what I’ve been saying all along – albeit a bit differently, and a lot more humorously. People who can buy diamonds, shouldn’t buy them for their loved ones; people who have amassed a fortune, shouldn’t leave it their families – why? Because those loved ones are rich too…and hence they aren’t deserving enough – there are enough who are poorer (poverty being a relative concept,) and they must become the heirs to the rich.
There’s a pitfall in my reasoning though and that becomes my first argument in favor of what Paulson did. (Gasp again – I mean, how could he give it away all to Harvard? but I’ll reserve the whining for later…)
Most people are motivated to earn because they feel they have the right to decide how they must dispose their earnings – and most people prefer to spend their money on those who they love or care about. Recall that self-actualization need comes after family and belongingness needs (Abraham Maslow) – and your alma-mater is…well, your “nourishing mother” and hence family. John Paulson admits that he owes his unprecedented success to Harvard – and so he decides to gift “some of it” to his foster mother, who’s already rich no doubt, but who can still use that money to help her other “children” through life. How in the world does this compare with donating for the cause of poverty?
This of course, is one viewpoint.
Another viewpoint is that – helping the ones who can help others results in greater benefit to mankind. So if Paulson thinks that his alma mater could find a good use for his money – he is actually investing in the future of mankind – and that in itself is an act of philanthropy. If an institution consistently produces billionaires and multimillionaires and they donate a part of their wealth for the poor of the world – the poor get more.
For the third argument in Paulson’s defense, I would like to say that who one must donate to (or whether one must donate at all) is a personal choice – and giving money to an educational institution has a far greater impact on humanity than any other kind of donation. True that the impact may not be as immediate as in the case of donating food and health supplies, yet someone has to do it – or in a few centuries from now, we’d all have reverted to growling and snapping at each-other’s heels…we’d be back to living a life centered around fulfilling our basic needs.That would wipe the artists and the writers out of existence. And neither Mr. Gladwell nor I would like that. (Excuse my quick and distorted but inevitable time warp example. I am a caricaturist and I thrive on exaggeration, which brings the imperfection into sharp focus.)
But all said, I am still in love with Malcolm Gladwell – and I defend his right to tweet his thoughts. They are an exact echo of my thoughts, and I thank him for putting them across – because his words are stronger (and far more retweetable) than mine. I too would’ve preferred that John Paulson had directed at least a quarter percent of his donation towards me – the rest could go to poorer folks, along with the donations made by a zillion other billionaires and organizations.
And to top it all…Harvard just doesn’t need that money. The keyword here is “need,” you see?
If you’ve been here before, you probably remember the cartoon-sketch that was employed as my online avatar.
Whenever I’d look at it, it looked worse than before. I wondered why. Perhaps after five years of hard work it was beginning to crack under the pressure of its job. I concluded that a heart-to-heart chat between my avatar and me was in order.
I invited my avatar over for a cup of cardamom-ginger tea and gently broached the topic.
“You’ve worked hard all these years,” I said, pausing a little to watch its reaction. It sat there listening intently, quirking its brow a little when I paused, so I hastily continued.
“And you never took a day off…,” I noticed my avatar stiffen. I could also see tiny beads of perspiration on its forehead. It knew what was coming. Shit! I crossed my fingers and prayed that it won’t cry. I couldn’t handle tears!
Then my avatar squared up its shoulders and looked me in the eye. “Are you firing me?”
The question hit me like a missile. That’s what I was doing, wasn’t I? Firing my ambassador, my avatar – someone who had stood by me through the thick and thin of these five years! I was a heartless harridan trying to browbeat my avatar into retiring.
“What?” my avatar was still looking at me with searching eyes, expecting a…a confirmation of its fears, I suppose.
“Firing you? C’mon, get real! The thought never crossed my mind.” I knew that my voice rang hollow.
My avatar could hear the lack of conviction in my voice. “Is it because I don’t look nice? I am rather plain, am I not?” it asked.
