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.

 

Advertisements

Wedding of an Apple, How to Become a Caricaturist, and a Cute Guy with a Spherical Nose.

The caricaturist was away.

No. I hadn’t been whisked away to Atlantis.

This was different. I was away attending the marriage of an apple. Some of you would know that I shun company. Artists do that. They are a terribly moody lot who oscillate between being gaudily gregarious and deafeningly silent. You can usually find me hanging precariously from the cliff at the right-end of this continuum, and so it knocked the breath out of me when I realized that I was attending a wedding!

Here’s a picture of the bride in her wedding gown.

apple-bride-in-wedding-gown

When I returned from the wedding and checked my blog’s stats, I saw an odd search string (and not “hacked nudes”, which I must mention is still a far milder search string than some of the others that bring visitors to these shores.)

This odd search string read, “how to become a caricaturist.”

The quick and dirty answer to this question is, “learn how to draw caricatures,” but then my work on the apple-bride above cannot really motivate anyone to learn how to draw caricatures, let alone inspire them to become caricaturists.

So for those who are wondering why they must get Evolution of a Caricaturist, I must tell you that I didn’t spend all my away-from-the-blog time attending the apple’s wedding, I spent a substantial part of it working on Bill Clinton’s Caricatures (yep, two of them) for a cool magazine…and speaking of caricatures, I think I simply love these caricatures…and I love them more because of Bill Clinton’s cute spherical nose (any guesses why?)

More later. Meanwhile, leave your good wishes for the apple-bride in the comments below.

Caricature – President Obama Crowns himself King on Cover of The American Spectator.

Folks,

This month, I had the opportunity to work on a very interesting assignment – President Obama Crowning himself King 🙂  My regular visitors know that I’ve done at least three Obama Caricatures in black and white (you can find them in the Gallery here,) but honestly, none drip humor the way this does.

Let me start by presenting the artwork.

Caricature, Digital Painting - The American Spectator Cover - The good king Barack - Cover Art for the April 2014 issue.

Cover Art – The American Spectator – April 2014 Issue

If you are a conservative and you don’t subscribe to The American Spectator, you can explore it here.

Now the story behind the creation 🙂

Drawing and Painting President Obama’s Caricature

The Assignment Brief

The Assignment Brief was very clear – Barack Obama crowning himself King, wearing a robe, and could be shown admiring himself in mirror – perhaps a half-figure drawing, and on a solid color background.

When you illustrate for magazines, you walk the tight-rope between design and art. The constraints are important because they set the boundaries for your artwork. So you always begin with the constraints – unlike in Fine Art, where you begin with a concept and allow your artwork to evolve and define its own boundaries.

So the first thing to do was, visualize Obama on the cover – with a solid color background. The solid background made it essential that I visualized the entire color palette within the main figure.

Balancing the Colors

Check out the play of primary colors. The wine-red velvet of the robe and the crown; the golden-yellow of the mirror, the crown, and the tooth – were two warm colors (Red/Magenta, and Yellow)- To neutralize the heat of these two colors, I needed the third primary (Cyan/blue,) and so I decided on a blue tie and offered to paint the Eagle rug from the oval office, under his feet.

That’s how the colors played out, the black/gray/white – the neutrals notwithstanding 🙂

The Head/Body Ratio

Also note the head/body ratio. In this particular caricature, the expression of glee on the president’s face was the most important element of humor. The body was unimportant – purely a hygiene factor, necessary to define the composition. This is why I went  for a very high head/body ratio – but I kept the hands big – they had to be, to hold such a huge crown.

Face-Details/Closeup

Here’s a close-up of the Caricature of President Obama.

President Obama crowns himself King - Closeup - The American Spectator Magazine - April 2014.

President Obama crowns himself King – Closeup – The American Spectator Magazine – April 2014.

A Few things to note:

As you can see, I added a few ideas to the original brief. It helps to discuss your ideas with the client. Sometimes, your ideas may be tossed out of the window, because they were too “morbid,” or they needed to be “watered down.” Here are a few things that I added – the diamond stud, the gold tooth, the eagle rug, the flag, and if you can find him – a tiny but smooth operator.

