September 1st 2001


Your Every Other Week Caricature:
A gaggle of Arafats


Hi all,

I know, I know, I just sent out a caricature last week (of George Clooney),
but sometimes it's fun to break up the pattern a little. So this week you'll
see three caricatures of PLO Strongman Yasser Arafat. The original caricature
was  inspired by a caricature I saw done by David Levine (in the New York
Review of Books). I did my own caricature of THAT caricature, then caricatured
my own caricature two more times. Talk about a ton of ink!

Getting down this ink technique is one of my goals this Summer, so doing
every drawing in ink cross-hatch has been the norm around here. And don't be
intimidated by ink - just because it's tough to undo mistakes. What's
the trick when working in ink? You do a pencil rendering first. That's all!

And why do ink anyway?

Lot's of reasons: I love the detail you can get using those super fine-tipped
technical pens (I use Pigma Micron pens, sizes 01 ninety percent of
the time, and 03 for heavier lines).  There's lots of advantages to using
ink too: it's very printable and very copiable: it only uses black or gray scale
print at most  - both are within reach for almost all small printers and news
papers. If you like Op/Ed caricatures ink's almost a prerequisite for getting
into the newspaper.

Another advantage to ink is it's small scanning size - that is, compared to
color you can compress inked drawings 10 to 1000 times smaller than color
for the same size pictures.

The power of contrast

To me though, the most appealing feature of ink is it's power of contrast: black
on white. And when you cross-hatch in layers, when the different groups of
hatches start colliding like small armies, you get these unexpected sub shadows
and reflected highlights that give new depth totally by surprise. (See Lesson
9 for more on cross-hatching, shadow and highlights)

I know this is a little advanced  if you've just signed up - but you can start
learning hatch work now - there's nothing to be intimidated about! In time
when you your drawing skills get where you want them to be, your hatching
skills will be at the ready.

Have a great holiday weekend all! (It's Labor Day in the USA this weekend)
Keep on drawing!


Jeff K.

Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director

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