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 🙂

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 🙂

 

Caricature – Sinner: The Fire of Hell burns within the soul of a sinner and singes his insides!

Another long day of sitting in the waiting area resulted in a stiff back, a head full of images that I’d rather not see again, and another caricature.

I don’t think I am an authority on religious stuff of any kind, and yet I’ve read tomes on Hindu Mythology and Indian History…and you can’t separate religious teachings from mythology…not from Hindu Mythology at least, which is intricately woven around our gods and goddesses. I mention this as in religion (and not just in Hindu religion, but other religions as well,) there’s an underlying concept of your being rewarded or punished by being sent to heaven or hell, as the case may be. I don’t know if other religions too share some sure-fire, quick-relief after-death remedies of ensuring that regardless of a person’s misdeeds, he or she may arrive in heaven, if certain procedures were followed.

Within the purview of my currently limited knowledge in this area, Buddhism is the only religion that confirms the finiteness of life in a body and speaks of your soul being the vessel that can be filled either with your reward (peace and happiness) or your punishment (pain, guilt, and humiliation,) all in your lifetime.

This caricature captures the fire of hell that burns within the soul of a sinner; fueled by guilt and humiliation, it starts in his mind, spreads through his entire existence, and then gradually eats through his sanity and darkens his visions with soot and smoke.

Caricature Cartoon of a sinner - angry mad man with a guilty conscience - fire of hell.

I am waiting for the wait to end…

There still are caricatures waiting to be drawn, hiding in the future…when they happen, I’ll bring them to you.

How to Create Cool Caricatures Using the Toonsie Roll Caricature App.

UPDATE:

Toonsie Roll is available on the App Store as a FREE download 

It’s almost here! Toonsie Roll debuts on the App Store this Saturday…on November 22, 2014! So when you wake up this Saturday, checkout the App Store and download the smartest Caricaturing App (I’ve worked really hard to make this app as intuitive as possible, so please forgive the vanity ☺)

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

Toonsie Roll – Toon ’em All!

 

If you think you might forget, and you’d like to put me to the task of reminding you, please use the contact form on this page, and I’ll send you an email with the App Store download URL.

Without mincing any words, Toonsie Roll is an app that helps you intuitively create cool caricatures from photographs!

For the experimental reader of my blog, here’s the process in a nutshell.

Just get a picture in Toonsie Roll (shoot from your camera or import from your Albums,) crop it to center the face (give the face about 1/3 to 2/3 space in the picture,) and hit “Toonify.” Toonsie Roll Toonifies the picture and presents you with 3 toonified options. You’ll intuitively know which one’s the best. If you like one – tap that toon; if you don’t, then tap the “More” button to get more options. When you tap a toon, Toonsie Roll takes it as the picture that you now want to toonify further, and then presents three more options based on the selected toon. This is how you continue – until of course, you are done with tooning, and you finalize the image to “Artify.”

And now, for my details-oriented audience, here is the process – Step by Step, screen-by-screen!

Download Toonsie Roll to you iPhone or iPad and tap the icon to open it. (Don’t rap me on the knuckles for being cheeky. You wanted it step by step!)

You get the following Opening Screen.

Toonsie Roll - A Free Caricature Maker App for iPhone and iPad that lets you create expressive caricatures by observing and tapping.

 

Just tap anywhere to load the “Get a Picture” screen, shown below.

You can get a picture into Toonsie Roll by either importing from “Photos” or by shooting one then and there, using your device camera. (The second option is pretty useful when someone in your group is being a real nutcase.)

Toonsie Roll - A Free Caricature Maker App for iPhone and iPad that lets you create expressive caricatures by observing and tapping.

Now move and adjust that red-rectangle on the image to select the face. It’s a good idea to keep the face centered (you get interesting results by being off-center, but when you are starting, it’s a good idea to stayed centered.) Also, let the face occupy about one-third to two-third of the final cropped image area.

When you are satisfied, hit the Toonify button to arrive on the “Toonify” screen, which is shown below.

 

Toonsie Roll - A Free Caricature Maker App for iPhone and iPad that lets you create expressive caricatures by observing and tapping.

