A Special Birthday Gift for Someone Special – Caricatures on Stone.

On his Birthday, I struggled to come up with the idea for a birthday gift. I started by listing the traditional gifting stuff.

  • DeO? Implies that he has BO, which he doesn’t; and he already has some sort of crazy musky spray that makes me wonder why men first bathe then spray themselves with something that makes them smell all sweaty.
  • Wallet? He’s got one already, and accept it or not, an empty gift wallet can stress a guy out, making his think how he can fill it up. As a Birthday gift, it doesn’t click.
  • Belt? So what might I be implying? Cinch it and tuck it in? It could’ve come in handy a couple of a years ago when he had kick-started his midriff expansion project, but he had quickly dropped it, and he is now fit and smart.
    Honestly, I tried coming up with something that would really be useful to him…something that won’t go the way the keyboard and the roller-skates went – but I came up with nothing!

But then, he can read me like I were a first grade English text being read by an English Literature Professor. So, on the morning of his Birthday, he brought this stone pen-stand that he had bought from a fair years ago, and asked me to draw or paint upon it.

And so I did. It took me hours, peering over the 2.5″x 4″ stone-canvas, and painting upon the not-so-smooth surface of the stone, but the results were heartening. Note that these four characters weren’t sketched elsewhere on paper…they were born on this pen stand, for this pen stand 🙂

Caricature, Cartoon of a balding worker in hat and a pretty young girl wearing hat with a kitten on a stone pen stand.

The balding worker with the Smiley Hat and the Pretty Girl with a kitten.

 

Caricature Cartoon of a girl in a hat with kitten and a androgynous man with a cellphone

Young girl in hat with a cat and a blond man with a cellphone

 

Caricatures, cartoons of a blond funny man with a mobile and a dancing Indian girl

Man with the mobile phone and the dancing Indian girl

 

Caricatures, cartoons of dancing Indian Girl and the balding man in the smiley hat.

The Indian dancer and the balding man in the smiley hat

And finally, with the pencils 🙂

Caricatures Pen stand with pens and pencils - the gift.

The Gift 🙂

He loved the gift. And then of course, there was the halwa, his favorite  sweet-dish to sweeten the gift some more 🙂

Smiles – Frolic: A Color Pencil Artwork that celebrates life.

In 2014, I had started working on a series of drawings that I had named “Smiles.” I had barely managed to color one of them when I faced my first real loss – the loss of a loved one. All other drawings in this series found their way into my Incomplete Drawings folder, and have stayed there as sketches.

This morning, I was struggling to find something happy to post. As I rummaged through my drawings done during the last two years, all I came up with were dark angry works – works that have no business appearing on a caricaturist’s blog. Then I came upon this, and I thought that if it was bright enough to bring a smile to my face, it was bright enough to be posted here.

Caricature of a funny girl smiling with a mouse that swings from her ears. Smiles Caricatures by Shafali.

Series: Smiles, Title of the Work: Frolic, Actual Size: 8″x10″, Medium: Color Pencils

I hope this spring-summer caricature brightens up your day too. Now I must get back to painting the Cover for Barbara G. Tarn’s novella “Charioteer of Buddha.”

Caricature – Bobby Jindal: Beautifully Brown and Seriously Smart – Announces Presidential Run.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced his candidacy for the US President on June 24th, 2016 and I am glad he did because I got the opportunity to paint an Indian face. It’s funny how skin color actually matters in art. Here’s a portrait of Bobby Jindal that made people wonder if he was actually a white. The artist either wanted to make a point (that the color of our skin doesn’t matter) or he just didn’t want to go out and buy new tubes of burnt sienna and yellow ochre, and so painted with whatever colors he had in his inventory.

Anyway, the great thing about painting portraits and caricatures digitally is that you never run out of colors…and a brown-skinned man remains brown-skinned 🙂

Caricature Cartoon Portrait (not the official one that sparked a controversy) of Bobby Jindal - Two-term Louisiana Governor who is now a Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential Elections

Wha…? “Am I not white?”

Now a teeny-weeny itsy-bitsy biography of this “Indian-American” who detests this particular hyphenation. But I’ll let the cynics know that it doesn’t matter if he wants to disown his Indian roots, Indians will always know him as his own…as long as he looks Indian and bears an Indian name, he’s an Indian for Indians. Still clucking? Check the Indian Newspapers.)

