April 27th 2001
(picture at bottom)
Your Every Other Week Caricature
Complements of YouCanDraw.com
Hi all, here’s this week caricature. Can you guess who? Right, the
Beatles’s Paul McCartney. (Though it’s been what, 25 year’s since he’s
been a Beatle? Sounds like typecasting to me.) Any way, I was a little
hesitant to draw him until I just said “You got a decent picture in hand,
use it”. I waffle a lot about who I’m going to draw, but then I have to
remind myself I don’t have much of a choice about who I draw when
I’m at a gig. So just like at a gig I bit the bullet and went to work.
So here are my observations:
Starting with the Hair
Mr. McCartney still pulls his hair right down to his eyebrows. I looked
out on the net for other pictures and I found all his hairdos amazingly
consistent: the Old English Sheep dog look. So that’s a pretty fair hair shape
to play with - almost akin to dropping an Octopus on his head.
Here’s an interesting thing: Paul’s eyebrows are arching very high in this
particular expression but he has high arching brows even without doing the
half surprise / half “happy guy” look. I think this contributes significantly
to his boyish good looks (In fact, the way I’ve depicted him I thought it
made this particular drawing almost woman-like (Woman have much
higher arching brows than do men.))
The eyes are big and round, and I’m guessing they’re blue. Often times
in a black and white picture blue eyes come across as having dark pupils and
a light iris. Only makes sense, doesn’t it? Adding the right amount of
bagginess bolsters the feeling of age - not tiredness. In Paul’s case it’s
just graceful aging. In the first exaggeration I think I underplayed his right
eye infra-orbital folds (our left as we look at the drawing) (or “bags”).
Also notice the high arch, almost tent-like point of the upper eyelids and
the tent-like groove of the groove above the eyelid (this is where it folds
up and hides under the bony brow)
I think Paul’s nose is probably his signature feature - it’s very narrow,
tapers very gracefully from the bony brow down to the small, narrow
tip. There’s a very visible frontal plane that courses down the entire
length of his nose.
Note also the shadows at the point of the nose in both pictures - how
they help sustain the square highlight at the nose’s very tip. Also note
the overall angle of the nose: Paul’s is angled slightly up so when
you're looking at him in a straight on view you see more arch and
shadow of the nares and nostrils. In a person with a down pointing nose,
you often tines see no nostril shadow at all.
The Mouth, Lips, and Teeth
The apron of the upper lip is fairly narrow (the “apron” is the area of flesh
below the nose, above the upper lip and between the cheeks - between
the naso-labial folds...if you’ve been reading the in-depth lessons this’ll be
old hat for you :-)This belies a less than protruding maxilla (the maxilla is
the bone that supports the upper teeth)
In earlier pictures of Paul as a young man he had rather full cheeks. These days
they’re not so full, but still rounded. A lack of strong lines in this area lends
to the illusion of roundness.
The teeth - he has prominent middle upper incisors (you know, the old
“two front teeth”). In fact his left one (right to us), is more prominent then
the other. I think I’ve always noticed this subconsciously, but I never
named it until I looked close at his photo today - the noticeable teeth.
Lips are fairly full and in a lot of pictures they’re pursed. If you drop vertical
lines from the middle of the pupils (the place the corners of the mouth are
supposed to come out to) you can see his mouth falls well inside this parameter.
So when you go to caricature him, you can really give him a small mouth,
(Ringo Starr, on the other hand has a much wider mouth.)
Note how the darkest lines on the lips are on the margins closest to the
inside of the mouth - which is really the innermost edge of the lips just
before you’re actually in the mouth. Point out this line on both the upper
and lower lips for yourself. Note also the shadow that makes up the majority
of the shape of the lower lip. This is so true in when drawing most people so
pay attention to those shapes! (Took me a long time to learn).
Heading further south on his face, we come to the chin. It’s somewhat
square bottomed but I stretched and narrowed it a degree in the first
exaggeration . This works because the overall width of Paul's face tends
towards the narrow. Maybe it’s his persona too: he seems like very
gentle human being. Giving him a big growly jaw doesn’t seem to match
his personality - still it might work! Who knows. This is caricature and
The overall shape of the Head
It’s pretty clear: he’s got the slightly narrowed Mr. Average head and face
so a tapering “V” shape works very well. (In my opinion). So, does this first
exaggeration work? Sort of I think. I also think if you put glasses on this
guy he’d start looking like the blond-headed dude on Wayne's world.
I botched the neck a little - the shadows at least. I was trying to put in a
little loose skin there but I over did it, tried to erase them and then I just said
“leave it be”. (Or let it be...something like Paul would have said.
that’s embarrassing, heh heh heh.) No time to let Mr. Perfectionist start
pounding around on me with his hammer. (That’s what deadlines will do for
you. This is good thing :-)
In two weeks we’ll take this to a hopefully zanier level and you can decide
for yourself if we’ve spotted the right things.
Here’s some links to see Mr. McCartney for yourself:
This is an excellent photo:
This is a drawing / painting from the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine:
I also recommend going to Alta Vista, type in "Paul McCartney" and click on
"images" the web is loaded with great shots.
Keep on drawing and I'll talk to you all in a week!
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"