26 January 2001 
(picture at bottom)


You Every Other Week Caricature: final of John Goodman


Hi all!

Today: the John Goodman Final. I'm proud of myself today - I did this pencil in a rush
- it shows, but I realize once you start getting in a groove, drawing's just like riding
a bike: it's easy to hop right back on.

Taking a step back though, I see things I left out. They're especially easy to see after
I scanned the picture and see it about a quarter or a fifth the size of the original. In a
non-rushed situation, your drawings always benefit from taking a step back - looking
at them with a little more objectivity than if you roar right through the process. And I
mean literally, physically, getting out of your chair and taking a step. True, a little
tougher to do at a "gig", but in a non-gig situation, do it. It's worth the effort and you
realize you needed the breathing room.

What's missing?

What did I leave out? The black tux tie collar on the right side (his right - our left).
I also see I didn't give him enough "happy eyes" - and I don't mean he needs more
eyes, just that the two eyes that are there aren't really giving off that "man I'm jumpin' for
joy I just won an Oscar" kind of feel. The resolution? Arch the lower lids up higher
over the iris (the iris is the colored part of the eye), and drop the iris down far enough
so it looks like a sundown. By that I mean only the top part of the circle shows above
the horizon, or in this case above the lower lid...again which ought to be rising higher
up...as mentioned. The mouth got a little crowded and you can't tell the teeth from the
tongue from the lips. Neck isn't fitting into the collar...

What works

Overall, I like the general shape of  the head - the way the chin and jaw jut out. The
shadowing beneath the chin accounts for the strong "jutting out" effect. As you can
tell the cheeks are getting pretty huge. When I have a little more time, I'd like to really
play with this drawing because it would be pretty easy to take this drawing to wild
extremes. I think the picture on the top right (from the original email), is the most accurate
picture of Mr. Goodman. When drawing faces you can make a minimalist line drawing that
you can recognize as the subject, but to really make it scream, the tiny details make
the difference. (In my opinion any way.)

How to really exaggerate this picture...

Things I would do to accomplish that: I'd shrink the eyes more, make them smaller and
closer together. I'd narrow the head there too - at the level of the eyes. I'd pop out (ie make
larger), the forehead and crown of the head, I'd keep the mouth about the same size
and I'd make the cheeks, jaw, chin and neck about the size of the Goodman, 'scuse me,
the Goodyear blimp. Yep, that's what I'd do. (I'm getting that wicked little "heh heh heh"
feeling all caricaturists get when they know they've hit on something. Haven't already got
that feeling while drawing? Keep practicing. You will someday.)

I've also included two earlier versions of Mr. Goodman. Go through with your visual
"fine-tooth" comb and see if you can't spot what's different in all the pictures. Look for
proportion and compare proportions between the pictures. For example, how are the
cheeks different between the realistic picture and the final? How much wider are
the cheeks compared to the width of the eyes? How much smaller is the forehead
in the third picture compared to the forehead in the first exaggeration? And on and on.
Pick one feature in one picture and try to name how those features are different in
the other pix.

Too big?

Recently I've allowed the picture sizes to get a little larger - it allows you to see
more detail. If they're too big, if they're gumming up your mail box, let me know.
I'll try to put higher resolution pictures in the Art Gallery at the Insider's Artist Loft.

Next communiqué: comes out in a week. We'll be looking more at how to draw hair
(Part I).  Until then, keep on drawing.


Jeff k.

Here he is: 


Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director

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