A Toonsie Roll Caricature of Hrithik Roshan…

…Who Goes Bang Bang this Thursday, Despite his Health Problems!

This post is the result of Hrithik’s interview that was published in today’s TOI. At the onset, I must tell you that I am not a fan of Hrithik the Bollywood Actor. In fact, I’ve seen just one movie of his (one of the Krishh’s, and I’ve forgotten which one.) And yet, now I have become one of the biggest fans of Hrithik the person behind the actor. I like brave people, and I think that bravery is an attribute of the human mind. It doesn’t depend upon anything external to a person – neither their station in life, nor their physical strength. Some people are brave, others just aren’t; they whine and cry and want the whole world to understand their problems, without ever taking the first important step, which is realizing that they are the only ones who can solve their problems and all that whining actually drives the right kind people away from them.

Caricature Hrithik Roshan - Using iOS (iPhone, iPad) caricaturing app Toonsie Roll.

( Note: The above caricature was done using Toonsie Roll – A Caricaturing/Caricature-making iPhone/iPad app.)

In my estimate, Hrithik Roshan is one of the bravest celebs that clutter our waking moments. He is someone who is an inspiration to many who battle chronic illnesses and debilitating pain. Almost all his life, he has lived with excruciating pain and with bones that broke on the slightest pretext. He has been suffering from arthritis from a very young age, and when he was a teenager, his doctors had told him that he had the skeleton of an old man. He was advised against becoming an actor. In Bollywood, you can’t be a star if you don’t dance (yes, pelting your pelvis as far as you can in all directions and gyrating on the beats of a raunchy number – stuff that is really really bad for your back); or  if you don’t do stunts (toss yourself up in the air with your limbs flailing and hitting ten goons at once)! So Hrithik, the boy with a spine that was proclaimed geriatric by the medicos shouldn’t have done any of what he did. Instead, he should’ve stayed home, watched dvds, ate potato-chips, grown corpulent, started a blog, and talked about how unfair life was.

But Hrithik did something different. He looked at the hand of cards that fate had dealt to him, figured out a strategy to beat the odds, and stayed in the game. Yes, he came from a fairly affluent family. Yes, he could get a doctor’s attention whenever he needed it. But nothing could’ve made him the star that he is today – nothing except his own determination to beat the odds.

So far, this year has been terrible for Hrithik. When he was shooting for Bang Bang, he got ill because there were blood-clots in his brain and he had to undergo a brain-surgery. His backache, his companion of 27 years, has been troubling him so much that he travels in a convoy of three cars, because he can’t sit in one position for more than 30 minutes. On the personal front, he has filed for a divorce from his wife, who he confirms, has not asked for an alimony of 400 Crs. (The amount sounded ridiculous any way,) and when the divorce is through he may lose the custody of his two sons to his wife. That’s a lot for anyone to handle – and yet he handles it all so well. The boy whose was advised not to be an actor, is the one who has made Roshans a recognized name in the Indian Film Industry.  He’s an excellent dancer, he looks muscular in his movies, he does all those stunts that movies require him to do – and I think he is able to do it because he has a beautiful mind.

He says that he always tried being a nice person, but it didn’t work, because when you try to be nice to everyone and not hurt anyone, you try to achieve the impossible and end up hurting yourself; so you must try to be a good person instead. A good person does good whenever he or she can, but doesn’t try to please everyone. I agree – totally.

So that’s that about Hrithik. I wish him the best and I hope that he continues to win the battle that he is fighting with his illnesses. Another braveheart that I want to mention here is Shubhpreet Kaur Ghumman. This post isn’t about this one-legged brave beauty, but here’s the link to her Facebook page.

I’ll be writing a set of tutorials on How to Create Caricatures with Toonsie Roll, so do return.

 

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Caricatures Gallery Update: Political, Business, Sports, Hollywood, Television, and Fiction.

This Gallery Update was pending for some time, and while I still haven’t been able to put together the icons for my graphite and pen-ink artworks, I got the icons of the painted artworks together to update the gallery.

I am reproducing the updated part of the gallery here – just in case, you are a kindred (read: lazy) soul.

Icon - Magazine - Interior Spread for Talk Business and Politics Magazine - Mike Ross - Asa Hutchinson Joust - Governor Elections 2014 Arkansas Icon - Caricature Cartoon of Jeff Bezos - CEO of Amazon. Icon - Caricature: Jimmy Fallon - Host of The Tonight Show
Mike Ross – Asa Hutchinson
TBP Arkansas
Jeff Bezos
CEO – Amazon
Jimmy Fallon
Host – The Tonight Show
Icon - Selena Gomez Caricature for a Poster Collection. Digitally Painted. Icon of Malcolm Gladwell Author - Caricature. Icon of Tennis Legend Serena Williams' Caricature with a Cup and Racket.
Selena Gomez
Singer/Actor
Malcolm Gladwell
Author: The Tipping Point
Serena Williams
Tennis Star
Icon - Novel Cover Art Work for Pat and Babs - a Body Switch Novella by Author B.G. Hope. Icon - Magazine Cover for Talk Business and Politics - Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton in a Boxing match - Elections 2014. Icon - Caricature of Gandalf the Grey - Painted digitally.
Pat & Babs
Characters in a Novel
Mark Pryor vs. Tom Cotton
TBP – Arkansas
Gandalf the Grey
Lord of the Rings

I’d love to mention how the post that I did on Nude Celebrity Pictures has been getting all the attention. I think a new caricature genre with nudes as its central theme could become quite popular, only if someone had the talent and the will to pursue it. The fact that I am sharing this priceless idea so openly with you, must tell you that I’ve decided that my caricatures stay clothed and dignified.

