Cartoon-Caricature: The Political Hunter

Check out the smirk on his face.

Caricature Cartoon of the Hunter - done for Talk Business and Politics Magazine

Loved drawing and painting this guy. I was archiving some old paintings that i had done for magazines in the past, and came across him.

Isn’t he awesome?

Question: Can you tell what (or who) is he hunting? (This was a two-page spread, and this guy is on the left page.)

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Mount Rushmore Art – Illustrating what the Borglums Sculpted.

Mount Rushmore is an odd looking mountain. It’s got four presidential heads so it reminds me of Lord Brahma; it also makes me wonder why George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln made it there while the other Presidents didn’t.  This isn’t the only question that makes me itch for an answer. I am also curious why people like to see their faces on the mountain.

My research reveals that even Alfredl E. Neuman (the mascot of MAD magazine) has appeared as the fifth face on Mount Rushmore. I expect others to give in to human frailties, but I had always looked up to him – and frankly, never expected this from him. I guess it was the editor of the magazine who decided the cover should show the rocky-face of this funny guy with a missing tooth smiling upon the perfect American family and Alfred had no say in the matter.

As was the case with these four Business-Stars from Arkansas 🙂 I had done this artwork for the Jan-Feb 2015 issue of the TBP magazine.  From left to right they are:

  1. Al Bell
  2. Stephen L. LaFrance Sr.
  3. Donald E. “Buddy” Wray
  4. Millie Ward

 

Mount Rushmore in Popular culture - Arkansas Business Hall of Fame - for TBP Magazine.

Now a little about this grand mountain 🙂

Mount Rushmore – Historical Facts:

  • The commissioning of Mount Rushmore National Memorial was authorized on March 3, 1925.
  • President Coolidge, then President of the United States wanted that two Republicans and one Democrat should accompany George Washington’s face on the mountain.
  • The sculpting began in 1927 and ended in 1941. It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum. The initial rough sculpting was done using dynamite.
  • At first, they tried sculpting Thomas Jefferson’s face on George Washington’s right, but the stone there wasn’t good, so they moved the face to Washington’s left.

Mount Rushmore Faces:

The four faces are:

  •  George Washington
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Abraham Lincoln

This caricaturist has caricatured two of the four faces on the monument:

1.  George Washington

Caricature, Cartoon of George Washington the first president of the US and the architect of the American Constitution voices his opinion on gun control.

President George Washington – Actual size: 8 inches by 10 inches.

 

and

2. Abraham Lincoln

Color Caricature - American President Abraham Lincoln - Digital Painting - Shafali

President Abraham Lincoln – Actual Size at 300 dpi: 12 inches by 12 inches (the above image is cropped on the sides.)

Creating the Mount Rushmore Artwork:

Honestly, it was a challenging assignment. As a portrait/caricature-artist, when you paint faces, you intuitively dip your brush (even your digital brush) into the right colors. The texture you are looking for is skin (for portraits) and skin-nish (for caricatures) and because you’ve painted so many, you know where you are going with it. In this artwork, I had to create the four likenesses in the color and texture of stone. The details had to go, if the Mount Rushmore look were to be maintained. That and everything else, including rest of the stony mountain, the debris left from the dynamiting…was a totally new experience and a challenge that left me with a lot of new learning.

I am working on another challenge right now – and will tell you about it when I can! Until then, explore my thoughts on the Creativity Carnival and if you think you’d like to participate in it at some point in time, leave your footprints behind and follow this blog, so that the first event pops up into your Reader this Friday 🙂

Caricature Illustration: Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee take Uncle Sam for a Boat-Ride.

Here’s my recent illustration for the July-August Issue of Talk Business & Politics. This artwork accompanies the feature, “Hillary Huckabee and those fickle Arkansas Voters” by John Brummett.

Caricature Illustration Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton (Presidential Candidates for 2016 Elections) Row a boat and take uncle sam for a boat-ride. Illustration for Talk Business and Politics, Arkansas.

America…hold tight! (Click for larger image.)

While painting this artwork, I found myself wondering what would happen if Mike Huckabee and Hillary Clinton were chosen by their parties for their ultimate face-off?
What would happen if they weren’t facing away from each other, merrily rowing away the boat of the American sentiment in their own directions?
Honestly, I can’t really imagine a civil debate. I think…
  1. They’d leave their lecterns,
  2. They’d roll up their sleeves, bend their knees, and begin circling each other,
  3. They’d put on their boxing gloves and lunge at each other, and
  4. America will be left all the more confused after their high-octane, energy-packed, verbally violent debates!
Huckabee is as conservative as Hillary is liberal – they are opposites that don’t attract…at all. Recently Huckabee said that Hillary’s interview on CNN was too painful to watch, and I think Hillary isn’t smitten by him either.
But my opinion on the duo and all other Presidential candidates is a matter for another blog. Here I must talk only about…

Illustrating the Hillary Clinton & Mike Huckabee Boat-ride Scene:

The brief that I received from the client mentioned Hillary and Huckabee rowing a boat in opposite directions…not flying at each others throats, not debating…just doing their own thing. It was a full-page inner illustration. I read the brief early in the morning…I think it was around 5 AM..right after the morning tea. A picture popped up in my mind and I rushed to my whiteboard and did a two-minute sketch.
After I had sketched the figures for Hillary and Huckabee, I stood back and looked at the sketch. It appeared a little bland. It was a full-page artwork and there wasn’t enough happening. It didn’t have enough in it to make it look funny – so I wondered how I could make it look more colorful and at the same time add more meaning to it. I thought a little more about the boat…and then it clicked. Who was it that these two were trying to ferry across? Of course, the American people. So I added a visibly perturbed (actually, thoroughly disturbed) Uncle Sam with the American Flag to the image, took a photo of it, and emailed it to the Editor. He liked it – and within an hour I had my first approval. I don’t normally send rough sketches (they are neither required nor appreciated – because they don’t really say a lot. Perhaps they work only after you and your client have worked together long enough to see behind your squiggles.)
The next step was of course the sketch, which in my opinion is the most important stage of any illustration. I always put in a lot of effort at this stage – trying to come as close to the picture that I have in my mind. So I sketched the ocean, the pitched ships, the boat, the oars, the flag, the water…everything. I don’t kill myself establishing likeness at this time, but if I have the time, I try to come as close to it as possible.  After I got a thumbs-up, rest was simple. Just filling colors in those lines. I just follow one simple rule while coloring…don’t deviate from the actual too much, but add as much color as possible. So the sea is the stormy frothy green and grey, the faces and the hair are their normal hue, and the political symbology remains correct too. Yet, I went a little “liberal” with the color of Hillary’s dress and gave her some big pearls (expensive ones, I assure you.)
This work took a lot of time and tons of conscious effort in trying to put in details that matter, without making them look like they weren’t part of the scene. Notice the splashing water, for instance. It splashes up, covering the Arkansas State Flag and the clothes of the characters. But then the feeling of overcoming a challenge is a reward in itself.
The painted artwork was approved without any modifications… and I got a pat on the back from the client…something that makes me feel really good and grateful.
Draw to Smile 🙂 I should now return to Blogging101. If you are a WordPress Blogger and you haven’t taken this course, do enroll for the next one. It’s awesome.
Gallery

Some Recent Works – Caricatures and Deviations.

This gallery contains 12 photos.

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.