The diamond stud in Obama’s ear and the gold-tooth, both are affectations of the rich and they help strengthen the “King” in him. I worked with Obama’s younger and more enthusiastic look – not the older, grayer one…reverse aging is impossible, but in its impossibility it exaggerates the impact of the caricature. I had to do some research on his hands. The color, the veins, and also his wedding band (couldn’t have missed that.) I thought that a crown with a flag would look good too.

If you’d like to learn how to draw caricatures in a methodical way – check out “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” on Amazon.  

"Evolution of a Caricaturist - How to Draw Caricatures" available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon.

Among all kinds of illustrations, caricatures evoke the highest response from the audience. A caricature achieves this by weaving the spell of humorous likeness around its subject.

This book establishes a logical method to harness the creative madness that results in caricatures. The author calls it the “Feature Frame Method” and illustrates how this method can be used to selectively exaggerate every facial feature.

Evolution of a Caricaturist helps you master the art of caricature drawing by presenting around 75 artworks and technical drawings, and then analyzing the features of more than 30 celebrity faces.

The eBook “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” now on the Kindle Store!

After a long wait and a lot of hard work, I am happy to present “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures.

If you are interested in learning how to draw caricatures in a methodical yet fun way, its waiting for you here. 

Apart from Kindle Readers, Kindle eBooks can be read on the following handheld devices:

  • Android
  • Apple
  • Windows
  • BlackBerry

Download the Free Kindle Reading App for any of the non-Kindle handheld devices (Tablets/Smartphones) from: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000493771

Chapter-wise Content Outline

I’ve prepared a short 18-page pdf that contains the chapter-wise details of the book. You can download this Free pdf for the ebook “Evolution of a Caricaturist” here.

A Journey Behind the Scenes and Into the Author’s Heart 🙂

Evolution of a Caricaturist - Cover Image - Kindle Store - A Book to Learn How to Draw Caricatures

2013 was a very busy year for me. In July when I had decided to publish the book, I was relatively unoccupied and I thought that it would be a breeze. Yet as time went on, I was doing more assignments and programs, and I realized that it wasn’t going to be easy.

You see, a book about drawing caricatures isn’t like any other book. It’s a journey into a wonderland of faces where you are your reader’s guide, and you use any and all means necessary to help your reader understand, appreciate, and apply everything that’s in there.

The book needed illustrations (it’s got a little more than 70 of those,) it needed analysis of faces and discussions on caricatures, and above all, it needed to be readable. In a nutshell, it needed commitment and time. I am never short on the first, but almost always on the second.

There were times when I wanted to stop because I was tired, but then someone across the world would sign-up for it, and I’d forget my aching limbs and switch on my computer, and then I’d lose myself into the book. I think I’ve poured everything I knew about drawing caricatures into the book – the thoughts, the techniques, the methods, the concepts, and the real-issues with their possible solutions.

I know that most artists would rather draw than read, I trust that most artists like to know how something’s done and then do it their own way, and I believe that this book is written for the artist in us.

With hope and love, I place this book in your hands.

Thank you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures”…almost there :)

Evolution of a Caricaturist” will become available on the Kindle eBook Store sometime this week.

This book has evolved considerably since its advent on the Knol Platform about two years ago. The number of illustrations/artworks/method-drawings have more than doubled. I’ve revised the book to ensure that its examples are more effective. I have also included analyses of the facial features of about three-dozen celebrities. The book bears my brand of humor, so if you enjoy my verbal caricatures, there’s a good chance that you’ll find that the book not only helps you learn how to caricature, but also entertains you.

“Evolution of a Caricaturist” is organized into 14 chapters. It begins by establishing the basic concepts of caricature-drawing and then introduces and explains the Feature Frame Method for caricaturing the different facial features. Chapters 5 to 11 in the book discuss the different facial features and illustrate how they may be caricatured using the Feature Frame Method. The last three chapters help you complete the picture and present a story through your caricatures 🙂

COMING TO THE KINDLE STORE THIS WEEK 🙂

Evolution of a Caricaturist - A book on how to draw caricatures - a Kindle eBook for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

I want to thank everyone who has signed up for the announcement. All of you’ve been a great source of constant motivation to me. Over the course of last three months, some of you have subscribed more than once – Thank you for that. You’ve inspired me to put in my most constructive thoughts in this book.

