Caricature Portrait of Lionel (Leo) Messi – Argentine Footballer and Legend.

Lionel Messi is considered to be greatest football player ever, especially when we aren’t speaking of Cristiano Ronaldo – but we aren’t right now, so we’ll go by Lionel Messi being the greatest.

You know that I don’t like perfect faces – mostly because perfection is difficult to caricature. This is why among the two, Lionel Messi won my heart, and I caricatured him.

One look at him and I saw how beautifully unique each of his features is. His deep-set eyes, his straight long slim-ridged nose that ends in a tiny bump, his chin that sticks out even more due to his prickly beard, the lower half of his face sloping inward toward his neck, his ears with a tiny little lobe and a tinier tragus…but his hair that stands right up (quite like mine when I enter my porcupine avatar,) won me over entirely.

I know you want a quick biography of this football star…my way. So here it is:

Lionel Messi’s tiniest biography in the world.

Leo Messi was born on June 24, 1987, which makes him about 33 years old. He’s got some fabulous awards (six Ballon d’Or, six European Golden Shoes, 34 Barcelona Football Club Trophies) Leo Messi is of Italian descent, he celebrates his goals by looking up and thanking his maternal grandmother who would take him to football matches and training sessions. Quite like our sweet and trusting Indian “boys” he just played football, letting his dad manage all his finances, and ended up being investigated for tax-evasion. <– All this courtsey his wikipedia page here. (Reminds you of a certain Indian businessman who committed large-scale frauds and his middle-aged daughters who said something like, “Dad used to take care of all financial matters…we just signed.” <– Can you guess?

With 157M Instagram followers @leomessi is the most followed Instagram celeb of 2020.

 

The Clown with Broken Spine – A Pen and Ink Drawing.

While the Corona virus has almost half the world under house-arrest, after being held captive by my own feelings, my imagination finally grew wings and I’ve been freed from an oath I swear long ago. Under lock-down, inside the house, in my little art-studio, I’m re-discovering the fine art of standing with my spine straight.

I did this drawing of the clown in March…I think right after the lockdown. I hadn’t watched the movie “The Joker” until then, but when I did, I noticed that in the movie, Joaquin Phoenix too has a rather twisted spine.  I’ll be sketching/drawing him one day…but he is very different from this guy here – who is more me than him.

If you are still interested in reading, note the expression behind the facial paint, the unnatural and broken line of the spine, the twisted hands and ankles – the guy is completely bent out of shape. We would be like that too, if we were suddenly sucked up in a twister and thrown miles away – we’d be a mangled heap of flesh and bones – and if we could somehow put ourselves together again – we’d be all bent out of shape too…like the Joker here.

The Joker or the Clown - Pen and Ink Drawing - of a broken clown

Smile, sing, dance – but don’t break hearts.

More…soon.

Caricature/Cartoon of Ajit Ninan – The Great Indian Cartoonist.

——————–Reposting from 2011———————-

(The Original Post with its Comments can be read here.)

Presenting Ajit Ninan, the Indian Cartoonist who breaks all established standards of quality in cartooning.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch, or Drawing of Ajit Ninan, the Great Indian Cartoonist (Times of India.)

I foraged the web to ferret out some information on Ajit Ninan, but returned empty-handed. I don’t know when he celebrates his birthday, I don’t really know a lot about his early life, and except for a few details, I know nothing about his professional life.

So what does the Caricaturist do when faced with a blank page?

She closes her eyes and lets her thoughts travel into the past, where she sees a young boy with a dimpled smile, who would become the Ajit Ninan whose drawings tell her that there are people who refuse to kill their skill – come what may.

Here’s the story of this little boy, who became one of the two Indian Cartoonists who’ve made me experience both pride and joy in equal measures.

The Caricaturist concocts a story:

Leave the Roses and Embrace the Thorns

He loved the afternoons. Hyderabadi afternoons were scathingly hot during this time of the year but the heat didn’t deter him from enjoying them. He’d walk back from school with his friends, feeling under the hot glare of the Sun on his brow, his arms, and his spindly legs only half covered by the shorts of his school uniform; but he always looked forward to the afternoons. They were his to do whatever his heart desired. Deep inside he felt that whatever he might end up doing all his life – these afternoons would remain etched in his memories forever.

This was one of those unforgettable afternoons. Ajit had returned from school, and after a quick snack of Idiyappam that his mother had made for him, he was now lying on his stomach, with his feet up in the air – letting the coolness of the marble floor seep into his body. His sketchbook lay open in front of him and propped upon his left elbow, he drew in it feverishly. He had wanted to finish the drawing of that toy car before his father arrived home from work. He looked over his shoulder to check the clock in the living room. It was past four already!

He returned to his drawing, and then drew away to look at the whole picture. What should he do with wheel? Should it be a little bigger? Would it look funnier if he made it bigger…a lot bigger than the other one?

Thoughts swirled about in his mind, blocking everything else…reducing the sounds around him to an unrecognizable medley – the slight hum of his mother’s voice in the kitchen, the distant din of the vendors in the street, even the creaking sound of the door opening…

So when he heard his name being called in his father’s loud but stern voice, Ajit almost jumped out of his skin. The drawing pencil shot out of his hand and landed under his table that was set near the window, and his sketchbook lay open on the floor – the proof of his being a wayward son.

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing, Father.”
“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” his father took a step forward. Ajit shrunk away. He wished he had listened to his intuition, but then his father never came home early. What was different today? And then it clicked. His parents had to attend a wedding today! While Ajit’s revved-up mind was busy figuring out all this, his father had picked up the sketchbook.

Ajit held the edge of the table to steady himself. This was going to be one of those days.

“You made all these?” His father asked.
Isn’t it obvious? It’s my sketchbook, isn’t it? Ajit thought.
“Yes, Father,” he said.
“You think that these scribblings would get you a job?”
“…
“You think that I am spending on your education, so that you could become a painter?”
“…
“How many marks did you get in Math last year?”
“…
“How many? I am asking you a question. Answer it.”
“45,” quaked Ajit.
“45. 45 out of 100! How you’ll ever make it into Engineering is beyond me.”

“Tell me. How will you ever become an engineer, if you go on neglecting Math for these…these…” his father struggled to find the right word.
“Drawings?” Ajit couldn’t stop himself from supplying the word, but regretting it immediately after.
“Drawings. Yes. You are good at making these – and this skill will help you a lot when you study engineering. These tractors, these jeeps, these pumps…” he continued as he flipped through Ajit’s sketchbook, while Ajit waited for the tirade to end.

It ended, as always, when his mother intervened. Oh, how he loved her. She was the only one in the whole family, who truly supported his love for drawing – but even she fretted about his future. If only he could prove them wrong.

Later that evening, as Ajit sat at his table near the window, absently trying to resolve those improper fractions into proper fractions, random pieces of conversation floated in from his parents’ bedroom.

“He takes after you…all these feminine habits.”
“He takes after both of us.”
“I never got 45 in Math.”
“But he’s as stubborn as you are.”
“I am telling you…he’s got this stupid thing for drawing! I am telling you, I don’t want him writing letters to the black sheep of our family.”
“I don’t think he writes to him.”
“I don’t know. Who knows anything about what that boy does? You have to ask him.”

Ajit turned his attention to his notebook. Those fractions kept changing into cartoon characters. Why? Didn’t 2 look almost like a serpent and the number 8…he found himself doodling two meshing gears into the 8! The “black sheep” of the family. That had to be his uncle Abu Abraham. He worked for this American Publication called the Guardian, but he was shortly returning to India. Abu’s atheism and the way he thumbed his nose at traditions had ensured his symbolic ouster from the family.

His whole body tensed up in anticipation as he waited for them to leave. Ajit’s parents were going out for a Punjabi wedding, which meant that they’d not return until late in night. He could now look forward to many hours of unadulterated drawing pleasure.

Ajit Ninan’s Nonexistent Biography

I couldn’t find his biography, so I tried to glean whatever information I could from a variety of sources, especially from this post by Abhijit Bhaduri.

Here’s the sum total of my learning.

Ajit Ninan was born in Hyderabad in 1955. His parents were from Kerala though. Ajit studied at Hyderabad Public School where he manipulated his way into the library, so that he could go through the Cartoons in magazines. When he was young, he prefered to draw mechanical drawings, which I presume, must’ve made his father believe that his son wanted to become and engineer when he grew up. Fortunately Ninan wasn’t good at Math (I say fortunately, because had he been good at it, he’d have ended up becoming an engineer; which would mean that India would’ve lost one of its few great cartoonists,)so he studied political science, and became a political cartoonist.

Ninan published in first cartoon in Shankar’s Weekly, a magazine that his equally illustrious uncle Abu Abraham also drew for.

Ninan’s Inspirations include Mario Miranda, James Thurber, and Arnold Roth (he used to spend his precious out-of-class-in-the-library hours poring over the drawings of JT and AR.) Ajit Ninan worked with India Today as a Cartoonist and an Illustrator. He then moved to The Indian Express. He currently works with The Times of India as their Group Art Consultant.

Here are some interesting links for you to follow.

What this caricaturist has in common with the Great Ninan?

Believe it or not, I have the exact same lamp on my table that Ninan has on his. I had bought it 15 years ago. I wanted to buy another of the same kind, but failed 😦

Gaga’s Oscar makes me Travel back in Time.

Lady Gaga won an Oscar for “Shallow” from “A Star is Born,” a romantic music-drama. As a visual person, I react more to what I see than to what I hear, and so…

You can read the original Gaga Post here.

A cartoon caricature drawing of Lady Gaga with her weird hairstyle bad romance?

Lady Gaga and the Spider Colony!

Emotions & Expressions – Part I – And the Lefty-Lefty Bond.

Emotions lead to expressions and without expressions, caricatures are merely dead drawings, only marginally better than portraits. To breathe life into caricatures we must attempt to reflect their emotions on their faces, even postures.

According to Robert Plutchick there are 8 basic emotions:

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Disgust
  • Surprise
  • Trust
  • Anticipation

If the list was limited to these 8 emotions, and corresponding 8 expressions, the caricaturists would have been a happy lot. The problem lies in the following two facts:

  • humans experience these emotions in different degrees – thus, the intensity of fear could cause either a slight tingling of the spine or a need to…scat. Thus, one might be “apprehensive” or “scared to death.”
  • humans often experience a mix of different emotions and not a single, isolated emotion. We experience a combination of anger, fear, and sadness when we experience jealousy; a concoction of sadness and disgust when we are dumped in love; and a heady mix of anticipation and joy while falling in love.

The following drawing (a very rough sketch. Allow me to quickly blame it on bad lighting and a crick in my neck painstakingly acquired through my bad posture,) too presents a mix of emotions. Which ones can you identify?

Anxious, worried, troubled, afraid, angry? Emotions and Expressions - Caricatures and Cartoons

A sketch from my sketchbook – Photographed in horrible light.

And now…a story 🙂

I was at the bank waiting in a long queue.

I ask you. What does an artist do when she must kill time?

Correct Answer: She draws.

So standing between a rather large gentleman in front and a rather skinny lady behind, I drew out my sketchbook and began sketching.

I ask you again. What happens to an artist when she starts drawing?

Correct Answer: She loses touch with her surroundings.

So as I furiously sketched some furious looking faces from my imagination, I lost touch with reality. People who stood around me realized that they could kill time too…by watching me draw.

I ask you, one final time. What happens when a small crowd begins to watch an artist?

Correct Answer: One of the interested onlookers decides to destroy the artist’s peace.

So while I was floating on a different and rather enlightened plane, hanging safely from the parachute of peace, I heard a chirpy voice, which sliced through the fabric of my metaphysical parachute and sent me hurling back to the harsh terrain of reality.

“Ooooooooh…,” cooed the young fashionista who had materialized in the bank while I was on my plane of enlightenment. “So you are left-handed? So am I.”

I stared at her blankly. Oh wow! I thought. I must be so fortunate to meet another one of the 750 Million lefties of the worldWho would’ve thought of it! Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew that I should throw away my sketchbook, open my arms, and hug the lefty woman like I would hug my only sister who I may have lost in the Thar desert (and who my parents never told me about.) But I didn’t. Instead, I chose to lose that opportunity by nodding at her and saying, “um…oh,” whatever that meant.

The young woman gave me an odd look (expression?) that I read as, “is she dumb or what?” Actually, I was dumb…founded. I guess the lefty-lefty bond is something to cherish and celebrate, but I can’t imagine what good can come out of it.

  • Could it be that if two lefties walked into a bar, they’d get two drinks for the price of one?
  • Or could it be that if two lefties got together, they could change the world?
  • I mean, what difference does it make to anyone, if two lefties fell in love and had lefty babies?

The only thing that happened that day was that I couldn’t complete my drawing, and she went back with a long-face. So when one lefty accosts another lefty with an “oooooooh…” neither gets anywhere!

Now, back to the drawing board to right the wrong…the sinister…the gauche…the…

Oh, what the heck!

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Googling Accidents – What they wanted and what they found.

There’s a saying that an empty mind is the devil’s workshop. Yesterday, my mind was empty, and so the devil rented it for a day, set up office, and went rummaging my stats.