Piyush Jindal (ok, he likes to be called Bobby) was born to a Punjabi-Indian immigrant couple in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was a very smart kid, who grew up into a very smart young man, and got admission to Harvard Medical School as well as to Yale Law School. He also won the Rhodes scholarship and so pursued his higher education in Oxford.

He got married to Supriya, whose parents too had migrated to the same city around the same time as his parents. The couple happened to go to the same school too. Now they have three children, none of them have Indian names/surnames (smart move, going by the remarks that some Americans (of Indian and other origins) have been making on Twitter,) and Bobby Jindal is onto his second term as the Governor of Louisiana.

And yet,

Should Bobby Jindal have really run for the President at this point in time?

While his first term as the Governor was considered a super-success (he was re-elected by a huge margin) his second term is considered a super-failure. Why? Well….he tinkered with the budget for education…and a few other things too.

He is a conservative (sounds odd that being a child of immigrants he is a conservative, but then so is Marco Rubio) and he leans to the far right. He isn’t keen on being reminded of his Indian heritage because he rightly believes that his parents went to America to be Americans and that if they wanted to remain Indian, they’d have stayed back in India; and he’s not a Hindu (as his name would mislead you into believing,) he converted to Christianity when he was a teenager.

Though this might not be the best time for him to run for the presidential election and though I don’t agree with his views on Abortion and Gay-marriages, I still wish him the best 🙂

The Cartoon Avatar of the Caricaturist changes into a Caricature Avatar!

How my Smart Avatar saved its Job.

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.

shafali-avatar-120-sharp

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 🙂 

Caricature, Portrait, Cartoon Avatar - Shafali the Caricaturist.

 

Sketching Tutorial – How to Sketch the Facial Profile of a Beautiful Girl.

I haven’t posted any tutorial in a while and I wanted a break from work, so here’s a short sketching tutorial for everyone who loves to sketch.

This is the end-result of our sketching exercise:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - how to sketch the profile of a beautiful woman - step-wise.

 

Most of us, women artists included, like to sketch beautiful faces. (I think it’s a cultural thing.) So I decided on using the profile of a beautiful woman as the topic for this tutorial. In this tutorial we won’t be drawing a portrait, just a beautiful female face – so don’t kill yourself trying to establish likeness. Just find a pencil and get going.

Step 1:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - how to sketch the profile of a beautiful woman - step-wise.

The first step, as shown above, is to get your tools together. In the above image you can see what happens when an artist gets lazy. Instead of pulling out her camera and shooting a couple of pictures, she just roughs in a couple of pencils, an eraser, and the reference pictures. Once you’ve got your stuff together, start sketching.

Step 2:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - how to sketch the profile of a beautiful woman - step-by-step -roughing it in.

Start with a rough outline of the face you want to draw. Remember that we aren’t going to do a portrait here, so don’t worry about getting the likeness right. Instead focus on making the face pretty. So if the lady in your reference picture’s got a really long nose, chop it down to size (with your pencil – if your thoughts turned to gory means, you aren’t meant to be an artist, really!) At this stage, keep your lines loose – you may want to tweak them later.

Step 3:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - how to sketch the profile of a beautiful woman - step-by-step -roughing it in.

If you’ve read my book “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures,” you know that I am always drawn to drawing the eyes first. I recommend you do the same, but of course, if you choose to start differently, be my guest. There’s a reason behind my recommendation though. Eyes breathe life into any picture. When you’ve done the eyes, the lady in the drawing will come alive, and you, the artist, will begin to feel responsible for the drawing. Think about it.

Step 4:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - Drawing a beautiful face - how to sketch faces.

Darken the profile and the lips to complete the profile. At this stage, it’s a good idea to check whether the features are of the right size and placed in the right position.

Step 5:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - Drawing a beautiful face - how to sketch faces.

Rough in the hair by drawing the locks. When you draw hair, it’s a good idea to draw the locks first because they determine the hair-style. Notice that I wanted to space the locks out so I darkened the space between the locks that lie on the top.

Step 6:

Sketching tutorial - how to sketch a beautiful face.

 

Work a little more on the hair so that the direction in which the locks flow can be seen more clearly. At this point, I also remembered the existence of the ear, and shaded it a bit. Artists have a tendency to ignore the ear because it’s…well, a complicated organ to draw. However,  the good news is because people seldom look at each other’s ears, and they don’t really impact likeness – so if you work hard and understand the structure of ear once – you’ve got it bagged (eeks!)