 

This is the screen where you get to play around with different possibilities. The original image is at the top-left corner (Selected Picture). The other three are the Toons that Toonsie Roll has generated. If you aren’t satisfied with any of them, tap the “More” button. If you like any of the three toons then select the one that’s closest in likeness to the original subject, and one which you’d like to caricature some more by tapping the face in the toon. You’ll see that the tapped toon moves to the top-left and replaces the original and now becomes the Selected Picture. Now this picture becomes the image to be toonified further.

As all of us have been blessed with the intuitive ability to determine likeness (whether the caricature looks like it belongs to the subject) and funniness (whether the caricature/joke/situation looks funny or not,) just by tapping, selecting, and tooning, we can create cool looking caricatures.

When you are satisfied with one of the toons, tap the green tick on that toon to finalize it. When you hit the tick mark, you get the chance to crop the image once again (if you’d like to) and then you arrive at the following “Artify” screen where you can enhance your artwork with 20 artistic effects.

Toonsie Roll - A Free Caricature Maker App for iPhone and iPad that lets you create expressive caricatures by observing and tapping.

I’ll be posting a separate tutorial on how these effects can be used individually or one-after-the-other to create interesting artistic effects. At this point, my recommendation is, “play with the effects.”

When you are done…tap the “Personalize & Share” button at the bottom of the “Artify” screen, to arrive at the following “Personalize & Share” screen.
On this screen you are presented with a photo of your toon.

Toonsie Roll - A Free Caricature Maker App for iPhone and iPad that lets you create expressive caricatures by observing and tapping.

On this screen you see three ways to personalize your creation.
Sign your creation (Actually write/draw your unique signature – all great artists sign their work.)
Add an emoji (from a cool collection of 75 emojis.)
Add a witty caption to your artwork (In the above screen, “You know you are famous when the Internet explodes with your caricatures,” is the caption added by the artist.)

Once you are done with personalizing the artwork, tap the “Share Your Creation,” button and share your artwork on a social network – Facebook/Twitter etc. of your choice, save it to your iPad/iPhone, or email it 🙂

So the countdown has begun…and we are all set to become Toonsie Rollers on November 22 🙂

UPDATE: Toonsie Roll is now available for download on the App Store

 

Wedding of an Apple, How to Become a Caricaturist, and a Cute Guy with a Spherical Nose.

The caricaturist was away.

No. I hadn’t been whisked away to Atlantis.

This was different. I was away attending the marriage of an apple. Some of you would know that I shun company. Artists do that. They are a terribly moody lot who oscillate between being gaudily gregarious and deafeningly silent. You can usually find me hanging precariously from the cliff at the right-end of this continuum, and so it knocked the breath out of me when I realized that I was attending a wedding!

Here’s a picture of the bride in her wedding gown.

apple-bride-in-wedding-gown

When I returned from the wedding and checked my blog’s stats, I saw an odd search string (and not “hacked nudes”, which I must mention is still a far milder search string than some of the others that bring visitors to these shores.)

This odd search string read, “how to become a caricaturist.”

The quick and dirty answer to this question is, “learn how to draw caricatures,” but then my work on the apple-bride above cannot really motivate anyone to learn how to draw caricatures, let alone inspire them to become caricaturists.

So for those who are wondering why they must get Evolution of a Caricaturist, I must tell you that I didn’t spend all my away-from-the-blog time attending the apple’s wedding, I spent a substantial part of it working on Bill Clinton’s Caricatures (yep, two of them) for a cool magazine…and speaking of caricatures, I think I simply love these caricatures…and I love them more because of Bill Clinton’s cute spherical nose (any guesses why?)

More later. Meanwhile, leave your good wishes for the apple-bride in the comments below.

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/Pen Drawing of a Killer.

