August 10th 2000

 

Hi all, 


I was getting just a little behind on the weekly's so I'm catching up today. 
Today's caricature is the finished caricature of my brother Tony (scientific 
name: "Tonus Balonus"). 

Diving In
At first glance, the final's not a whole lot different than the second 
exaggeration from two weeks ago, (see "28 July 2000" in the Archives for the 
original drawings). According to family - and to my own eye - this picture 
captures Tony much more so than the one two weeks ago. Why? I have to look 
very close myself to put it in words. The differences are subtle. However 
you can compare and point where the differences are. By using just the basic 
drawing skills - comparing, contrasting, negative space, recognizing angles 
and shadows, contours etc. - you can go right down the line in each picture 
jumping back and forth one picture to the other and say where they've 
changed.

So let's do that. If you saved the last email with Tony in it, go ahead and 
open it up. (If you can't open two emails at once with your browser, print 
out one or the other. If you don't have a printer, you should be able to 
open a second browser window by double clicking on your Internet browser 
icon. If you go that route, click here for the link to the original: 

http://ycdinsiders.digitalchainsaw.com/InsidersArtistLoft/28july.htm )

So, literally from top to bottom...

The Hair
There's more contrast in the final. that's the first thing I notice. With 
fewer extraneous lines over the hair, the mass of the hair looks more close 
cropped - less of a bulge on top. Do a sighting of the width of the forehead 
from corner to corner (where the hairline recedes - on either side of the 
"Widow's Peak" - thanks Bill James from Florida for setting me straight on 
the name there...I called it a widow's point or something that didn't sound 
quite right.) You could also see the hairline as an "M". (Squint and you'll 
see it.) The two points I'm taking about are the same two highest points of 
the "M". Anyway, that distance is narrowed in the final. Compare also the 
height of the forehead from brow bone to peak of the "M". You'll see in the 
final the forehead's taller too. Taller and narrower.


Continuing down, the overall width from outermost brow bone to outermost 
brow bone is wider. Overall effect between wider brow and taller narrower 
forehead: just a little more comical.

The eye brows are largely unchanged - maybe a touch bushier in the final - 
and more contrast at the base of the eyebrows especially just above the top 
most line of the left eyelids. See how the darkened left eye brow (the hair) 
and the highest line of the left eye lid (Tony's left eyelid - on the 
opposite side of the face away from the "Courtesy of..."), actually touch 
each other? This makes for deeper, reset looking eyes - which is what Tonus 
has. In the July 28 version, there's white space where the final is dark. 
Compare the two.

The Nose
The greatest difference here again is subtle - but effective. Overall, the 
final nose is wider, with a tip of the nose that's more pronounced than the 
earlier version. There's a much improved shadow here too: look at Tony's 
right eye (on the same side as the "Courtesy of"). Look at where the bridge 
of the nose and eye come together. In the final version the contour of the 
nose is straighter and steeper and there's a darker shadow that runs from 
the edge of the nose to the dark part of the eye. Again, this is truer to 
the real life Tony and the visual effect gives you the idea his eyes are 
deep set.

Next the Cheeks
Cheeks - not a whole lot different. Just a touch larger so as to mirror the 
wider, bonier brow. Overall effect: A cheek-to-jaw-to-to-chin contour with 
much stronger angles. Makes him look athletic - which he is...as much as a 
geezer of 40 can be (I can say that - I'm older :-). 

Back to the middle of the picture - The tip of the nose has more visible 
halves the older version. Remember, there are two cartilages in the tip of 
the nose. In today's picture, the halves are more noticeable than in the 28 
July version. 

The Mouth and Teeth
Today's version: I narrowed the mouth just a tad and actually made it taller 
to accommodate the exaggerated "two front teeth" (the incisors). It always 
tickles me that when you exaggerate something correctly, it seems as if the 
exaggeration looks more like the person than the person. (Maybe I've hid 
away in my drawing room for too long. But there is research that backs this 
up however: a group of people (the test group), viewed 6 subjects through a 
one way mirror. They had something like 5 seconds to view each subject's 
face. 10 minutes later they were asked to identify the subject in mixed 
photos and caricatured drawings. These were mixed in with other pictures of 
people not in the test sets. They, the test group, found and recognized the 
subject's caricature something like 90% more accurately than they did a 
realistic photo. Seems the mind grabs the subtleties.)


Do a sighting of the distance from the corners of the mouth to the margins 
(the edges), of the cheeks. You'll see that that distance is greater in the 
final. (If terms like "sighting" or "contours" sound foreign, they're all 
explained in the first nine lessons - and ought to be in the glossary of the 
Sourcebook/on-line book).

The Chin
Since Tony has a strong chin and jaw, I lengthened it and sharpened it's 
corners up just a tad. I also softened the shadows since in the 28 July 
version, it looked like he had a goatee. Squint your eyes and view the shape 
of the shadows on his chin. Compare the shape of the main chin shadow (at 
the bottom of the chin), with the earlier version. Also contrast the shape of 
that shadow with the shapes around it - (good old "negative space" exercise).

The Ears
Need I say much here? Yes I'm a cruel and nasty person, HA HA! :-) And I 
took wicked liberty here. Look at the ear and see if you can't identify the 
three drawable parts: the helix and lobe, the anti-helix and the "shadow 
area". (Hint: the anti-helix is almost nonexistent.)

Lastly, and in contrast to my usual practice of giving a skinny neck, I 
thickened Tony's up: gives strength and athleticism to the person. And that's 
my bro!


So keep on drawing all! Even if you can't squeeze in more than 15 minutes 
3-4 days a week, you'll still make progress!! That's a fact.

Take care. Send me any of your drawings (from the lessons preferably), and 
you'll get a free in-depth evaluation/drawing check-up and a permanent place 
in the e-book. 

Warmly, 


Jeff

 


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