Before I make this post, I’ve got to ask you something? Do you want to make caricatures? (Note that I am not asking you whether you’d like to draw caricatures.) Click the following sticker to find out more about my caricaturing app “Toonsie Roll”, which is going to be in the App Store soon 🙂

That’s all for now 🙂

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

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

Caricatures in the Offing!

Blogging Plans for the Next Two Months:

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

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

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

 

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!”

 

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

How to Draw Caricatures

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

 

Or “almost” always works…
Because the experimental landscape of an artist’s curious mind forces an artist to change and evolve, defying the use of scientific methods and reducing the chances of a boolean result.

The Feature Frame Method © that you learn in Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures is a scientific method that provides a framework that a caricaturist can use to create caricatures that exhibit relevant-exaggeration and likeness.

Usually I don’t talk about the book. This is mainly because I think that a book should do well or not do well on its own merit. I had been thinking of making a post about how cool the book is – it appears that everyone who writes a book does – but somehow I couldn’t. I’ve always thought of Learning and Medicine as two professions that should rise on their own merit. This is precisely why I didn’t buy my book and send (“gift”) it to sundry reviewers who have no love for caricature-drawing.

Oddly, despite my own non-promotional, finicky attitude, the book’s sales have been picking up steadily. The only reason that I can attribute to it is a kind word-of-mouth.

Oddly again, the stereotypical artist’s aversion to writing has ensured that there aren’t any reviews. It’s fine. I know what being an artist feels like and I know that if reviews were pictures, I’d probably have one from every artist whose device has my book. I am not sure if it would be a cool review, but I am an incorrigible optimist, so I always think that it would be 🙂

Here’s a small effort to enhance the visibility of this book further. If you’ve read my book and found it useful, or if you’d like to help this book reach more artists/hobbyists who would like to learn how to draw caricatures, do share it.

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

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

As an artist and as the author of this book, I think that if you are an artist/hobbyist who wants to learn how caricatures can be drawn with confidence, this book is for you. “Evolution of a Caricaturist” is not about painting, nor about sketching. It’s about how you can look at a face and create a caricature of it – using any medium that you prefer. So if people tell you that you draw beautifully, but they aren’t able to recognize the person in your caricature (who they know through real/reel life, of course,) then I’d recommend that you click the following link/image and check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricaturist.”

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

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

If you don’t want to head for Amazon straightaway, first download the preview of “Evolution of a Caricaturist” at ISSUU and then decide. And if you like it – with permission of the artist who dwells within you, please leave a review too 🙂

Coming up soon is a post with my newest Magazine Cover. It’s already on my Facebook page, do check out if you are interested.

Soon, then.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Caricature of Julius Caesar the Roman General by Shafali

 

I thought of sharing this image to elucidate how coloring a caricature is different from coloring a portrait. While there’s a lot that I learn with every caricature I paint, there are some caricaturists who have mastered the art of using color in a funny way. There are two caricaturists who I hold in high esteem when it comes to using the power of colors in caricaturing – Vizcarra and Thomas Fluharty. While Vizcarra’s work brandishes color as an almost fatal weapon to gain and fasten your attention to his caricatures, Fluharty’s use of color is subtle – it attracts you in a more sublime manner.

I gravitate towards the sublime. In art, I am a moderate. In caricatures, I stay away from hyper-exaggeration. I recently got a very nice compliment from a client. He said that my style was fun. “Fun” is what I gun for, especially when I create caricatures. I am not pro-seriousness, nor am I pro-ridicule – this is why I call myself moderate and this is why I am more pro-Fluharty in coloring.

Not using the colors for fun and staying realistically close to the actual coloring isn’t my thing for caricature-painting; nor is exaggerating the color values by pushing them to the periphery of the color-wheel.

Here are a few pointers for those who like to moderately exaggerate the colors in their caricatures.

How to Color your Caricatures?

1. Use colors to add color to your art.

So make the reds a touch redder, the blues bluer, the greens lusher, the browns chocolaty…move towards colors that encourage nicer, more fun-feelings in the viewer. This may not always be required, but when it happens, your caricatures look more lively.

2. Use colors to heighten contrast.

Lips are red, teeth are white? Actually, they aren’t. Lips have a red/magenta tinge and teeth vary from grayish-yellow to creme in color. When two different colors are adjacent to each other, increase their contrast. In the lip and teeth example, this would exaggerate the teeth and add to your caricature.

While painting Caesar’s head, I edged the leaves with gold, heightening their contrast with the shadows on his head; I contrasted his lips with his skin (I am sure that an aging Caesar’s lips won’t be raspberry red and so full as shown in the caricature, but painting them realistically would’ve killed the fun element in the caricature.)

 3. Use Stark Highlights and Shadows:

Don’t go super-realistic on highlights and shadows. A shiny knobby nose looks funnier than a realistically painted one, eye-balls that reflect an unnatural amount of light look more lively in a caricature. So stay with stronger high-lights and shadows.

So bring out one of your sketches and unleash the painter in you 🙂

I’ve also been hoping to tell you that I am rather happy with the performance of “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” though I often wonder why we artists are so averse to writing. If we weren’t, we’d leave a review or two on the books that we read. And yet, I shall stand my ground and not buy/request reviews by sending the book to professional reviewers who aren’t my real audience.