A bit of drawing…

Caricature Cartoon Sketch Pen and ink drawing of a murderer, assassin, killer - a generally evil man

I drew this in a restaurant. We had gone to the restaurant for a cup of tea and while we waited for our order to arrive, I saw this man sitting a few tables away from us. He was there with his wife and his son who just refused to sit down. The mother was trying to stop the child from running around but the father wasn’t content with his wife’s efforts to curb the child’s enthusiasm. He sat there, glaring at his wife, and this was the look on his face. He didn’t wear a turban, he didn’t have that bunch of keys hanging on the side of his face, he didn’t have a skull-earring dangling from one of his ears, he also didn’t have a dagger in his hand, but that look in his eyes – I haven’t exaggerated it one bit.

This morning I read about parents who kill their children, and I was reminded of that face. According to the data, every year 3000 cases of parents killing their offsprings are reported in the US alone. Fathers are more prone to killing their sons, and mothers their daughters. Fortunately, this number is relatively small – most parents love their children and would give their lives to save their kids.  Yet it makes me think, how many parents are there who lie on the continuum that stretches between life-givers and life-takers? A black and bleak thought to ponder upon.

These dark musings aside, this man definitely isn’t one of the good eggs.

Note: I sketched this right then and there – I had a ballpoint pen with blue ink…so the actual drawing is blue and it was done on a page of my diary. In blue, he looks particularly menacing.

A bit of writing…still under wraps. I am writing stories and I am enjoying it immensely. I think Mr. Farland’s Daily Kicks have made me burn my cloak of fear – I always loved telling stories, now I am going to write them down for the whole world to read. More on that later 🙂

And…

A bit of experimenting. A friend made an FB post on Oppia (Google’s new content authoring tool,) so I checked out Oppia.org and authored a sample exploration. Understanding their interface was a struggle at first, but after five or six tries, I got the hang of it. The tedium waylaid me and I forgot to do a self-review (I often don’t – I am in too much of a hurry to move on to the next cool thing.) So after having forgotten all about it, a rap on the knuckles made me aware of my complacency. But thanks to the lady who took out time to write, I corrected the error.

So if you want to learn nothing much about the Color Wheel but something about how Oppia works, check it out here.

Additionally, I’ve been working on some magazine illustrations. Yesterday I finished working on a cover, which I’ll share with you after the magazine is on the stands.

Caricature/Cartoon – Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones with his battle axe!

Presenting the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister of  Game of Thrones.  Peter Dinklage who played the role of the dwarf in Game of Thrones, won the Emmy and the Golden Globe award in 2011 for his role of Tyrion Lannister, and emerged a giant among actors.

This caricature just happened. The Bookface Caricature Contest on Facebook was on and for some strange reason this generally contest-averse artist felt like drawing him, but not before I had procrastinated enough to have missed the deadline. So this caricature didn’t make it to the contest and I have a feeling that among all those beautifully colored renditions, this wouldn’t have turned any heads so whatever happened, happened for the good.
Caricature, Cartoon, Pencil Portrait of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

Knowledge and Cunning are my most lethal weapons!

Tyrion Lannister is one of the important characters in Game of Thrones.  In fact, among the three siblings, he is the most intelligent and also the most cunning, but his family (father Tywin, sister Cersei, and  brother Jaime) don’t like him a lot. The reason can be found in Tyrion’s knowledge of things best kept hidden under a shroud of mystery.

About Game of Thrones:

Game of Thrones is a serial drama aired on HBO. It is based on a series of Fantasy novels written by R. R. Martin. The fourth Season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to air on April 6th, 2014. I’ve watched the severely censored version of the first two seasons, but not the third. In my opinion, the censored version loses a lot of its charm because the censoring makes many events appear totally disjointed. Yet, every important character leaves an indelible mark on the audience, and I think that’s what makes an epic. I cannot ever forget Cersei’s single-minded devotion to her son, Khaleesi’s evolution as the leader of her husband’s tribe, or Tyrion’s cunning maneuvering combined with his self-deprecating witticisms.
Find tons of information on it here and here.

