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 🙂

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The book “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist”…

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 🙂

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

Click the book icon to reach the Book-details page on Amazon.

 

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.

Icon Toonsie Roll - Caricature App for iPhone and iPad - create funny caricatures of everyone - Toon 'em all!

Click to download Toonsie Roll into your iPad or iPhone.

 

Now off on a short trip to Pluto, the planet of artists.

10 Tips for Drawing Crowds in Caricature- and Cartoon-Illustrations.

Sometimes, a search-string catches your eye and brings back memories of an assignment that you did a while ago.

“Drawing Crowd Scenes” is the search-string that led to this post.

O’ dear searcher, I understand your confusion and your anxiety. If you’ve landed an assignment that requires you to draw a crowd and you’ve never done crowds before, your anxiety is natural. It happened to me last year. Most of my work comprises creating portraits and caricatures, and most political and business compositions don’t happen outdoors; so the requirement of drawing a scene with a cheering crowd made me somewhat anxious. I am sure I must’ve searched for drawing crowd scenes then…and most of what I saw in the resulting images was a slurry of heads and shoulders. I am a detail-oriented artist. I like my work to have nuances that make it more interesting with every viewing (or so I hope :)), so I didn’t want a nondescript crowd for the magazine spread I was doing. I wanted my crowd to have character and life.

Let me first share what I ended up painting:

How to draw crowds and crowd scenes for cartoon and caricature compositions.

Two-Page Spread painted for Talk Business & Politics Magazine (Issue Sept-Oct 2014.)

 

As you can see, the crowd here is composed of the spectators who have gathered to witness a jousting match between two political rivals. There interest in the match is a clear indication that they support one or the other candidate and this is why some have brought banners along. The excitement levels are fairly high here.  In medieval times jousting events were one of the few forms of entertainment available for families of the bourgeois – so I thought of including families in the event. A closeup will reveal this connection shortly.

Let us first look at the closeup of the bottom-left of the painting.

Closeup of the spectators on the left-side:

How to draw large gatherings, crowds, people, spectators for events.

 

These are Mike Ross’s supporters, so they carry a banner of his name. They are excited about the match and fairly optimistic that their candidate will win. They are here for a picnic-match combo and hence the attire. Nothing much to see here, except the body language, the expression and the attire.

Closeup of the spectators in the middle:

How to draw large gatherings, crowds, cheering crowd, spectators for events.

Here, the spectators present a cross-section of society. Political illustrations must be politically-correct at times, and your publisher would usually draw the line for you. However, as an illustrator, you too must take some decisions. The crowd here cannot be “all men”, “all women”, “all white” and so on. The crowd should be inclusive. So you see different races represented here…The woman at the bottom left corner (in orange) actually has in infant in her arms (that’s why she’s sitting sideways), the man in yellow who is sitting on the grass as brought along his dog. To add some humor for those who revel in detail, a man is trying to climb over the heads of two guys (top-left) and in the process, incurring their wrath. Overall, the crowd is happy and excited, and comprises of individuals who have their own personalities, should someone decide to look.

Note that I could have added nondescript heads in the background, but I thought that it might take the attention away from the main crowd and so I used my artist’s license and did away with them – keeping the focus on the main crowd.

Closeup of the spectators at the right:

How to draw large gatherings, crowds, cheering crowd, spectators for events.

These spectators are quite like the spectators at the left. They round off the picture quite nicely, and also add an illusion of continuity beyond the left and right borders of the image.

Now, after one run, I feel that I can create crowds of all kinds – it’s a mammoth task, I admit, but once you are done with it, you get a strong sense of accomplishment too. But all that cool talk aside, it isn’t easy.

10 Tips for Drawing Crowds:

Here are a few pointers for the first-time crowd painter.

1. Decide upon the importance of the crowd. Is the crowd there to merely represent a locale and is distant from the actual action that you are illustrating? If so, you may have generic heads, hands, and shoulders without closing up enough to show their expressions. If your crowd is there to play a part in the composition, then expressions and faces become important.

2. Don’t make all the faces round/oval. People have different types of faces – long, squarish, pear-shaped, pentagonal…work in different face-shapes.

3. Work with different hair-styles and colors. They make people look different. Have some bald characters too (unless its a crowd of all kids/all women.) Don’t work too much on the details of the hair (you don’t have to capture all the lights falling on everyone’s head) – you can work with the outlines to show curly hair or a bald head.

4. Don’t make everyone look in the same direction. It’s humanly impossible for a hundred people to be looking in the same direction at the same time, even if they are watching an opera. Some look at others, others look at their finger-nails, a few look mesmerized…work with expressions. Remember that they are a crowd, so you don’t have to bring out every feature and paint the whole set of teeth, a couple of upward curves would make a smile, and if you fill the gap between the curves with white, you’ve got a laughing spectator.

5. Bring in different skin-tones – depending upon the region that you are illustrating. It also helps your drawings stay inclusive.

6. If your crowd is shown standing, work with different body-types. Some would be pot-bellied, others reed-thin; some would large, others really small. When you add these little details, your crowd comes to life.

7. For large crowds and gatherings, allow people to spill over the edges. It helps the illusion of continuity, thus making your crowd appear larger than it is.

8. Some artists gray out the crowds so that focus stays on the main artwork (the jousters in this case.) I think that the treatment works better in case of cartoon-illustrations. Caricature-illustrations (my kind) require a more realistic treatment of the crowd too, and graying them out completely doesn’t work. You may want to cool the tones of the crowd a little (if the crowds are in a distance.) I didn’t, because I like working with bright colors and I also thought that the size-difference between jousters and the people in the crowd will automatically result in a sense of distance.

9. If you really want to pack people in, draw more details on those in the front (and nearer to the foreground,) then reduce the details over a few rows (the rows must mix for a standing crowd, but for a crowd that’s watching a stage-show, they’d automatically be clearly defined.) Farther away, circles could replace the heads.

10. In the end, don’t begin drawing your crowds without researching the region for which you must draw the crowd. American crowds look different from Indian crowds, which look a lot different from mid-eastern or Japanese crowds.

 Happy Crowd-drawing 🙂

 

Coming up soon: Caricatures of Gandalf the Grey, Taylor Swift, and Jesse Jackson.

Have you ever seen them together? In the same place? This has never happened before! But now it will. Now you will see them together here – at this caricaturist’s blog!

Caricatures in the Offing!

Blogging Plans for the Next Two Months:

  • Tutorials – Cartooning and Caricature-Drawing
  • Tutorials – Pen & Ink Drawing
  • A couple of Short Satires (I may not publish them on SmashWords like the earlier ones – just here.)
  • Snapshots/Final Artworks/Caricatures that I do during this time.

Possible To-do’s for First-time Visitors:

Keeping this post short 🙂 Got to get back to sketching a very interesting scene for a magazine-spread. I need a cup of tea before I start…

 

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.

 

Another Tryst with Color Pencils – A Beautiful Witch with Hypnotic Eyes Emerges.

Those pencils had been languishing in my desk drawers for a whole year. I wouldn’t have bothered with them, had I not gone to the stationery shop to buy pens for my pen & ink drawings. I had ordered some pens, and the shop-owner had called up to tell me that they had arrived. So yesterday, I went to the shop to pick them up.

Every artist knows how addicting these shops can be. Sketchbooks, notebooks, canvas-pads, diaries, drawing-boards, pencils, pens, brushes, colors, paints…I could go on and on…and still not finish the list. The point is that the way the stereotypical woman is addicted to showrooms that are stocked with clothes, shoes, and makeup material; the stereotypical artist is addicted to a stationery shop.

Let me cut a long yarn short and tell you that the pens that I had ordered were ready, and I should have just paid for them, taken them, and left. Instead, I got hooked. I checked out their paper inventory, their notebooks/sketchbooks inventory, and then I came to a stop right in front of the shelves that held the color pencils!

Color Pencils! I had bought a stash last year!

The rest, honestly, is a blur.

All I wanted to do was reach home and get those pencils out and start drawing.

This is what I drew.

The Beautiful Witch - 12" x 16" - Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

The Beautiful Witch – 12″ x 16″ Cartridge Sheet – Done with Derwent Watercolor pencils (without water)

 

The head-dress, I admit, is a little odd…a feather, a lace-edged fan sort of thing (a collar from an old ragged dress worn as a head-ornament), a feather, a colorful rag around her head. Why would a beautiful woman choose to wear something as unfashionable as that? Before you admonish me for the strange headdress, allow me to defend myself.

The headdress is odd, because I wasn’t really thinking. I just wanted to try out the pencils and see how I could blend the colors. I learned that the blending was terrible and that I might have to check out the Pastels when I went to the stationery store the next time.

I do like the eyes. They rivet you. I like the underbite too. It makes her look witch-like in a subtle but intelligent way. It amuses me to think how even the slightest of underbite can change the whole expression – how it can turn a smile into a smirk.

I’m not satisfied with the look, the texture, and the brightness of the colors; but I post this to record my experiments with color-pencils. Note that though I used Derwent Watercolor pencils to draw with, I didn’t use water on the image. The application of water could brighten it up by heightening the contrast, but I just wanted the dry pencil look.

More on this later…when I suffer the next bout of color-pencil inspiration.

Meanwhile, if you want to meet someone who simply loves color pencils, meet Creative Barbwire 🙂

Caricature of Julius Caesar – A Digital Painting and Thoughts on How to Color your Caricatures.

Here’s a painting that I did from an older black and white caricature of Julius Caesar.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of the Roman General Julius Caesar.

“They use the most tender leaves to make his wreath!” – 12 inches x 12 inches at Print Resolution.

 

Following is the black and white caricature that I painted upon.

Caricature of Julius Caesar the Roman General by Shafali

 

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.

How to Color your Caricatures?

1. Use colors to add color to your art.

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.

2. Use colors to heighten contrast.

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.)

 3. Use Stark Highlights and Shadows:

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 🙂

 

 

The eBook “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” now on the Kindle Store!

After a long wait and a lot of hard work, I am happy to present “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures.

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures in a methodical yet fun way, its waiting for you here. 

Apart from Kindle Readers, Kindle eBooks can be read on the following handheld devices:

  • Android
  • Apple
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry

Download the Free Kindle Reading App for any of the non-Kindle handheld devices (Tablets/Smartphones) from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

Chapter-wise Content Outline

I’ve prepared a short 18-page pdf that contains the chapter-wise details of the book. You can download this Free pdf for the ebook “Evolution of a Caricaturist” here.

A Journey Behind the Scenes and Into the Author’s Heart 🙂

Evolution of a Caricaturist - Cover Image - Kindle Store - A Book to Learn How to Draw Caricatures

2013 was a very busy year for me. In July when I had decided to publish the book, I was relatively unoccupied and I thought that it would be a breeze. Yet as time went on, I was doing more assignments and programs, and I realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.

You see, a book about drawing caricatures isn’t like any other book. It’s a journey into a wonderland of faces where you are your reader’s guide, and you use any and all means necessary to help your reader understand, appreciate, and apply everything that’s in there.

The book needed illustrations (it’s got a little more than 70 of those,) it needed analysis of faces and discussions on caricatures, and above all, it needed to be readable. In a nutshell, it needed commitment and time. I am never short on the first, but almost always on the second.

There were times when I wanted to stop because I was tired, but then someone across the world would sign-up for it, and I’d forget my aching limbs and switch on my computer, and then I’d lose myself into the book. I think I’ve poured everything I knew about drawing caricatures into the book – the thoughts, the techniques, the methods, the concepts, and the real-issues with their possible solutions.

I know that most artists would rather draw than read, I trust that most artists like to know how something’s done and then do it their own way, and I believe that this book is written for the artist in us.

With hope and love, I place this book in your hands.

Thank you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures”…almost there :)

Evolution of a Caricaturist” will become available on the Kindle eBook Store sometime this week.