“Umm…you could use a little color, I suppose, but…” I answered. It was a catch-22, I’d get caught, whichever way I went.
“Then don’t fire me – just paint me to look more like you. An implant in the chin, a change of hair-style, and some color – that’s all I need to look more like you and fit in better with your work.”
I looked into the eyes of my avatar.
It was plain indeed. Just a few squiggles here and there – more of a cartoon than a caricature, but it was right. My avatar was smarter than me, and it had a solution – and it could be implemented in a few hours! My avatar had on-the-job experience of 5 years; it was recognized by visitors, readers, clients, and even my Facebook friends; and it was smart too. I would be an idiot to let it go!
And so my friends, here’s my new, improved avatar 🙂
This book could be a starting point or a mid-journey reflection point for an artist who is inclined to do caricatures. I am grateful to everyone who left their reviews for the book. As I mentioned in my earlier posts, I completed my work when I finished writing the book and made it available on Amazon. I am first an artist, then a writer, and finally a learning-facilitator; I am not a marketer and I don’t know the first thing about “getting” people to write reviews, so I am really glad that some readers of Evolution posted their thoughts on the book.
The book “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist” is available on Amazon, and regardless of the device you own, you can download the eBook and read it. I hope you find it interesting as well as useful 🙂
And here’s your tool-kit to experiment with the art of caricature-creation, without drawing 🙂 Click the icon to download Toonsie Roll – a free photo-to-caricature app on your iPhone or iPad.
Now off on a short trip to Pluto, the planet of artists.
Here’s the guy for you identify 🙂
Whoever he is, he and I both wish our visitors,
Another long day of sitting in the waiting area resulted in a stiff back, a head full of images that I’d rather not see again, and another caricature.
I don’t think I am an authority on religious stuff of any kind, and yet I’ve read tomes on Hindu Mythology and Indian History…and you can’t separate religious teachings from mythology…not from Hindu Mythology at least, which is intricately woven around our gods and goddesses. I mention this as in religion (and not just in Hindu religion, but other religions as well,) there’s an underlying concept of your being rewarded or punished by being sent to heaven or hell, as the case may be. I don’t know if other religions too share some sure-fire, quick-relief after-death remedies of ensuring that regardless of a person’s misdeeds, he or she may arrive in heaven, if certain procedures were followed.
Within the purview of my currently limited knowledge in this area, Buddhism is the only religion that confirms the finiteness of life in a body and speaks of your soul being the vessel that can be filled either with your reward (peace and happiness) or your punishment (pain, guilt, and humiliation,) all in your lifetime.
This caricature captures the fire of hell that burns within the soul of a sinner; fueled by guilt and humiliation, it starts in his mind, spreads through his entire existence, and then gradually eats through his sanity and darkens his visions with soot and smoke.
I am waiting for the wait to end…
There still are caricatures waiting to be drawn, hiding in the future…when they happen, I’ll bring them to you.
When I am most anxious, I take refuge in drawing. It helps reduce anxiety, and to some extent, mental anguish and sadness too. However, the output of art created when you are anxious, comes out looking pretty random. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of hell in the soul of a sinner and I draw that; at other times, I see light at the end of the tunnel and I draw a happy image.
The following pen and ink caricature of a happy gypsy man happened because I had to wait in an office. It helped me fill my empty minutes that could’ve come-together, gathered force, and spiraled into a twister capable of plunging me into an ocean of anxiety. Simply speaking, this gypsy guy’s laughter helped me stay happy.
I’ll publish the darker ones too…but only after I am sure that looking at them will not make me anxious…for now, it’s the gypsy guy.
And he reminds me of another gypsy…Sir Isaac Newton. More on that later.
Meanwhile, all iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners can become caricaturists by tapping/clicking here and downloading the Free Caricature Maker App Toonsie Roll on the App Store.
Everyone knows Bill Clinton. We know him for a multitude of reasons. Here are those engraved upon the tip of the iceberg.
