(picture at bottom)
Your YouCanDraw.com every other week caricature
Good day all,
today's "caricature" is really only a virtual caricature. I say "virtual" because
it's a caricature of no one in particular. It's not intended to look like anyone and
it's not a botched attempt. It's more a or less a "freestyle" take off built around
a set of features in a David Levine-like cross-hatched style. (I like ink cross-hatching
because it prints so well, makes for a small file, and you get all sorts of "lucky"
effects where the hatching overlaps. Yes, it's tedious, but the results are worth
it. So I don't want you to worry today about this looking like anybody. I have other
things in mind for you to do such as:
1) evaluate for direction of light
- where are the most intense shadows?
- where are the most intense highlights?
- do the highlights and shadow areas "make sense" - that is, are they consistent
with what you can observe about the source of the light?
- where there appears to be something "complicated" occurring, can you
analyze what's going on in terms of lines, shadows, highlights, and underlying
primitive shapes, etc.?
2) the features
- in regards to Mr. Average, how do the following align:
a. Where does the "middle of the eye line" fall in regard to the
proportion of the rest of the face? (On Mr. Average, recall it
pretty much splits the face into upper and lower halves);
b. Where does the "bottom of the nose line" fall? (On Mr. Average
it's a nudge above the half way point between the "middle of
the eye line" and the bottom of the chin line" - actually about
2/5ths the distance down from the eye line and the chin line)
c. where does the "middle of the mouth line" fall compared to
'Mr. A"? Recall in Mr. Average, the middle of the mouth - ie the
place where the lips come together - falls on the first third when
when you divide the distance from the bottom of the nose to
the bottom of the chin into three equal parts. (What falls on the
second third? Why it's the top of the chin - of course :-)
d. How about vertical alignment? How do the middle of the eyes
align with the outside corners of the mouth? (They line up
straight north and south on Mr. A)
e. And the inside corners of the eyes, do they line up vertically
with the outside corners of the nose? (At the "lateral margins"
of the nares / nostrils.)
f. And what about the overall shape of the head? Is he a "potato head"
or a "peanut head? Or a tear drop shape? (Mimicking the shape
of the nose?) Pyramid maybe? Light bulb? Sphere? Cube? What
g. What's the overall shape of the hair and the forehead? Can you
envision each as a separate shape? (Note how the actual hairline
is just the "shared edge" between the two...and we could go on and on...
h. For instance, how is the beard constructed? What is it about both
very ordered straight lines with the occasional straggly stray line that
makes the beard look like a beard? And, what is the angle of
the eyes - each eye - when you go from "canthus to canthus"?
i. After answering even those few questions above, how could you start
exaggerating this exaggeration? Run crazy with it, do it in stick figure
or simple line styles (ie do little roughs until you start getting an
exaggeration that resembles today's "anonymous balding man".
So that was a mini review of a few of the overall "sizing up" questions
I try to ask when first approaching a caricature or drawing subject. Of course
there's millions more observations you can make but those really are some
of the most fundamental to warm up on. You can look at last week's upload
and all of these are discussed. In fact, the entire Ani DiFranco series goes
in to depth on all of these points - and a whole bunch more.
Here's those links: (please be patient with me - not all the navigational links
between sections are fine tuned - all will be soon):
And the huge one from last week:
In fact, they're all pretty huge - don't panic if they don't load right away. That's it
for this week. Keep on drawing, have some fun and stay healthy!
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm