Caricature/Cartoon – Melania Trump – USA’s new First Lady.

BREAKING NEWS!

Melania Trump, the new First Lady of the USA, visits the caricaturist’s blog!

Caricature, Cartoon of First Lady Melania Trump on the map of the USA.

Slovenian Beauty Captures the American White House.

The Micro-bio of Melania Trump:

Born Melanija Knavs, the current First Lady of the US received her Green Card in 2001, and became an American Citizen in 2006. Previously, she worked as a model, a profession that she had joined at the age of five. She speaks six languages, loves powder-blue (in the caricaturist’s opinion,) and she applied for a US Green Card as a Model of “Extraordinary Ability.” (Information excavated from Wikipedia and must be consumed by the reader at her own risk.) She got married to Donald Trump in 2005. Soon after their wedding, in 2006, she gave birth to little Barron William Trump – the cute kid who wore a suit and sat through Donald Trump’s oath-taking ceremony with patience and panache.

About this Caricature:

Ah, well. 
Other than the fact that Melania Trump has an extremely caricaturable face, what inspired me to find my way back to my tablet and paint this caricature, was another caricature of the lady.
If you’ve read my book “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” or you’ve read my past posts, you would know that I am a caricaturist who balances exaggeration with funny/cute. I am also someone who believes that a woman’s vanity must never be attacked, even through a caricature – and so as far as I can, I try to keep a woman’s caricature in the realm of cute. Any exaggeration that yields an ugly picture, isn’t for me – and I follow this philosophy regardless of my personal preferences/prejudices.

It so happened that this fabulous caricaturist painted a rather unflattering caricature of Melania Trump. Note that “unflattering” here, is a euphemism. The caricature made me sad. Features that had no business being exaggerated were pushed and pulled with impunity – it made me think that the caricaturist disliked the subject immensely.

So I thought that I should draw a caricature with an element of funny/cute in it, without, of course, killing the likeness – and so I did this.

About Melania’s Features – Note for the Caricaturists.

If you are a caricaturist, you may be interested in understanding Melania’s face, especially her eyes. Her eyes are different from most other eyes, in that they slant upwards on the outside corners, and they are rather small. In fact, tiny. When she smiles the slant increases. She’s got a sharp nose and a mouth with thin lips. Yes, I mean really thin lips. She uses a lipliner outside her natural lip line and fills up her lips. But the point to note here is that her upper lip is slightly heavier than her lower lip. A characteristic feature of her face is the way her cheeks are structured. Note the two vertical crescents that shine upon her cheeks. Then of course, you have her hair. My exaggeration of her features is slight and I’ve used the relativity of her features to caricature her face. For instance, I pulled her nose some, stretching her cheeks, so that her small eyes, automatically looked smaller. The upper lip became thicker, and the lower, thinner. I exaggerated the strands of her hair – but most of all, I used the big-head small body trick to get the toony look right.

Note the size of the buttons, the hoops of her earrings, and the swirl of her jacket – and of course, the confident stance. Becoming the First Lady of the US is no mean feat. She is winning, and the caricature shows it!

 

 

Three Portraits for Cover Art – Clinton, Bumpers, and Pryor

I recently did this artwork for the cover of TBP Magazine’s March-April 2016 issue. While it might look like three regular portraits of three gentlemen standing in suits, sharing a joke; the assignment was a challenging one, and when the client’s approval came in the first shot saying “I like it a lot,” it felt great.

Here’s the artwork:

Portraits of Bill Clinton, Dale Bumpers, and David Pryor for the cover of Talk Business and Politics (TBP)

 

The cover:

Portraits of Clinton, Bumpers, and Pryor for the TBP Magazine
And the story:

Portraits of Dale Bumpers, David Pryor, Bill Clinton - for Talk Business and Politics Magazine.