Very Important: If you’ve stopped here by chance and you love animals, follow this blog, because something awesome is coming up soon (as soon as this Friday.)

Until then… Draw to Smile 🙂

 

 

My New Year Resolutions for 2014 :-)

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

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Importance of Likeness in Caricatures vs. Portraits and Cartoons.

“Likeness” is a word that almost doesn’t sound like a word. Yet, while other terms such as resemblance, similarity etc.  could be used to replace it, we artists tend to stick to “likeness” because it’s means precisely what it says 🙂

The following definition presents the essence of it in words.

Likeness is “The state, quality, or fact of being like; resemblance.”

(Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/likeness)

I’d like to present the essence of “likeness” in “your” words. Look at the lady’s face in the following image and answer the question that follows the image.

The Caricature of the First Lady Michelle Obama with Two Rabbits.

Scroll down only after you’ve answered the question above.

——————————————————————

Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last six years or you are more absent-minded than I am, your answer should be (c) Michelle Obama.

If your answer was (c) Michelle Obama, you’ve just understood “likeness.” When a caricature or a portrait doesn’t need the crutches of a name to help you recognize its subject, it has achieved likeness.

I can see a question floating in the air.

Is Likeness absolute? Is there either “full Likeness” or “no Likeness”?

No it isn’t. Sometimes a picture begins to look like someone’s picture when you look at it for a long time. This means that likeness exists but the viewer has to apply his/her thoughts to develop the link. “That nose’s got to belong to Lennon“, “that unruly hair – looks like this must be Harry Potter“, and so on.

So,

  • A portrait must have a very high degree of likeness.
  • A caricature must have a lot of likeness to the subject.
  • A cartoon could be acceptable despite very low likeness.

The right amount of likeness depends on what you are drawing. I know a wonderful digital artist who’s great with lights and shadows, but his caricatures often suffer from a lack of likeness. Every once in a while, every caricaturist fails to get sufficient likeness, but it’s our job to bring as much of it as possible in our drawings. When I look at Kal‘s cartoons, I marvel at the concept and the details, but his cartoons don’t score too high on likeness. This is fine because cartoons have stories that helps you figure out who the characters are. Unfortunately most caricatures carry their stories within – in their faces and their bodies, and so their need for exuding likeness is far greater than that of a cartoons.

It’s easier to establish likeness in portraits than it is in caricatures. The reason is simple. Portraits are expected to recreate the same proportions, shapes, and colors for a given subject, while a caricature is expected to exaggerate the same three factors. Exaggerating a characteristic feature of a person without losing likeness is tough, and it gets tougher when exaggeration moves into the realm of distortion.

Aim for achieving likeness in your caricatures. It always helps 🙂

“Drawing Caricatures and Cartoons” a Half-Day Free Workshop in Noida, Delhi NCR – Announcement.

Dear Friends from the Cyberspace,

I shall be conducting a FREE half-day workshop called “Drawing Caricatures and Cartoons” on the afternoon of September 23, 2012, which is a Sunday.

I know that most of my visitors are from the United States and other parts of the world, yet there are many who reside in India, and some who live in Delhi and around. I receive emails from budding cartoonists and caricaturists all the time, asking me whether I could find a way to share my methods with them. They also write to me for my book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” wondering how they can read it, now that isn’t available at Knol anymore.

About sharing my caricaturing/cartooning methods

I am trying to make a small beginning through this workshop. In this half day workshop, we will discuss and draw caricatures and cartoons. Please find the details in this pdf here. I’ll convey the exact venue and time to the invitees through email a week before the workshop. I hope that the budding illustrators of Delhi and around, who have an inclination towards making cartoons and caricatures, will find it useful.

To my visitors who aren’t from Delhi-NCR, I’d like to say that while I deeply regret not being able to connect with them through this workshop. I hope to take it online in some way, some day – and then we’ll meet and draw together 🙂

A Free Illustration and Cartooning workshop in Delhi-NCR by Shafali.

Click the image to download the details of the workshop.

About the How to Draw Caricatures book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist”

I haven’t forgotten those 60,000 or so views and those lovely remarks that you shared on my book when it was on Knol. In fact, your emails will allow me to forget neither the book nor the fact that there are many artists who I have promised that the book will be back soon, in a new avatar. I must tell you that I’ve been working on the book and that I hope to bring it to you around the time of the New Year. A Christmas gift perhaps. If you are interested in the book please follow this blog. When the book comes out, I’ll let you all know about it here.

This book is for all my dear visitors from everywhere, and I hope that it will help you all enrich your caricaturing experiences.

Thanks again for your interest and attention.

I shall look forward to meeting some of you on September 23, Sunday Afternoon.

Best Wishes,

Shafali the Caricaturist

DRAW TO SMILE

Coming Soon…Announcement of a Cartoon/Caricature Drawing Workshop in Delhi NCR.

Dear visitors from Delhi NCR,

I am planning to organize an art workshop that would focus on the art of cartoon and caricature drawing. I haven’t decided upon the date and the venue yet, but I intend to organize it on a Sunday in September (the best time of the year in Delhi.)

The detailed announcement will follow. In the meantime, I recommend that you go through my gallery. If you like what you see there, if you like to draw, and if you reside in Delhi NCR; revisit this blog or better still, begin following it so that you don’t miss the announcement:)

That’s all for now…I’ll be back soon. Right now I’ve got to get going as I am the official caricaturist at this party that Lord Indra is hosting on those dark n soggy clouds that have been hovering over Delhi for the last three days.