How to Draw the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister:

Tyrion Lannister is different from other characters. He is a dwarf who has been derided for his looks all his childhood. Even his father doesn’t think a lot of him. His sister favors her twin and his older brother Jaime over Tyrion, and in fact takes Jaime as her lover. Tyrion Lannister, however, is also a very intelligent man who has the ability to think ahead and plan, something that both Cersei and Jaime lack. A lot more humane than his siblings, Tyrion is also a philosopher of sorts.
Caricaturing such a multi-faceted character is an uphill task. While his face has certain characteristic features (his small nose with flared nostrils, his heavy brow ridge etc.,) I didn’t want to exaggerate the features so much that they interfered with the intelligence and cunning that shines in his eyes. The posture in the caricature is imaginary. It shows him just before he makes his final move. The tension in his arms, his stance, and the look on his face – all work together.
As the readers of Evolution will be able to judge, I used the Feature Frame Method to exaggerate the shape of his face, his brow-ridge, and his lips, but I limited the exaggeration to contain the personality of the subject.
A Nuance:
Note that I’ve added the battle-axe (his favorite weapon) in his right hand. Being a south-paw, he would hold the weapon in his right hand only while he is thinking. Just before he strikes, he’d transfer it to his left hand.

Thank You 🙂

I’d also like to add a quick Thank You Note for everyone who has bought and/or recommended Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures. Evolution has been growing slowly but steadily – just the way a book should. As I’ve mentioned in the Feb Issue of Draw to Smile, I believe that if you find the book useful, you’ll tell your friends about it – and this is exactly how I’d like this book to grow – in your hearts and with your love. Thank you, my dear readers.

Caricature/Cartoon – Arvind Kejriwal as Saaf Aadmi

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please join me in welcoming Arvind Kejriwal’s caricature to this blog. Most of you aren’t Indians, so you may not recognize this gentleman. However, I’ll try my best to introduce him to you, so read on 🙂

However, if you are an Indian or an Indo-phile, you will instantaneously recognize this broom-bearing simpleton as the recently Shot-into-Fame Wizard of Delhi’s politics.

Here’s my visualization of Arvind Kejriwal, the new Chief Minister of Delhi.

Caricature, Cartoon, Drawing, Sketch of Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party - AAP as Saaf Aadmi

Will he? Won’t he?

Note for the International/Devnagri-challenged Audience: His cap states “Main Hoon Saaf Aadmi” or “I am a clean man.”

Arvind Kejriwal’s Shortest Bio on the Web…is here.

Arvind was born in 1968 (and so he’s fairly young to have become a Chief Minister, especially as his dad isn’t a politician,) studied Engineering at IIT-KGP (he was a smart kid – I couldn’t crack the IIT-JEE…so definitely smarter than me,) and then funnily, instead of taking the most common IITian-shortcut to success namely MS in the US, he stayed back and worked for TISCO. Later he joined the IT department and worked there for a while. But then he decided to call it quits and became an RTI (Right to Information) activist.

As this blog’s tradition dictates… I must cut to the chase and talk about stuff that matters. So…

One thing led to another, and Kejriwal found himself working closely with Anna Hazare for the Jan Lokpal Bill. This brought him into limelight (more than the Magsaysay award that he had won in 2006 – because then I hadn’t heard of him…so much for awards.)

He and his team fell out with Anna Hazare when he decided that in order to fight  corruption they will have to enter the political arena. Kejriwal thought that to weed out the corruption in the governmental machinery, they would themselves have to enter the system. Anna Hazare’s opinion was that if they entered politics they too would become dirty.  This resulted in a rift between Hazare and Kejriwal, and they decided to part ways.  Kejriwal and his team formed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with the agenda to clean up the System, and weed out corruption.  

The Delhi Elections resulted in Kejriwal becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi.  Now Kejriwal and his rickety team put together with a band-aid supplied by the Congress Party, is trying to fulfill their 17 promises to the people of Delhi, and his infant party is also preparing to fight the Parliamentary elections this year.

About this Caricature of Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal and his team have a Herculean task ahead because what is corruption to one man is a perfectly honest way of living for another. He has fought white vs. black election for the gray common man. Some among these are closer to white, most are medium gray, and other are closer to black.