This book has evolved considerably since its advent on the Knol Platform about two years ago. The number of illustrations/artworks/method-drawings have more than doubled. I’ve revised the book to ensure that its examples are more effective. I have also included analyses of the facial features of about three-dozen celebrities. The book bears my brand of humor, so if you enjoy my verbal caricatures, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that the book not only helps you learn how to caricature, but also entertains you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist” is organized into 14 chapters. It begins by establishing the basic concepts of caricature-drawing and then introduces and explains the Feature Frame Method for caricaturing the different facial features. Chapters 5 to 11 in the book discuss the different facial features and illustrate how they may be caricatured using the Feature Frame Method. The last three chapters help you complete the picture and present a story through your caricatures 🙂

COMING TO THE KINDLE STORE THIS WEEK 🙂

Evolution of a Caricaturist - A book on how to draw caricatures - a Kindle eBook for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for the announcement. All of you’ve been a great source of constant motivation to me. Over the course of last three months, some of you have subscribed more than once – Thank you for that. You’ve inspired me to put in my most constructive thoughts in this book.

If you haven’t signed up for the announcement, and would like me to inform you about its arrival on the Kindle Store, please visit the   the web-page of the book “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” to sign-up. You can also sign-up using the form given in the sidebar.

If you download Kindle books regularly, you probably own a Kindle device or have a Kindle Reader installed in your touch device/computer.  However, I have collected the following links to help those who don’t read Kindle eBooks but would like to make a beginning with my book  🙂 The Kindle Reader is a FREE download.

  1. The Universal Kindle App for iPad and iPhone
  2. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Mac
  3. Kindle App for Android Tablets and Smartphones on Google Play (the Android Store)
  4. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” Windows 8 Smartphones
  5. Kindle App for Personal Computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP
  6. Kindle App for BlackBerry: Please visit amazon.com/kindlebb in your BlackBerry browser to download.

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.

Caricature – Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp…in Color!

Friends,

I’ve been a busy bee this whole month. Other than working on certain graphic design assignments I was coloring seven of my black and white caricatures. One of these was a caricature of Charlie Chaplin as the tramp, which I did two years ago. Here is the color painting that I did recently.

 

Color Painting/Caricature of Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp, with a rose-stem as a stick and a mouse sitting on his shoe, playing the flute.

Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp – Color Caricature – Digital Painting in Photoshop CS6. Print Size of the image: 12 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi.

I know that you don’t remember the original black and white caricature…so I’m reproducing it here.

Caricature Cartoon Sketch Drawing Portrait of Charlie Chaplin as his most famous Silent Film Character, The Tramp.

Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp.

The Process of Painting Charlie Chaplin:

While there isn’t a long how-to for this, I can quickly summarize the painting process for those interested.

I worked with a scan of the drawing in the background, because I didn’t want to lose the story nor work on the overall proportions once again. There was a time when I used to paint the character first and then move on to painting the background. I don’t know when and how I moved to working on the basic hues of the background first, but I did and it really made the process faster and the artworks more interesting. When I paint the backgrounds, I try to bring different and often unexpected colors together and then blend them in to represent something that connects with the subject of the caricature.  In my opinion, a caricature shouldn’t replicate anything exactly… it should always attempt to exaggerate and surprise – and you can surprise by any departure from the expected – including the colors that you use in your caricatures.

I must confess that I was running against a deadline and I was hit by this evil idea of removing the flute-playing mouse and the rose from the caricature to save time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to destroy the spirit of the artwork, so I went ahead and painted them in 🙂

Painting the Expression of Charlie Chaplin’s Face:

You must’ve noted the slight change in the expression. I first went with the earlier expression of hopelessness and acceptance, but I then had this urge to change it into an expression that shows him dazed and slightly disgusted with what he was…a tramp! To achieve this, I pushed the brows higher and painted his lips in way that they appeared pursed.  In the color image given above, I’ve cut out some of the background details from the actual picture (see the picture below for details.)

About the cracks in the wall, the bricks, and the graffiti:

Most of it is self-explanatory. Where do you find a tramp? On a pavement, against a wall that’s peeling off. The oranges and the reds symbolize the rage within. The rage of being trapped into the persona of a tramp. If I were Charlie Chaplin, I’d not want to be remembered not only as the character I played, but also as the person I was. In his case, the success of his character “the tramp” overshadowed everything else for him.

Charlie Chaplin as the tramp - with the mouse playing the flute and a rose stem as a stick.

details of 12″x12″ square.

I guess that’s all I have on Charlie Chaplin.

Now, it’s time for a break so…

If you own an iPad, check out Triangle Tap on the App Store. Triangle Tap is a Shape building Puzzle game in which you use triangles to build the shapes in the puzzles.  If you like Tangram puzzles but are looking for something new, here’s the icon to help you recognize the game on the App Store.

Click to Download Triangle Tap on your iPad.

Click to Download Triangle Tap on your iPad.

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 Robert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga – Kristen Stewart Prefers Rupert Sanders and Giovanni Agnelli to Jacob and Edward Cullen!

I feel sorry for Pattinson. The guy’s got everything. He’s got money, fame, work, and looks – yet, he has a girlfriend who doesn’t stay put. I don’t know what the lady is looking for. I mean, if she wanted out, why did she return to him after being with Rupert – it was an excellent point of exit. And if she really was in love with him then why didn’t she stay put after Pattinson accepted her apology and they got back together?

Here’s Robert Pattinson – looking exactly the way he must look these days:

Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Portrait - Robert Pattinson - the Vampire of the Twilight Saga - Edward Cullen after being dumped by Kristen Stewart

I am a woman but I fail to understand the likes of Kristen Stewart. I find it easier to understand men. Men and Women are opposites – men are uncomplicated, women are complicated…all you need to do is look at Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

But then this post isn’t about Kristen Stewart – it also isn’t about the Twilight Saga, it’s about Edward Cullen or the beautiful dazzling vampire who falls in love with a mortal woman who eventually chooses vampirish immortality over spending her life with a mortal werewolf. I don’t know if I ever saw the fire of love and passion between Edward and Bella – I did see it between Jacob and Bella – but then that must be so because I really wanted Bella to choose Jacob and not lust over immortality and/or Edward.