More later…Indra Deva has sent a pick-up rath (a royal chariot, specially designed for the caricaturist…it even has my own caricature embossed on it) for me and it’s causing a traffic jam outside my house…

Until then…and forever…

DRAW TO SMILE!

Drawing Tutorial – 5 Ways to Generate Likeness in Caricatures

I happened to look at some caricatures today. These caricatures were executed with a high degree of finesse, and the technique used was perfect. However, something was amiss. The caricatures didn’t “belong” to the personality that was caricatured. The artist, I am sure, believed that he was caricaturing that specific celebrity, and through the eyes of his mind, he saw the face of that celebrity morph into that caricature; yet, if you looked at the caricature – even after knowing whose it was – you couldn’t see the likeness.

Likeness is possibly the most important yet the oft-ignored characteristic of a caricature.

“A Caricature is a humorous likeness of a person, created through selective exaggeration of his/her physiognomy (facial features) and other physical attributes.”
 Source: Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures (Chapter 1)

Note that likeness is important. Without likeness, the caricature doesn’t belong to “a person”; without likeness, the caricature might as well be a cartoon.

Likeness isn’t easy to achieve, especially in caricatures, because you go about distorting the person’s features, and with every little distortion, some likeness is lost – unless the distortion is done selectively.

Here are a few pointers that may come in handy for generating likeness:

  1. Before you begin a caricature, remind yourself that likeness is primarily based on the structure of the face. Great technique could change your caricature into a masterpiece, provided you had built in the likeness when you were sketching it. No technique can compensate for the lack of likeness.
  2. Remember that you don’t have to exaggerate everything. Recall the Gestalt theory of Figure and Ground. It applies to faces too. In every face, some features stand out; others recede.

    In every face, there are features that standout – that make that face the face it is. Identify such elements and focus on them for exaggeration. Try to limit the number of features you exaggerate to 4. It should help.

  3. According to the Geon Theory by Dr. Biederman, “we recognize faces (and other objects in our environment) by breaking them (figuratively speaking) into geometric elements.” So, focus on the shapes of the characteristic features. Is Morgan Freeman’s nose spherical, are Rowan Atkinson’s eyes elliptical? Exaggerate not just the size, but also the shape. Don’t meddle with the eyes. Repeat. Don’t meddle with the eyes – unless:
    1. you think that the eyes are extremely important (figure?) or
    2. you believe that you can really caricature them without letting them lose their character.
  4. Remember that it’s easier to learn the sum of all the art-techniques, than to learn how to draw the eyes with true likeness, let alone exaggerate them. In most cases, if you don’t exaggerate the eyes and instead you draw them with complete fidelity; irrespective of what you do with the other features, your caricature will maintain the likeness.
  5. Let someone else look at your drawing, before you shade it in or color it. This might save you a lot of heartache later. It’s good to remember that all caricaturists go wrong sometime or the other…but if you get another “brave” opinion from someone who doesn’t really care a lot about how he’d (or she’d) end up in your bad books by criticizing, you could end up being the caricaturist who seldom goes wrong 🙂

I hope this helps all those fabulous artists out there, who make beautiful portraits and who have great technique, but who wonder why likeness eludes their caricatures.

100000 Views :-) Crossing the Sound Barrier with a resounding Thank You!

Dear Visitors,

Your favorite caricature blog (ahem!) crossed the 100000 views milestone sometime last night. I am also happy to tell you that this post is my 200th post since this blog came into existence in December 2009.

I want to say that I enjoyed playing the blogging game, but I am also enjoying the score:) As Karma says, “Winning is as good as digging!”

Karma, the K9Critic, the wise dog with a sense of humor - comics, cartoon, drawing - the Krazy Humans Series

100000 Views - Whats the big deal? Ask the Human.

I love the purity of numbers. If there were no numbers, we’d still be living without electricity, airplanes; we’d be living without the Internet! Can you imagine that?!

The 0s and the 1s – they are the fundamental building blocks of everything in this virtual world, and the number that’s my immediate favorite is made of 0s and 1s too 🙂

In my previous post “A Note of Thanks”, I thanked all those who made me smile during these 16 blogging months. In this post, I’d like to thank those who made it possible for me to blog. I’d like to thank the WordPress team for creating this fabulous blogging software and the Google Knol team for establishing the Knol platform, without which I couldn’t have written and published my book “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist“, which has received about 40,000 views since I began writing it.

It’s customary to recount some interesting details of your journey, when such milestones are reached…so here’s the briefest of all summaries.

I’d like to say that though I was rather short of time this whole year, and I couldn’t really create as many caricatures as I’d have liked to, let alone visit other blogs; still there were some nice people who visited my blog. I also received a few nice emails and some heartening comments that kept me going. Thanks everyone (sniffle!)

That’s all for now…until I post the caricature of…the Hollywood Dracula:)

Wishing everyone the best of everything!

Regards,

Shafali

The Final Chapter of the Book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” has been Written!

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

Hello Readers and Visitors,

I’ve posted the final chapter of the book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist“. This chapter is titled, “The Final Note – Weaving a Story around your Caricature,” and it’s about increasing the “stickiness” of your caricature by adding a visual story to it.