I think he is one of the most recognized American Presidents, with possibly just one exception (who else but President Barack Obama,) and trust me when I tell you that until a month ago, I had never caricatured him! Not even a sketch. I did paint his wife Ms. Hillary Clinton as someone who’d be contending the presidential elections of 2016 (yes, in a lucid moment of epiphany, I saw her in the race to the White House.)
Let me come to the point – and tell it to you straight. When I came to know that the Nov/Dec issue‘s cover and inner-spread would require Bill Clinton’s Caricatures, I was shocked to realize that this would be the first time I’d be caricaturing Mr. Clinton.
We discussed the idea and came up with a gardening metaphor that would capture how the Clinton Memorial Library has led to a lot of development in the surrounding area. You can see that in the spread, the left page shows Clinton planting the library in 2004, and then you see Clinton again, 10 years later feeling happy and proud as he surveys the development. Read the article here.
A Note for Caricaturists/Illustrators:
In 10 years, a person ages. Clinton had also faced certain health issues (in 2004/2005 he underwent surgeries,) which had made him lose a lot of his facial-fat. This is why the pre-2004 Clinton had to look clearly younger than the 2014 Clinton.
But even before I began ironing out the details, I hit a road-block. I like my caricatures to look cute and nice, and despite Clinton’s half-smile, he’s a not an easy guy to caricature. I actually felt glad that I wasn’t caricaturing when he was the President and I honestly don’t envy the caricaturists who were.
Caricaturing Bill Clinton’s face is a challenge, and in this case, ensuring that the age-difference is visible between the two, was an even more difficult task. I worked with the skin-tone, wrinkles (especially those around the eyes), chubbiness, and hair-volume to get the desired effect.
I’ve also been working on a few other projects (paintings as well as pen and ink drawings) and I’ll post about them soon 🙂 Meanwhile, if you are interesting in learning how to create caricatures, check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Amazon.
Did you know that David Cameron had worried himself sick (got ulcers) on the issue of the Scottish Referendum. When he heard the result and realized (realised) that Scotland had voted for “no divorce” for a moment he couldn’t believe his ears. In fact, the Queen was so happy that she purred (as told to the media by David Cameron.)
The look of slight confusion (the eyebrows raised in the middle, the partially open mouth) and yet relief creeping up at the corners of his lips – it actually fits the situation perfectly. As an artist, I’d have spent hours trying to get that look right – but I used Toonsie Roll and got the whole caricature along with the emoji, the text, the signature, and of course, the caricature – in four minutes flat. Isn’t that cool? All on the basis of intuition. The point is – it’s tons of fun to caricature people you know – for instance, your boy/girl-friend, your boss (oh yes,) or even your friends – and all you need to create a caricature master-piece is this app in your device 🙂 Send me a message through the contact form, and I’ll let you know when it hits the App Store!
Anyway, coming back to Cameron’s delight upon the positive (er..negative) vote – the percentage that voted for divorce (45%) and that voted for staying married (55%) doesn’t show a very wide gap, which means there still is a sizable population that wants to separate – so his worries might not be over yet. Amidst allegations of vote-rigging, the Scottish referendum of 2014 is already stirring up emotions instead of settling them down.
If you want to skip reading about my connection with this app…please use the contact form below and I’ll ping you when the App goes live 🙂
There’s no denying that Ebola‘s accelerating spread is a huge concern for humanity, and yet, there’s another virus in the air, one that’s been multiplying at a rate that is exponentially greater than that of Ebola. It’s called the Celebrity Nudes Virus (CNV).
According to CBS*,
The Celebrity Nudes Virus has by now spread to all the countries of the world, and the number of people infected by this virus doubles every hour. Accordingly to statistics that have been laboriously collected, classified and sifted, every man infected by this virus can potentially infect 6 others, in a matter of seconds. It has also been reported that 5 out of 6 people who get infected, are males.
The man who unleashed this virus on the Internet claims that he did it for money. And yet, the poor devil, the man with a zillion dreams of a billion dollars got a measly $120 for his labors…and if we should believe him…for his investment.
This man, who CBS* has nicknamed “Father of the Celeb-nude Virus” has hacked into the iCloud accounts of 100 celebrities, including Rihanna, Kristen Dunst, and Selena Gomez, and despite the financial setback, he has no intentions of stopping. “The FBI,” he says, “is a minor inconvenience.”
Following are some of the search-strings that the infected group of people have so creatively come up with.
Search terms such as these abound, despite the celebrities issuing statements on moral grounds. They’ve been condemning people who view these leaked pictures as participating thieves, because they are viewing stolen goods. CBS* spokeswoman Shafali says:
“I understand their concern. Hacking nude celebrity pictures is akin to plagiarism in the art/literary circles. The person who created the content must be fairly compensated for its use. Now that those nudes are already out there, nobody is going to want to pay to view them – so what could’ve been on the front-page of Rolling Stone or GQ and would’ve justly made the celebs and their retinues some moolah, has now resulted in $1.20 per celeb for the hacker. It’s terribly unfair to the celebrities, I suppose; but what hurts me more, is the erosion of the value of those pictures, which in fact, is also an insult to the celebrities in question.”
Most celebrities aren’t ticked off because their nudes went online – they’d love to have those pictures on the covers or the center-spreads of magazines. Just click the following link to view some nude celebrity pictures that have been shared with totally value-driven willingness, and hence puts the viewer on the right side of the ethics debate. In fact, the latest celeb to go nude for GQ is Kim Kardashian!
(No prizes for guessing the right answer.)
The Celebrity Nudes Virus is indubitably more contagious of the two viruses. Even Google works faster to find Celeb Nude Photos than it does to find pages that talk about Ebola. Please check the encircled statistics.
I rest my case.
In another, unrelated, unsourced news byte, CBS* has come under heavy criticism for attempting to milk the celebrity nudes scandal for their blog. The CBS spokeswoman made the following statement:
“We are in the business of creating caricatures and exaggerating deviations. We believe that the ridiculousness of the celebrity nude pictures hacking scandal has to be recorded for posterity. We are just a tiny spoke, a small blog in the scandal-mongering hinterlands of the World Wide Web. We believe that we are doing the right thing.”
CBS*: Caricatures by Shafali
Now that I think of it, I don’t really caricature business-people for fun. I did a couple of Mark Zuckerberg‘s, one of the Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg‘s, and that is about it. Oh, I also did a commemorative caricature of Steve Jobs for a business magazine long ago, but I didn’t post it here. I did Zuckerberg’s and Steve Jobs‘ as commissions, and Matt Mullenweg’s as a Thank You Note for building WordPress. Today, I drew/painted (it’s a partly painted sketch) Bezos, because I received David Farland’s Daily Kick in my mailbox and it mentioned the Hachette/Amazon battle. I saw Bezos’ name in the email and was suddenly reminded of his face, which is actually quite funny. He doesn’t look like a businessman at all.
So, what do businessmen look like?
Typically, they looked like the furniture they own. They look like the stuffed but polished leather chair they sit upon, they look like the rich and lustrous tables that they sit behind, they look like the steel skyscrapers that they have their offices in; in short, they look stuffy, rich, and absolutely unreachable. Bezos looks like none of these. He looks like he’s bubbly bottle of soda, a cotton-candy, a merry-go-round; in short, he looks like he’s tons of fun.
Here’s what I painted.
Bezos was born in 1964, which makes him about half-a-century old. He was a smart kid who liked to dissemble and assemble stuff. Bezos comes from a Richie-rich background. His maternal grandfather owned about 10,000 square km of land, but in my opinion Grand-dad was somewhat stingy, because despite having such huge tracks of land, he started Amazon.com from his “garage.”
But the lack of space didn’t deter Jeff and he ended up making Amazon.com what it is today – you know what it is. It’s the online paradise of shoppers, it’s the answer to the prayers of self-published authors, it’s a company with a market capitalization of 146.37B!
According to Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/) in 2013 alone Jeff Bezos became richer by $13 Billion! In November 2013, he sold just 1% of Amazon’s stock and got 260 Million for it. So, this cute, deliberately bald, funny looking gentleman is one of the richest men on the planet (#12 on Forbes 400 list.)
Bezos is a libertarian (please do not confuse the term with libertine…though some who search for “Jeff Bezos Creepy” would only be too happy to accept the latter meaning.) His personality leaks from the first name he thought up for Amazon (relentless.com.) His biological dad John Jorgensen discovered that he fathered a billionaire quite late in life. Bezos is considered to be a micro-manager…oh, and his awesome laughter? He inherited it from his biological dad. (source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/10-things-you-didnt-know-649386)
Bezos is here because…well, I guess I love oddballs; and also because without Amazon, I wouldn’t have published “Evolution of a Caricaturist“.
Or “almost” always works…
Because the experimental landscape of an artist’s curious mind forces an artist to change and evolve, defying the use of scientific methods and reducing the chances of a boolean result.
The Feature Frame Method © that you learn in “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures“ is a scientific method that provides a framework that a caricaturist can use to create caricatures that exhibit relevant-exaggeration and likeness.
Usually I don’t talk about the book. This is mainly because I think that a book should do well or not do well on its own merit. I had been thinking of making a post about how cool the book is – it appears that everyone who writes a book does – but somehow I couldn’t. I’ve always thought of Learning and Medicine as two professions that should rise on their own merit. This is precisely why I didn’t buy my book and send (“gift”) it to sundry reviewers who have no love for caricature-drawing.
Oddly, despite my own non-promotional, finicky attitude, the book’s sales have been picking up steadily. The only reason that I can attribute to it is a kind word-of-mouth.
Oddly again, the stereotypical artist’s aversion to writing has ensured that there aren’t any reviews. It’s fine. I know what being an artist feels like and I know that if reviews were pictures, I’d probably have one from every artist whose device has my book. I am not sure if it would be a cool review, but I am an incorrigible optimist, so I always think that it would be 🙂
Here’s a small effort to enhance the visibility of this book further. If you’ve read my book and found it useful, or if you’d like to help this book reach more artists/hobbyists who would like to learn how to draw caricatures, do share it.
As an artist and as the author of this book, I think that if you are an artist/hobbyist who wants to learn how caricatures can be drawn with confidence, this book is for you. “Evolution of a Caricaturist” is not about painting, nor about sketching. It’s about how you can look at a face and create a caricature of it – using any medium that you prefer. So if people tell you that you draw beautifully, but they aren’t able to recognize the person in your caricature (who they know through real/reel life, of course,) then I’d recommend that you click the following link/image and check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricaturist.”
If you don’t want to head for Amazon straightaway, first download the preview of “Evolution of a Caricaturist” at ISSUU and then decide. And if you like it – with permission of the artist who dwells within you, please leave a review too 🙂
Coming up soon is a post with my newest Magazine Cover. It’s already on my Facebook page, do check out if you are interested.
Last month, I had the opportunity to illustrate the cover of two political magazines. I’ll post the other cover after the magazine hits the stands. Here’s the one I did for The American Spectator‘s July August 2014 Issue. If you hold Conservative views, pick a copy from the newsstand or subscribe to the magazine here.
I must confess that this was a challenging assignment. On the face of it, it looked easy. A lady with a Red-Indian head-dress standing in front of a Teepee… it couldn’t be simpler, you’d say. Actually, you’d be wrong. Over the years, the lady has sported many different hair-styles, her preferred outfit is a loose jacket and a pair of trousers, and most reference images available on the Internet show her waist-up! Anyway, the point is that at the end of it all she looks rather cute standing akimbo in front of that teepee that she didn’t build. Of course, she didn’t build that teepee in the image. I did.
