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 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!