With this chapter, the book ends on Knol. As I mentioned earlier, I would love to get it published through the print route and I’ve been trying to figure out how. I’ve been weighing the option of self-publishing but I am not sure if I should go for it…especially as there’ve been a couple of inquiries from some cybernetic well-wishers. I’m going to swim along with the current and so if you want to send any inquiries/information, or even good wishes my way – you are welcome!

I have plans of including a lot of other stuff in the printed/formally published version, but I believe that if you want to truly develop the ability to caricature, the online version of it should be sufficient to put you on the fast track.

 

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. ‘

Sidebar Image - Cover - Evolution of a Caricaturist - A Book on How to Draw Caricatures - by Shafali Anand

It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

The Evolution of a Caricaturist

With this chapter, one of my projects come to an end. I had hoped to complete it last year, but with food-on-the-table work occupying about 90% of my waking moments, I just didn’t find the time. I hope that the regular readers of this book will forgive this lapse and enjoy the final chapter 🙂

A Request:

If you’ve read this book, I’d like to ask you what you’d like to see included in its printed version. Please send me an email at my email id, which is DrawToSmile[at]gmail[dot]com.

And a Note of Thanks too 🙂

The book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” was visited more than 30,000 times in 2010. Some readers left comments, some sent me emails, and a few sent me the caricatures that they had drawn using the methods that were discussed in the book.

I would like to thank you all – for your visits, your comments, your emails, and your drawings. You were there watching me. Whenever I felt tired and wanted to give up, you did something to inspire me. You don’t remember it – but you were there, telling me that if I wrote another chapter it’ll help you DRAW TO SMILE 🙂

So…

A BIG THANK YOU!

Art Philosophy – The 4 Types of Artists – Classification and Explanation

Once again, a personal post for friends old and new. Others who’ve reached this blog through searches/recommendations might be more interested in the Caricatures Gallery, the Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival, or the book “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist.”  You are welcome to click the respective links and explore the site. You are also welcome to read this post, if  you have the patience:)

On December 11 2010, this blog completed its first year, and the funny part of the whole deal was that I forgot, and I didn’t make a post. Now if this isn’t a sure sign of dementia setting in – what is? But seriously, I am bad with remembering dates. I don’t know when but somewhere in my journey of art, I learned to present my forgetfulness as a trait common in artists. I realized that people suddenly became more forgiving when they realized that I could draw and paint too. Guess they thought to themselves – we’ve got to carry those artist types around – because who knows one of them might turn out to be a Da Vinci, a Van Gogh, or a Picasso!

Personally, I’d want to be Da Vinci or die unknown. (If I sound like I am suffering from megalomania, please put it down to my being an artist.)

But…am I really an artist?
I mean what makes you an artist?
And…if you are an artist what kind of artist are you?!

Well. There are the following types of artists (and I speak of artists not artistes!)

  1. The Starving Struggling Artist
  2. The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist
  3. The Posthumously Great Artist
  4. The Richie Rich Artist

The Starving Struggling Artist or the SS Artist!

This is the most commonly found species of artists in the world. The Starving Struggling Artist is characterized by his impractical dream of making it big without paying attention to the theory of probability (which obviously he can’t as he’s shied away from Mathematics and Logic all his life.)  I ask the left-brained readers, if about 100 artists have made it big from a pool of 500 million (approximately) what is the chance of a random artist making it big? What would your answer be? Come on. Be honest. Tell us.

In my opinion, this kind of artist is worse-off than the unfortunates who walked the streets of London during the time of Jack the Ripper!

The Made-in-his-Lifetime Artist or the ML Artist

This artist is that 1-in-5 Million artist who we talked about earlier. The Made in his Lifetime artist is either smart enough to know what’d really catch the fancy of the buyers or who is lucky enough to display the right thing at the right place at the right time to the right audience. Note that you seldom come across this kind of artist. They are conspicuous by their near-absence.

The Posthumously Great Artist or the PG Artist

You know this kind – don’t you? The best example of course is Van Gogh. Remember that he was once a Starving Struggling Artist who went crazy and chopped off his own ear. Van Gogh created work that Da Vinci wouldn’t have allowed in his studio – yet after his death, he managed to become famous! Now to be a Posthumously Great Artist you need to be able to pull some strings up there. It’s my belief that most of the Starving Struggling Variety of artists have a pure heart and so they end up in heaven – but I also think that up there, they continue being their non-diplomatic selves lost in their own dreams of making it big in their next life – and so they don’t pull the right strings. Hence they don’t become posthumously famous. The point to note it – if the artist has a family and a couple of good-for-nothings, then such posthumous fame can come in handy…otherwise, it’s all wasted effort!

The Richie Rich Artist or the RR Artist

When you are born with either a silver spoon in your mouth or a strong social network through your parents’/spouses’ connections, then you are a Richie Rich artist. Then you don’t really need talent to become famous. Such people become artists because they’ve got to do something with their time – and there’s really nothing that they “need” to do. You can teach your dog to pick up the brush and color the canvas – and you’d have a masterpiece selling for a million dollars! Then of course, you can take the limelight away from your dog and bask in it, as you pose in front of the canvas. This of course is a very common way of achieving some degree of fame, which isn’t all that bad – right?

So am I an artist?
I don’t fit into any of the above – and so I am not an artist. But the good news is, there’s no law against people calling themselves artists, and there’s no law against blowing your own trumpet (whatever that means) – and so…even though I may not be a starving struggler, an unbelievably lucky person, a dead artist with god on her side, or even a well-connected rich kid – I still have the right to say that I am an artist.