If you haven’t signed up for the announcement, and would like me to inform you about its arrival on the Kindle Store, please visit the   the web-page of the book “Evolution of a Caricaturist – How to Draw Caricatures” to sign-up. You can also sign-up using the form given in the sidebar.

If you download Kindle books regularly, you probably own a Kindle device or have a Kindle Reader installed in your touch device/computer.  However, I have collected the following links to help those who don’t read Kindle eBooks but would like to make a beginning with my book  🙂 The Kindle Reader is a FREE download.

  1. The Universal Kindle App for iPad and iPhone
  2. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” on Mac
  3. Kindle App for Android Tablets and Smartphones on Google Play (the Android Store)
  4. Kindle App for reading “Evolution of a Caricaturist” Windows 8 Smartphones
  5. Kindle App for Personal Computers running Windows 7, Vista, XP
  6. Kindle App for BlackBerry: Please visit amazon.com/kindlebb in your BlackBerry browser to download.

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——–

My Children’s Illustrations Blog – A Place for the Impossibles!

Friends,

I’ve got a new corner on the web. If you are drawn towards the vibrant innocence of kids’ illustrations, check it out and while you are there click the Follow button too 🙂 Expected update frequency: Twice a week.

Click to visit Shafali's Blog on Children's Illustrations.

Please await news on The Evolution of a Caricaturist, which will soon be available on iPad, Android, and Kindle through Kindle eBooks.

How to Stop Dreaming and Start Drawing – 5 Golden Tips!

Some of us would like to draw…others draw.

What is the difference?

I think the main difference lies in our attitude towards drawing. Those who would like to draw can easily swim to the other side and become someone who draws, and trust me, it isn’t all the difficult. Yet there are many who look at the drawings done by others only to sigh wistfully with longing. Who would like to draw, but who think that drawing is some sort of rocket-science (forgive the cliché, but it fits… and to use another cliché, I am not going to reinvent the wheel if I have ready access to a wheel that fits the chariot of my thoughts.) Actually, in the beginning – drawing is quite like driving or cycling…you practice it to perfect it. Once you’ve perfected those lines, then it becomes a vehicle of your innovative ideas; then your work transforms into art.

The first thing to do, as you can see, is to perfect the skill.

Here’s a short To-do list for everyone who wants to acquire the skill of drawing 🙂

1. Always be Prepared to Draw!

What this means is that there should be no place or time when you shouldn’t have the basic drawing material with you. An artist is always ready to draw. While most people prefer to fill their leisure hours with activities such as watching television, chatting up with friends, reading a novel, and so on and so forth; and artist prefers to draw, and to draw he or she must have the drawing material ready.

Here are the possible places where you can put your rough-sketchbook/notebook and a pencil/pen.

1. In the kitchen
2. In your car
3. In your living room (preferably next to the television)
4. In your office-cabinet
5. In your back-pack/brief-case/carry-all women’s handbag
6. Near your bed
7. Perhaps even in your bathroom if you spend a lot of time on that seat (Before you ask, I don’t have one on the magazine rack in my bathroom, but I have a strong intuition that many artists do.)

So, make sure that you are always prepared to draw. No matter where you are.

2. When you draw, just draw, don’t analyze!

You must draw. In the beginning, the lines will form tediously – they’ll squiggle, wriggle, dance, and jump. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone and with practice everyone grows out of it. If we’d still walk the way we did when we were just learning to lift our butts off the floor, we’d move like drunken zombies – but we don’t. Because we learned. And we learned through practice. So, just draw. Let that pencil become your friend.

What if a snooping friend of yours checks out your precious treasure of funny looking drawings?

Challenge them to draw better than you do. If someone is criticizing you for something, he or she should either be better than you are (and then you must take the criticism as directional feedback,) or shut up.

So draw.

Combine 1 and 2 to get, draw anytime, anywhere.

3. Don’t let curious onlookers stop you from drawing.

People are funny. They think that only witches, wizards, and other sorts of magical beings can draw, and so when they see you drawing in a restaurant, or in a train, or in a park, they stop to look. Perhaps they don’t have anything better to do, unlike you who has something…so feel sorry for them, recite a short prayer for the poor misguided, bored-with-their-lives souls,  “they stand here and watch because they can’t draw… Dear God, give them this day, something more useful to do,”) and  continue. In a few months from now, you’ll be accomplished at drawing stuff – and now when they stop to watch you, they’ll gasp at your work and tell you that you are really talented.

