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Your 15 November 2003, caricature: DANIELLE  PLETKA

15 November 2003


Your 15 November 2003, Caricature


Today's victim: DANIELLE PLETKA

Howdy all!

I had a great trip to Los Angeles - a little scary flying through and over the smoke
and fire in the Riverside / Arrowhead area as the airplane came in for it's landing
approach. You could see a 15 or 20,000 foot smoke plume from the fires down in
San Diego from as far away as Las Vegas. Quite a sight. So sad for all those who
experienced loss. I'll never forget it: nature is boss!

Like riding a bike

Well I'm back in Minneapolis and it's time to get back to work. Folks, I haven't done a
caricature for 6 months. That's the longest it's been in six years. (That's because I spent
the last 6-7 months diving into the Flash Lessons.) Drawing is a skill that's just like
riding a bike, caricatures included: once you've learned either - drawing or biking - you
never forget. You might get rusty, but you never forget :-)

Back to caricatures:

Today's victim: Danielle Pletka ( I miswrote the name on the illustration). I just have to say
this though: Ms. Pletka is an easy target. After seeing her on Larry King she immediately
reminded me of that Nancy Grace character who's absolutely the love of my life....Ha ha.

Suffice it to say I went soft on Ms. Pletka  -  could have been really cruel, but I backed
off. I don't know what it is about caricature, but it sure can bring out your dark side.
But what a great way to voice your opinion - even if no one ever sees your drawings.

What makes Ms. Pletka caricaturable...I'll quickly go through what grabbed me...

: pointed, slightly unkempt, good strong shadows and highlights along the uneven

Narrow forehead  - or made to look narrow when hid under that librarian-like hair do
(librarian only as a stereotype) ..I feel like I'm going to take some heat for this one today :-)

Eyes big and "Olive Oyl" like. Dark with downward-tending upper lids. She's also got
circles beneath her eyes which might add to the apparent size of her eyes - or to the
illusion that they're bigger than they are. The eyebrows are fairly light and meet the
dark outline of the upper lids in the original photo (which you can see a chunk down the
page in the link below - it's about 3/4 inch tall.)

The nose is definitely longer than the Mr./Ms. Average so that's an exploitable feature.
Starting high up between the eyes and tapering to a point - makes me think of the Tin Man
on The Wizard of Oz  (I'm not saying that  to be cold or cruel, she just makes me think
of him since "The Wiz" was just on TV :-)

Lips and teeth: it's very easy to pick on Ms. Pletka for her teeth so I just gave her a
little exaggeration. The lips flare around the middle and then tack back down under the
apron of the upper lip. (The "apron of the upper lip" is that fleshy area above the upper
lip, bordered by those lines that start at the corners of the nose and run down to the
corners of the mouth.) These lines (the "naso-labial folds"), are strong, so it's ok
to play them up some. I didn't because I didn't really see them until now. (I rushed
through this drawing pretty fast.)

Take a step back

It's always a good idea to take a step back from anything your'e drawing or painting if
your'e ever feeling lost or disoriented. Extra tissue can make for more prominent naso-labial
folds, as can age or a receded maxilla (the maxilla is the bone that supports your upper
row of teeth and your nose.)

The overall shape of the face tapers like an almond closing in on the thinnest end
at the chin, widest at the cheek bones  / at the edge of the eyes. In the caricature, the
lower lip obscures most of the chin - but a cute little chin it is :-)

The Litmus test: Does it look like her?

I'd have to say sort of :-). I think droopier upper eyelids would've added more as would
a rounder head of hair...of course with the distance of two days between when I drew the
picture and as I write out my comments / observations things are, well they're clearer to
me now.  Again, you'll experience that clarity anytime you take a break too - and amazingly,
many times when you take a break somehow magically your drawing transforms itself into
a true likeness. Leave your drawing room for half an hour, and when you come back,
your drawing looks like what you were drawing. That's a fact. And that's always pretty cool!

Your assignment:

You worked your way through the Flash lessons, right? Start applying what you know
from the basics of drawing to the individual features. Start with the ears, then the eyes,
then the nose etc. All these sections are covered on the book, so dive on in fearlessly.
(Note: we'll be dong a "Flash" treatment of the individual features in the not too distant
future - so hang in there!)

To see the original picture the caricature was drawn from see this link:

Go to Google, type in "DANIELLE PLETKA", and press on "images" (works best I've
found if you do a normal search first) to see more pictures (there's not many).

Built-in search feature

Also, if any words or terms used here are unfamiliar to you, open up your e-Sourcebook,
click on "find" (it's in the tool bar along the top edge of your screen), and type in the term or
item you're confused by i the search box. You'll get a whole list of references. What a deal :-)

So have a great week and keep on drawing!



Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director
Kasbohm & Company Strategic Multimedia
home of and

(952) 544-0657
1351 Hampshire Ave. So., #127
St. Louis Park, MN  55426

"Once and for all  getting you drawing faces and caricatures"