And being what I am, one day I might wake up and exercise that right – just like that…and again put my quirkiness down to my being artist!

The Megalomaniac speaks again…
If you can determine where I contradicted myself, you’ve won yourself an opportunity to write a guest post on my blog:-)

The Caricaturist logs in from the Antiverse – Wikileaks and US Politicians turn Caricaturists!

Hi Folks in the Universe,

I am safe here in the Antiverse, which is made up entirely of Antimatter. Except having to wear this unfashionable Antimatter suit, I am quite comfortable. In fact, everything’s just like home. We’ve got a US President who’s called Barack Obama and who the Press is happily denigrating because he couldn’t stop Wikileaks from leaking those cables (ever wonder why the Americans didn’t change the spelling of Cable to Cabel? or did they?!)

The funny part of the whole deal was the revelation I had, which is that the US diplomats are in the same trade as I. They are all Caricaturists. If you don’t believe me, here are some fantastic caricatures that they’ve created of other world readers. I’d like to do a critical review of these caricatures.

Moammar Gadhafi the Libyan leader, they say “relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who is a voluptuous blonde and who is possibly his lover.

Critical Review: Dear Creative Diplomat whose name I couldn’t find out, are you caricaturing Gadhafi, or the prop. Note the that nurse is only a prop and a caricature of her voluptuousness can be served as a side dish but not be the main course. You need to speak about Mr. crooked cap Gadhafi  and tell us what you see in him.

~~~ o ~~~

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, nicknamed “Teflon Merkel,” avoids risk and is seldom creative.

Critical Review: The Teflon Merkel bit says it all. First you use the minimalist technique beautifully and then kill the caricature with the details. There was no reason to add on those extra strokes, “avoids risk and is seldom creative.” The main stroke “teflon” said it all – didn’t it? Stay with what’s essential for the caricature – if you want to add a prop, don’t use extra jaggies to create a shadow of a prop – create a “voluptuous” prop. Refer to Gadhafi’s caricature above.

~~~ o ~~~

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been referred to as “alpha-dog.”

Critical Review: Excellent Caricature – no comments!

~~~ o ~~~

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been compared with Adolf Hitler and described as “unbalanced, even crazy.”

Critical Review: Adolf Hitler?! I think you are more of an exaggerationist than a caricaturist. Adolf Hitler was an organizer, a manager, and he never had anyone to key him up – he did all the keying up! The second part of the statement does a better job of creating Ahmadinejad’s caricature – I mean, who in his right mind would say that the leaks were organized by the US?! But then to give the guy some credit, he might know a mite more than I do.

~~~ o ~~~

Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi is pegged as “feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern European leader”

Critical Review: Interesting adjectives, but you are skimming the surface. Go deeper. A caricature needs to exaggerate the important characteristics of the subject – and when one particular characteristic outshines others, you can’t just play it down. As a caricaturist, you need to feel more confident of your treatment – and you need to also add “ruthlessness” to your skill-set, dear unknown friend.

~~~ o ~~~

Pakistani Leaders, President Asif Ali Zardari is called, Dirty but not Dangerous; while Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif has been hailed as Dangerous but not Dirty!

Critical Review: Very poetic. Have you considered becoming a poet instead. I should tell you that the ability to rhyme is in much shorter supply than the ability to caricature. But I like the way you’ve linked your two caricatures – using the same words but changing their sequence. Great Job!

~~~ o ~~~

Well…so you know why you don’t find good caricaturists and copy writers easily. It’s because they’ve all become American Politicians! But then the art of caricature is quite similar to wailing baby, you just can’t hide it!

I plan to board the 2:00 PM shuttle, reach the portal, (which opens only for a few seconds) – and will be back in my good old Universe, which as you know is exactly the same as the Antiverse – and neither I nor you’d know the difference. See you then.

Coming up…Caricatures of Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, and Sachin Tendulkar!

Caricatures almost ready to roll off the line…

Until then, then:)

While I help my caricatures dress up, you might want to do one or more or all of the following.

That should keep you busy until I return!

 

 

 

Chapter 11 – Caricaturing the Nose – Published!

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

Hello Friends,

I am pleased to present the 11th chapter “Caricaturing the Nose” of “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist“. This chapter focuses on the human nose, which for a caricaturist, is the most interesting feature of the human face.  This chapter has been posted after a hiatus – a break of about 2.5 months, which I believe is a long wait for a sincere reader. I apologize to my readers.

I should also tell you that the book is now about to end – at least on the Knol.  A more detailed and slightly expanded version of the book will become available in the market soon. Nevertheless, I am striving to include all the essentials in this book – so we would be seeing at least one more chapter before I write its conclusion.

 

Here’s a list of all the chapters in the book so far.

 

Dear Readers: Please note that the KNOL Platform stopped functioning in 2012, so the following links won’t work. An enriched and expanded “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” is now available as a Kindle eBook from Amazon. ‘

 

Sidebar Image - Cover - Evolution of a Caricaturist - A Book on How to Draw Caricatures - by Shafali Anand

 

It has about 150 pages, more than 70 illustrations, and discusses about 3 dozen celebrity faces. The Content Outline of Evolution of a Caricaturist can be downloaded as a FREE pdf here.

 

 

The Evolution of a Caricaturist

I hope you find this book useful.

All the Best and Thank You!

And remember…you should…

DRAW to SMILE!