Photograph Courtesy: Bryan Pistole

 

The Challenge:
This might sound like a problem from the GMAT Question-paper, but it isn’t – it’s real, factual data. Mr. Bumpers (the gentleman at the left) is about 10 years older than Mr. Pryor (the gentleman at the right,) and Mr. Clinton, the rather cute looking gentleman in the middle is about 10 years younger than Mr. Pryor. Mr. Bumpers belonged to the expensive and low-res era of photography and so the web isn’t choke full of his pictures (which obviously means that the references weren’t easy to come by.) Mr. Pryor was close to retirement when the digital era began, so there were some pictures of his older self available but not many of the time when he was politically active. However, there was no dearth of pictures, as far as Mr. Clinton is concerned.

But this is just one part of it.

I needed to paint all the three gentlemen as they looked in the past; as their younger selves. That and the differences in their heights – all that had to factored in while creating this artwork. I enjoyed the challenge and also the fact that I was drawing and painting portraits for a change 🙂

So that’s that. Coming up soon is a post by the writer in me.

 

Interview with StudioVox

Dear Art-lover Visitor,

This one is for you. StudioVox interviewed me last month, and the interview went live just a few hours ago.  StudioVox is an online network for creative professionals. They’ve recently partnered with Robert Redford‘s Sundance Studios to provide artists with an opportunity to exhibit their works in the Studio’s gallery.

If you are interested in learning my thoughts on caricature-drawing and painting and are looking for a few quick tips, head over to StudioVox.

Shafali Anand Caricaturist Interview with Studio Vox

If you want to set up and Art Gallery and connect with fellow artists, Studio Vox provides an interesting, easy-to-use environment that facilitates connecting with other artists.

Pilgrims arrive in Cuba – Illustration: Governor Hutchinson & Castro Brothers

Following is one of my more recent illustrations for the Talk Business and Politics magazine.
Pilgrims on Mayflower - Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson travels to Cuba to meet Castro Brother for trade. Illustration for the magazine Talk Business and Politics

The Artwork:

On the left page, you see Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Randy Veach, and Lisenne Rockefeller. The right page has the Castro brothers (Fidel Castro and Raul Castro) in a red car. The left page artwork (which also was the cover-art) is conceptualized around the Pilgrims theme.

The Pilgrims:

In 1620, 132 people sailed from England to America (or the New World.) They arrived on the shores of America in an awkward looking ship called the Mayflower. This ship wasn’t built for long voyages on the open seas, and so the journey from England to the East Coast of America lasted two long months. Upon arriving at Cape Cod, they experienced a climate that was colder than they were used to, so they stayed aboard facing an outbreak of a disease that dwindled their number to 53. The passengers then made huts, settled down, and came to be known as the pilgrims.  Land was sighted on November 9, 1620 and it was then that the first prayer of thanksgiving was offered.

The connection:

The brief was that the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and two other dignitaries who traveled to Cuba with trade-plans must be shown as the pilgrims approaching the Cubans in a ship (Mayflower.)

The Castro Brothers:

Fidel and Raul Castro have ruled Cuba for more than 50 years. The brothers are often seen together in public.

US-Cuba Relations:

More than 50 years ago, Cuba was placed under sanctions by US. The sanctions that were the outcome of a tussle on oil were imposed in the Kennedy era, and are still in existence. A few years ago, relations between the two countries began to thaw, with both President Obama and Raul Castro “apparently” being on the same page of the embargo story.

And yet, Cuba isn’t really opening its heart for trade with the United States, because despite the green-flag that the United States has been waving on the business front, the embargo is still on – and they would remain until Cuba demonstrates democracy. In general human rights in cuba have been a serious concern for the world-community. According to the US Government, between 1959 and 1993, 1.2 Million Cubans left Cuba for the US for reasons ranging from political executions, forced labor camps, and myriad other instruments of oppression have been in use to the lack of decision-making freedom on issues of health, religion etc.

For the embargo to go, Cuba must become more democratic. Changes are underway and the US Government has been taking a note of it. For instance in 2011, it became legal for Cubans to buy and sell homes. In 2013, Cuba abolished travel restrictions, allowing Cubans to travel the world over. If things move in the right direction, Americans might even get an opportunity to own a home in Cuba.

Right now, US and Cuba are approaching each other with caution and hope 🙂

Check out the Cover Art here.