This is what it found:

1. madurie dik shet necked pic

Either you know what that is or you don’t. The underside of being a screen-diva is that about half the world population wants to witness you in all your “necked” glory. It doesn’t matter if the diva is now past her prime, it doesn’t matter if she now wears the highly respectable shoes of an Indian mom, all they want it to see her “necked” pic. Now why a passionate search for such “pics” of Ms. Dik shet should bring someone to my blog is beyond my comprehension. I never sketched nor painted Ms. Dik shet, and I never draw necked pics. In fact, sometimes, even the mice I draw are either wearing diapers or at least a bandolier.

2. download images of scheching in acters

Scheching in acters? What is scheching?

  • Scratching?
  • Measles?
  • A euphemism of something unspeakable?

Or could it be a euphemism for sketches? Aha. Perhaps it is. Glad I got it right. But why download such images, if not for the nefarious purpose of painting over another artist’s sketch. Over the years I’ve received odd requests. A lady wanted to “copy” my caricatures and sell them with my permission; a gentleman wanted to use a drawing to create a 3D model of the face with it, another young man wanted to use a caricature for his avatar. I come across bloggers using images of paintings that they found by googling in their blogposts – without a permission statement/declaration that it’s a free image.

3. +18 caricature stories

Now this is a 66 percent match! caricatures and stories you can find here but unfortunately the +18 stuff isn’t. (I presume +18 is the steamy stuff of the “necked” kind.) I am genuinely curious to find how that search-string was born. Do people really enjoy +18 stories drawn as caricatures? Perhaps they do. Years ago I heard of a comic that presented a certain bhabhi (elder brother’s wife,) a +18 super-woman who engaged in various +18 acts with a wide-range of men. I am not a caricaturist who does those kind of drawings. Sorry searcher. You’ve got to take your searches elsewhere.

4. pics of dirty and comedy indian people with name laxman

I’m lost again. Dirty and comedy Indian people with name Laxman? Specifically named Laxman? Huh? I know that dirty clothes can actually make you look funny (comedy) but only if the dirt tells a story. My blog isn’t about Laxman, nor about dirty and “comedy” people, and so I trust that this searcher didn’t find what he or she was looking for, at least on my blog. I wish the searcher luck and cleanliness.

5. death caricatures

What?
Are you really looking for caricatures of death? I am not sure if I’ve understood your requirement correctly. I also have a feeling that upon arriving on my blog, you felt cheated. You wanted to give me a single-star rating and tell me that you didn’t find what you had expected, and so in your opinion my blog isn’t good, while I’ll continue to wonder how a basket of fresh apples could be rotten just because you were looking for oranges.

6. pictures of ugly people cartoon drawing of a naked woman

???

Ok. Pick one of the following:

  • Ugly people drawing naked woman
  • Cartoon drawing of ugly people with naked woman
  • Cartoon drawing of naked woman watching pictures of ugly people
    Pictures of ugly people that’ve grown hands and are now animatedly drawing a naked woman
Now the clincher.
None of these options are available on this blog. Ugly and naked don’t happen here.

7. was cleopatra ugly ?

Finally. Now this is a question that only an intelligent person can ask. Cleopatra’s pedigree doesn’t matter. The fact that she was the last Pharaoh of Egypt doesn’t matter. That she could seduce both Caesar and Antony and wrap them around her pinkie doesn’t matter. All her accomplishments don’t matter. She couldn’t have become this famous by using her brains – could she? If she weren’t beautiful, then how in the world she did all that?

Good question. It is answered on this blog. Search again.

My Tutankhamun Affair resulted in this Caricature!

First, the caricature.

Caricature of a Grumpy Old Man (Inspired from the description of Theodore Davis in The Tutankhamun Affair by Christian Jacques)

My friends know that I love Egypt. Not the bundle of confusion that it is today, but the Egypt that existed in its glorious past – the Ancient Egypt. Blinded by this love, a few years ago, I purchased a book called “The Tutankhamun Affair.” It is written by Christian Jacq, an author noted for the fiction and non-fiction works on Egypt. My friends also know that I have a marked preference for fiction. When I picked up the book around a decade ago, I had no idea that the guy wrote non-fiction too…and that I was buying a somewhat boring biographical account of Howard Carter’s quest for Tutankhamun’s tomb.

I brought the book home and settled down for a thrilling ride that I hoped would take me through both ancient and modern Egypt. As I started turning its pages, I realized that there were easier ways to die than reading The Tutankhamun Affair, and as dying wasn’t on my to-do list, I pushed the book the farthest I could inside my boring-books book-rack.

A month ago, one of my archaeological expeditions yielded The Tutankhamun Affair – a book I hadn’t read. So I gave it another shot.

Oddly, I didn’t find it as boring this time as I did earlier. Either my own boredom-resistance quotient has gone up, or I’ve learned a few things in the last 10 years – things that now enable me to relate to the tribulations of poor Mr. Carter.

I know that the yarn is growing longer – before you get tangled up and are thrown off-balance and off my blog, I’ll let the story of this imaginary caricature of Mr. Theodore Davis out of the bag.

Mr. Davis appears on page 124 of the soft-cover edition.

“Of average height, Theodore Davis gave an impression of weakness.He did not move without a stick, hid his throat with a white scarf and covered his head with a wide-brimmed hat. His Jodhpurs and puttees made him look like a rider without his horse. A thick moustache spread like the wings of a bird covering the lower part of his face. His gaze was aggressive behind the round lenses of his tiny spectacles.” – Chapter 28, The Tutankhamun Affair by Christian Jacq

I removed his Jodhpurs and puttees and gave him a sensible pair of trousers. (Jodhpurs and puttees are both Indian terms – puttees: bandages.)

That description painted a picture for me and I laughed. So I drew that picture for you, hoping that it would make you laugh too 🙂 I hope it does.

Blogging Neighbors make a Modern-Day Hamlet Soliloquize.

My Blogging101 Neighbors have changed me into a soliloquizing modern-day Hamlet.

In the past 10 days I’ve made some new friends and these friends have made me ask the following to-be-or-not-to-be questions:
  1. To Cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?
  2. To run or just snuggle under the sheets for a couple-of-more-hours?
  3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?
  4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?
  5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?
  6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity or just not bother?
  7. And finally, To be a fanatic and fly at the throats of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?
I know that I have missed a lot of other fantastic blogs that’ve moved me in the past few days, and consequently deprived this post of other deep and relevant questions.  I’m known to be more forgetful than that allegorical scientist who drank the glass full of bacteria-infested water.  I hope those sweet bloggers will forgive my lapse and leave me a reminder. I can and should soliloquize some more – and your reminders will make me answer more of these important, philosophical questions.
Coming back to my list of questions, here’s what I think, and regardless of what it makes you think about me, I stand (nope, lounge) by it.

