“The Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures?” is being republished.

Folks,

I know that everyday some of you arrive here looking for “The Evolution of a Caricaturist,” my book on how to draw caricatures. I know this because WordPress catches the search-phrases used by the visitors to this blog, and prints them out in my dashboard. The searches for the book always top the list for me, and this has been happening for about an year-and-a-half, ever since Google pulled the plug on Knol, where I had first published this book.

I should tell you that when I first put the book on Knol, I had never expected such a heart-warming response. I had written and drawn it because I just wanted to share my experiences in an organized manner – so that if one went through the book and learned how to caricature each feature using my easy-to-use anchor-point technique, they would be able to create caricatures that exaggerate the right features without losing the likeness in a face. However, the book was received extremely well – the comments that the readers left, the questions that they asked, all told me that the book was useful.  Unfortunately, I had to take it down when the Knol platform died.

I then began thinking about how I could bring it out again but in an even more useful and interesting avatar. I confess that I love interactivity, and more so, I love designing interactive experiences. I think that a live book that allows you to read, see, tap, zoom, pan, link, and sometimes do; is worth a lot more in learning than the traditional book where you just read and see. So I’ve been rewriting and redrawing “The Evolution of a Caricaturist,” – the spine of the content has remain untouched, however, the scope, the examples, the chapters, and the experience – all have expanded.

The book shall soon become available on the App Store and will be priced competitively. If you own an iPad/iPhone/iPod or a Mac, you may be interested in looking for it on the App Store in 4-6 weeks from now, or if you’d like me to remind you of it, you can use the following form to signup for an announcement email.

Signup to receive the Announcement:

Thanks once again for inspiring me to republish it.

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Interactive Art Tutorials on Creating Cartoons are back!

Dear Readers,

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

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

Interactive Art Tutorials - Cartoons and Caricatures - By Shafali

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

Thanks 🙂

Draw to Smile!

– Shafali

How to Draw Expressions – Part II – Animated Faces make me Smile :)

Though in the previous tutorial “How to Draw Expressions – Part I – Raising Eyebrows” we understood the role that the eyebrows play in expressing emotions. As you must’ve realized, it was but a primer, because of course, if you want to create a wide range of expressions, you need to work with other facial features as well.

Here’s the second interactive art tutorial in the “How to Draw Expressions” series.

Icon for how to draw expressions tutorial - part 2, which discusses the role of other features in expressing emotions - a man with a toothy smile and the caricaturist.

Of course, you know where you can find More Interactive Tutorials by Shafali, but just in case.

Draw to Smile!

What’s on the Caricaturist’s Table? Planning the New Posts.

I didn’t feel like doing much today. It’s always the case after a tragedy. I begin thinking about serious matters and such matters, in the deteriorating world of today, seldom brighten up your outlook towards life.

So I pulled myself up by the collar (the proverbial one) and made a plan for this week.

I intend the make the following posts this week. If you are a regular visitor, you’d like to return when your favorite post comes up:)

  • July 15, 2011: A Pen-and-Ink Portrait of Anna Hazare (Posted on: July 15, 2011), who has surprised not just the caricaturist but also the Government, by remaining honest all his life. If the Government has not yet been able to find anything to taint his reputation, I doubt that they would do so in future.
  • July 17, 2011: Interactive Art Tutorial – How to Draw Expressions – Part II – Animated Faces. (Posted on: July 18, 2011 – Delayed by a day – blame it on work and on the ‘orrible ‘orrible weather.) This tutorial is also a fun activity (and the character has turned colorful – based on a few email requests.) So, whether or not you are an artist all bent out of shape, you should download it and enjoy.
  • July 19, 2011: A Caricature of Sarah Palin, the colorful Alaskan Governor, who’s been criticized for being a bimbo, but who makes me wonder whether she really is one?

These are all positive posts, and I hope that they’ll all help us brighten up our week.

How to Draw Expressions – Part I – Raised Eyebrows and Artistic Salvation!

Interactive Art Tutorials - Cartoons and Caricatures - By Shafali

A Famous Artist is made of Raised Eyebrows!