But I digress again. I must talk about Edward Cullen a.k.a. Robert Pattinson, and nobody else.

So here’s a bit about Robert Pattinson:

This young English actor was born in 1986 and he first wowed us with his role of Cedric Diggory in one of the Potter films. Conceptually Cedric was supposed to be a handsome tragic hero, and Pattinson fitted in just right. Then he got to work in the Twilight Saga (a series of movies made upon Stephanie Meyer’s novels by the same name.) As Edward Cullen, Pattinson won the hearts of his young women viewers, and shot up the popularity charts. In 2008/9 People magazine called him one of the Sexiest Men Alive, then Vanity Fair called him The Most Handsome Man in the World. In 2010, TIME Magazine listed him as the 100 Most Influential People in the world and then Forbes Magazine said that he was one of them most powerful celebs – and now he is the richest Celeb in the world. These are just some of the awards that he got for being the sexiest, the most powerful, the richest celebrity ever – there are more, but my keyboard is threatening to go on strike and so I won’t continue with the list.

About this Caricature of Robert Pattinson:

I guess he is beautiful, but then I am blind to his beauty. All I see in his face is a wronged lover, a vampire who doesn’t fit into his community, a guy who’s got enough money to buy the entire merchandise in the men’s section of any designer’s boutique but who prefers to dress almost as shabbily as I do, and to top it all – a guy who really needs to throw Ms. Stewart out of his mind-space…and for good.

Here are some links to bring you up to date.
Their breakup,

The most recent byte on this is that Pattinson has moved out of Kristen’s house – bag, baggage, and dogs!

How to Draw Robert Pattinson’s Caricature?

First things first – get your drawing material together. Wondering what it might be? An HB pencil, an eraser, and a blank piece of paper. Next look at some of his pictures – especially the more recent ones. Let the mood set in. Then attack that sheet of paper and destroy its blankness. How? Here’s the fruit metaphor to help you through.

The fruit metaphor:
Draw a long, vertically stretched rectangle curved a little like a banana. Put his eyes, his nose, and his lips in their right places. Note that it isn’t easy to see his nostrils so avoid drawing them. Check out a couple of side-face pictures of this handsome vampire – you’ll find that both his upper and lower jaws jut out a little more than they should. Also note the way he purses his lips – his lower lip extends a little more than his upper lip. Make sure that your shading takes care of these nuances. Next add the hair and OVER-DO it. It made his head look like the crown of a pineapple with some of the spikes twisted awry.

Finally, his posture. If you’ve watched the Twilight series, you must’ve noted that he walks with a slight slouch and his clothes look like they belong to another era.

That’s it for now…

next in line is the Caricature of a Cannibal…so brace up!

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Drawing – 5 Golden Tips!

Some of us would like to draw…others draw.

What is the difference?

I think the main difference lies in our attitude towards drawing. Those who would like to draw can easily swim to the other side and become someone who draws, and trust me, it isn’t all the difficult. Yet there are many who look at the drawings done by others only to sigh wistfully with longing. Who would like to draw, but who think that drawing is some sort of rocket-science (forgive the cliché, but it fits… and to use another cliché, I am not going to reinvent the wheel if I have ready access to a wheel that fits the chariot of my thoughts.) Actually, in the beginning – drawing is quite like driving or cycling…you practice it to perfect it. Once you’ve perfected those lines, then it becomes a vehicle of your innovative ideas; then your work transforms into art.

The first thing to do, as you can see, is to perfect the skill.

Here’s a short To-do list for everyone who wants to acquire the skill of drawing 🙂

1. Always be Prepared to Draw!

What this means is that there should be no place or time when you shouldn’t have the basic drawing material with you. An artist is always ready to draw. While most people prefer to fill their leisure hours with activities such as watching television, chatting up with friends, reading a novel, and so on and so forth; and artist prefers to draw, and to draw he or she must have the drawing material ready.

Here are the possible places where you can put your rough-sketchbook/notebook and a pencil/pen.

1. In the kitchen
2. In your car
3. In your living room (preferably next to the television)
4. In your office-cabinet
5. In your back-pack/brief-case/carry-all women’s handbag
6. Near your bed
7. Perhaps even in your bathroom if you spend a lot of time on that seat (Before you ask, I don’t have one on the magazine rack in my bathroom, but I have a strong intuition that many artists do.)

So, make sure that you are always prepared to draw. No matter where you are.

2. When you draw, just draw, don’t analyze!

You must draw. In the beginning, the lines will form tediously – they’ll squiggle, wriggle, dance, and jump. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone and with practice everyone grows out of it. If we’d still walk the way we did when we were just learning to lift our butts off the floor, we’d move like drunken zombies – but we don’t. Because we learned. And we learned through practice. So, just draw. Let that pencil become your friend.

What if a snooping friend of yours checks out your precious treasure of funny looking drawings?

Challenge them to draw better than you do. If someone is criticizing you for something, he or she should either be better than you are (and then you must take the criticism as directional feedback,) or shut up.

So draw.

Combine 1 and 2 to get, draw anytime, anywhere.

3. Don’t let curious onlookers stop you from drawing.

People are funny. They think that only witches, wizards, and other sorts of magical beings can draw, and so when they see you drawing in a restaurant, or in a train, or in a park, they stop to look. Perhaps they don’t have anything better to do, unlike you who has something…so feel sorry for them, recite a short prayer for the poor misguided, bored-with-their-lives souls,  “they stand here and watch because they can’t draw… Dear God, give them this day, something more useful to do,”) and  continue. In a few months from now, you’ll be accomplished at drawing stuff – and now when they stop to watch you, they’ll gasp at your work and tell you that you are really talented.

4. Remember that Drawing has nothing to do with Art-Supplies!

Don’t worry about the types of pens, pencils, brushes, colors, paints that you should use to draw. Also don’t worry about the types of paper, canvas, other surfaces that must be used to get that oh-so-nice effect. Effects are effects, drawing talent is drawing talent. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to work with any material with ease. So, use what’s easiest for you to lay your hands upon.