1. To cook or not to torture the collective tastebuds of my family?

I cook, but each time I cook, the same dish ends up tasting different! Why? Because I can’t follow recipes. I admit that the kitchen reminds me of a Chemistry Lab, and the recipes remind me of those chemistry experiments that I disliked and even feared. Measure, pour, heat, add something else; let it simmer; when the color changes or when there’s a distinctive smell, do something else! It’s erringly similar to a Chemistry Lab experiment. So to make myself feel positive about the kitchen and cooking, I think of myself as a kitchen-witch who brews magic potions – but that’s a different story and needs a different post.

2. To Run or just snuggle under the sheets?

Is that even a logical question to ask? If your whole family is into running, then I understand that you must – or how will you be together? Imagine breakfast time in a family of runners. Dad has already run 500 yards, son is at 250 yards mark, mom tosses the sandwich and the OJ to Dad at 50 yds/second to get it to him in 10 seconds. Can’t imagine all that action! It makes me run (no, amble) for cover! The thought of all that action makes me exhausted – but kudos to our runner mom – I can only doff my hat to her.

3. To buy new yoga-pants or wait until my tummy begins to jiggle?

It jiggles a bit, alright. But getting into those yoga pants is something that I haven’t yet made up my mind on. Sorry Yoga Guru. First my boss who is now in Canada started organizing Yoga classes in our office and asked if I wanted to join. I checked my then hourglass figure in the mirror, and snickered at the idea. Later mom and dad watched me getting chubbier and slower; they tried to train me in yoga but failed. Now, I’ve begun to wonder whether I should’ve heeded their advice. BTW, Yoga is for people of all shapes and sizes. But what about those yoga-pants? I don’t want to look like a stuffed pillow, and doing yoga without yoga-pants isn’t my cup of green tea.

4. To be an Earl’s cat or a plain old boring human?

Is this even a question?
Of course I want to be an Earl’s cat. Why? Because then I’d speak Elizabethan English, purr a lot, and while purring, I’d casually remark upon who the Countess may or may not hoist her tail for. As a human, if I did that, I am sure the Earl would have me captured and flogged to correct the error of my ways. Earl’s cat – for sure.

5. To run along with ZuZu and checkout Berkshire or be a couch potato and watch Despicable Me?

Is this, too, even a question?
ZuZu… wait for me! Just allow me a few minutes to brew myself a cup of Felinosca potion and turn into a cat. A chubby woman scampering behind you on all fours will attract the eyes of entire Berkshire, and then you may have to drop your adventuring like a hot pot of boiling milk.

6. To fill the lives of those around me with positivity, or shutter myself in?

As I grow older, I cement my views and opinions, and I become unwilling to change. What I often forget is that even the unwillingness to embrace change is a choice.    Do I want to shutter myself in, is a question that I ask myself, especially when meet someone as cool  as these two bloggers.
 I know I’ll try to remember this all, but then I can’t really trust the absent-minded kitchen-witch whose idea of a perfect day is a quiet afternoon with a Wilbur Smith novel. She travels at the speed of thought and sees the world through the words of her favorite authors…and now…bloggers!
And finally,

7. To be a fanatic and fly at the throat of anyone who dares disagree  even slightly with me, or respect other people’s opinions?

As I said before, if possible, I’d like to live in a world sans fanatics. I don’t like fanaticism. And so I’ll set aside the only unpleasant experience in the blogosphere, and continue to Draw to Smile!
Feeling blessed - a pen and ink drawing - shafali's art. Artists and Commissions.

Feeling frazzled but blessed!

Happy Blogging 🙂 and thanks Blogging101!

6 Celebrity Body-parts that Deserve their own Wax Statues at Madame Tussauds

I had written this post almost a year back – for Cracked.com but they thought that it required more work. They weren’t happy with the quality of my links  🙂
Had my topic read, “7 Advances in Medical Science that could change Humans into Birds,” or “10 Proofs that Aliens walk Among Us,” I’d have definitely spent a few more months in research. But the idea of spending hours and days gathering links that prove that these specific celeb-body parts have gained fame and brought fortune to their human-carriers, didn’t exactly fill me up with drive and enthusiasm. So I strangled my dream of writing for Cracked.com and forgot all about these rather interesting celeb-appendages. 
Today, this article just popped up as I was scrolling through my notes in Notes looking for forgotten blog-post ideas – and I thought why not 🙂
So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 6 Celeb-body-parts that deserve their own wax-statues at Madame Tussauds (and their own caricatures by Tom Richmond.)

Miley Cyrus’s Forever-out Tongue:

Miley’s tongue would be one of a forerunners in a race for a place at Madame Tussauds. Why? Her tongue possibly has more fans than Miley herself, which is not at all odd – because her tongue has wooed its own fans all over the world by popping out of her oral cavity with unfailing regularity. In fact, her tongue beats Miley in connecting with the audience. Her tongue has struck every possible pose for the camera – it has leaned out of the corner of her mouth with its tip curving provocatively; it has curled up in a lip-smacking, come-hither look; it has cascaded out of her mouth in an attempt to ape the Niagara falls! Her tongue deserves its own place in the history of mankind.

Michael Jackson’s Crotch:

The candidacy of Michael Jackson‘s crotch for a dedicated wax statue is undisputed, and while it is no longer possible to actually sculpt a statue to honor it, credit must be given where it’s due. Before the King of Pop began clutching his goods to the beats of music, the poor crotch was a shamefully hidden, never celebrated part of the human body. Nobody touched it in public; definitely not under the glare of a zillion lights and in full view of a million fans. The fame of Michael Jackson’s crotch transcended borders and reached the remotest corners of the planet. It became the only crotch in the world that was not just pointed at, talked about, but literally clutched again and again, as he sang and danced his way into people’s hearts. It’s the crotch that inspired videos such as “Fifty Ways to Grab your Crotch“.
When I see four-year-olds grabbing their crotch and imitating Michael Jackson, I can’t help but think how his crotch led every crotch out of darkness, into the world of glitz and glamor.

Jay Leno’s Chin:

Jay Leno‘s chin is a Chin with a Man attached. If prognathism was considered a mark of beauty, Mr. Leno would be the handsomest man on the planet. I am not disputing the fact that Jay Leno is a super talk show host; all I want to say is that his chin had a big hand in the success of his shows. Whether he is connected with the House of Habsburg, and thus, is royalty; or whether he has a Habsburg jaw, is a matter of speculation; but in my absolutely certain opinion, his massive jaw deserves a special place of honor at Madame Tussauds. I’d like to tell you that internationally, Jay Leno’s magnificent jaw is known better than he himself is.
If anyone has any doubts, I’d like to mention that man who owns this unique chin himself believes that all his life, he has but followed his chin, or why would he name his autobiography, “Leading with my Chin.”
Caricature, Cartoon of Jay Leno - The Tonight Show Host (Portrait, Sketch, Drawing - event: Retirement.)

Handing over?