The corruption that Kejri cleans up reappears in the system…somewhere else, in some other form – as another “dharna”, as another defection, or as another compromise by the party. Intentions can take you only so far, then you need strength and the ability to make strong decisions…and beyond all this, you need to be there, consistently, for a long time. Systemic changes don’t happen overnight.

This is why the dustbin has a hole and this is why the mice make merry.

The common man still remain where he is – trying to make ends meet through means that he’s learned to use. Some stay corrupt, others made corrupt, and a few honest men and women continue their struggle, working hard hoping that the dustbin will be plugged in their lifetime.

Note for Artists and Readers of “Evolution of a Caricaturist

In the caricature, I wanted to capture Kejriwal’s smile (he’s got a cute smile) and make him appear hopeful and full of trust. This is why I made his features somewhat neotenous (please refer to our discussion on neoteny in the book.) I chose a triangular shape for his face and head (a larger head is a neotenous feature) and focused on his nose, ear, and mouth as the three most important characteristic features. If you relate the exaggeration of the nose and ear to the Feature Frame Method and the corresponding Anchor Points, you’ll be able to follow the entire exaggeration of his face.

If you are interested in exploring the content of the book, you can download this Free pdf here.

“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.

My New Year Resolutions for 2014 :-)

——–H  A  P  P  Y    N  E  W     Y E  A  R——–

Dear Friends,

I wish you all a Fantastic New Year ahead. May this New Year bring you Health, Happiness, and Joy.

It’s 2014 already 🙂 For me 2013 was a tough year laced with many tough decisions, and I am glad that it’s over.

Here’s a short list of Resolutions that I intend to keep come what may.

1. Publish “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures.” The book is almost final and I am working on its cover. If you’ve got an e-Reader (Kindle, an iOS device, or an Android device,) this book will become available for download from the Kindle eBook Store in about a week’s time.  Yesterday the number of signups touched 100. Thanks so much for your interest in the book, please expect to hear from me in a couple of weeks. If you haven’t signed-up for the announcement yet,  you can signup here.

2. Put all my illustrations for kids together and bring them you through my new blog Illustrations by Shafali I am aiming at making a post a week on each of my blogs. (I can see that smirk on your face. I know that you think I can’t do it – and you want me to look at the past-trends – don’t you? I can and I will. You’ll see :-))

3. Create and publish a Monthly Newsletter called “Draw your Dreams” for the self-taught artists around the world. I’ll announce it before January end. While you don’t know what it is, but if you trust me enough to know that it would be something useful, you may want to  read more about it and Signup for the Newsletter here.

4. Continue work on my next book, Evolution 2 – “Evolution of a Cartoonist – How to Draw Cartoons.” Half of the book is already written and sketched, but it still exists in the form of two notebooks. I need to enrich the chapters, make the drawings, and ensure that it doesn’t stray from its goal of providing real learning to the budding cartoonist. I hope to complete it by the end of July 2014, and I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

5.  Find time to create some caricatures especially for this blog. Recently, most of my time is spent working on art-assignments, which doesn’t leave me with sufficient bandwidth to create drawings especially for this blog, but I intend to correct this trend.

6. Visit other magnificent blogs and make some new cyber-friends.

This long list is a tall order for this short caricaturist, but she hopes to keep her promises.

——–H  A  P  P  Y    N  E  W     Y E  A  R——–

Cover Art -The American Spectator Magazine October 2013 Issue.

First…

———— An update ————

(for the regular readers, others please skip.)

For the last two months, I’ve been working on something very different and something really detailed…something that has kept me away from creating caricatures for this blog (ok…I did Merkel’s caricature, but other than hers, all the other caricatures that I’ve been doing are for that other project…and oh, that project really has nothing to do with caricatures.) Confused? You should’ve heeded my warning.

———— Update ends ———–

Now let me tell you about my recent work for The American Spectator magazine. I painted the cover page of the October issue of the magazine, which features three of the most admired Presidents of the United States. The forever young and handsome John F. Kennedy, the White House Cowboy Ronald Reagan, and the silent but strong Calvin Coolidge.

My copies arrived two days ago, and just before I finished work last night, I took this picture of it.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk.