Some of my best drawings are done on Xerox paper with an HB clutch-pencil, and most of my doodle-cartoons are done using whichever pen I was holding at the time when inspiration struck. Art-supplies and art-material would bother you only when you begin to draw professionally. For about six-months to a year, draw with anything on anything.

5. Tell yourself – Practice Leads to Perfection

You can walk, run, even run up a staircase, with a perfect-10 perfection – and you can do it because you’ve practiced it long enough and consistently enough.Drawing is no different. Practice is your best bet. Don’t begin, then stop, then start again only to stop… Draw everyday…and then one day, you’ll wake up and an inner voice will confirm that you indeed can draw 🙂 When that day arrives, you’ll stop waiting for approval from others – you would have got the most important approval – from the most important source – your inner voice.

So if you are interested, pick up a pencil stub, find a scrap of paper  and start drawing 🙂

Guest Post by Barbara G. Tarn – The Writer-Artist shares her experiences on Creating and Publishing Comics.

My blog is honored to present this guest-post by Barbara G. Tarn. Barb is a fantasy writer and artist who loves to create new fantastical worlds. While there are writers in this world who dabble in art, and artists who dabble in writing,  she’s good at both. Every once in a while she brings her two skills together to write graphic novels and comics. In this post, she discusses her evolution as an artist and an author. This post is a glimpse into a self-taught and self-motivated person, who often inspires me to stay true to my course. I’ve always admired people who have the courage to charter new paths and discover new destinations, despite knowing that the beaten path offers comfort, ease, and security. Barb’s courage is all the more exemplary, because she walks her chosen path with a smile on her face and because she can laugh at stuff that could leave a lesser person, bitter and disappointed.

My Dear Readers,

I welcome Barb on my blog. I recommend that you visit her blog at CreativeBarbwire.WordPress.com and follow it. She blogs quite regularly. If you are writer or an artist, or just someone looking for a spark of inspiration, you’ll love her posts.

The Self-taught Creative

by Barb

I’m self-taught and proud of it. Yes, I went to school (up to the Italian equivalent of high school), I attended an illustration course (and failed the second year when we started using brushes), but then I started working in the most un-creative environment possible, and most would have forgotten their dreams and dropped the pen and the pencil.

I didn’t. I know I’m not a talented artist – if I were, I’d be an illustrator or a comic book creator by now. I didn’t go to art school, so my hand can never do what I see in my head, sigh. I love realistic styles, but I can’t draw them, so I had to find my own way.

I kept drawing because I enjoyed it. It’s the passion that kept me going, both for writing and drawing. I did illustrations for most of my stories, started many comics – improvised, so I kept going until I got bored – and especially when I was in my teens, I mixed prose and art: if I couldn’t draw the scene, I’d just write it down.

I slowly specialized in fantasy settings. I love the Middle Ages, so I have plenty of pictures of castles and books on clothes to get some inspiration. I still can’t draw animals, so my characters tend to travel on foot or through magic spells. And I keep experimenting.

I’ve become proficient at tracing from pictures (so I do portraits of celebrities to decompress from writing and drawing and life), but regarding comics and graphic novels… well, I went through many changes. I also learned to do a sort of script to make sure the story unfolds in a correct number of page, that fits print publication (my first complete comic had 21 pages… what was I thinking I’d put on page 22? An illustration? An author’s note? What?) – although this is less important now with webcomics and ebooks.

A little history: I grew up in France with their varied world of “bandes dessinnées” for all ages and tastes. But I also read Donald Duck stories (always hated Mickey Mouse, LOL) and the Peanuts and Marvel comics – and in the 1990s we had the manga invasion. So my style started “realistic” (like comics), went through a manga-like stage, then settled into something a little more personal – between The Peanuts and a comic book (if you can find one without overmuscled superheroes, that is!).

This was best expressed in Fleur de Lys, which I hope to scan and upload soon. On that one I even did my first attempts at coloring with Photoshop (although I will probably publish it in B&W, as some e-readers are still B&W only, like my Kindle).

The whole evolution can be seen on Mercenaries?! – when I finished it in 2002 (started in 1997), I started redrawing and coloring it because I couldn’t let those characters go. Mercenaries?! is 500 pages and if I republish it (it was a photocopied fanzine that sold 10 copies at Italian comicons in the late 1990s), I’ll have to figure out if I should use the new beginning – having a drop in quality after about 20 pages – or do it in chronological order with the new color beginning at the end or in a separate booklet.

Noticing how inking sometimes “ruined” the pencil, I did one comic in pencil, then with Photoshop made it look like ink by toying with the levels and then colored it (Lady Ice on Smashwords free B&W downloadable version and on Facebook online color version).

My current graphic novel, S.K.Y.B.A.N.D, is the next step – it’s all in color from the beginning (check the WIP post on my blog)! It has pages in prose with an illustration next to it (for those long conversations when not much happens) and, like Lady Ice, it has a more realistic style, as the Fleur de Lys style is more for humorous comics and this is a serious (and adult-oriented) story.

Skyband-by-Barb-G-Tarn

 

I reduced the frames number to an ideal 9 (maximum, can be less for opening scenes). I use a European sheet format (A4), which means it would look weird on an American comic book. And I’ve gone back to inking on paper and then coloring on Photoshop. But it’s taking me a long time to finish (three more chapters to go) because it comes after the prose writing and I’m not sure I’ll do another afterward. Well, maybe another funny one like Mercenaries?! and my personalized style, who knows.

Like everything else in life, it takes passion, practice and patience. If you don’t think you can write the story, partner with someone who can. If you can’t draw, find someone who can – I’d love to do some sci-fi or contemporary comics, but I can’t draw technology or even a car, so if anyone would like to try working with me, let me know. I had some good and some bad experiences working with artists, and enough time has passed since the last very bad experience, so I’m willing to take another chance.

Schools might be good, but if you don’t have the passion to keep going, you’ll never make it. You need to dream big, but keep realistic expectations. If you’re naturally talented (not like me), you might find a job at a publishing house (Marvel, Disney or their equivalents in your home country). Or you can do a web comic, or publish an e-book.