Pamela Anderson’s Upper-Anterior Assets:

Some have boasted of bigger ones (Dolly Parton), others, may have shown off better ones (Carmen Electra); but the height of fame reached by Pamela’s silicone-enhanced bosom still remains unchallenged. Pamela Anderson’s silicon-spheres drew eyeballs like a flame draws moths. Men watched them and drooled. Women looked at them and depending on their financial might, either rushed to the plastic surgeons to get theirs pumped up, or to the lingerie store to buy the newest padded bra. And yet after getting her money’s worth from them, the voluptuous Bay Watch babe, the longest surviving Playboy Cover Girl  decided to swap her humongous pair of implants for a couple of dainty ones. Those original implants have been saved by her Plastic surgeon. I wouldn’t venture to suggest what use he may put them to but I’d recommend that he puts them up on eBay. If and when that happens, they must find their own wax replica in the museum of celebrities.  Madame Tussauds’ staff has its work cut out.
Caricature and Cartoon of the Model, Actress, and Sex-Symbol Pamela Anderson with two fish who've lost their homes.

They aren’t Pancho and Lefty!

The Fingers of Keith Richards:

Perhaps the only celebrity who can be recognized by his fingers, is Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.  While his gnarled fingers are possibly the result of osteoarthritis and they could be Heberden’s nodes where the joints closer to the finger-tips swell up, they’ve often been attributed to his playing the guitar. Amidst a lot of speculation on how his fingers acquired those distinctive knobs, I feel that saving a space for his fingers in Madame Tussauds is a good idea.
Cartoon Caricature of Keith Richards - Guitarist of the Rolling Stones rock band - done for the American Spectator Magazine

Keith Richards of Rolling Stones for the American Spectator Magazine

The Hair & Skin of Donald Trump:

Whether they deserve two separate mentions or one, can be a matter of debate. However, this famous but controversial billionaire who is now hoping to be the next President of the United States, has something to offer to Madame Tussauds.  His skin has the oddest orange glow that reminds some of the Oompa Loompas of Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
This orange glow is local to his face and doesn’t reach his hands, so quite possibly it’s Trump-made and not natural. Whatever it is – it’s characteristic of Donald Trump, and helps his face stand out among a crowd of other normal-skin people. His hair that was once dark, later acquired a yellow hue that lasted him a good thirty years; but what actually makes his hair worthy of being celebrated and honored is the way they sweep down his forehead, only to lurch up again, right before they get into his eyes. His hair has a life of its own, but it in servitude. It serves a life-long bond as it guards that Dollar-minting mind by keeping it covered all the time.  When most of Trump’s contemporaries have only fleeting memories of a full head of hair; Trump’s dome of silken hair has defied all laws of nature – making Trump’s face one of the most recognized business-faces around the world.
Perhaps the American voters can swap their votes for Trump’s hair and donate the hair to Madame Tussauds.

Scotus makes Gotus fall in love with it – A Toony Pretzels Cartoon. (Gay Marriages become legal)

On June 26, 2015, in a historic ruling, the Supreme Court made gay marriages legal all through the United States.

There are two sides to this coin.

Side 1 thinks of gays as an aberration, even an abomination, and while the moderates among these feel that gays may be allowed to do what they want in the privacy of their homes but marriage must only be between a man and a woman, as it was ordained by god as union for the purpose of recreation;  they hate Scotus for making gay-marriages legal.

Side 2 thinks that being gay shouldn’t mean that a person must either never marry, or marry a person of opposite sex in order to have a family and/or have children. They believe that they have the right to live life as they see fit and have a legal and ethical union with the person they love.

  • Does Side 1 own the institution of marriage?
  • Is Side 2 asking for the sky in asking for a legal and moral stamp on their union? 

Here’s a Toony Pretzel that I did a few years ago. It’s been sitting in the hard-disk of my computer…and I think it’s the right time to get a tiny smile out of it.

gay-marriages-legal-in-US-scotus-supreme-court-decision-love-wins-cartoon-toony-pretzels-by-shafali

Of course, there are other issues. Important ones. What happens in the military – where men have always been men and brothers-in-arms? What happens in the case of property disputes? How will the children that are adopted by such parents cope? The answer to all these questions is: we’ll know soon enough. I believe that humans are resourceful and they can usually find their way out of any situation.

Yet, in a world where we speak of the rights of people regardless the color of their skin, their gender, their religion; in a world where even convicts are allowed to marry and enjoy conjugal visits; why must people be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual preference? I’ve had some gay-acquaintances, they are some of the nicest people I know. I think the world needs to focus its attention on the criminals and the terrorists…isn’t it odd that America still hasn’t made up its mind about them?

 

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 🙂

 

5 Sure Ways to Awaken the Dragon in a Woman!

Did you know that every woman has a dragon hidden in her belly?  She keeps that dragon drugged and chained, but men (and other women too) are capable of rousing that beast from its slumber.
Cartoon Caricature Funny images of a Woman screaming shouting at a man - angry woman.

Pen and Ink Drawing – Inspired by the Poster of “The Proposal” (Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds.)