Step 7:

Sketching tutorials by shafali - How to draw a pretty girl's head.

Next add some shades to the face. Notice the cheek that now looks more rounded. Also note that I’ve used two darkness levels while shading the cheek – this allows for a slight gradient, bringing roundness to the face.

Step 8:

Sketching tutorials - shafali - drawing the locks of hair on a woman's head.

Return to the hair. If you are wondering why I am making you hop, skip, and jump all over the drawing – it is because that’s how almost all artists (excluding the hyper-realists work.) We go on adding lines and textures intuitively. At this point, I felt an intuitive need to make the hair bulkier, so I filled it in some more. Notice that the individual strands are now more defined than before.

Step 9:

Sketching tutorials - shafali - Drawing hair and sketching a beautiful girl.

Some more work on the hair. Notice that I suddenly realized that when the hair is pulled up in a pony-tail – between the bangs and the pony-tail, the hair must appear to be darker because of the shadows – so more sketching…

Step 10:

Sketching tutorial - how to sketch a beautiful face.

Add more definition to the hair. Nothing special going on here, except that the front locks now look like they are made of individual hair-strands. Also note the addition of tiny wisps of hair that have escaped the confines of the lock. They make the hair look more natural.

Step 11:

Sketching tutorial - how to sketch a beautiful face.

When a persona stands against a background, the background usually contrasts with the face – this provides form to the face and makes it look more three-dimensional. This is why I darkened the area right behind the front profile. I left the white-space behind the pony-tail as-is, because the dark-hair automatically contrasts with the white-space.

Step 12:

Sketching tutorials - How to sketch the face of a beautiful girl.

 

The human neck is more or less cylindrical. So far, the neck has remained un-shaded and flat. Shade the neck by using lines that are parallel to the jawline in this case. The idea is to create a cylindrical shape through the shades.

Step 13:

Sketching tutorials - How to sketch the face of a beautiful girl.

 

Now return to the eye and the lips to darken them. Notice the slight shade near the nostrils – it makes the cheeks look more rounded and puts accent on the smile. For accentuating the smile, I’ve also upturned the corner of the lips a little. Add some shadow under the locks. The shadow makes the lock look more realistic.

Step 14:

Sketching Tutorials by Shafali - Sketching the facial profile of a beautiful woman.

 

Finally, if you like color – add a little color to the cheeks, the lips, the neck, and the hair. If you have Photoshop scan your drawing into your computer, set the layer to “multiply” and give a color-wash in the layer underneath. If you prefer to stay traditional, bring out your box of water-color pencils and add some color to it. This step is, of course, optional 🙂 If you were aiming at a black and white sketch, your job was done at Step 13!

Sign your work and pin it up on your soft board. Better still, photograph/scan/export it and share it with your friends 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon – Pen and Ink – Can you tell who he is?

Here’s the guy for you identify 🙂

caricature portrait in pen and ink - an escaped convict, a goon, robin-hood, killer etc.

Who could he be?

Possibilities:

  1. A convict who has escaped from Alcatraz (The Rock) – one of most heavily guarded prisons in the world.
  2. Lothar of Mandrake comics fame, in another life where he wasn’t such a nice guy.
  3. The Rock (Yes, another one – whose real name is Dawnye Johnson) – caricatured.
  4. A Foundry-man proud to showcase his products around his neck.
  5. A balding Hercules?
  6. A Mountain-man completely ignorant of the greatest invention of mankind (more specifically, by ean-Jacques Perret in France or by Gillette in America) – The safety razor? 
  7. Just one happy-go-lucky, hydrophobic, lazy young man?
  8. Robin Hood sporting a devil-may-care attitude?

Whoever he is, he and I both wish our visitors,

A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

🙂

Caricature: David Cameron upon hearing that Scotland said No to Divorce!

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.)

Caricature Cartoon of British PM David Cameron upon hearing the result of the Scottish Referendum (Caricature created using Toonsie Roll - an iOS App for iPhone and iPad.)

If you want me to email you when Toonsie Roll goes live on the App Store, please visit the Toonsie Roll page by clicking the button in the menu above, or the link below.

The Toonsie Roll App

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 🙂

Caricature-Cartoon Jeff Bezos: Amazon’s Brilliant CEO who now owns The Washington Post.

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.

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch of Jeff Bezos - The Founder and CEO of Amazon, and now owner of The Washington Post.

The Next Big Idea?

A Little about Jeff Bezos:

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“.

How to Draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist - by Shafali Anand - Click to Download from Kindle.

Click to View the Book on Amazon.

 

The Feature Frame Method of Drawing Caricatures – and the Evolution of a Caricaturist.

How to Draw Caricatures

(An Artist’s Eternal Quest for a Technique that always works!)

 

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.

Book to learn how to draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist by Shafali - available on Amazon.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist” – A book for artists and hobbyists for learning how to draw caricatures.

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.”

How to Draw Caricatures - Evolution of a Caricaturist - by Shafali Anand - Click to Download from Kindle.

Available as an eBook for your hand-helds and desktops. Click the above image to View on Amazon.

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.

Soon, then.

 

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 🙂

 

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.

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.

Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 4 – How to Draw Cartoon Eyes.

This post discusses the how and why of cartooning the eye.

While this post presents the essence of Chapter 5, it stands alone and doesn’t directly draw upon your learning from the previous chapters, except in on place, where I’ve added a relevant link.

The four images that I am adding here are almost self-explanatory, so I am going to keep the text to a minimum.

Importance of the Cartoon Eye

Cartoon eyes?

Well, two dots should suffice, shouldn’t they?

Guess they should, if you know what to do with those dots, because if you really want to draw cool cartoons, you need to go beyond the stick-figures and cookie-faced smilies (unless of course your mind-space is dominated by the conceptualizer.)

But I am serious when I ask you to stretch, squeeze, and twist the two dots of the eyes to make your cartoon characters come alive. Eyes are by and far the most important feature on the face of any creature (animals and humans alike.) They express. Period.

Please ref to Chapter 5 – Fig 1 below, where I present my case.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons - Importance of the eyes in cartoons.

The Uber-complex Structure of the Human Eye

The human eye is complex, and I am not talking about the internals of the eye. If I were talking about caricaturing the eye, I’d probably tell you stuff like “eye is spherical,” “the eyeball’s curvature is slightly different from that of the iris’…”, etc., but because cartooning requires that we simplify, why not begin by simplifying our learning, and focusing only on stuff that will impact our cartoons.

In the following image (Chapter 5 – fig: 2 for future reference,) you can see the simplistic structure of the human eye. It still is complex…but you don’t have to remember it all – just observe and move on.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons - Structure of the human eye - a Cartoonist's Perspective.

Simplifying the Eye

Now let us start simplifying the structure of the eye. Note that the moment we sacrifice any of the 8 basic elements of the human eye, we arrive in the realm of cartooning. Let us see how we can simplify the eye by removing each of the elements, until we are left with just the dot. Also note how life continues to fade out of the eye as we keep reducing the elements.

The decision of simplicity vs. complexity has to be taken in view of our need to capture and transmit the cartoon character’s emotions through its expressions. Practically, concerns such as the actual size of the drawing, the number of characters in it, (perhaps even the effort you can spare for your cartooning assignment,)  will influence your decision-making. The more complex you want your drawings to be, the more space you need to bring them to life.

The following figure (Chapter 5 – fig: 3) shows you a Cartoon look vs. Details graph that will help you understand the above rambles.

Note: The first statement refers to the definition of a Cartoon from Chapter 1 of the book. 

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons -Simplifying the human eyes to draw the cartoon eyes.

Some Cartoon Eyes

Here are some cartoon eyes. In the second row these eyes are coupled with their respective brows. The brows and the eyes work as a couple and help us accentuate the expressions.

Book - Evolution of a Cartoonist - A book on how to draw cartoons-Some Cartoon eyes - expressions through brows

Chapter 5 has more on the eyes, so I am not concluding it here with a Chapter End-Note. I will soon making a couple of posts on how to cartoon the human face.

Black-and-White Caricatures – All dressed up for the pageant.

Folks,

This caricaturist has found a new toy called “Gallery”. Here is a collection of some of my favorite black and white caricatures done over the past few years.

This is all for now 🙂 I hope you like them.

Have a Great Day!

– Shafali

Abraham Lincoln’s Color Caricature – This should brighten everyone’s day!

I’ve returned from Qo’noS, 2375. I believe the members of Martok’s family were reasonably satisfied with my work, which is usually more than what a caricaturist can expect.

It must’ve been late at night when my pod entered the iOS7-iPhone 5C-charged atmosphere of earth. If you know me, you know that I hate the new buttons and I hate the fact that Steve Jobs told Tim Cook that he should run Apple the way Tim wanted to run it and not the way Steve would’ve run it. I think that made Tim Cook guilt-free. I mean who puts a hardware designer on UI design?!!! Only Tim Cook.

In the next few days, I expect people to start hating the new buttons more vociferously on the social media, and then Jobs will appear in Cook’s dream telling him to get the glossies back.

When I got out of the pod, I stepped on a piece of virtual paper that had colored circles on it. Curiosity made me pick it up (yeah, don’t start thinking that I go around picking stuff up from the ground.) It was Apple’s invitation. Drat. I had missed it, and the pod had disappeared – so I could only time-travel to the conference if I cranked up my clunky tin-box, which works on the invalid principle of going faster than light; and I wasn’t going to do that. The prospects of traveling in it repelled me, especially after having experienced the awesome Klingon time-pod!

Cutting a long story short, I must tell you that the launch of iPhone 5C in those drool-worthy candy-colors reminded me of my color caricatures that I had painted before time-and-space-hopping to Klingon.

Here’s Abraham Lincoln’s Caricature for you. This is based on the black-and-white illustration of Lincoln that I did a few years ago.

Color Caricature - American President Abraham Lincoln - Digital Painting - Shafali

Actual Size at 300 dpi: 12 inches by 12 inches (the above image is cropped on the sides.)

 

Here’s the black and white illustration once again 🙂

Caricature/Sketch of Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the US who led America through the Civil War of 1861-65, and ended Slavery.

What is he thinking?

 

I’ll return with an important post for Moms and Dads, so if you’ve a young child at home and you are wondering whether he or she’s possessed by the gremlins of art, I’ll give you some pointers to help you in your quest.

 

 

Ben Affleck as Batman – A Caricature of Ben Affleck vs. A Caricature of Batman.

As a woman I not expected to talk about Batman, but as a caricaturist I couldn’t care less about what I am expected to do, so here are my two cents about the recent controversy about Ben Affleck playing Batman.

I admit that I’ve never caricatured Ben Affleck, but I may put him on my hit-list when he becomes the Batman, because then I’ll just have to draw him as-is – and voila, I’ll have a caricature of Ben Affleck AND Batman – two characters rolled into one 🙂
Let me be honest. I think that the Batman costume is enough to transform even the manliest of men into…ah…well…BATS!

Why Batman’s Costume freaks me out?

The costume creeps me out for three reasons:
  1. It’s black and gold. In my opinion, this combination can look good only on a fair-complexioned woman. I understand the logic – bats are black – Granted.  But then why is the utility belt all golden?  Do bats wear golden belts?
  2. It’s got those two cat-ears jutting up – why? What purpose do they serve, except making Batman look like more like a Catman than a Batman? Check out the ears of a bat here, and those of a cat here. I mean, just because they didn’t want Batman look like a gremlin, they twisted the ears sideways.
  3. The gaping hole in the cap (or head-shroud or whatever else it’s called.) Remember the only hole in the costume where Batman’s mouth fits in. Now if Spiderman can talk through the spandex costume that he wears, why did Batman need this wide hole that exposes his cheeks, chin, nose, and jaw? I think it was designed to make it easier for him to kiss women, when he wasn’t fighting the Joker. (Actually, that makes me wonder whether his costume has a zipper camouflaged with a black fly? What if he has to take a leak at a time when he’s trying save his city from the Joker’s wrath?)
But then these things don’t matter. What matters is that the selection of Batman has historically never gone down well with his fans.

Actors who’ve played Batman in the past – through my Distorted Lenses.

  • Remember Michael Keaton? If he could be Batman with the Koala face that he borrowed from Sheldon and never returned, what’s wrong with Affleck?
  • Remember Val Kilmer as Batman? He could’ve been the coolest Batman – and everyone was cool about his becoming Batman,  but it didn’t work out at all, did it?
  • Then you had George Clooney filling in the shoes? George Clooney?!! Really?  Ten years from now or even five, Ben Affleck would have mutated completely into George Clooney – so if GC has been the Batman – what’s wrong with Ben Affleck?
  • Oh, and then came Christian Bale. There are horror tales of people tearing up the seats in the halls so that they may use the sponge to stopper their ears. They hated his voice. Now look. Who’s swooning, drooling, and dribbling all over Mr. Bale?
(Actually, there were three others who also played Batman, but they belonged to another era. They were:
  • Robert Lowrey (I’ve no idea…honestly.)
  • Adam West (the Batman who batted the longest.)
  • Lewis G Wilson (the first Batman who was short and stocky.)
 (info garnered from where else but the DenofGeek.)

So what’s wrong with Ben Affleck?

  • True, he looks more like a banker than a storehouse of steroids, but then Michael Keaton has that used-car-salesman look about him – yet he did okay.
  • True, he doesn’t look athletic, but then Clooney didn’t either. And honestly, there’s nothing that can’t be handled through CG effects. In fact, I’ve not been spotted yet, or I could be Batman.
  • True, his voice has the Boston Accent (I wish I knew what that sounded like – but I am tone-deaf.) But then Bale’s voice had an alien bass, and now we’re drooling all over him – wondering why he threw the offer of $50M (Gosh!)
 
I think we get used to seeing them – the way they make us see them. I know the Ben Affleck will look like this unreal, batty character when he dons that suit – but then that’s what we expect from Batman, don’t we? 

Caricature/Cartoon – Hillary Clinton on her way to The White House

Everyone knows that Hillary Clinton will be running for President in the 2016 Elections. Period.

Here’s my take on the story.

Caricature cartoon in color - Hillary clinton - democratic candidate - US Presidential elections - 2016 - with donkey and 3 feathers in her cap.

Will Hillary run for the 2016 Presidential Elections?

Here are my reasons for believing that she will.
  1. In 2006, she was among the Democratic candidate hopefuls and narrowly lost to Barack Obama. This confirms that she is interested in becoming the President of the US.
  2. In 2007, she took up the position of the Secretary of State and happily co-existed and co-managed the international affairs of the US along with President Obama. This kept her in the public eye and made her a much stronger candidate than before.
  3. She took a break from a job which she was performing rather nicely. The only reason that makes sense to me is that she wanted to spend her time preparing herself for the next elections.
If the reasons given by me don’t convince you, read 5 Signs that Hillary will run for President here.

Hillary Clinton’s Dressing sense…

…has often been criticized. I’ll forever continue to wonder why it is so easy for men to get away with the same outfit (note that the only thing that ever changes in President Obama’s clothes is the color) while women fret over what they have to wear. I have nothing against Hillary dressing up in oddly constructed pant-suits and even in the outfit that you see in her caricature. I think that she still dresses up a lot better than Michelle Obama.
This deserves a closeup view of her outfit in this caricature.
Caricature cartoon color drawing painting of Hillary clinton - running for the 2016 US presidential elections - shown here with a donkey.
However, if you like women to look like made-up dolls and have the time and energy to read about Clinton’s fashion faux-pas, click here… or search for “Hillary Clinton’s Fashion Faux Pas”.

About Hillary’s Caricature

(This bit should be of interest to the artists.)

I had been planning on doing Hillary’s caricature for a very long time, but it wasn’t until last week that I really attached myself to my seat and decided to plunge into this caricaturing exercise. This is a digitally painted illustration done for the purpose of print (it measures 12 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi.) I first did a rough sketch (a sort of doodle), then made a final sketch, scanned it, and then painted it in Photoshop CS6.

I approached this illustration more as an artwork than just a caricature. The somewhat bewildered donkey representing the democrats, at the left; the happy and alert Hillary checking her progress, in the middle; and the wooden signboard at the right – all on top of a hill, with cloudy skies behind – a composition that comes together nicely. The colors balance one another out (check the warmer hues canceling out the cooler ones) except in one place – in Hillary’s outfit, where I used never-wear-together colors, clothes, and accessories. The pearls and the formal jacket (in…GREEN?) create a jarring effect when coupled with her BLUE Jeans and high-ankle leather cowboy boots. It exaggerates her oft-criticized fashion sense, and strengthens the caricature.

Now let us ponder upon a more important question, one that can be answered only by Samantha the Witch.

Will Hillary Clinton become the next President of the United States?

I think the US has tried a “first” by electing a non-white President for the first time in its history and given him two terms to prove that a first works. Whether or not Hillary Clinton will become the first woman President of the US will depend on whether people really gained from their first-first. While I am sure that Hillary has a strong resume, I don’t think people care about resumes. I guess people would want a change – and that could help the Republican candidate (Though I don’t know if there’s any Republican with an image as strong as Hillary’s.)
This is precisely why Hillary is aiming to reach the White House, once again; except that if she succeeds, she’ll not be there as the First Lady (one of the many feathers in her hat,) but as the President of the US. I wonder what Bill Clinton will be called then. The First Gentleman of America? I guess the geniuses of the White House will put their heads together and come up with an answer when such a situation arises.
Wondering…Why Hillary?

A Quick Biographical Sketch of Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has many feathers in her cap (and you can see three of those in her caricature above.) She’s been the First Lady of the US, a two-term US Senator, and the US Secretary of State; but there’s more. She’s got a Law Degree from Yale Law School where she met her husband Bill Clinton who she married in 1975. She’s held high-paying jobs all her life and there were times when she earned more than Bill Clinton.
  • Interestingly Hillary was born in a family with conservative values and when she was a student she was a Republican.
  •  Hillary’s marriage almost fell apart during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
  •  You can find a detailed biography of Hillary Clinton here.
And finally,

Hillary in Recent News

  • Hillary’s handling of the Benghazi incident led to some criticism, and even though the 2016 elections appear to be far away, some Republicans are already raking up the issue. It appears that everyone including the Republicans believe that she’ll run.
  • Recently Obama and Hillary Clinton met for lunch. This meeting is being seen as a sign of Obama supporting Hillary in the 2016 race.
  • She said that Huma Abedin, the wife of NYC Mayoral Hopeful Anthony Weiner, is like a daughter to her. While this may not be an important piece of news for you, but I mention it here so that you check out Anthony Weiner’s pole-dance caricature here and leave my blog laughing 🙂

Interactive Art Tutorials on Creating Cartoons are back!

Dear Readers,

Thanks for writing to me about your interest in the Interactive Art Tutorials. The links for the downloads weren’t working for the last one year or so, and I had been too busy with my illustration assignments to get the files in order. Finally, the tutorials are back. However, there’s bad news. I think I’ve lost the file for “Animated Faces.” I’ll try to locate the file, but if I am not able to, that tutorial will have to go. Instead, I promise to treat you with a “How to draw a Puppy” tutorial 🙂

So go ahead, check out the page – just don’t click the link for the Animated Faces Tutorial and everything should be fine.

Interactive Art Tutorials - Cartoons and Caricatures - By Shafali

If you’d like to hone your caricature drawing skills, perhaps you’d like to check out “The Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures“. The book is expected on the App Store in a couple of months, and if you sign-up using the form on the page, you’ll be sent a notification email when it becomes available for download.

Thanks 🙂

Draw to Smile!

– Shafali

Caricature/Cartoon – The Witch, the Oracle, the Fortune-teller – they color our world.

This is…well, a sort of fan-toon art. Though I wasn’t consciously aiming to draw anyone when I drew her, I had just finished reading “Johnny & Marian” by B. G. Hope, and I think on a sub-conscious level, I was influenced by the characters in the book. You see, in this book there’s this witch, Samantha. She isn’t outright evil, but she enjoys casting her magical spells on unsuspecting men and women, making them exchange their bodies. While B.G. Hope’s novellas “Johnny & Marian” and “Ciaran and Harith” tell the story of Samantha’s victims and not of Samantha (a story that I wish would one day be told,) it’s Samantha who caught my imagination and made me draw this caricature. I won’t be surprised if I was under a spell the whole time I was drawing.

Ladies and Gentleman,
I present the caricature of the Witch, the Oracle, the Fortune-teller – inspired by Samantha the Witch, who actually is a lot more modern than this lady here – so in the spirit of “Mind your Language”…”a thousand apologies.”

The Caricature Cartoon Portrait Sketch Drawing of a Witch , Oracle, Fortune-teller, card-reader in color pencils.

They’ll get what they want…and deserve!
(Actual Size: 7″x9″)

If you are interested in unconventional urban fantasy please visit the following two links and find the novellas on Smashwords.

The author B. G. Hope doesn’t blog, but she sometimes writes on her friend BarbWire’s blog here.

 

Caricature/Cartoon – Anthony Weiner Pole-dances to Campaign for 2013 NYC Mayoral Elections – Ref: Weinergate

Presenting the caricature of Mr. Anthony Weiner, the most popular Democratic candidate in the Mayoral race of New York City.

The Poll (Pole) Dance!

Caricature, Cartoon, Comic, Poster of Anthony Weiner (Weinergate) Pole-dance New York NYC Mayoral Elections 2013

The Weinergate Scandal:

Slightly more than an year ago, Anthony Weiner became internationally famous for dropping his pants and tweeting the picture of his burgeoning underwear to impress a young woman. Whether the lady in question was suitably impressed or not, is something that only she can tell, but Weiner resigned from Congress in 2011.

A Teeny-Weeny Bit about Weiner:

Weiner studied Political Science and began working in 1985. He must’ve used his knowledge of Politics to the right effect, because in 1992, he became the youngest Councilman of New York at the age of 27. From 92 to 98, he worked to make New York a safer city. His political career was on an upward swing until May 27, 2011 when he tweeted his famous underwear picture to one of his young women followers. The point to note here is that he tweeted that “exotic” picture when his marriage to Huma Abedin, the personal aide and almost-daughter of Hillary Clinton , was about 10 months old, and his wife was about six months pregnant with his son Jordan.

About Anthony Weiner’s Pole-dancing Caricature:

I was inspired to draw this caricature when I realized that Mr. Weiner isn’t giving up and is still in the race for becoming New York’s Mayor. The guy has spunk, I said to myself, and promptly sketched him in my notebook. The concept is simple. He’s pole-dancing for his voters – wearing the same underwear that he was wearing when he pointed the camera to his crotch and took that awesome picture. He’s also wearing a tie – because being the mayoral candidate he must; he’s wearing a formal jacket, because he must be feeling cold with his trousers off, and he’s wearing formal leather shoes, because he needs to do a lot of leg-work to get where he is going. Don’t miss the little blue bird that tells us that Weiner’s back on Twitter.

So why did Weiner Tweet that cute little picture of his weiner?

Possible Reasons:

  • The first thing and the last thing that Weiner thinks about on any given day is his name, which automatically leads him to obsess about his underwear-clad asset.
  • Ms. Abedin called him by a name that he didn’t appreciate, and he wanted to get back at her.
  • The young lady to whom he tweeted was teasing him, “Weeny…W….” and he wanted to prove her wrong.
  • He wanted a media blitz to precede his election campaign and he thought that Weinergate will etch his name in the public memory forever.

Important note:

Through comparisons with various brands, it has been established, although “not with certitude”, that through his pictorial tweet Weiner was advertising for a leading underwear brand Jockey.

Other Weiner Stuff:

According to a poll, Anthony Weiner is winning the New York City Mayor Race.
His wife is supporting his Mayoral bid – and she says she loves him – nice pictures or no nice pictures.

This reminds me to tell you about the fictional conversation between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin (remember that Hillary thinks that after Chelsea, Huma could’ve been her daughter.)

The Conversation between Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin on Weinergate:

Huma: What’s with these men? Why do they keep dropping their pants?
Hillary (lets out a long sigh): I’ve stopped thinking about it. It’s not important.
Huma: But it happened with you too. Thankfully Bill was smart enough to do it in the privacy of his office.
Hillary: I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
Huma: Are you referring to Tony’s picture?
Hillary: No my dear, I am referring to your reaction to this little ripple…
Huma: You are referring to his picture, aren’t you?
Hillary: Actually, I could be. But listen, he didn’t go visit all those places, did he? He was merely showing off his wares.
Huma: Isn’t that bad enough? Only because I was busy here – working out your itineraries…
Hillary: Forget it all and tell him that you stand by his side. Remember the time when that witch Monica Lewinsky told everyone about the lewd stuff she did with Bill?
Huma: So?
Hillary: I stood by his side. I told everyone that I cared for him regardless of whatever he did. Those masses out there, they are sucker for all this emotional wifely stuff. And now I may be the next President of the United States.
Huma: You’ve got a point.
Hillary: A valid point. Gun for the oval office, kid – and start now!

And so Huma started 🙂

Here’s a closer-up view of the face for an end-note.

Anthony Weiner - Cartoon with Twitter bird - Face Details from Pole-dance Poster (Weinergate and NYC Mayoral Elections)