4. Remember that Drawing has nothing to do with Art-Supplies!

Don’t worry about the types of pens, pencils, brushes, colors, paints that you should use to draw. Also don’t worry about the types of paper, canvas, other surfaces that must be used to get that oh-so-nice effect. Effects are effects, drawing talent is drawing talent. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to work with any material with ease. So, use what’s easiest for you to lay your hands upon.

Some of my best drawings are done on Xerox paper with an HB clutch-pencil, and most of my doodle-cartoons are done using whichever pen I was holding at the time when inspiration struck. Art-supplies and art-material would bother you only when you begin to draw professionally. For about six-months to a year, draw with anything on anything.

5. Tell yourself – Practice Leads to Perfection

You can walk, run, even run up a staircase, with a perfect-10 perfection – and you can do it because you’ve practiced it long enough and consistently enough.Drawing is no different. Practice is your best bet. Don’t begin, then stop, then start again only to stop… Draw everyday…and then one day, you’ll wake up and an inner voice will confirm that you indeed can draw 🙂 When that day arrives, you’ll stop waiting for approval from others – you would have got the most important approval – from the most important source – your inner voice.

So if you are interested, pick up a pencil stub, find a scrap of paper  and start drawing 🙂

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.

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:-)

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 🙂

How to Draw These 7 Personalities?! Let them Draw themselves!

I can’t stop myself from writing this post…so I’d begin by apologizing to my serious visitors – I am sorry! This isn’t a deliberate, thoughtful post – it’s what the netizens would call an impulse post.

You see I came upon the search string, “How to Draw Ozzy Osbourne” in my blog’s data. Isn’t that the joke of the day?! Do you really need to figure it out? Really?!

You see…you don’t make Ozzy’s caricature – he’s already done the job for you. Instead, you make his portrait! So if you can draw, you can draw his caricature!

Here are some other “How to Draw the Caricature of…”! Smile Away:-)

How to Draw the Caricature of Mahatma Gandhi:

Draw the nose, the ears, and the spectacles – the viewers will fill in the rest.

Mahatma Gandhi Ben KingsleyRead the Post on the Caricature of Mahatma Gandhi

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Ozzy Osbourne:

Forget it. I’ve tried but I believe that no caricaturist can beat Ozzy himself, when it comes to drawing his caricature.

Ozzy OsbourneRead the Post on the Caricature of Ozzy Osbourne

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Abraham Lincoln:

Draw Gandhi’s caricature, add hair,  and remove the spectacles.

Abraham Lincoln AbeRead the Post on the Caricature of Abraham Lincoln

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Pamela Anderson:

Draw the fishbowls. Period.

Pamela AndersonRead the Post on the Caricature of Pamela Anderson

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Lady Gaga:

Draw a nest, or a Computer, or a Robot, or a Christmas Tree; and label it “Lady Gaga”

Lady GagaRead the Post on the Caricature of Lady Gaga

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Queen Elizabeth:

Draw the crown. Period.

Queen Elizabeth IIRead the Post on the Caricature of Queen Elizabeth II

~~0~~

How to Draw the Caricature of Tiger Woods:

Draw the cap, the women, the Nike symbol…or…to draw a more modern Tiger Woods, draw a Tiger lost in the Woods with beautiful tigresses to give him company!

Tiger Woods, his Women, Nike, Satan, and Divorce!Read the Post on the Caricature of Tiger Woods, his Women, and the Devil.

~~0~~

I could go on and on, and never stop…but I’ve got to go! Have fun, enjoy, and Draw Ozzy Osbourne’s Caricature – and see if you can do a better job than he did.

And…

if you are serious about doing caricatures, you must check out my FREE Online Book “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist“!

Who Next? Caricatures/Cartoons from Hollywood, Hard Rock, or International Politics?

Hi Visitors,

About the Upcoming Caricatures:

In what order would you like to see the following three personalities appear on your favorite caricature blog?

  1. Edward Norton the Hollywood Actor
  2. Ozzy Osbourne of the English heavy metal band Black Sabbath
  3. David Cameron the current British Prime Minister

Please write the order of your preference in the comments section – popular demand will lead the way:)

About the Storytelling Carnival:

And yes, while you are here…do visit the “Story-in-the-Caricature Blog Carnival.