The American Spectator Magazine Issue October 2013 on my Desk. The Cover Features Three Past US Presidents – John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge. (Click to enlarge.)

The Story of the Cover’s Creation

When I learned that The American Spectator would like to me to paint the three Presidents together, I felt really happy. I love to paint caricatures with stories, and painting three well-known faces in the same picture along with a story that made them look like they were friends-forever, was something that made me want to drop everything else and work on it.

I sent in the sketch. While everything else in the sketch remained the same as what you see here, I had an open window behind President Reagan and you could see the earth through it. My idea was that these guys could get together only in heaven – and this would add to the effect. This of course, didn’t make to the final painting – nor did Reagan’s hat on a peg – because that would have me add a wall behind them, and a wall would make their environment appear claustrophobic. I am sure that even in heaven, the American Presidents would be given beautiful, spacious quarters… so I decided to add those French Windows looking out into a haze of clouds.

Painting the Caricatures of the Three Presidents

Painting John F. Kennedy’s Caricature

I had drawn President Kennedy‘s face before, so I knew his face well. What I didn’t know was the exact color of his hair. I checked out a lot of pictures of his, and his hair looked different in every one of them. It varied from black, to dark brown, to light brown, to reddish-brown, to golden.  I still don’t know. But he looks like himself and that’s good enough for me 🙂

(President Kennedy’s Black and White Caricature done a couple of years ago.)

Painting Ronald Reagan’s Caricature

President Reagan’s face is tough to caricature. If a caricature-artist wants to challenge himself  (or herself – excuse the stereotyping, but truth be told, most of our kind are men,) he should try caricaturing Reagan’s face. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what he liked to wear as casuals. (In fact, I came across a picture in which he was wearing checks in a meeting with Margaret Thatcher.) I realized that he loved horses and I thought that his cowboy getup in denims would be just right for the occasion. He could’ve returned from a pegasus-ride, or could be going for one. (Fellow Artists, note that according to the light outside of the windows, it could be late morning or early afternoon)

Painting Calvin Coolidge’s Caricature

President Calvin Coolidge was a visual enigma. I had sketched him on the right side of the page, which meant that I should show his left profile. After hours of research, I came to the conclusion that because President Coolidge had little hair on the left side of his head, he always got his portraits painted/photographs taken to show the right side of his head.  I had absolutely no idea what his left profile looked like, until I came upon a 1924 video of one of his public addresses (after he had fixed the Great Depression?) and in that video he twice turned to show his left profile to the camera. I know that he must’ve berated himself for it later, but what was done was done – and a happy caricaturist returned to her drawing board – knowing exactly what to paint.

And the Concept…

…that their topic of discussion is this specific article about JFK actually being a conservative (and this is why JFK’s got the magazine in his hand,) was super awesome – it came from the super-creative Managing Editor of the magazine! It just made the picture-puzzle fit. Speaking of picture-puzzles, I am reminded of the project…I need to go back to work.

Meanwhile, here’s the image closer up.

Cover Art for the October 2013 Issue of the American Spectator Magazine Presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, and Calvin Coolidge.

Two other Interesting facts:

More later…

And oh,

do you want to know how “really” Newton happened to discover gravity? I have the inside scoop…return if you are interested 🙂

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.

Half Million Views bring a Color Caricature of Captain Sparrow a.k.a Johnny Depp to this blog!

Sometime today, my blog shall cross the 500,000 views mark. I don’t think it has changed anything for me. I still got up the same side of bed, did the usual chores, had my usual breakfast…nothing really changed. Yet, in the cyber world it’s customary to celebrate such milestones. While I’m not a traditional person (if I were, I won’t be an artist, would I?) I don’t mind celebrating this specific event, especially because I have just the right caricature to celebrate it.

My first caricature on this blog was of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a Black-and-White caricature (as most of my caricatures were in those days,) and I think that it got its share of attention. Fortunately for me, it was one of the caricatures that I painted for my recent assignment.

So here he is – Captain Sparrow and his two little mice – they look rather fetching in color, don’t they?