Important Note:
I’ve listed the 5 ways here for easy reference. Please feel free to print them out for your soft board. If you need additional counseling on specific matters, or if you’ve already awakened a dragon and need some help in taming it, my email id is plastered over nearly every image that you see on this blog.
If I were a Management Guru, I’d have called these ways, “The 5 M‘s of Bringing out the Monster in a Woman,” or some other such mnemonic thing, but I am not that creative with words, so I’ll stay with numbered lists.
  1. Misunderstand
  2. Mistreat
  3. Manhandle
  4. Mistake
  5. Miscalculate
1. Misunderstand:
When you misunderstand women, you make them see the reddest of reds. Women aren’t easy to understand, I grant you that. Hey, they aren’t just deliciously enigmatic, they are super-mysterious. I mean who knows what a woman actually even looks like. Those layers of makeup – they are the veils of mystery that are lifted only be the select few they decide to share their lives with. So don’t berate yourself if you’ve been guilty of misunderstanding women. However, be prepared for the fire-spewing dragon to wake up anytime you unwittingly commit this error. Trust me, you will know when you’ve crossed the line.
Examples?
Of course.
  • The most common example comes from your making a specific rule generic. You’ve learned that when a woman says “NO” she doesn’t mean “YES.” This rule applies to all your amorous advances – this rule, rules the physical domain of the man-woman relationships; but for your own sake, don’t apply it on everything. So, when you ask a woman whether she’d like some ice cream and she says, “No, I’m watching my figure,” don’t use that outdated corny line “so am I…hee…hee” and return that wallet back to your pocket! The volcano won’t erupt yet, but Smaug is just beginning to turn in the belly of the mountain (er…the woman.)
  • When she’s given her face three coats of foundation, colored her eyelids every color of a peacock feather, and her lips look like she’s just returned from a vampire-party, and she asks you “how do I look?” trust me, she doesn’t want to hear the truth. Don’t tell her the truth. Not if you want the beast to stay happily asleep.
Mistreat: 
This, as you can surmise, is a graver crime than the one that we’ve just discussed. Unfortunately, the term “mistreat” has an expanding range of meanings – starting from not-behaving-in-a-socially-acceptable manner to being downright abusive. Being abusive is terrible and I am sure that most religions in this world would classify being abusive as a sin. Whatever enters the realm of religion, exits the realm of this caricaturist’s satire, and so I am definitely not talking about that kind of mistreatment. Instead, I am talking about simpler stuff.
Examples?
Here they are:
  • Praising another woman in front of a woman (this is any woman vs. any woman.)
  • Looking ravenously at a curvaceous woman who walks past, when you are in company of a woman you’ve supposedly pledged your heart to.
  • Not being totally tuned in when a woman talks about stuff that she believes really matters (doesn’t matter if you hold diametrically opposite views on what really matters!)
  • Not noticing her new hairdo, or nail-color.
All these are examples of Mistreatment. Note that Mistreatment is a slow-acting poison. It may not wake the beast up immediately, but it when the beast does wake up, it’ll roast your insides and feast on them.
Manhandle:
This one too has Satan’s sign on it. The worst of manhandling is domestic violence of the physical kind. That is serious matter and anyone who engages in that kind of thing should be behind bars, not surfing the Internet and visiting the blogs of crazy caricaturists. The manhandling bit I am talking about is the one that hurts the heart more than it hurts the body.
Examples?
Ok.
  • Clasp in an iron-grip, the soft hand offered to you in handshake.
  • Clap your hand over a woman’s shoulder to turn her around.
  • Throw a fake-roach or a fake-lizard, watch her scream, then roll on the ground laughing.
Terrible stuff…all of it. Tchah!
Mistake:
Never, never, never do a mistake in any of the personal stats of a woman – certainly don’t err on the…well, unsavory side. Better still, manipulate the data to her advantage. This one’s rather simple, but if you still want me to illustrate…
here are a few
examples…
  • Her birthday, your anniversary, your children’s birthdays (at least of the kids you two had together,) the date of your first meeting, the place of your first meeting, the earrings that you gifted her 10 years ago, but she never wore them until today… you’ve got to recognize them right away!
  • And then there’s data that you know by heart, but that you must never present in its raw form. In fact, some basic math could be very helpful. So if she’s 51, train yourself to remember that she’s merely 45, and then train yourself some more to tell her that she looks better than all those women in their thirties. If she measures 40 inches at waist, you never noticed it – you still remember the data that you had stored when you had first begun dating. You never overwrote any of it. She still measures 26 at her waist – and when she disagrees, tell her that you don’t feel the difference, because you love her so much.
Miscalculate:
Men often miscalculate everything about women. Sometimes, only sometimes, women deliberately lead them into such miscalculations; but more often than not, it’s something that men train themselves to believe. What looks small and fragile, must be small and fragile. Women can pack quite a punch when they want to – but usually they don’t want to. They prefer to keep the notion of fragility alive. I mean who doesn’t want to be pampered and who wouldn’t want to have someone else do some work that they wouldn’t do unless their superiority complex was awakened.
For men, it’s a good idea to realize that women aren’t weak and most women are smarter than they are. I’ve seen women in my own and my -iL family twist the men of the family around their little fingers – in fact, if these couples are like two wheels of a motorcycle, the women wheels are the ones connected to the steering wheel.
Examples?
Sure.
  • Never threaten to leave her – She is adaptable, she’ll survive; the question is – will you?
  • The money? You blew it and then tried hoodwinking her? She’ll know. If that fuse blows, you must know it did, not because you blew the money, but because you insulted her intelligence.
And now, I must stop spilling these secrets. Most women I’ve known in my life don’t really like me… but then the US Government doesn’t like Julian Assange either!

Hacked Nude Celebrity Photos are more Viral than Ebola says CBS.

There’s no denying that Ebola‘s accelerating spread is a huge concern for humanity, and yet, there’s another virus in the air, one that’s been multiplying at a rate that is exponentially greater than that of Ebola. It’s called the Celebrity Nudes Virus (CNV).

According to CBS*,

The Celebrity Nudes Virus has by now spread to all the countries of the world, and the number of people infected by this virus doubles every hour. Accordingly to statistics that have been laboriously collected, classified and sifted, every man infected by this virus can potentially infect 6 others, in a matter of seconds. It has also been reported that 5 out of 6 people who get infected, are males.

Symptoms of the Celebrity Nudes Viral (CNV) Infection include:

  1. Lolling tongues and galloping heartbeats.
  2. A strong tendency to find isolated spots.
  3. A strong tendency to look over the shoulder while checking emails.
  4. Heightened creativity resulting in Celebrity Nudes Search words.
  5. Shortened attention-spans.
  6. A heartfelt feeling of gratitude for the man who started it all, affectionately called the hacker.

The man who unleashed this virus on the Internet claims that he did it for money. And yet, the poor devil, the man with a zillion dreams of a billion dollars got a measly $120 for his labors…and if we should believe him…for his investment.

This man, who CBS* has nicknamed “Father of the Celeb-nude Virus” has hacked into the iCloud accounts of 100 celebrities, including Rihanna, Kristen Dunst, and Selena Gomez, and despite the financial setback, he has no intentions of stopping. “The FBI,” he says, “is a minor inconvenience.”

Search Strings that are being used to find those Hacked Celebrity Nudes.

Following are some of the search-strings that the infected group of people have so creatively come up with.

  • where are the hacked nude pictures on the web
  • icloud nude celeb images posted
  • stolen nude celebrity pics
  • view stolen celebrity icloud photos online
  • nude celebrity photos stolen online
  • posted stolen celeb photos
  • hacked nude celebrity pictures
  • hacked cloud accounts nude pictures
  • i want to see icloud hacked nude pic 2014
  • leaked 100 celebrities nude  images on internet
  • and so on…
  • and so forth!

Search terms such as these abound, despite the celebrities issuing statements on moral grounds. They’ve been condemning people who view these leaked pictures as participating thieves, because they are viewing stolen goods. CBS* spokeswoman Shafali says:

“I understand their concern. Hacking nude celebrity pictures is akin to plagiarism in the art/literary circles. The person who created the content must be fairly compensated for its use. Now that those nudes are already out there, nobody is going to want to pay to view them – so what could’ve been on the front-page of Rolling Stone or GQ and would’ve justly made the celebs and their retinues some moolah, has now resulted in $1.20 per celeb for the hacker. It’s terribly unfair to the celebrities, I suppose; but what hurts me more, is the erosion of  the value of those pictures, which in fact, is also an insult to the celebrities in question.”