(Do you know that most writers are discovered by chance? Take your chance now – and rediscover yourself.)

Have fun…

About the Caricature Drawing Tutorial Book:

and yes, learn how you can DRAW TO SMILE!

How to Draw the Caricature of Jack Nicholson – The Wolf

Two caricatures have challenged me like no other. They are Jack Nicholson’s and George Clooney’s – however, the reasons that made them challenging were diametric opposites.

Before I tell you more, here’s the caricature that we’ll be discussing today.

Jack Nicholson the wolf caricature - as good as it gets!

Jack Nicholson’s face has a lot of elements that can be caricatured, while George Clooney has but one (his chin.) Thus, with Jack Nicholson’s caricature, I faced the problem of plenty. Yes, the same problem that plagues rich kids of rich dads (does it remind you of a Ms. Hilton?) – they don’t know what to do with what they have – and so they go through their lives baffled and uneasy. Jack Nicholson’s face to a caricaturist is like Paris Hilton’s rich dad. Really. His dreamy eyes, his deriding mocking smile, his crazy untidy hair, his strong dimpled chin, and of course, his poking-fun-at-you eyebrows! I was a confused caricaturist who had plenty to play around with and who wanted to splurge at everything and anything.

It is at moments such as these that self-restraint becomes a quality in a caricaturist. Instead of following my instincts blindly, I organized my thoughts and decided to exaggerate the brows and the chin more than I exaggerated the other features. I felt that these two features set his face apart from others’.

Here’s how I drew the caricature of Jack Nicholson.

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Eyes

As I said, Jack Nicholson’s eyes have that dreamy drunken look, which seems to mock everyone they look at. The look seems to tell them, “I know better!”
I exaggerated the differences between his left and right eyes. I also gave him a slightly sideways glance to capture and exaggerate the look in his eye. Note that I haven’t played around with the shape of his eyes much. (Read “Caricaturing the Eyes” here.)

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Jaw and Chin

The shape of Jack Nicholson’s face can be best classified as pentagonal (though his chin is heavy, somewhat squarish, and not too pointed, it is very prominent.) I pulled all the anchor points and the mirror points out of the feature frame, with all my might. In fact, I could well caricature myself having lost my foothold as I dangled from the mirror points on his jaw – trying to use all my weight to pull those points lower and wider, making his chin about three times his nose. (Read “Caricaturing the Shape of the Face” here.)

(Note: if the terms anchor points, mirror points, and feature frame make your eyebrows rise up in the middle (in other words, makes you wonder), you need to check out the Free Online book “How to Draw Caricatures – The Evolution of a Caricaturist”!)

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson – the Wolf’s Hair

Once again, I didn’t do much with the hair. I went for his slightly Wolf-y look and made his hair look a little rougher through some truly violent strokes of my pencil. I wanted them to look like the hair on a badger’s much talked about behind (or what I imagine the hair on a badger’s behind to be – discover in this funny poem here.)

And…finally,

Caricaturing Jack Nicholson’s Eyebrows

Honestly, his eyebrows look like he’s got them cello-taped to his forehead. Probably he has, but I couldn’t find enough evidence to support my hypothesis. I did contemplate taping his eyebrows up, but upon some reflection I discarded the idea. I wasn’t caricaturing Frankenstein’s monster, I was caricaturing a good-looking Hollywood Celebrity, who despite his years can make women swoon! So up went the brows – they got pierced and got those golden rings. (Read “Caricaturing the Brows & Brow-ridge” here.)

Caricaturing the Birds

When I was ready with the strings, the birds just flew in. They began chirping and I turned my translator on. Aha. On the sly, Jack Nicholson employs birds that keep his brows hitched up…nobody knew – until now. But now, the secret is out!

Here are some other things to do:

Have fun caricaturing:-) Spread the Smile!

A Quick Update on Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks!

Dear Visitors,

Here’s a quick update.

Coming up shortly on your favorite Caricature blog are:

  • Sandra Bullock (Oscar Nominee for the movie, The Blind Side) and
  • Tom Hanks (The Castaway Robert Langdon.)

And yes, the 6th Chapter in the book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” (A book about how to draw caricatures) is ready to be published!