Caricature, Cartoon, Color-portrait  of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow (with his two mice) in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Actual Print Size of the Image: 12 inches x 12 inches at 300 dpi.

If you want to check out the black-and-white version, here it is:

Caricature of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Where is the cheese…Captain Sparrow?

Painting Johnny Depp’s Caricature – Deviations from the Earlier Drawing:

You go first 🙂 What are the differences?

Ok. I am naive. I don’t know how to create those polls. But the point is: I changed a lot of things as I painted Captain Sparrow’s Caricature.

The call-outs were thrown out because they would take the viewer’s attention away from his face, which I obviously wouldn’t like. I added some details to his lone earring, because it looked too plain, and I added that scar on his cheekbone because I had missed it earlier. I added those locks of hair on the left because I thought that the earlier caricature looked too symmetrical. Caricatures look funnier when they aren’t symmetrical. (Do you know that facial symmetry is one of the most important parameters of beauty in humans. According to Reader’s Digest, Denzel Washington is supposed to have the most symmetrical face among men, and he indeed is (was?) handsome.) Johnny Depp is another actor who whose face is considered to be extremely symmetrical.

Note the lock of the hair on the left balances his earring on the right, and yet, both help introduce funniness into the caricature. I kept the mice because they just blend into the character of Captain Sparrow. The butterfly ornament now has colored gemstones (they remind us of his gait and his feminine mannerisms.)

More in my next post 🙂

Cover Art -The American Spectator Magazine July-August 2013 Issue.

I was earlier planning to post a caricature of Julia Gillard along with my story of why she resigned from her position as the Australian Prime-Minister, but when I received my copies of the American Spectator Magazine’s July-August issue, I couldn’t resist from sharing these pictures here.

Let me start by showing you the magazine.

The American Spectator Magazine Cover - July August 2013 Issue Cover Art - The Radio Family by Shafali Anand

The American Spectator – July-August Issue 2013 on my Desk. (Click to enlarge.)

The Story of the Cover’s Creation

When I heard from the magazine that they’d like me to do the cover for the July/Aug issue for them, I felt thrilled yet a bit anxious. A cover is, well, a COVER. I could live with having forgotten to paint those draw-strings on Red’s pajamas, but when an image is destined to become the cover of a magazine, it asks for a lot more dedication from the artist.

The requirement was – an American family of 1940s/50s, gathered around the radio. Sounds simple, right? Let us analyze.

An American family? That was easy. I am so completely into Hollywood movies, American News (CBS News is on my top-bar,) and American sitcoms that I often think of myself as a virtual American.

But an American family of 1940s/50s? I wasn’t even born in the 40s and 50s. In fact, my mom must have been a little girl back then. So, I had to research. I had to research the radio, the dresses, the toys, the papered walls, the floral couches, the pooch (who would’ve been a cocker-spaniel if my friend Nancy wouldn’t have told me that the middle-class family in those days would likely own a mutt and not a spainel,) and the colors that would make it look more like the 1940s.

So, upon receiving the requirement, I did my research, got it all into a sketch, and sent it over for approval. After they okayed it I began painting…and I did little more than paint for the next many many many hours. Eventually, a very tired, zombie-like me sent the artwork to the Magazine , plopped down on the bed and got ported to Atlantis. The next morning, I heard from them that they were happy with it. I took a small break from work and then returned to work on a Graphic-design project.

Then two days ago, I received the copies of the magazine. The cover looked even better than I thought it would. The Design team had done such a great job on it. The subtle, low-intensity colors in the Title, the subtitle, and the top and bottom bars integrate with the picture seamlessly. I was so happy when I looked at it that I decided to photograph it and post it along with the artwork.

Here’s the image closer up.

Cover Art for the American Spectator Magazine - July August 2013 Issue - The Radio family of 1940s - Shafali

I’ll return with Ms. Gillard’s story soon 🙂 Until then keep drawing to smile.

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 🙂

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:

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

This is the abridged first chapter of the of the book, “The Evolution of a Cartoonist,” which will be substantially richer in content (theories and methods,) graphics, and examples is expected to be published by June 2013. The book will also include cartooning problems and assignments for practice. During this time, as and when I find the time to scan/photograph my sketchbooks and put together a cohesive summary of the chapter, I will publish it on my blog here. 