Just don’t give up. And keep learning and experimenting and mostly having fun. If it becomes a chore, it’s time to quit. Happy creations, and thank you Shafali for having me again!

_____

Barb on this blog

Barb on DeviantART

Barb on Facebook

Barb‘s blog

Color Caricature/Cartoon – Sammy Hagar: The Red Rocker Rocking away.

Sammy Hagar‘s Caricature was the last. He was the last because I had to show him drunk. An artist often begins to feel what he or she portrays in her drawings, and I couldn’t have drawn the other two if I ended up feeling as drunk as I’d paint him to be. (Keep drawing 3 sad faces a day, and I assure you that in a couple of years the corners of your own lips would begin to droop, and you’ll acquire that forever sad kind of look. If you don’t believe me, you are welcome to give it a shot.)

The concept for this caricature was simple. Sammy’s autobiography didn’t sell too well so he could be shown sprawled (inebriated…of course,) near the cartons of his unsold autobiographies. I took the liberty of planking (or to be technically accurate, reverse-planking) him over the cartons…and added that stuff in the foreground. (My love for non-sensical details always manages to kick-in…sometimes just a minute before I am about to send the final image to the client.)

Here’s Mr. Sammy Hagar sprawled upon the cartons (I know that you can see his naval, but it’s “cute” and not “obscene” – so please don’t start.)
Caricature Cartoon of Sammy Hagar - the Red Rocker for American Spectator

About Sammy Hagar:

Hagar also known as the Red Rocker was with Van Halen for a long time. He wrote his biography, ” Red: My Uncensored Life In Rock“, and unsuspectingly became the subject of this caricature for the American Spectator Magazine’s March 2013 Issue feature “Rock and Roll is (Mostly) Noise Pollution.” 

What I loved Painting?

The smile, the bottle, and the stomach. I must confess that I had forgotten to paint that cute little belly button and I added it just before I sent the image over.

The Colors?
As I said in the Keith Richards post, rock-stars come with an in-built supply of color-ideas. The Red Rocker wears red (well, mostly) and so all I had to do was off-set the red. I could do it with green or with blue. I didn’t want to use green because I had used it on Criss’s caricature, and as all the caricatures were going to accompany the same article, I wanted some variation. So I used blue 🙂 Quite simple, really.

That’s all, friends. I’ll return with a John Kerry caricature (colored one…I hope) soon 🙂

Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 3 – How to Draw Cartoons – Can YOU become a cartoonist?

As this post refers to content that’s covered in the two previous posts of this series, it is recommended that you begin by reading them in sequence:)

Read the two previous posts of Chapter 1:

  1. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.
  2. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 2 – How to Draw Cartoons – The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon.

This post helps you answer the question – Can YOU become a cartoonist?

This question is contextual, and the context is that of your current abilities. Here’s a continuum that you must find your place on.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist - A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 1 - Conceptualizer vs. Illustrator

If you are like the guy at the right, you are worried about expressing your ideas in a visual form. However, if you can identify with the guy at the left, you can draw and illustrate but you worry about finding the right ideas.

The Stronger-half of a Cartoonist – The Conceptualizer

If you are an idea-generation machine but you feel constrained by you drawing abilities, you need to pick up some basic cartoon-drawing skills that can help you do “a relatively simplistic and sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal” of the many ideas that keep rushing in and out of your minds, so that you may capture them into an awesome cartoon. However, if you feel that you are Mr./Ms. Ideo (represented by the day-dreaming gentleman in figure 2 below) – and that no matter how you wield that pencil, you can do no better than create a squiggly, you may want to team-up with an artist, who can  create a picture that goes with your ideas…or perhaps, you could learn to create ultra-simplistic, Dilbert-Style cartoons that can speak your mind.

Mr./Ms. Ideo (The Conceptualizer in the following figure.) needs a visual medium of expression that can be used to capture those ideas that will grow wings and fly away, if they aren’t caught and trained.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist -A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 2 - The Stronger Half of a Cartoonist - The Conceptualizer

The Fairer-half of a Cartoonist – The Illustrator

If you have placed yourself on the right side of this continuum, you must learn not only to generate ideas, but also train yourself on keeping them.  I’ve gone through the learning-to-generate-ideas phases, and I must tell you that it isn’t easy. However, if you are like Mr./Ms. Arto ( represented by the horrendously dressed, lip-smacking (!) gentleman in figure 3 below) you might find that you require considerable practice to ensure that you find your ideas and keep them too. Perhaps a helping hand from a friend who has a fertile mind, could help. Yet if you teamed up right, you could end up creating fantastic cartoons to delight your readers.

Mr./Ms. Arto (The Illustrator in the following figure) can draw, but he faces issues in finding the right ideas and visualizing them in a way that fits them into the cartooning mold.

The Evolution of a Cartoonist -A Book on How to Draw Cartoons - Chapter 1, Fig 2 - The Fairer-Half of a Cartoonist - The Illustrator

End Note for Chapter 1

(This end note is for those bright individuals, who think that they aren’t cartoonists and so they mustn’t create cartoons – and who identify themselves better with Mr./Ms. Ideo, I must mention the Johari window here, which speaks of the “Unknown Room”. Perhaps a comic post on the Johari Window is due on this blog, but for the time-being, it should suffice you to know that the Unknown Quadrant of the Johari Window, now called the Unknown Room, refers to your traits and skills that nobody know anything about, but they exist.

My advice here is that because you nor anyone else knows that they exist, just assume that they do (with due apologies to Mr. Joseph Luft (Jo) and Mr. Harrington Ingham (Hari) this is how the twisty logic of this caricaturist interprets it.) Dear Reader, possibly one of these unknown skills within you is the skill of cartooning…and nobody, not even you is aware of its existence, so dig it out! Surprise yourself, and surprise the world. Oh…and if you want to take the Johari Window Test, click here.)

Cartoons have a mysterious power to reach into the hearts and minds of people, and shake them out of their stupor.  Before we move on to the apparently more practical matter of explaining what a cartoon is, I must mention the fact that sometimes the cartoons that change the face of the world, don’t come from the cartoonists. We’ll discuss the reason behind this anomaly later, but let me share an example to corroborate my viewpoint.