Regards,
Shafali

The List of Celebrities whose Caricatures Grace this Blog…so far:-)

As many of my visitors would know, I started this blog sometime in the middle of December 2010. Since then, I’ve added quite a few Celebrity Caricatures to it. The regular visitors have probably seen them all, but I wouldn’t want my new visitors to miss out on the treats:) So here’s a consolidated list for your viewing delight.

  1. Gorgeous George Clooney’s Impeccable Hairstyle
  2. Julia Roberts – The Pretty Woman’s Dazzling Smile helps the Rodent Household!
  3. Pamela Anderson (Lee)…the Fish, and the Missing Fish-bowls
  4. Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft – The Tomb Raider
  5. Brad Pitt and Achilles’ Dilemma in Troy
  6. Avatar – A Visual/Verbal Caricature
  7. Bruce Willis – the Unbreakable, and the Die Hard Woodpecker.
  8. Jack Nicholson and the Two Birds – As Good as it Gets!
  9. Morgan Freeman a.k.a Detective Alex Cross and… The Two Dueling Mosquitoes.
  10. Michelle Obama – The First Lady’s Smile & The Toothpaste Ad!
  11. Barack Obama – What worries him? The Pups Know – Sasha, Malia, and Bo!
  12. Nicole Kidman, Her Nose and the Bloodhounds!
  13. Tiger Woods, Women, Nike, and Devil!
  14. Halle Berry, her Hairstyle, and the Birds!
  15. Johnny Depp – Captain Jack Sparrow – The Pirate!

Another Caricature of a Forever Celebrity graced this blog recently (The Pierced, Tattooed, Dermal-Implanted, and Otherwise Modified Human’s Unique Selling Proposition!)

If you liked my caricatures and if you’d like to make caricatures too…my Book – “How to Draw Caricatures – Evolution of a Caricaturist” , which I am publishing as a collection of knols, should interest you. If you are interested…do visit. You can also read more about this book in “The Book” section of this blog. Your comments shall be appreciated.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Learn How to Draw Caricatures – Read “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” – Chapter 5 Up!

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 5th Chapter of the book, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” is up!

The keen readers of this book would be happy to know that with Chapter 5, we’ve taken our first concrete step towards becoming a caricaturist.  The first four chapters of this book focused on the essential preparatory concepts that helped you gear up for the real work ahead. “Chapter 5 – Caricaturizing the Shape of the Face” enables you to classify the shape of the human face into three main categories, and then explains two Exaggeration methods for each of the categories.

In “Chapter 3 – The Human Face – Observing it from the Caricaturist’s Perspective”,  we had discussed 10 such elements that make a human face unique.  In chapter 5 and other upcoming chapters, we will discuss and practice the methods of exaggerating each of these elements. By the time you reach the end of this book, you should’ve mastered the skill of identifying, classifying, and exaggerating human facial features in order to express humor and/or ridicule!

So, if you like to sketch, favorite this blog and also the knolbook, “The Evolution of a Caricaturist,” buy an un-ruled notebook, a few pencils, an eraser, and…if you wish, a false tattoo – and we’d be on our way!

Spread the Smile!

The Book “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” – 3 Chapters up and Growing…

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.

I am writing a book called “The Evolution of a Caricaturist” on How to Draw Caricatures. This book explains the art of creating caricatures and helps you develop a method to achieve a humorous likeness to the subject of your caricature. It begins by explaining what a caricature is, establishes an effective method for observation of human facial features, and then feature-by-feature, it helps you develop “the skill of exaggerating to achieve humor and likeness.”

The Evolution of a Caricaturist

I will be updating this page, whenever I add a new chapter to this book, which I hope to do once or twice a week. (Definitely once a week.) I’ll appreciate your suggestions on how to make this book available after it has been published completely. I’ll also appreciate suggestions on what else you’d like to see in the book.

And finally a Personal Note:

I believe that the artists of this world form a continuum. There are a lot of caricature artists who are ahead of me and I could learn a lot from them…but then there probably are an equal number of artists and graphic designers who want to master the art of drawing caricatures. They are looking for “simple-to-understand and ready-to-apply” methods of creating caricatures so that they may explore yet another facet of art. Through this book, I wish to share my knowledge of caricature drawing with them. I hope they find it helpful.

Happy reading and drawing.

Thanks.
Shafali