Most celebrities aren’t ticked off because their nudes went online – they’d love to have those pictures on the covers or the center-spreads of magazines. Just click the following link to view some nude celebrity pictures that have been shared with totally value-driven willingness, and hence puts the viewer on the right side of the ethics debate. In fact, the latest celeb to go nude for GQ is Kim Kardashian!

Miley Cyrus on Rolling Stones, Jake and Anne on Entertainment Weekly,Katy Perry on Esquire, Kim Kardashian on W, Johnny Depp on GQ (well, not exactly, but the link has him on.

The Online Media Chooses: Celebrity Nudes Virus vs. Ebola – A Google Search Infographic.

(No prizes for guessing the right answer.)

The Celebrity Nudes Virus is indubitably more contagious of the two viruses. Even Google works faster to find Celeb Nude Photos than it does to find pages that talk about Ebola. Please check the encircled statistics.

hacked celebrity nude pictures vitality info graphic for google searches.

I rest my case.

In another, unrelated, unsourced news byte, CBS* has come under heavy criticism for attempting to milk the celebrity nudes scandal for their blog. The CBS spokeswoman made the following statement:

“We are in the business of creating caricatures and exaggerating deviations. We believe that the ridiculousness of the celebrity nude pictures hacking scandal has to be recorded for posterity. We are just a tiny spoke, a small blog in the scandal-mongering hinterlands of the World Wide Web. We believe that we are doing the right thing.”

CBS*: Caricatures by Shafali

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

Now that I think of it, I don’t really caricature business-people for fun. I did a couple of Mark Zuckerberg‘s, one of the Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg‘s, and that is about it. Oh, I also did a commemorative caricature of Steve Jobs for a business magazine long ago, but I didn’t post it here. I did Zuckerberg’s and Steve Jobs‘ as commissions, and Matt Mullenweg’s as a Thank You Note for building WordPress. Today, I drew/painted (it’s a partly painted sketch) Bezos, because I received David Farland’s Daily Kick in my mailbox and it mentioned the Hachette/Amazon battle. I saw Bezos’ name in the email and was suddenly reminded of his face, which is actually quite funny. He doesn’t look like a businessman at all.

So, what do businessmen look like?
Typically, they looked like the furniture they own. They look like the stuffed but polished leather chair they sit upon, they look like the rich and lustrous tables that they sit behind, they look like the steel skyscrapers that they have their offices in; in short, they look stuffy, rich, and absolutely unreachable. Bezos looks like none of these. He looks like he’s bubbly bottle of soda, a cotton-candy, a merry-go-round; in short, he looks like he’s tons of fun.

Here’s what I painted.

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

The Next Big Idea?

A Little about Jeff Bezos:

Bezos was born in 1964, which makes him about half-a-century old. He was a smart kid who liked to dissemble and assemble stuff. Bezos comes from a Richie-rich background. His maternal grandfather owned about 10,000 square km of land, but in my opinion Grand-dad was somewhat stingy, because despite having such huge tracks of land, he started Amazon.com from his “garage.”

But the lack of space didn’t deter Jeff and he ended up making Amazon.com what it is today – you know what it is. It’s the online paradise of shoppers, it’s the answer to the prayers of self-published authors, it’s a company with a market capitalization of 146.37B!

According to Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/) in 2013 alone Jeff Bezos became richer by $13 Billion! In November 2013, he sold just 1% of Amazon’s stock and got 260 Million for it. So, this cute, deliberately bald, funny looking gentleman is one of the richest men on the planet (#12 on Forbes 400 list.)

Bezos is a libertarian (please do not confuse the term with libertine…though some who search for “Jeff Bezos Creepy” would only be too happy to accept the latter meaning.) His personality leaks from the first name he thought up for Amazon (relentless.com.) His biological dad John Jorgensen discovered that he fathered a billionaire quite late in life. Bezos is considered to be a micro-manager…oh, and his awesome laughter? He inherited it from his biological dad. (source: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/10-things-you-didnt-know-649386)

Bezos is here because…well, I guess I love oddballs; and also because without Amazon, I wouldn’t have published “Evolution of a Caricaturist“.

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

Click to View the Book on Amazon.

 

A Color Portrait of the Dog who walks with her nose in the Air!

Folks,

Last Week I did this Color Portrait of my Dog. You’ve already seen the Pen and Ink Portrait of my Canine Lady…now I present the color pencil portrait done using the same reference picture.

Here’s the reference photo with the final artwork.

Pet Portraits from Photos - Color Pencil Portrait Art by Artist Shafali.

Reference Photo with Final Artwork (Frame Representational) Actual Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Medium: Color Pencils.

Here are some more images in a chronological order.

When I was just about start giving it the finishing touches.

Color Pencil Pet Portraits - Oorvi's Portrait by Shafali - Almost done...

It’s almost done. Final Size of the Artwork: 8 inches by 10 inches. Check out her eyes and her nose 🙂

Finished – ready to be delivered (read the story about “how this portrait came to be” at the end of this post.)

 

Color Portraits of Dogs and Pups by Pet Portrait Artist Shafali.

Oorvi’s Pen and Ink Portrait on my Desk with the reference image on the screen.

Later…after the dust settled and the portrait got framed.

Color Pet Portraits - Portrait of Oorvi - Dog and Pup Portrait Artist Shafali.

After Ms. Oorvi got her portrait framed, I took the opportunity to photograph it on my desk 🙂 (CLICK for a LARGER and CLEARER View.)

Now some backstory for those interested 🙂

Behind-the-Scenes Drama – How this Portrait Came to Be!

Some people and their dogs never cease their demands.

First they demanded a Pen and Ink Portrait of the canine lady in question; once that was done, they wanted more. This is how the conversation went between us – the pup had brought her owner and translator along.

An Innocent-eyed Pup: “Those color-pencils…”

A Curious Me: “Yes, what about them?”

A Stoic Pup: “You still have ’em, don’t you?”

A Confident Me: “Yep, I do.”

A Pushy Pup: “Why ain’t you using ’em?”

A Confused Me: “Because I’ve been busy working on my other assignments and they had to be done in Pen & Ink or painted digitally…that’s why.”

An Apparently Illogical Pup: “Don’t you think you should take ’em out…they could turn rusty, you know?”

A Gloating Me: “Pencils don’t turn rusty…”

A Persevering Pup: “or flaky?”

A Worried Me: “Come to the point.”

A Demanding Pup: “Do my color portrait.”

A Shocked Me: “What?!!”

An Ultra-specific-Down-to-the-Minutae Pup: “A color portrait – with my golden fur and green-brown eyes looking golden and green-brown.”

A Cautious Me: “What if I refuse?”

A Gloating Pup: “Remember the Pen & Inks that you are doing for that book…you’ve not scanned them yet, have you?”

A Filled-with-Trepedition Me: “No…but I will.”

A Smirking Pup: “Oh, yeah?”