If you’ve got your eyes set on becoming an artist of international renown,  and you’ve never ever done anything that raised eyebrows, you are in trouble, my friend. Real artists, artists who make it big, are the ones who raise eyebrows. They are endowed with the ability to raise eyebrows…of others.

Here are some examples:

  • Leonardo da Vinci: Raised eyebrows by digging up and stealing corpses.
  • Vincent Van Gogh:  Raised eyebrows by chopping off his ear.
  • Pablo Picasso: Raised eyebrows through the cubist rendition of his innumerable mistresses.
  • Salvador Dali: Raised eyebrows by transforming himself into a piece of work.
  • Hussain: Raised eyebrows by painting stuff that he wasn’t supposed to be painting at all.

So, have you raised any eyebrows yet?

The least we cartoonists can do is, raise the eyebrows of the characters that we draw. And why stop at raising them? Why not bend, rotate, twist, dip, curve, curl, or spike the eyebrows to change expressions?

Here’s an Interactive Art Tutorial to help you discover the extraordinary role that eyebrows play in helping your characters express their feelings.

Click the image below to download the first tutorial in the “How to Draw Expressions” series. Find more Interactive Art Tutorials here.

(Click the Image to Download the zip file of the tutorial.)

An Icon for How to draw expressions - Part I, an Interactive Art Tutorial by Shafali
So bring out your sketchbook and roll up your sleeves. Let us express ourselves!

A Personal Post – You’ll know if it is for you :)

Important Note:

This is your Opportunity to Bail Out!

This is a personal post meant for the regular readers of my blog. If you are here the first time, you’d be more interested in exploring the following links.

So…if you aren’t really interested in the monologue of this crazy caricaturist, use any of the above links to bail out. The decision is yours.

What?

You want to read on? So…go ahead, who is stopping you?!

Let us begin by answering the micro-dollar question.

Why the heck don’t I keep my Personal Posts Private?

The bloggers among you might wonder why I need to make an open-for-all personal post. Why don’t I mark my post private (I’ve never done it – so I don’t know how it’s done), and send passwords to everyone who I’d like to invite over to read it? An excellent question that evokes a mundane answer from this jaded caricaturist. I don’t do it because I really don’t know who among you feel close to me. I don’t actively attempt to draw commentators to my blog by commenting on other blogs (I hear that some use commenting as I scratch your whatever and you scratch mine!) When I leave a comment on another blog, it’s usually on an impulse – it’s because you post really touched my heart. (Now you know.)

I don’t believe in measuring cognitive relationships in microns, and so there are those blogs that I visit quite often but don’t leave a comment (bad manners, I know) and I know that there are people who visit my blog regularly but don’t leave a comment. It’s fair…and it’s fun. A relationship (even a dotted line relationship, such as the one that a blogger shares with the visitors) is a happy one only as long as it doesn’t develop expectations and generate a high-pressure situation for the any or both the parties.

Reverting to the original point of this post. I don’t mark any of my posts private, because I really don’t want to exclude anyone who has a relationship with this blog, and who for his or her own reasons, doesn’t want to make that relationship public by commenting/writing to me.

Momentous Changes in the Caricaturist’s Life:

With that little kink worked out, here’s what I wanted to tell you:

I am right in the middle of a sweeping change in my life. If you’ve known artists, you’d know that their sweeping changes seldom have anything to do with kids, sweethearts/spouses, even their stupid day jobs – so you can rule all that out. This change is more about the way I want to live – and in all honesty…I don’t want to live with senseless clutter. I qualify the clutter that I want to get rid of because I want to replace the senseless clutter with sensible clutter.

What Goes Out – The Senseless Clutter!

Here’s Senseless Clutter:

  • Fears that stop me from doing harmless stuff that can actually help me. (Note that I DON’T include “learning to drive” in my list of “harmless stuff that can be helpful” – for a disaster magnet like me, that stuff could be pretty harmful!)
  • emails that offer me work for peanuts – telling me that other Indians are working for peanuts so why can’t I (Quality of work notwithstanding.)
  • Movies that are a drain on my time and money (I am definitely not talking about the newest release in the X-Men series – X Men First Class, which I intend to watch this week.)
  • People who make me miserable instead of making me happy.
  • My blog needs to go through a transformational process too – especially if it is to reflect the changes that I wish to bring in my life.