Learning to Draw Caricatures – 5 Important Tips for New Caricature Artists

UPDATED: Jan 08, 2014

 “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures”  is now available as an eBook on Amazon’s Kindle Store. 

Sidebar Image - Cover - Evolution of a Caricaturist - A Book on How to Draw Caricatures - by Shafali Anand

Click the Cover Thumbnail to view the book.

Kindle eBooks can be read on all devices; all you need is a Kindle Reader App which is available as a free download from Amazon. If you have a non-Kindle reading device (for instance, an iPad/iPhone or any other tablet/Smartphone,) you can visit the following page to download the Free Kindle Reader app for your device.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

—————————————-

If you are a budding caricaturist, here are a few tips to help you reduce the gradient of your learning curve.

  1. Find at least half-a-dozen pictures of the subject (the person you want to caricature.)
  2. Study the features of the subject carefully and try to identify the deviations from the normal.
  3. Remember that the deviations could be in size, shape (form), or both, so look for such deviations.
  4. Don’t ever kill the look in those eyes!
  5. Play a Secret Game – When you look at people, see their Caricatures!

So what do these tips mean? Let’s find out.

1. Find at least half-a-dozen pictures of the subject (the person you want to caricature.)

This is important. A caricaturist can’t work with just one picture, while a portrait artist often can. The reason why portraiture is easier is because it involves copying the subject’s features – if an artist can copy the features exactly, likeness is automatically assured. However, a caricature artist needs go further and achieve the twin objectives of:

  • exaggeration
  • likeness

Thus, a caricaturist needs to begin by first studying the subject’s features from different angles, and in different light conditions. If the subject of your caricature is a performer, there’s a good chance that his or her face is made to look different through makeup and at times even through the use of certain props. All this would make it difficult for you to figure out the exact shape and size of the facial features, if you studied only one picture…so find as many as you can, and lose yourself into those lines and creases!

2. Study the features of the subject carefully and try to identify the deviations from the normal.

While a portrait artist lives on his ability to reproduce the facial features faithfully, a caricaturist thrives on his capability to exaggerate the deviations from the normal. If we all were given a standard set of features by our maker, caricaturists wouldn’t exist. We exist because we have a keen perception, using which we can determine those facial features that:

  • make a face unique
  • deviate considerably from the ideal face.

3. Remember that the deviations could be in size, shape (form), or both, so look for such deviations.

Select the top two or three features that deviate most from their normal size/appearance. Close your eyes and try to visualize the following faces – then note down 2-3 features which you’d like to exaggerate in their faces:

Done?

Now view their caricatures here. What’s been exaggerated? Do you think that the exaggerated features match the list of the features that you’ve created?
Note how the noses of Morgan Freeman and Tom Hanks, and the Hair of Abe Lincoln and Michelle Obama have been exaggerated not only in size buy also in shape!

4. Don’t ever kill the look in those eyes!

I’ve seen a lot of caricaturists create excellent caricatures with beautifully crafted and realistically painted features – but with eyes that see nothing, say nothing, and do nothing! Eyes are the windows into a person’s soul…don’t shut that window. Never exaggerate the eyes to the point when they begin to look unreal. Don’t exaggerate the eyes unless you really have to – unless you are really confident of your ability to retain the expression while you manipulate them.

5. Play a Secret Game – When you look at people, see their Caricatures!

I don’t want to explain it because people might stop wanting to meet me – but if you want to be good at the art of drawing caricatures, you really need to transform your eyes into that magic-prism!

And of course, if you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures, I’d recommend “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist“. (Updated: January 08, 2014.)

  1. The book is expected  on the App Store – shortly 🙂 The book shall follow an interactive format. You can view the basic content outline at the above link.
  2. It simplifies caricature-drawing and presents it in the form of a process, which if followed, could help you learn and master caricature-drawing in a very short time.
  3. You can signup for an email notification, which will be sent whenever it becomes available on the App Store.

So, if you’ve got your sketchbook and your pencils ready, what are you waiting for?

DRAW to SMILE!

Another Important Update (October 06, 2014)

If you are a hobbyist and would like to create funny caricatures, or if you want to try out the principles outlined in my book Evolution of a Caricaturist, you can check out the Free Caricature App for iPhone and iPad –  Toonsie Roll, which has been developed under my expertise and guidance. The App will become available on the App Store soon, but if you’d like me to drop you a line when it becomes available, please use the contact form given here.

How to Draw the Caricature of Lady Gaga & The Story of Bad Romance!

Lady Gaga (yes the very same lady who’s entangled in a Bad Romance) is an extremely interesting and an unbelievably creative person.

She is a magician, a dress designer, a hairdresser, a lyricist…and of course, she is a woman trying hard to prove that she’s indeed one. If you ask me, she is one of those amazingly talented control-freaks who don’t even want to leave their caricatures to chance – they want to do them themselves! (Remember Ozzy Osbourne?)

Anyone who’s ever looked at Lady Gaga would know that there’s no caricaturist in the world who could do a better job of caricaturing her, than the lady herself. However, I made the attempt, and now I am here to discuss how you too can draw Lady Gaga’s caricature. (And no – you don’t stop at making her portrait!)

Here’s the caricature under discussion.

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

Lady Gaga and the Spider Colony!

Caricaturing the Eyes of Lady Gaga:

Lady Gaga’s eyes are characterized by the kohl she puts around them! You’ve got to load her eyelids and eyelashes with black paint to get the look right. Also stretch those eyelashes to exaggerate them. Don’t change the basic almond shape of her eyes.