Elizabeth Warren is the US Senator for Massachusetts. She is a Democrat and you can read her blog here. The controversy that the tag-line in the cover points to, is the fact that she had once identified herself as a Native American. It turns out that there isn’t enough documentary proof to support her claim. While most of the voters in her constituency say that this won’t affect their decision to re-elect her, the issue has attracted a lot of criticism.
While Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly denied that she’d be running in the US Presidential race of 2016, there are speculations that she might. She is considered to be a Democratic heavyweight and there’s a possibility that she might be in the race, along with Ms. Hillary Clinton. If you’ve not viewed my Caricature of Hillary Clinton, you can view it here.
I’ve been doing a lot of other stuff lately. This included Pet Portraits, a Couple of Wildlife drawings…and oh, yes. I’ve been experimenting with my color pencils. I had tried them out last year and drawn the Caricature of Samantha the Witch and this captive here – but these were both post-card size drawings. This is bigger.
Let me take a picture and show you what it is – await my next post 🙂
If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures, check out my book “How to Draw Caricatures? Evolution of a Caricaturist” at Amazon 🙂
Here’s a painting that I did from an older black and white caricature of Julius Caesar.
Following is the black and white caricature that I painted upon.
I thought of sharing this image to elucidate how coloring a caricature is different from coloring a portrait. While there’s a lot that I learn with every caricature I paint, there are some caricaturists who have mastered the art of using color in a funny way. There are two caricaturists who I hold in high esteem when it comes to using the power of colors in caricaturing – Vizcarra and Thomas Fluharty. While Vizcarra’s work brandishes color as an almost fatal weapon to gain and fasten your attention to his caricatures, Fluharty’s use of color is subtle – it attracts you in a more sublime manner.
I gravitate towards the sublime. In art, I am a moderate. In caricatures, I stay away from hyper-exaggeration. I recently got a very nice compliment from a client. He said that my style was fun. “Fun” is what I gun for, especially when I create caricatures. I am not pro-seriousness, nor am I pro-ridicule – this is why I call myself moderate and this is why I am more pro-Fluharty in coloring.
Not using the colors for fun and staying realistically close to the actual coloring isn’t my thing for caricature-painting; nor is exaggerating the color values by pushing them to the periphery of the color-wheel.
Here are a few pointers for those who like to moderately exaggerate the colors in their caricatures.
So make the reds a touch redder, the blues bluer, the greens lusher, the browns chocolaty…move towards colors that encourage nicer, more fun-feelings in the viewer. This may not always be required, but when it happens, your caricatures look more lively.
Lips are red, teeth are white? Actually, they aren’t. Lips have a red/magenta tinge and teeth vary from grayish-yellow to creme in color. When two different colors are adjacent to each other, increase their contrast. In the lip and teeth example, this would exaggerate the teeth and add to your caricature.
While painting Caesar’s head, I edged the leaves with gold, heightening their contrast with the shadows on his head; I contrasted his lips with his skin (I am sure that an aging Caesar’s lips won’t be raspberry red and so full as shown in the caricature, but painting them realistically would’ve killed the fun element in the caricature.)
Don’t go super-realistic on highlights and shadows. A shiny knobby nose looks funnier than a realistically painted one, eye-balls that reflect an unnatural amount of light look more lively in a caricature. So stay with stronger high-lights and shadows.
So bring out one of your sketches and unleash the painter in you 🙂
I’ve also been hoping to tell you that I am rather happy with the performance of “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” though I often wonder why we artists are so averse to writing. If we weren’t, we’d leave a review or two on the books that we read. And yet, I shall stand my ground and not buy/request reviews by sending the book to professional reviewers who aren’t my real audience.
Very Important: If you’ve stopped here by chance and you love animals, follow this blog, because something awesome is coming up soon (as soon as this Friday.)
Until then… Draw to Smile 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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 😦
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.
Now the story behind the creation 🙂
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.
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 🙂
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.
Here’s a close-up of the Caricature of President Obama.
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.
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.
A bit of drawing…
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 🙂
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.
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.
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