 

Half and Half make one Half Full – Let the Knights Joust.

Half and Half make one Half Full – Let the Knights Joust.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Half and Half.”

Where there’s black, there’s always some white; when there’s dark, there’s a possibility of light;
You may have to look for them, but in a world full of wrong, there are always things that are right.

This world is half-and-half, and until I saw this prompt, I didn’t realize that a lot of my illustrations are half-and-half too. One of these half-and-half illustrations is a two-page spread for the Talk Business and Politics magazine that has Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson jousting to become the Governor of Arkansas.

Half and Half - Daily Prompt - Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson Jousting for Arkansas Governor.

Left Half: Mike Ross (Democrat)
Right Half: Asa Hutchinson (Republican)

This image and the prompt together make me wonder:

These two valorous knights galloping towards each other with their lances targeting the other’s chest, hoping to throw the other off his stead, are the reason why this scene exists. The State Capitol building is essential to the scene because forms the quest, but why is the crowd there? The crowd is there because of the two knights. It is there to watch them joust.

And this makes me ask questions, that I admit, are totally unexpected of the happy-go-lucky right-brained arty-kinds.

  1. Why do we like to see fights? Why, we even make animals fight one another, and wager bets? 
  2. Why on one hand we cheer the winners and on the other, root for the underdog?
  3. What kind of thrill we get from seeing people spill blood or even kill one another?
  4. And if we don’t, if we have actually arrived at point in human history where our senses have become more refined and our battles are now fought with arguments, votes, and referendums, why still wars continue to rage through out the world?

I think there aren’t any answers to these questions, but we have opinions – and our opinions matter. They matter with all two warring-halves of the world – from the smallest halves to the biggest halves. Our opinions matter when we can influence the two halves and help them stand on the same side of the picture so we can help them become one. Our opinions also matter in bigger issues too as we can influence the course of history by voting the right decision-makers to the top-office of our country.

Until that happens, let the knights joust and the pugilists box.

 

Heads Roll as the Header gets a Makeover!

When your header is full of heads, and you update it, heads are bound to roll.

While I’m going to miss some of the faces that I’ve been seeing on my blog everyday for the last one year, I want to tell them that they’ll never be far gone from my heart, and that there’s always a possibility that they return to the header as wild-card entry.

If you visit here regularly, you’ll miss the caricatures of Malcolm GladwellThe Three Presidents (Kennedy, Reagan, and Coolidge,) Liam Neeson, and Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister. Their places have now been taken by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Jimmy Fallon.

Here’s the header that has now retired with benefits.
shafalis-caricatures-blog-header-jul-2014.jpg

The Rationale behind the update was as follows:

  1. A blog is a window through which I interact with the world. It allows people to peep into my world – and my world is made of pictures. The header of my blog lets my visitors get a glimpse of those pictures.
  2. As time passes, an artist’s work matures, changes, or sometimes, even transforms. My previous header was updated an year ago. Some of my new works were hankering for attention – and so, a change was due.
  3. My blog has some regular visitors. The header-image (I think,) also works as an anchor. When they visit my blog, they get a sense of familiarity, and I didn’t to destroy that. This is why retained some features of the old header. (The sign on the black background, the images at the edges, etc.)

This update has been due for a long time and today’s Blogging101 assignment couldn’t have happened at a better time. I’m also working on a new sidebar widget – one that I hope, will make you go ROFL 😀

Caricature Illustration: Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for the TBP Magazine.

Last month I did a full-page inner illustration with a caricature of the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for the May/June issue of Talk Business and Politics Magazine. It accompanies the feature article “82 Days At The State Capitol” by Steve Brawner.

Here’s the illustration.

Caricature Portrait of Asa Hutchinson, the Governor of Arkansas, riding an elephant and pulling the state capitol building in a lasso - Inner Illustration for Talk Business and Politics Magazine.