What Stays Back and Comes In – The Sensible Clutter!

And Here’s the Sensible Clutter that I am keen on adding around me (Note that the right-brained thrive on clutter.)

  • A new set of pencils.
  • A few sketchbooks for rough work.
  • A few new fictional characters to share my mental space with.
  • Some books about places that I haven’t visited and I never will.
  • A degree in art (oh well, I can dream…can’t I?)
  • A new income-generating mechanism (I need to do something to keep my body and soul together – and that, dear readers, cannot be art – because whatever else, I am not prepared to sleep on the pavement. At least not yet.)

These changes will obviously reflect upon the nature and the content of this blog. You must’ve already noticed a few changes. For instance:

  • A new section called the Time-Machine has been added. This section would contain the summary of whatever I learn about the popular comic strips, when I research them for my learning.
  • Another new section called the Interactive Art Tutorials has been added. This section would include tutorials on cartooning. Don’t worry. This still remains primarily a caricature blog, but we’d see more cartoons here, as I suddenly have this wild urge to simplify my lines and create some cartoons.

While we are talking about the Interactive Art Tutorials, I would like to clarify that these tutorials are in Flash, they are interactive, can be downloaded to your computer, and they won’t put you to sleep. I’ve started by presenting two simple Owl-Drawing tutorials but you can expect a lot of other interesting stuff to appear in that section. If you’d want me to create a tutorial on something specific in cartooning, leave a comment here.

Be Warned. More new stuff is expected in the days to come. So if you stay away you miss out on the fun!

See you soon with a crisp commentary on the Comic Strip that once gave jitters to the US Army.  Which Comic Strip am I talking about? Any guesses?

Presenting Interactive Art Tutorials – How to Draw Cartoon Owls – Young and Old!

Interactive Art Tutorials - Cartoons and Caricatures - By Shafali

I’ll tell you all about the Interactive Art Tutorials, but only after you’ve answered the following questions truthfully.

Question 1: Can you hold a pencil?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. May be

Question 2: Can you use the pencil to make a mark on a piece of paper?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. May be

If you are the one who these fun-filled art tutorials have been waiting for, you must have answered both the questions with an emphatic “Yes.”

If your answer is anything other than a “Yes” to even one of the above questions, one or more of the following may be true.

  1. You didn’t answer the question truthfully.
  2. You answered the questions truthfully, but you didn’t want to agree with me, and so you changed your answer at the last moment.
  3. You weren’t paying attention.

Fret not. Your friendly caricaturist has already changed all your answers to “yes.”

With that decided, let me proceed to tell you about these interactive art tutorials of mine. To begin with, these tutorials will focus on cartooning, and if you promise to follow all the steps given in the tutorials, even if you haven’t done much of drawing in the past, you should be able to end up with a recognizable cartoon of your subject. However, if you are a dabbler, the results will amaze you! (If you are a fab cartoonist already, why are you reading this?)

I have begun with the “How to Draw a Cartoon Owl” tutorials, and I plan to add a lot more How-to-draw lessons on creating human and animal cartoon characters.

I’ll continue adding new tutorials to the “Interactive Art Tutorials” page. So if you like the tutorials, bookmark the page, and come back for more.

Here are the owl tutorials. Just click the image to download them to your computer. They are FREE 🙂

1. How to Draw a Young Owl

(Click the Image to Download the zip file of the tutorial.)

How to draw the cartoon of a young owl.

An inexperienced young owl – “How to Draw a Cartoon Owl – Part I (The Fleeting Youth)

and of course,

2. How to Draw an Old Owl

(Click the Image to Download the zip file of the tutorial.)

How to draw the cartoon of an old owl - an interactive tutorial, drawing lesson.

An old wise owl – “How to Draw a Cartoon Owl – Part II (The Sensible Stability)

A Wise End-Note from a Wise Old Owl:

Though they are fun to read and experience, they still are tutorials – so before you begin, swap the popcorn for a sketchbook and a pencil.