I believe that everyone who can think and write, can make cartoons. Everyone gets ideas. Everyone would love to see their idea form into a cartoon. More often than not, the constraining factor is – the drawing skill. While almost everyone has got some experience with drawing, practical concerns made them forfeit their drawing skills. If you are such an individual, this book could help you rediscover and hone your ability to draw and motivate you to create cartoons that speak your mind.

About this Chapter:

This Chapter introduces you to cartoons, builds and explains a working definition of the term “cartoon,” and helps you establish the two essential dimensions of a cartoon. This Chapter is divided into the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Cartoons – Definition and Illustrations
  3. The Two Essential Dimensions of a Cartoon
    1. The Visual Dimension
    2. The Conceptual Dimension
  4. Can YOU become a cartoonist?
  5.  End Note

1. Introduction

Let me begin in the usual lack-luster manner in which text-books usually begin, so that I may impress upon that this indeed is the first chapter of the book, “The Evolution of a Cartoonist.”

Here I go 🙂

Cartoons have always enthralled mankind, but with the advent of printing, their impact increased tremendously. Since the last century, cartoons have become a potent tool for bringing about social and political change. They’ve been the voice of the common man on street, and they’ve made many politicians shiver in their knickers.

However, the mighty cartoon has often been misunderstood. While cartoonists have struggled to find the middle ground between illustration and ideation, others have often wondered why they couldn’t be cartoonists themselves. After all, most cartoons look simple enough to draw!

2. Cartoons – Definition and Illustrations:

According to the two dictionaries that grace my cluttered and otherwise non-intellectual looking desk, a cartoon can be defined as:

A drawing intended as satire, caricature or humor…a ludicrously simplistic, unrealistic, or one-dimensional portrayal or version. – Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary

Or

A ludicrously critical or satirical drawing or caricature, as in a periodical. – Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary of the English Language.

I think that none of the two definitions do justice to the raw yet mysterious power of a cartoon. Let me use these two definitions as a base, add to them my own observations and experiences, and structure this simple yet more complete definition of a cartoon.

“A cartoon is a relatively simplistic and/or sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal of a critical, satirical, or humorous idea.” – Shafali the Caricaturist.

Let me illustrate this definition through some examples.

Example 1: Peanuts

Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz is a cartoon (more specifically, a comic strip, which is a string of cartoons with a common idea holding them together,) because: It is a relatively simplistic and exaggerated visual portrayal (compare to realistic visual portrayal) of a (subtly) critical,  (sometimes) satirical, and/or (definitely) humorous  idea.

Example 2: Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace by Henry Ketcham is a cartoon, because: It is a relatively simplistic and exaggerated visual portrayal (less simplistic than Peanuts, yet a lot simplistic when compared to the realistic portrayal) of a critical (no,) satirical (no,) or humorous idea (yes, always.)

Example 3: Loneliness

While the other two examples were from popular comic strips, here’s a stand-alone cartoon. Let us see how this fares on the definition.

Loneliness” is a cartoon because it is a relatively simplistic and sometimes exaggerated visual portrayal (a simplified sad woman with an exaggerated expression of sadness, sitting in front of a simplified computer at a simplified desk, in a simplified chair,) of a critical (yes,) satirical (yes,) or humorous (not very) idea.

The three examples given above are enough to tell us how widely cartoons differ from one another. A cartoon could be made using a few lines (Dilbert) and it can be made by using millions (Kal’s toons in The Economist); it could be used to present criticism, satire, or humor; it could be done in black-and-white (Dilbert again) or in hundreds of colors (Asterix); it could be political, social, organizational, historical, or even educational. This is also why most of us have the potential to be good cartoonists in our own areas of expertise. It’s important to remember that to be a good cartoonist, you need not be a great illustrator. 

We’ll talk more about it in my next post, which will present the second part of this chapter, to discuss the two essential dimensions of a cartoon.

More Posts in this series:

 

 

 

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!