The Drawing/Painting Experience:

Right from the beginning, the concept pulled me in. I like to draw animals and I love to experiment with angles (a three-fourth view of the human face is far more interesting than its side-profile,) and perspectives (the illusion of depth). This artwork promised to enthrall me on all counts. To make matters more interesting, this artwork had to be loaded with tons of information. It was supposed to encapsulate everything that Asa and his team focused upon, since they got down to work some three months ago. My job was to figure everything in, without compromising the integrity and the aesthetics of the artwork.

The objects that are being flung around the state capitol building, present the story: the spying drones, the ten commandments, the urine samples from the homeless (trafficking of clean-urine? What is the world coming to?), gay-marriages, cursive-writing/computer-coding in schools (cursive writing has been made part of the curriculum in Arkansas schools – thank god for small mercies!)…and so on.

All this and the Caduceus, the dollar-plant, the task-force carpet…and of course, the trundling Capitol Hill building…they all add to the dynamics of the scene.

Now I must don my writer-hat and return to my writing desk. The Caricaturist has evolved, the Cartoonist is next in line 🙂

Hillary Clinton runs for President in 2016 – Caricature Art.


Update:April 14, 2015

The cat’s out of the bag! Hillary Clinton announced her bid for President on Sunday. After a video-collage of Americans (of all ethnic  backgrounds and beliefs (couldn’t spot any Indian in the video though) showing them planning their futures, she said, “I am also getting ready for something. I am running for President.”

Watch the video and read some pro-Hillary commentary on the Guardian site, also check out the coverage by Fox News here.


Will she…won’t she?

She did…didn’t she?

While Hillary Clinton’s formal declaration on her candidature will be made tomorrow, almost everyone who knows anything about American politics already knows that she’s running for elections. Most of us have been privy to this open secret for years. Consider this caricature that I did in 2013. I didn’t pay a psychic medium, nor did I get a crystal ball to forecast this – I just knew that Hillary Clinton would run for the President in 2016.

Hillary clinton announces her intention to run for the white house in 2016 elections.

Hillary is ambitious, smart, and has been a politician all her life. Before you spring up one of those zillion emails floating around, and tell me that I am a fool to call her smart – I’d reiterate that she is indeed smart. You can’t survive in politics if you are a fool; and she has not just survived – she has thrived. If she wasn’t smart, she’d not have taken the opportunity to be the Secretary of State during President Obama‘s first term. If she wasn’t smart, she wouldn’t have forgiven President Clinton for his Oval-office misdemeanors. She is smart and she knows it.

You’ll also tell me that she doesn’t have a sense for fashion – I’d like to agree but add that this goes to prove that she’s a lot more sensible than the heel-tapping, fashion-conscious women who spend an hour each day, and so about 4% of their lives trying to please the onlookers. I think it’s idiotic…and I feel that nobody with a modicum of common sense would do it. Fashion doesn’t just make you waste time and money, it also makes you stress over stuff that’s done only to please others. Hillary doesn’t need that sort of approval – she’s a confident woman who knows that she has better things to do with her life.

Here’s a closeup:

Hillary Clinton announces her bid for US presidency - American presidential elections 2016.

Will she indeed be chosen by the Democrats as their candidate for the US Presidency?
It’s impossible to say. In the 2008, she had lost to a newcomer in Politics.  As always, the US Presidential Elections would be interesting to watch.

Other Newsy Stuff:

To sum it up…tomrrow Ms. Clinton will make a formal announcement begin her journey to the White House. Whether or not she will reach there and sleep in the bedroom she used to sleep in 14 years ago, is something that the American voter would decide.

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

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

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

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

Let me first share what I ended up painting:

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

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

 

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

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

Closeup of the spectators on the left-side:

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

 

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

Closeup of the spectators in the middle:

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

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

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

Closeup of the spectators at the right:

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

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

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

10 Tips for Drawing Crowds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Happy Crowd-drawing 🙂

 

Caricature-Cartoon Jeb Bush: US Presidential Election 2016

While Hillary Clinton has still not confirmed her intention of running for the President in 2016, Jeb Bush has made it amply clear that he would.

Here’s a caricature that I did of Jeb Bush.

Caricature Cartoon in black and white drawing - US Presidential Elections - Jeb Bush - Republican Candidate

President Bush the Third!

 

About Jeb Bush:

Jeb Bush or “John Ellis Bush” Bush is George W. Bush‘s younger brother who has been Florida’s Governor for two-terms could be running for the 2016 Presidential elections. He was born in 1953, he grew up in Texas, then attended the University of Texas. Professionally, he was first a banker, then a real-estate marketer, then an entrepreneur. In 1983, he moved to Miami because he was made 40% partner in a firm – in his own words, “”I want to be very wealthy, and I’ll be glad to tell you when I’ve accomplished that goal.”

Bush was Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He brought about educational reforms, implemented certain fiscal policy changes (bringing down the governmental spending along with the taxes,) and signed into Florida law, the Stand-your-Ground law.

Read more about him at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeb_Bush (source.)

Jeb Bush and 2016 US Presidential Elections:

(The Caricaturist’s View)

With Mitt Romney having stepped away from the race, his chances of his being chosen the Republican candidate may appear to have brightened and yet, there are a couple of reasons why it may not be really be a cakewalk for him.

The first reason could be his family. His surname is perceived to be more of a burden than a boon. I read the remarks left on his Facebook page, and I was mildly surprised to note that there were many who said they wouldn’t  vote for another Bush in the White House. He will have to differentiate (and perhaps distance) himself from the personality and philosophy of his brother George W. Bush. 

Another reason that could undermine the possibility of his becoming the republican presidential candidate could be his image of a moderate republican,  resulting mainly from  his soft stance on illegal immigrants. He might be correcting course on this issue, but it may not be enough.

Illegal immigration is a burning issue in the US and with the Obama administration’s continual attempts at appeasing them and converting them into a democratic vote bank, the republican camp may not want to field a candidate who has moderate, even democratic views on the issue.

President Bill Clinton Presented with the Signed Print of his Caricatures done by this Caricaturist :)

Folks, I am feeling happy and honored that President Clinton loved my caricatures of him, and that a framed signed-print of his caricatures (that I created for the TBP Magazine‘s Nov-Dec 2014 Issue) was presented to him by the Clinton Foundation staff for Christmas.

President Clinton's Caricatures by Shafali - Signed Print Presented to him by Clinton Foundation.

President Clinton loved his caricatures and Clinton Foundation presented signed print of his caricature to him 🙂 This caricaturist is honored. (Print size: 12″x 18″ Landscape.)

In November end, I received an email from the Clinton Presidential Center that President Bill Clinton loved the caricatures that I did for the TBP magazine cover and inner-spread, and that they’d like to present a signed print of the artwork to him. Finally, three signed prints were ordered – one for President Clinton, another for the Executive Director of the Foundation, and a third for the Chairman of the Board. They too loved the artwork.

I shipped the prints on December 10th and President Clinton was presented his copy on December 14th. I am so glad that I got the opportunity to create those caricatures, and while I don’t think that the subject of my caricatures has time to browse the blog of a caricaturist, I still want to use this space to thank him for liking my work. It isn’t easy to appreciate caricature-art, especially if you are the subject 🙂

You can read about how these caricatures were created, in my post “Caricature Art – Bill Clinton’s Charming Smile envelops Little Rock, Arkansas :)”

Caricature Art – Bill Clinton’s Charming Smile envelops Little Rock, Arkansas :)

Everyone knows Bill Clinton. We know him for a multitude of reasons. Here are those engraved upon the tip of the iceberg.

  • Being the President of The United States
  • Having a super-cute smile and his boyish charm
  • Being involved in an oval-office misadventure with a certain Monica Lewinsky
  • Being the husband of  Ms. Hillary Clinton

I think he is one of the most recognized American Presidents, with possibly just one exception (who else but  President Barack Obama,) and trust me when I tell you that until a month ago, I had never caricatured him! Not even a sketch. I did paint his wife Ms. Hillary Clinton as someone who’d be contending the presidential elections of 2016 (yes, in a lucid moment of epiphany, I saw her in the race to the White House.)

Let me come to the point – and tell it to you straight. When I came to know that the Nov/Dec issue‘s cover and inner-spread would require Bill Clinton’s Caricatures, I was shocked to realize that this would be the first time I’d be caricaturing Mr. Clinton.

Bill Clinton Cover Art for Talk Business and Politics Arkansas - Clinton Presidential center, River Market, Heifer International, Pedestrian Bridge Illustration.

We discussed the idea and came up with a gardening metaphor that would capture how the Clinton Memorial Library has led to a lot of development in the surrounding area. You can see that in the spread, the left page shows Clinton planting the library in 2004, and then you see Clinton again, 10 years later feeling happy and proud as he surveys the development. Read the article here.

A Note for Caricaturists/Illustrators:

In 10 years, a person ages. Clinton had also faced certain health issues (in 2004/2005 he underwent surgeries,) which had made him lose a lot of his facial-fat. This is why the pre-2004 Clinton had to look clearly younger than the 2014 Clinton.

But even before I began ironing out the details, I hit a road-block. I like my caricatures to look cute and nice, and despite Clinton’s half-smile, he’s a not an easy guy to caricature. I actually felt glad that I wasn’t caricaturing when he was the President and I honestly don’t envy the caricaturists who were.

Caricaturing Bill Clinton’s face is a challenge, and in this case, ensuring that the age-difference is visible between the two, was an even more difficult task. I worked with the skin-tone, wrinkles (especially those around the eyes), chubbiness, and hair-volume to get the desired effect. 

I’ve also been working on a few other projects (paintings as well as pen and ink drawings) and I’ll post about them soon 🙂 Meanwhile, if you are interesting in learning how to create caricatures, check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Amazon.

 

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 🙂

Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson Joust on the Pages of Talk Business & Politics (Arkansas Gubernatorial Elections)

Recently I had the opportunity to illustrate a medieval jousting match between Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson in Present Day Arkansas. As you can see this is a fairly detailed scene that has three important points of interests. 1. Knight Ross on his horse, 2. Knight Hutchinson on his horse, and 3. The Capitol Hill Building in the background. However, it was the crowd in the background (yep, I know, you never noticed it,) that made me lose my sleep. I had once read Tom Richmond’s article on painting crowds, and I had since been wondering if I too would ever be asked to paint a crowd. Friends, with this artwork, I can now proudly claim to have worked on a crowd scene.

Here’s the artwork that I did for Talk Business & Politics, Arkansas:

Political caricatures cartoons illustrations - Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson as Jousting knights - Governor's Election Arkansas - Illustrated for Talk Business and Politics Magazine.

Click to view larger image.

Arkansas’ Gubernatorial Elections, in which Democrat Mike Ross fights Republican Asa Hutchinson, are scheduled for November 4th, 2014.

The experience of illustrating this scene oscillated between being challenging and entertaining. When the Art Director first explained the idea to me…honestly, it sounded slightly intimidating. The gubernatorial candidates in armor riding their horses, carrying lances, charging at each other, with a crowd watching the joust, and the Capitol Hill Building in the background. Sure! No Problem. Except that there was no reference images of these two guys looking angry/charged up…anywhere on the web. Always with honey on their lips, always with a twinkle in their eyes – they are the sweetest two guys you can find anywhere on the planet! Next, their jousting gear! Guess what – Knights wear helmets that cover their faces. Here the whole idea was to create the caricatures of Ross and Hutchinson – and if I had stayed true to the actual helmets that knights wore, then short of labeling them, I’d have to no way to tell who was who.

But then, I had my own knight in the shining armor, known elsewhere as the Art Director, who did a quick composition of the scene and sent it across. That was super-sweet of him and the composition really charged me up. I am rather good at putting expressions on people’s faces…so I got down to work and sent the facial sketches over to the client…and of course, some little ideas of mine (the helmets, the feathers, the laughing horses, and those banners that are being held up by the crowd.) I also did a full-sketch, which got approved and I was set to go.

When I started painting, considerations of light and the amount of details cropped up. I also had to decide about the right amount of shine on the armor. (If you stood in the crowd, you’d be pulling out your RayBans.) I played around with the idea of giving them an armor that didn’t shine so much (more like the fantasy art thing I used to do many years ago) but then I thought that for this battle, they’d sit up the whole night burnishing it…won’t they?

I also took these passport-sized closeups of the two knights – just in case some of you are interested in a closer view.

Caricature, Cartoon of Democrat Knight Mike Ross for Arkansas Governor Elections November 4 2014,  for Talk Business and Politics Magazine - Illustration of the Jousting match - Details of the face.

Mike Ross (Democrat)

 

Caricature Cartoon of republican knight Asa Hutchinson - Jousting match for Arkansas Governor Elections 2014 - Illustration for Talk Business and Politics Arkansas.

Asa Hutchinson (Republican)

I wish the these two gentlemen the very best for November 4th, 2014.

How to Draw Caricatures?

On a different note, I’ve been receiving queries from artists and art-students on how to draw caricatures. Some of you have inquired if I conduct any online/on-ground classes for caricature art. My answer, while not totally affirmative, could result in a more inexpensive and quite effective learning possibility for you.

In the beginning of this year, I had written a book that could actually help you create excellent caricatures. The book assumes that you like drawing and now want to learn the fine art of caricaturing faces.

Check it out on Amazon.

Evolution of a Caricaturist - How to Draw Caricatures by Shafali Anand.

 

I hope it helps 🙂

Important Note for Hobbyists who wants to create terrific caricatures without drawing:

In a few days, I’ll be announcing an iOS app that I’ve helped develop, and which when used to apply the principles given in the book can help hobbyists create very interesting caricatures.

If you have an iPhone or an iPad and are interested in hearing about it, use the contact form and send me a message with the subject “Tell me about the Caricaturing App,” and I will send you a message when the app goes live for downloading.

Caricature – Cartoon Jimmy Fallon: Host of the Tonight Show on NBC

Today Jimmy Fallon is one of the most recognized faces in America. He’s the guy who slipped into the flip-flops that Jay Leno left behind and captained the ship of the Tonight Show with equal ease and finesse.

Here’s the Jimmy Fallon caricature that I painted.


caricature-jimmy-fallon-tonight-show-cartoon-painting-drawing-american-television-NBC

Fallon debuted as the Tonight Show host in February 2014. Before  The Tonight Show, he had been hosting Late Night with Jimmy Fallon for almost six years. The good news is that The Tonight Show is doing better with Fallon than it was doing with Leno. The ratings of The Tonight Show among adults are up by 34%. 

Jimmy Kimmel‘s show Jimmy Kimmel Live (telecast by ABC) is Fallon’s closest competitor. As the number enthusiasts closely watch the Jimmy vs. Jimmy ratings match, the gentleman on my blog appears to be the winner 🙂

A Few interesting facts about Jimmy Fallon:

  • Jimmy won an Emmy in 2010 for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
  • When he was growing up, he was voted “Most Likely to Replace David Letterman.”
  • In 2002, Jimmy was named one of People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
  • One of his first inspirations came from a troll-doll he was gifted with (a 2016 DreamWorks movie is expected about troll-dolls.)
  • He’s got a golden retriever called Gary Frick who is one of his two kids. The other is a human daughter.
  • Jimmy Fallon takes home about 12 Million Dollars for the Tonight show.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that would all for now.

Stay tuned for more caricatures – and Draw to Smile and Beat the Blues.

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…

 

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!”

 

About the Crazy Stuff that’s been happening all over this place – A Personal Post.

The more observant readers of this blog must be seeing some changes here – and I hope that the changes meet the approval of my visitors and readers.

Let me sum up all these changes 🙂

1. The Color Artwork section of the Art Gallery has gone through a complete overhaul. I am no techno-geek but the gallery looks cool in my browser (Safari.) I’ve been told that Firefox plays its own dirty tricks on the presentation of this page – so be it. If I’ve to choose between spending my time figuring out html style sheets and drawing, I’ll choose the latter.

