Read some, draw some, write some, but blog none? Ho hum!

I last posted about the Song of Ice and Water series by GRR Martin. I can now declare that I am two books into the series already. With the way life’s been this past month, Martin gets the credit for this feat of mine. He weaves such a complex web of tales studded with such intriguing characters, that once caught in it, you can’t leave, until you’ve traversed along every shiny sliver that holds his web of ice and water together.

So I read some.

Then I painted a magazine cover with the portraits of three gentlemen, and now I am painting another cover with a whole mad group of toony looking people on it. I got some inquiries that made me scratch my head rather furiously and lose some hair. I’m also looking forward to painting a couple of beautiful covers for SFF author Barbara G. Tarn, who is also a long time friend.

So I drew some.

I spent some time writing some short stories around the concepts that inspired my hat paintings. I should’ve been writing a new story for the new quarter of the Writers of the Future contest, but for some inexplicable reason, I was more drawn to explore the human mind and its machinations – and so ended up writing these stories, which are more in the realm of psychological fiction.

So I wrote some.

But I couldn’t blog. There are times when you want to find a quiet corner and create. I guess that the last whole month was that time for me 🙂

 

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The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

Sometimes somethings come to you unbidden. They steal upon you with the finesse of a cat and surprise you; they wipe the frown off your brow and break your face into a smile.

I had been hankering after The Song of Ice and Fire for more than a year. Actually, since I watched Game of Thrones on TV. I’d look it up whenever I’d visit a book shop, but I could never bring myself to buy it. A set of seven books, each splitting at the seams with about a thousand pages, can make you worry. Will you be able to read them all? Will you like the author’s writing style? Will the story be engaging enough? It’s one thing to sit through an hour-long episode and another to plod through an unending ocean of words. Before you’ve read an author, you never know whether his words are tiny angels that will take you in a world that you won’t want to leave, or little black devils that will plunge you into the depths of reading hell. I had never read anything by George R. R. Martin, so I had no idea what kind of little guys his words were.

Now you must be wondering why I didn’t buy just one book at first and then went for the others? That would be the practical thing to do. Unfortunately, I am not practical. I haven’t made a single practical decision in my life. I am impulsive and emotional. One of the zillion impractical impulses that drive my life is buying books that aren’t just great to read but that also look beautiful. I also like books from an author to look like they belong to him. So unless I’ve already fallen for a specific writer’s work, and I must buy their books as soon as they hit the stalls, I enjoy getting sets. They give me a sense of security and continuity. I know that after finishing one book, I’ll have the next one waiting!

Now George Martin’s books tell one long story, they look mysterious and attractive, and I couldn’t say if I’d be hooked or be saddled – and so the plan of getting the books went into limbo, but the secret yearning didn’t fade away.

Three days ago, I received an unexpected gift. Wrapped in red, it stood on my desk. I suddenly knew what a groom in an Indian arranged marriage feels when he first sees his bride – a package wrapped in red, a bundle of surprises, but first he must lift the veil.

I picked it up, expecting it to be lighter than it was, and immediately knew that it had books inside. All those words, they weigh a lot. For the last whole month, I hadn’t mentioned my craving for GRRM’s books – not once! And yet, there they were! Looking awesome, fantastical, mysterious, rich, and inviting!

Here’s a picture of my treasure:

Song of Ice and Fire - the set of 7 Books - Game of thrones by George R. R. Martin.

Ready to forget myself!

The books in the picture aren’t in sequence. Here’s the order in which you must read the series “A Song of Ice and Fire”:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow
  4. A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold
  5. A Feast for Crows
  6. A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
  7. A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast

I’m already at page 359 of A Game of Thrones, and this is just the beginning of my journey into Westeros and Essos.

I am also reminded of the only Game of Thrones character that I’ve ever sketched – Peter Dinklage in the role of the unforgettable Tyrion Lannister – the only Lannister who stands tall (I speak from what I know of him through the first 359 pages.)

Caricature, Cartoon, Pencil Portrait of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

Knowledge and Cunning are my most lethal weapons!

 

 

Caricature/Cartoon – Tyrion Lannister of Game of Thrones with his battle axe!

Presenting the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister of  Game of Thrones.  Peter Dinklage who played the role of the dwarf in Game of Thrones, won the Emmy and the Golden Globe award in 2011 for his role of Tyrion Lannister, and emerged a giant among actors.

This caricature just happened. The Bookface Caricature Contest on Facebook was on and for some strange reason this generally contest-averse artist felt like drawing him, but not before I had procrastinated enough to have missed the deadline. So this caricature didn’t make it to the contest and I have a feeling that among all those beautifully colored renditions, this wouldn’t have turned any heads so whatever happened, happened for the good.
Caricature, Cartoon, Pencil Portrait of Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) - Game of Thrones

Knowledge and Cunning are my most lethal weapons!

Tyrion Lannister is one of the important characters in Game of Thrones.  In fact, among the three siblings, he is the most intelligent and also the most cunning, but his family (father Tywin, sister Cersei, and  brother Jaime) don’t like him a lot. The reason can be found in Tyrion’s knowledge of things best kept hidden under a shroud of mystery.

About Game of Thrones:

Game of Thrones is a serial drama aired on HBO. It is based on a series of Fantasy novels written by R. R. Martin. The fourth Season of Game of Thrones is scheduled to air on April 6th, 2014. I’ve watched the severely censored version of the first two seasons, but not the third. In my opinion, the censored version loses a lot of its charm because the censoring makes many events appear totally disjointed. Yet, every important character leaves an indelible mark on the audience, and I think that’s what makes an epic. I cannot ever forget Cersei’s single-minded devotion to her son, Khaleesi’s evolution as the leader of her husband’s tribe, or Tyrion’s cunning maneuvering combined with his self-deprecating witticisms.
Find tons of information on it here and here.

How to Draw the Caricature of Tyrion Lannister:

Tyrion Lannister is different from other characters. He is a dwarf who has been derided for his looks all his childhood. Even his father doesn’t think a lot of him. His sister favors her twin and his older brother Jaime over Tyrion, and in fact takes Jaime as her lover. Tyrion Lannister, however, is also a very intelligent man who has the ability to think ahead and plan, something that both Cersei and Jaime lack. A lot more humane than his siblings, Tyrion is also a philosopher of sorts.
Caricaturing such a multi-faceted character is an uphill task. While his face has certain characteristic features (his small nose with flared nostrils, his heavy brow ridge etc.,) I didn’t want to exaggerate the features so much that they interfered with the intelligence and cunning that shines in his eyes. The posture in the caricature is imaginary. It shows him just before he makes his final move. The tension in his arms, his stance, and the look on his face – all work together.
As the readers of Evolution will be able to judge, I used the Feature Frame Method to exaggerate the shape of his face, his brow-ridge, and his lips, but I limited the exaggeration to contain the personality of the subject.
A Nuance:
Note that I’ve added the battle-axe (his favorite weapon) in his right hand. Being a south-paw, he would hold the weapon in his right hand only while he is thinking. Just before he strikes, he’d transfer it to his left hand.

Thank You 🙂

I’d also like to add a quick Thank You Note for everyone who has bought and/or recommended Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures. Evolution has been growing slowly but steadily – just the way a book should. As I’ve mentioned in the Feb Issue of Draw to Smile, I believe that if you find the book useful, you’ll tell your friends about it – and this is exactly how I’d like this book to grow – in your hearts and with your love. Thank you, my dear readers.