Benjamin Franklin, officially created the first American political cartoon in 1754, which depicted a snake severed into 8 parts with a caption “Join, or Die” to bring together the colonies – thus, sowing the idea of the United State of America, in the minds of the people.

Franklin is considered to be one of the founding father of the United States –  among other things, he was an author, politician, scientist (he invented the bifocals and the Franklin Stove,) and a musician. Did you read the term cartoonist anywhere?

Reflect upon it while I disappear to bring you the second chapter of this book “Evolution of a Cartoonist” or the fourth post in the series. I hope this book will sow the seeds of cartooning into your mind, and motivate you to express your ideas in this delightful visual format.

Read the two previous posts of Chapter 1:

  1. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.
  2. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 2 – How to Draw Cartoons – The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon.

Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 2 – How to Draw Cartoons – The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon.


If you are a serious reader who wants to follow this book through all the posts, I recommend that you start with the first post:

  1. Evolution of a Cartoonist – Post 1 – How to Draw Cartoons – Introduction, Working Definition, and Three Examples.

Continuing…
A cartoon has two important dimensions:

  • The Visual Dimension
  • The Conceptual Dimension

The Visual Dimension

This dimension is fairly easy to understand. It’s right there for the reader to see and comment upon. It is what first catches the attention of the reader. It sends out a subtle message to you that this won’t take a lot of your time, it’s something that’ll give you a quick shot in the arm – and either make you think or laugh. When you look at the works of some of the best cartoonists in the world, you realize that the visual dimension plays not one but three important roles.

  1. It attracts the reader’s attention.
  2. It simplifies the story being told by removing all the extraneous visual details and focusing only on the relevant objectives.
  3. It uses the characters and their expressions to sharpen the teeth of the idea it conveys.

The Conceptual Dimension

The conceptual dimension or simply the “idea,” is the soul of a cartoon. There cannot be a cartoon without an idea that has one of the three characteristics mentioned in the definition. It has to be CRITICAL of something, or it should be SATIRICAL, or it must be HUMOROUS. If the idea is weak, you could kill yourself working on the visual dimension, but you’ll have a weak excuse of a cartoon. Perhaps a beautiful illustration, but not a cartoon. Remember that illustrations don’t evoke feelings in the reader, cartoons do.

Cartoonists are people who have some degree of control on both these dimensions. They can draw reasonably well and they can come up with critical, satirical, or humorous ideas. If they can draw, but not come up with such ideas, they are illustrators; on the other hand, if they can come up with ideas that make people sit up and think, they are conceptualizers who could work wonders even with the most basic drawings.

Reflect upon the two dimensions and review your skills, until I return with “Can you Become a Cartoonist?”

PS:

Advance Disclaimer: You will have to excuse the sketches that will accompany the posts, as they’d be scribbles from my notebooks, photographed by a non-photographer (that’s yours truly) and added here in a hurry. My scanner’s still not on, and I am not fretting over it because most of the work that I am doing these days is digital 🙂 

The next post in this series can be read here:

How to Draw Cartoons? A New Series of Posts is starting this Week!

Last night, I was carried out of my computer (if you don’t know what this is about, click here to read about my incredibly journey). I was exhausted but happy. Spending time with Adobe Photoshop, Flash, and Illustrator, was a cathartic experience. While I was in there, I also had some time to reflect upon what I wanted to do for the young, probing, crazy minds who come to my blog looking for awesome learning material. It’s a fact that “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” isn’t available online any longer. Google Knol ditched me at the last moment, and like any other artist, I don’t have the energy to re-do the book for the blog etc. So unless some publisher offers to take it off my hands and publish it without making me rehash it…

What is it that I can give the thirsty-for-more, ever-inquisitive art-learner then?

The answer is – a Brand New Series on How to Draw Cartoons – The Evolution of a Cartoonist!

Whether it evolves into a book, whether it follows the example set by its elder sibling “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” and wows you, will be seen. Instead of using another platform that may disappear any time, leaving me in a lurch; I’ll publish this work as a collection of posts here at “Shafali’s Caricatures & Cartoons“.

So, if you want to explore the fascinating world of cartoon-drawing, click “Follow,” or “I Do” button in the “Stay in Touch” section on the right side bar, to subscribe to this blog!

Hoping for bigger and better things for everyone in the blogoverse…

– The Caricaturist who implores you to Draw to Smile!

The 5 P’s of the Creative Process or The 5 Golden Steps to Creative Nirvana

(Download this article as a PDF here, and if you want to read it in your eReader, download it from Smashwords here.)

The 5 P's of the Creative Process or the 5 Step Model for Creativity and Creative Thinking

Creativity – the stronghold of the right-brained has always invited the envy of the left-brained. Oh, how they’d love to dissect and then logically analyze our brains to understand how they work and what processes they follow.

I am writing this post to tell the world that the mystery is solved and after a great deal of research and observation, it has been concluded that the creative process has been distilled into 5 distinct steps and miraculously, their names all begin with a P! I think I must be the second person after Philip Kotler to have arrived at such a P-articularly P-eculiar P-rocess.

Instead of killing you with anticipation, I’d rather kill you with my mint-fresh P-rocess.

Let me tell you about the 5 P’s of Creativity.

Warning: I stand absolved of all responsibility for lost assignments, irate clients, angry audience, whittled remuneration, and any other unhappy fallout of your using this process. However, if this process works for you, I’d appreciate if you pass this document to your friends, colleagues, spouses, children, neighbors, or even your TV-repairman  (who might be a struggling artist, for all you know.) Thank you. Now muddle on.

Step 1: Procrastinate

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-1-procrastinate..Folks, if you want to be creative, you need to first learn to procrastinate. I find this step extremely useful when I don’t experience one of those proverbial flashes of inspiration – and believe me, there seldom are any flashes of inspiration. I am prepared to go back on this statement-o-mine, the day I become famous – because creative flashes (gentlemen, note that these are different from hot flashes!) add an aura to an artist’s personality…but then that day mightn’t ever dawn. (Sigh!)