Read about “Caricaturing the Eyes” here.

Caricaturing the Lips of Lady Gaga:

Lady Gaga has thicker than usual lips (which go well with her slightly heavy yet chubby face.) Note that I’ve drawn her with an open mouth, which helps you see her teeth. Her teeth are slightly crooked and I’ve maintained that lack of symmetry in the drawing.

Read about “Caricaturing the Lips and the Mouth” here.

(If I were drawing the caricature of a man, I’d treat the teeth differently (they’d be exaggerated to add more humor to the treatment.) However, while drawing the caricatures of women – ensure that their caricatures continue to look pretty:-))

Caricaturing the Hair of Lady Gaga:

Ah! This is where I had to compete with Ms. Gaga herself. I selected what I call her “Candy Floss with Noodles” hairstyle. The size of her coiffure was big enough but I did exaggerate it a bit. The cobwebs were added for the storyline.

(Read about “Caricaturing the Forehead, the Hairline, and the Hair” here.)
Storyline?
Well. Since Ms. Gaga had done a great job of caricaturing herself, I had to go do something extra to exaggerate her hairstyle, and so I thought of the spiders and the cobwebs. Whenever Lady Gaga discards a wig, the space on the wig is auctioned away to the spiders that want to move in to this “premium” location!

Well…
So in came the spiders and their webs, and of course the decorations added by the property dealers along with the prize car!

And Ms. Gaga was decked up and ready to give the other singers a run for their money!

And yes, if you want to learn how to draw caricatures, you should check out “How to Draw Caricatures – And Evolution of a Caricaturist.”

Before I wave goodbye, here’s an interesting bit about her current hit “Bad Romance”.

The Theme of Bad Romance by Lady Gaga – A Verbal Caricature:

Bad Romance is a bad-bad song that begins with the abduction of Lady Gaga by some super-models. These super-models, who probably are about to slide into middle age and hence into oblivion, dream up a new way to make money. They kidnap Lady Gaga, bathe her in a white bathtub, and then in her inebriated condition attempt to auction her off to the Russian Mafia. (Note the Russian connection in all such deals, and also note the marked absence of the Italian Mafia from this whole show.)

While the Russian men sit around with their electronic bidding machines, Lady Gaga seductively walks towards them and then selects the one with a golden chin guard (guess he wore it because he expected Lady Gaga to slap him) to do a provocative lap-dance for him. Now this all is hogwash, because after he becomes the highest bidder, she roasts him alive by activating her pyrotechnic bra. The point to be noted here is the Lady Gaga remains unscathed…and probably vanishes with the auction money, and shares the booty with the models who had kidnapped her…because it was all staged!

But that part wasn’t there in the video that I watched, and so I believe that the video was edited!  If anyone has access to the unedited video of the song Bad Romance , please let me know, because I am dying to hear the end of the story.

BTW, I wonder if the Russian Men would have bid at all if she had worn her meat dress to the auction?
(Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress.)

So you think you can Draw?!

Fantastic!

Everyone can draw. I can draw, you can draw, they can draw, we can draw, my neighbor’s daughter can draw, and your neighbor’s dog can draw!

Drawing is no more complex than removing that little fiber of chicken that gets stuck between your teeth, or scratching your back with a fishbone. Drawing is easy. You need to find something that puts a mark on something else that you can find – and you can draw.

So now – the question is – can you draw?

Of course you can.  The technical definition of the term “Draw” is: “make a mark or lines on a surface”! Can you do it? Of course you can! Now…say it, “Yes, I Can!” (If that reminds you of some slogan that you heard about two years ago, I should plead coincidentality…if there’s a word like that!)

The point that I am trying to make here is – you can draw – the question that you should be asking yourself is…what is it that I should draw?

There’s stuff that anyone can draw, and there’s stuff that needs some focused practice.

The stuff that anyone who can “make a mark or lines on a surface” can create is called “abstract art.” You’ve got to work on your ability to “surprise or shock” people – and if your idea “clicks” you could be selling canvases with blotches of paint that just happened!

The other stuff that needs focused practice could be:

It could be anything that requires that you draw a line, a curve, a circle…anything with a purpose. This would require practice – this would also require focus.

Just the way writers who’d write anything and expect people to understand it (or not), but who hope to sell (and sometimes do sell) their books thinking that readers are foolish and that they’d be able to fool them by saying that their stuff is for the “intellectuals” – there are also artists who’d draw anything and hope to sell (and sometimes they do sell) their art to the “connoisseurs of art.”

I prefer to be an artist with a purpose – and I prefer to draw something that’s understood by everyone – because everyone has the right to be delighted by art. Art shouldn’t exist for those few who sit at the far right of the IQ bell-curve – it should exist for everyone. I would draw portraits, caricatures, cartoons, compositions, scenes, mountains, rivers – but I would draw them in a way to ensure that whoever looks at them connects with them not in an “abstract” way – but in a very real, transparent, and emotional way…through my skill of drawing.

I prefer and hope (though without a right) that if you are young and if you can draw, you’d create art for everyone too. Draw to bring a smile to your own face and to the faces of others. Don’t get caught into the specialization-racket! Draw whatever catches your fancy. Let your art flow, but let it not become idiotic; don’t let it become a senseless orgy of colors and lines – let it speak to everyone, let it establish a personal connection with anyone who looks at it.

So, if you think you can draw…

DRAW!

and…

DRAW TO SMILE 🙂