So I rush to the drawer where I had them neatly stacked…only to find that the drawer had been denuded of its contents.

A Confident Pup: “You do my color portrait and you get them back. OK?”

A Defeated Me: “Hey, but color portraits are more expensive than the Pen and Ink ones…are you prepared to pay?”

A Triumphant Pup: “Sure…I’ll pay. I’ll give all those Pen and Ink drawings back, so that you can scan them, and send them to the client.”

This is how, ladies and gentlemen, A ” totally brow-beaten me” was brow-beaten into accepting a commission of a color pencil portrait of Ms. Oorvi. I did get my drawings back – all twenty-four of them…and I breathed a sigh of relief. 

 If you are interested in looking at my Pen and Ink Pet and Wildlife Portraits, I request you to visit my Pen and Ink Portraits blog here. I am open for pet-portraiture/wildlife art commissions and you are welcome to contact me with your requirements.

Caricature-Portrait of Serena Williams as her Serene-self.

This Caricaturist’s blog is proud to host the Caricature of Serena Williams 🙂

The Making of Serena Williams’ Caricature – A Recap.

Ms. Williams has done it again. She’s got another artist to create a caricature portrait of her magnificent self. As some of her awesomeness spills over the edges of the tennis court and floods this blog, I am so very glad to host her caricature here.

After Malcolm Gladwell’s caricature-portrait, I wanted to do something different. Gladwell’s portrait has cooler colors and has no additional objects. I thought of painting a portrait of a musician or a sports-person, because I thought that a musical instrument or the sports paraphernalia would give me an opportunity to work on something different. In one such random yet guided search, Serena Williams came up. In the picture, she was holding the Trophy after winning the French Open World Cup  of…I think…2012. I though that she looked cute and happy and with that sweet smile on her lips, she looked quite innocent too; she also held that sparkling cup in her hands, which was, in my un-sportist opinion, a far better object to paint than a tennis racket.

I was so taken in by the overall image that I decided to paint it – but I wanted the racket too. The racket was the means to the cup – and though the players often toss away their racket after they win…I feel that for a tennis player, the tennis racket is more like an extension of their hand. I just felt that the picture would be incomplete without a racket. So I added one.

While I don’t post my roughs (something that I learned from my fictional hero, Howard Roark of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead,  my mistakes should end in my dustbin,) I must tell you that I made a few changes in my first sketches. They pertained to the angle of the racket, the caricaturing of the trophy, and Serena’s hair. The changes were minor – but they made a difference.

To cut a long yarn short, here’s Serena Williams’ Caricature.

 

Caricature portrait of Serena Williams holding the French Open cup - Caricatures Sports - Tennis Stars

Caricature: Serena Williams Actual Dimensions: 12 inches by 12 inches.

 

Here are the details of her face:

Caricature portrait - Face details - Tennis Star and Sports Celebrity - Serena Williams holding the French Open cup - Caricatures Sports.

Face Details: Caricature – Serena Williams.

I doubt there are any in the blogosphere who don’t know who Serena Williams is, but for my clients from Atlantis and Krypton, I must provide a short biographical sketch.

Serena Williams – A Short and Quick Biographical Sketch:

On the Personal Front:

Serena was born in Michigan, in 1981. When they were just four-and-a-half, Serena’s dad Richard Williams started giving them tennis lessons because he wanted his daughters Serena and Venus to become tennis players. For a very long time Richard Williams continued to be Serena’s and Venus’s coach. It’s only recently that he married a much younger lady (in 2010.) He divorced the Williams sisters’ mother Oracene Price in 2002. Oracene Price, who did coach the girls technically as well, focused more on building a system of strong values and beliefs in the Williams sisters. Price taught them the virtue of staying pressure-free.

On the Professional Front:

She’s ranked world #1 in women’s singles. She’s got a zillion other things to her credit, but all that is overly complex for this simple-minded caricaturist so she’ll leave you with this awesome wikipedia link of Serena Williams’ page here.

This year hasn’t been good for her so far. Her coach said that she’s going through a difficult period.

————————-This marks the end of Serena Saga in this post—————————-

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures…check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” on Amazon. It simplifies and distills caricature-making to a science. Remember that to draw caricatures you needn’t be a super-painter or a super-sketch-artist: what you need an eye to see the funny angle and a way to exaggerate features in a fun way, WITHOUT destroying the likeness. How can you achieve this? Click the following icon to find out 🙂

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

Click to View the Book on Amazon.

Sorry for a rather longish post…but at times, even we, the visualiti, slip into the quagmire of verbosity.  “Tchah!”

 

Caricatures: Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton – Cover Art for Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

This is one of the recent magazine-covers that I worked on. It was for the July/August Issue of Talk Business & Politics Magazine of Arkansas.

Caricatures of Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton - 2014 Senator Elections in Arkansas - Cover illustration for Talk Business & Politics.

Senator Mark Pryor and Congressman Tom Cotton fight it out in the 2014 Senator Elections of Arkansas. – Cover Illustration for the Talk Business & Politics Magazine.

 

US Senate Elections in Arkansas – 2014: Mark Pryor vs. Tom Cotton

The US Senate Elections in Arkansas for 2014 will see Senator Mark Pryor being challenged by Congressman Tom Cotton.

Here’s a quick biographical snapshot of the two politicians that you see in the boxing ring. Senator Mark Pryor is seeking a third term as senator. He is a Democrat, he’s recently been through a divorce, and has a background in finance. Republican Congressman Tom Cotton, on the other hand, is an army veteran, a lawyer; and of course, a lot younger than his opponent. Arkansas is considered to be Republican territory; and while in 2008 Mark Pryor had won without facing any Republican challenger, the story appears to be different this time. According to this article on Huffington post, it’s going to be a closely contested election.

About this Cover Illustration:

A few points that I’d like to draw your attention to – 1. The client required that I make their bodies almost equal in volume and that their faces came up to the same level. However, there’s a lot of difference between the body volumes and heights of the two gentlemen (Pryor is short and stout; Cotton is tall and wiry.) When I read the brief, I wondered, but I trusted the client’s viewpoint (he’s the one who knows the other side; we were too early in the process for me to see the article.) So I researched and realized that the elections are going to closely contested and that both the contestants are being considered equally powerful (here’s the link again.) So, showing them as “visual” equals in the boxing ring, made a lot of sense.

Notice their complexions too. Pryor’s has a ruddy hue while Cotton’s is pale – almost oriental. I thought that I’d color-code their boxing gear to show their political affiliations – and to add more color to the cover. I love color and while I love play with semi-realistic/realistic treatments in skin, hair, and clothes; I like to push the colors…just a little.

So, that ends the story of this cover.

Do visit the website and if you are interested in this very interesting fight that comes to a conclusion on November 4, 2014; find the magazine here.

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.

 

“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.