Research indicates that the duration of procrastination depends on the urgency of the assignment and is directly proportional to it.

How to Procrastinate Correctly?

In order to procrastinate effectively, you need to:

  • Avoid all mention of other people’s ideas on the subject in question, especially if they are in the same creative domain (writing for writers, art for artists, cartooning for cartoonists, and so on and so forth.) Such ideas would make you feel lousy and inadequate, which isn’t a healthy state of mind to be in.
  • Avoid contact with the left-brained, logic-driven, process-hogs – as they’d push you for what they term as “output” and mercilessly murder your creativity.
  • Devour news and information on the subject in question, whenever you are hit with a guilty conscience bred by your tardiness. It will make you feel less worthless.

Step 2: Panic

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-2-panic..After you’ve procrastinated enough, and when the deadline looms large enough to cover your entire horizon, you have to panic. This is what I do. After I’ve procrastinated enough, something begins to nag me to look at the calendar, and when I look at the date I panic.

Now don’t panic at the mere mention of this step. Look at it like this. When you panic your body gets into the state of high alert and you begin to look at all possible options to get out of the situation, which means you are now ready to generate ideas. Do you see how Procrastination leads you to Panic and Panic results in ideas? You see it – don’t you? Good.

Now the question is…

How to Panic Properly?

If you are to make best use of your panic you need to panic properly. Here are a few tips.

  • Email, message, or phone your family members, friends, and, acquaintances, and tell them that you’ve got to deliver the drawing the next day and that you are experiencing a creative blackout (something similar to what the writers bandy about as the writer’s block). Ask them to help you out. I’d call this method: Creativity Mining. Note: this sort of thing has to be done very delicately…I am sure you know what I mean.
  • If you stay with your family, darken the room and go on a limited period hunger strike! Though your family won’t realize it, you’d be able to emotionally blackmail them into generating ideas for you.
  • If and only if the above measures fail – sit down with your notebook in your hand and begin doodling – sometimes great things happen while you are doodling, just the way some great people are born because someone was out…well…doodling (also known as “sowing his wild oats.”)

Step 3: Precipitate

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-3-precipitateThis is the step where you make sense of your doodles. You begin connecting the dots with the topic in question. With the deadline glaring down upon you, ideas begin to flow. Everything begins to come together, and it coalesces into a beautiful workable idea.

This is also the time to have an encyclopedia, your references, and an Internet-enabled computer close by. Why? Because your imagination may end up ruining your life! Recently I did a caricature-cartoon for a magazine, in which in addition to the main character, I had to draw myriad other things, including an evil-looking shark. I got the main character right, I got the TV and the people in the TV right, but I didn’t draw the characteristic dorsal fin of the shark! And you know why I didn’t? Because I was too damn sure that I didn’t need a reference.

So…

How to Precipitate your Ideas Correctly?

  • Make a rough sketch – especially if you are creating a composition. You need to get the proportions right (or deliberately wrong – if you are a caricaturist.)
  • If you aren’t sure about how something looks, find some good references for it. I mean I couldn’t have drawn Caesar, or Napoleon, or even the Queen – if I didn’t use some reference pictures.

Step 4: Produce

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-4-produceWell. Now get your final worksheet/workbook/paper/canvas…or whichever work-surface you prefer, ready – and draw it – then color it if you must.

This step is easier to handle if you haven’t cut corners while “Precipitating” your idea. My personal experience suggests this step is usually the shortest (“Procrastinate” often takes the longest.) It’s also important to remember that if you’ve “Procrastinated” and “Panicked” enough, you should be really short of time by now.

As any artist would tell you, there isn’t much to this step.

Yet a How-to is warranted, so…

How to Produce your Creative Heap?

  • Sit down, concentrate, focus, and then…. let it all out. (I know…I know – it sounds just like that – and in fact…the relief is commensurate too.) If you are a budding caricaturist, you might find something useful in “The Evolution of a Caricaturist – A Book on How to Draw Caricatures,” other kinds of creative artists would do well to find their own fountains of tips and tricks to help them along this step.
  • Scan or Print your artwork. Check it out from all angles, gloat over it for as long as possible – and tell everyone around you that creative work drains you and saps you of your energy. If those around you can’t draw, they’d deify you – who knows, they might even want to get you stuffed for their living rooms – but take that chance, and enjoy the limelight.

Step 5: Pray

The 5Ps of Creative Thinking - A Path-breaking Model that establishes an easily replicable method for Creative Artists and Writers - cartoon-for-step-5-prayBefore you deliver your painstakingly created artwork to your client – Pray. Believe me, this step is almost if not more important that “Procrastinate” – because it adds that something extra to your work – this is step where you pray and you resolve that if your client likes this piece of work, then you’d never ever use the 5 P’s Process of Creativity again. This is the time when you tell yourself that when you receive your next assignment, you’ll have it ready before time…etc. etc.

I guess most artists do it already, but if you don’t you’d probably want a quick how-to on this too.
Here you go.

How to Pray and Repent for the Characteristic Artistic Tardiness?

  • Kneel, fold your hands, close your eyes, and pray that the client and the audience like your work. In the field of creative arts, prayer is the most creative art of all, so pray in a creative manner – so that your prayer catches the attention of the God or Goddess who’s in-charge of the Creative Department in heaven.
  • Write “I shall not use the 5 P’s method literally and will banish tardiness from my life,” on the drawing-sheets that you had used for rough work, at least a 100 times.
  • Tear the sheets on which you did the lines into tiny pieces, and flush them into toilet.

Repeat the 5 P’s when your next assignment comes your way.

And if you are busy with any of the five steps right now – you might want to download the PDF file for this path-breaking model for creative thinking by clicking the following icon. You can probably infer from the icon below that this PDF file comes complete with a flow-chart that you can print and tack to your soft-board as a ready reminder!

Icon for the 5P's of Creative Thinking Model pdf, which includes a printable flow-chart.

Click this picture to download the PDF of this article along with a printable flowchart!