Click the following image to view my Art Gallery comprising my magazine/book cover illustrations, inner illustrations, and other color and black and white caricatures.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations.

Click to view my color and black & white illustrations and other caricatures.

2. The top-bar has been cleansed of the sections that I was no longer doing justice to (I know how unfair it is – the pages pay for my disinterest) and it now has a new super cute section – a gallery of my Pen and Ink Portraits. I have another blog dedicated totally to Pen and Ink art, but as this blog is a holistic representation of me and my work, I thought it must be added here too.

Click the following image to arrive at the page.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

Click to View my Pen and Ink Portraits of Pets and Wildlife.

3. The sidebar has been shuffled to present the recent changes.

4. The header image has been changed to reflect some works from this year. Hopefully it looks nicer.

The next post will present Serena Williams’ caricature, complete with a trophy and a tennis racket 🙂 (You can steal a glance at her caricature on the header image, but I’ll post a bigger one, with a closeup of the face….and yes, the post would be about my painting experience.) So if you are a sports enthusiast and would like me to notify you about it, click the Follow button 🙂

 

 

Caricature/Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – The Caricaturist’s blog reaches the Tipping Point.

In my previous post, I had promised a caricature of Malcolm Gladwell. Here it is 🙂

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell, the Author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and What the Dog Saw.

Caricature Portrait of Malcolm Gladwell – Digital Painting – Actual Size: 10 inches by 12 inches at 300 dpi.

 

Why Malcolm Gladwell?

An apt question.

Here’s how it happened. I was talking to a friend in Pittsburgh, and she happened to mention Malcolm Gladwell. She had seen him on a TV show and she appeared impressed by him. I had heard of the guy’s name and somewhere in the far recesses of my mind and in my faded and almost invisible schema of the management world that I once belonged to, a forgotten node began pulsating. A decade ago, he had written something that had catapulted him into fame…this was all I remembered of him.

So I did a web-search and there he was. Looking dapper in that glorious cynosure of a hairdo. On his twitter account, he calls himself “The Skinny Canadian,” which of course is a euphemism for his vertically linear framework. He has a rather striking personality, and quite obviously, it immediately struck me that I must caricature him.

The first rough sketch was done right then and there – the two-minute sketch as the art-gurus would call it. I had Mr. Gladwell’s profile beaming at me from the monitor, and I made a rough. It was close but not what I really truly desired. This prompted me to make another sketch – this was done in Photoshop, and this was something that I could paint.

Rest was all painting. As you can see, I was focused on the face and skin… and I wanted to capture that look in his eyes. Unlike my full-length caricatures where fun is the primary goal I strive for; in this particular artwork, I wanted to take it nearer to a portrait in treatment and yet keep it a caricature that adds to the personality of Mr. Gladwell.

As this blog’s tradition dictates, I must now talk about Mr. Gladwell and his life thus far.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Shortest Biography on the Web:

I know I can’t beat the short and succinct autobiographical statement on Mr. Gladwell’s Twitter Account, which just reads “The Skinny Canadian.” I won’t even try to, because I think that there’s actually a lot more to him than the fact that he’s skinny and Canadian.

He was born in England, in 1963. In 1984, he graduated with a degree in History from the University of Toronto. His first job as a journalist was with The American Spectator (now that info byte is extra-special because as some of you know, I’ve been illustrating for The American Spectator for almost a-year-and-half now.) Then he wrote for another magazine before moving on to writing for The Washington Post. It was in 1996 that he began his career at The New Yorker.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Books:

Gladwell’s written 5 books. They are:

  1. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference (2000),
  2. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005),
  3. Outliers: The Story of Success (2008),
  4. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009),and
  5. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013).

(Source for all the above information is dear old Wikipedia here.)

Gladwell isn’t married, he writes about everyday stuff that happens in malls, in streets, in homes, and in corporate boardrooms – and I think he and his hair are super. BTW, when he was younger, his hair wasn’t that wild. In fact he used to look quite normal 🙂 But then, I wouldn’t care to caricature him then, would I?