9 September 2000
Here's today's caricature, er, I should say this "every-other-week's"
caricature. In this issue, I've done a progression of Anthony Robbins - he's
the late night TV motivational guru. (And he really is good at what he
does.) Any ways, I was trying to figure out who to draw a couple nights ago
and a postcard came in the mail with a picture of him - I said "I'll draw
I'm not sure how well known he is so I included a link to an on-line photo
of him. It's pretty close to the picture I worked from. (I'd include the
original, but it's a copyright infringement if I do that - so I'll link you
to him and give him some free advertising. What a deal!
About this series of three.
The first picture, as is more or less customary now, I've drawn a realistic
pencil sketch. It took me three separate tries to nail down a likeness I was
happy with. (The very first drawing ended up like a spitting image of John
Elway - the former Denver Bronco's Long time Super Bowl winning
quarterback...guess who'll be the next caricature?)
What grabbed me? Starting from top to bottom: Mr. Robbin's hair (I almost
said "Tony's" hair - but Bobby Knight reminded me yesterday I'm not on a
first name basis with anyone I draw)...OK, Mr Robbin's hair - it has a
definite angular shape to it, comes down far on the forehead, wants to fall
over his eyes I think - but doesn't, is very dark, has a very definite part.
But note the saucer-like look to the main body of hair at the very top of
the head. That's what grabbed my eye. The hair leads me right down to the
Tony, er, Mr. Robbin's has a fairly high forehead - and proportionately
it's narrower than Mr. Average's. That I'll make special note of. Below the
Brows - dark and wide, then...
- slightly droopy upper lids which gives him a either very relaxed
appearance or makes him look dozy, I can't decide - and they're very kind
eyes. Both eyes have two very clear lines over the actual round and dark
iris of the eye.
- and I only came to this opinion after seeing several pictures - are high,
peak just below the eyes but take the long route to get to the folds around
the mouth (just to the side of the dimples). This makes room for a long nose
and mid face.
is just a slight bit longer than Mr. Average's and comes to a fairly
aristocratic point (ooh, "aristocratic") :-). The base of the nose is broad
flared by angular nostril shadows, and even more angular highlights around
the nostrils (the actual tissue of the side of the nose).
The general dimensions of the mouth: wide, toothy, not much of a "Cupid's
Bow" in the upper lip and a full upper lip there too.
He has strong dimples and lines around the mouth. When drawing anybody, I've
found it's easiest to count your way through the vertical lines and shadow
shapes that make up the dimples and pulled-back-curtain-effect smiling has
on the flesh at the sides of the mouth. I get pretty confused if I don't do
Tony (Oops, I'm dead now), has three to four of these depending on the
lighting in the picture and how hard he's smiling. (There's an assignment
for you: watch for people's dimples as you talk to them this week - watch
the regular pattern they form when the person smiles or grimaces. you could
look in the mirror and observe your own too.)
Lastly, the dimples, the lines around the mouth, the jaw bone, all converge
at the chin. Mr. Robbin's has a prominent jaw - and soft jaw corners. (By
"jaw corners" I mean the that sharp curve in the jaw bone you feel just
under your ears, where the bone turns horizontal - right where the
chipmunkey "Mumps" would show up...if you ever had the mumps. (Medically, or
anatomically this is called the "Angle of the Mandible".)
And Mr. Robbins has a long strong neck. I thought about experimenting with a
little pencil neck - but I used to give every body a pencil neck, and lately
I'm into being more generous - neck-wise that is.
Pictures #2 and #3 - first exaggerations
Print out this page and bring up the sketches in your browser. Make note of
the changes in the height and width of the forehead and hair, the width of
the mouth, the mass of the teeth, the distance between the lower lip and the
shadow of the chin - the stretching seems subtle until you "sight it" or
even measure it. It's making comparisons like this that really build your
"proportion and perspective muscle" - something we touched on in the last
Also, look at the shadow under the lower lip - this kind of shadow is found
on almost every human being (in a top lit picture). It defines the lower lip
as much as drawing the lower lip does. (I'm trying to tie this to things
we've been touching on in the last couple zines. )
Here's the link to an original:
Remember, these are just the beginnings of what I interpret as the
caricaturable parts of Tony's face (that's it, I'm out...zero tolerance).
You might go a whole other route and really come up with a picture that
works by using a whole different set of exaggerations. (I always get a big
chuckle when a caricature starts working - it's like adding the icing
compared to doing realistic portraits - so this one works for me.)
In 2 weeks, we'll see how much farther this can be pushed - or more
accurately, how much farther I'll dare to push this (because I guarantee
you, lots of folks can and will push these a whole gang farther.)
All of you have a great week, and keep on drawing!
Kasbohm & Company's
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