June 8th 2001
(picture at bottom)
Your Every Other Week Caricature
Complements of YouCanDraw.com
Hope you're keeping your pencils to the paper and your noses to the grindstone
...for about another 5 minutes :-). I'm hoping you'll get a chuckle out of this week's
caricature - I did. This week I also sent you off a picture ( a real photo), of Janet Jackson -
this same photo has been up on all the billboards around Hollywood for the past month
filling out the skyline up and down Sunset Boulevard and all the major strips. After
seeing it so many times, I couldn't help but take my shot at drawing Ms. Jackson.
The snapshot (from Tower Records), won't be in any permanent record because that
would be a copyright infringement. So when this week's e-zine and caricature are
permanently recorded, a link will be in place of her picture. But the caricature is there
for you to enjoy and it's 100% original.
Just in case you want to see the original in it's place - and buy the album:
I have a question for you
Which brings me to a question: In the "Your Every Other Week Caricature",
do you have a preference:
1) getting a penciled, realistic drawing with a progression showing more and
more exaggeration over two issues or,
2) receiving a fully inked, print-ready caricature (like today's) in each issue;
3) a combination of the above? That is, one month a progression, the next month two
inked-up and ready to go pictures?
Quite frankly, I think I can do a better job on one inked-up, ready to go picture - but
what's more important is what helps and inspires your drawing the most. That's the
bottom line. So let me know what you prefer.
OK, now that the administrative stuff is out of the way, a word on what I found most
unique in Janet's face. Starting at the top:
Her hair is most definitely interesting, somewhere between the old Ann Margaret
mop-top and Rastafarian dread locks with bleached curls thrown in for added touch.
To draw this? With hatching (a la David Levine), it's a fair amount of work but with
enough layering, the effect is very nice - and works great for dark hair.
Next, the eyes I found fun - a actually very easy (the original picture has a lot of
airbrushing so any wrinkles are swept right off - and it keeps her very young looking).
Her pupils are big and round with large highlights - big Bambi eyes. Very cute. Two
other very notable things about her eyes: 1) the thickness and density of the eyelashes
makes for broad lines in place of individual lashes and 2) the overall shape of the eyes
and lashes makes for a cat-like look, you know, with the outer edges (on the temple
side of her face) turning up and out, almost "Asian" in form.
Small and perky enough to fit in a bottle cap - so no need to outline with big heavy
lines, just some light cross-hatches to suggest soft shadows. By far the most inter-
esting about her nose though is the sharp notches in the nostril shadows: by far and
away these are unique to Janet (and her brother Michael). What's that from? It's from
The apron of the upper lip
Now to accommodate that big beautiful, Close-up toothpaste smile, you've got to
transition from the little nose to the wide mouth: which makes for a spacious "apron
over the upper lip". Not a lot of shadowing needed - the most direct light is coming
from the left, above and mostly in front - so this part of the face is full of light. Thus
little shadowing needed. Oh - and don't forget the Marylin Monroe beauty mark.
The lips and teeth
By far I thought the hardest part to draw, but also the most peculiar to Janet:
the lips and teeth. And what's so peculiar? I think it's two things: the first is the
pointiness of the "Cupid's Bow" (that's the in the very center of the upper lip), and
the highlights of the lower lip.
The other very important detail around the mouth is the corner: the one on the left
(her right). Pay very close attention to the curvature that's accomplished with those
to or three shadow shapes and to the angling of the contour of the upper lip: it suddenly
drops to form the transition between cheek, chin and mouth.
Chin and jaw
Her chin and jaw are angular and strong - so deciding where it "curves in" as opposed
to "curving out" as you follow the contour all the way around is the trick here. She has
something of a cleft in the chin - probably could have worked with or without a cleft. As
long as the corners of the chin are strong I think the brain imposes a cleft.
The rest of the picture
Don't forget to allow for proportion to work here: the left half of her face (our right),
is closer and so is bigger. Lots of dark areas - especially between her arm, her hair
and her cheek. This gives decent contrast to the light tones of her arm and matches
the black of her eyes and hair. Off the cuff, those are the things that struck me
Until next week, keep on drawing and enjoy Summer!
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"