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Case Study # 1: Part I: Keith Richards

Well here you are, you've arrived. Congratulations. You deserve a big hand for perseverance and discipline. If you're just hop-scotching around, that's fine too. Whatever works for you. To really learn how to draw caricatures, you've got to practice. And practice. And keep on practicing - (15 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week will still get you there - a little slower than if you can put more time into it).

Hunt down your questions

If you run into a question or a term that sounds foreign to you, don't avoid it. Tackle it. I know how easy that is - to avoid the unknown. Nobody wants to feel stupid. I sure don't. But it's my experience that avoiding the problem only makes it worse. Besides it's never as bad as I thought it would be anyway. And again, if you are hop-scotching, promise yourself you'll eventually go back and dive into the other sections.

Special Features of the case studies

In this section, the case studies, I've supplied the links to other sections of the program in the text where needed; I've included an image map at the top of each page so you can just click on a facial feature and be transported to that section instantly. In this first case study, a pretty advanced one, I've tried to be true to the format I've been following from lesson 1 of the foundation lessons: building on the lessons that came before it, and using the sound techniques of "R-mode" perception. You'll also get exposure here to facial features other than just eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. You'll see and read about things like the "glabella" and the "naso-labial folds". That sort of thing - you'll be building both your visual and verbal vocabularies.

Case study #1: Keith Richards

Lastly, you'll find links to all four sections of this first case study (Keith Richards) available at the top of each section - it printed out at 31-32 pages on my printer - so I didn't think you'd appreciate one huge scroll-forever page. You'll find links to Internet photos on each page as well so you can look at different views of our subject. These are explained more below. (These links can change - such is the nature of the 'Net.) I recommend doing all the assignments - and try doing your own drawing of any picture you're having a hard time understanding. Keep up the great work!

Click here for Part II
Click here for Part III:
Click here for Part IV

Click on any feature on the picture just above and Voila - you'll be transported to that section

This is your "image map": run your mouse arrow over any feature of Keith's face and you'll be taken directly to that section of the lessons. For instance, roll over the eyes, click, and you'll be transported to the section on eyes. The ears, the same. Nose, you got it! Shapes of the head you can access separately right here: Lesson 14: Shaping the Head .

A couple loose ends before we begin...

The Copyright Situation

We've got a got a legal obstacle to deal with here before we begin and it has to do with copyright laws. Without permission from the photographer, I cannot post or print any picture that I didn't take or that I don't own. One way to get around this is give you a bunch of Internet links to decent pictures of our subject. And the Internet being what it is, you can conduct your own search and probably find some fantastic pictures to study.

In many cases you'll see a realistic outline or tracing of the original. This does cross into sticky territory legally - it becomes "derivative art" by copyright law extension. However, if our picture is something I did, and I'm not selling the picture and since it's part of a larger work - like a teaching program like this - it's allowable. As developing caricaturists and business people, these are things you need to be cognizant of.

The celebrities we'll be studying will be very visible and if you can't find good pictures on the Internet, you most certainly can go to the library, a bookstore and find excellent pictures in celebrity magazines and books. It's also a great idea to build your own file of pictures (magazine clippings and images you found on the net) so when you're asked to draw somebody (for 500 dollars) you have a resource at the ready. Here's a little shortcut I can help you with...

Web picture references

There's still lots of places to turn though. Below you'll find a handful of links that have a good picture so you can

  1. draw the subject yourself and,
  2. see if we've captured a likeness. These addresses were valid as of 9/23/99. But you know how fast the web can change. (The first picture is the best.) Enjoy.







Directions (if not already highlighted):

  • Highlight the item with your mouse (hold down the left mouse button and sweep across your selection) and
  • then press "ctrl + C" while it's still highlighted,
  • then place the cursor in the "address" line of your browser,
  • press "control + v", it'll pop up in the address bar.
  • Hit enter and you're there.

Our Game Plan

Here's our game plan. Like I just said, since we're somewhat limited with what we can do by copyright laws, I'm going to do this: the caricature at the top of each section will be the caricature of a celebrity picture I have off-line. (By law I can't put this photo or picture on-line.)

We're going to evaluate the caricature and act as if that's the original - and then we're going to caricature the caricature so you can see the process at work. Don't worry, I think you'll see that caricaturing a caricature uses all the same faculties you'll need to develop for drawing "real" people, photos, or drawing in a "live" situation. I'm going to make sure each case study starts with a fairly realistic portrayal so each progressive exaggeration will make sense.

We're going to look at all the different parts of the subject: shape of the head, hair, shadows, mouth, ears, eyes, etceteras. We'll isolate the basic shape of each of those and we'll try to identify what makes the face "work". Some celebrity faces will be real easy to zoom in on and grab one or two features. Others, it's much more subtle. I'll try to keep it simple.

A dash of realism - 2 kinds

Like you saw in the introduction section of lesson 15, there's lots of different ways to approach drawing a caricature. The trick is in organizing your approach - systematically but with enough flexibility so that if one approach doesn't yield anything, you can try a different one. Eventually you'll just be able to look and say "yes, here's where I'll start". So lets start!

Warm-ups: Getting into character

Look at any picture of Keith Richards. Out here in LA, actors will ask "how would it feel to look that way? What's that got to feel like in my body? How would I breathe? How would I hold my shoulders? Would I slump a little? How would my eyes, cheeks and jaw feel?". Picture hundred pound weights in each hand - that you've carried around for 20 or thirty minutes - how would that feel? Is that how this guy feels? On the road for 40 years, cigarette smoke constantly rising into your eyes. (I don't know about you but I'm getting tired just thinking about this.)

Putting yourself in the shoes of the person you're drawing and then observing the changes you see in your own face and body can give you a lot of insight about where you'll see the changes and characteristics in another person's face and constitution.

A Downer? Drawing shakes you out of it!

That could be a downer sometimes, but it's a way to step into doing a caricature. You'll shake that off once you get drawing anyway because drawing releases you from that kind thinking. Drawing pulls you into each perceptive moment as it happens. That's the shift into the artistic mode. In caricature, you make yourself and others laugh - so there's always an antidote right around the corner too.

(That doesn't mean you turn into a cold, compassionless person. It just means you take a step back and look at what's in front of your nose. The best doctor or nurse or any professional for that matter must be able to do this. I'm trying to convince you it's not a cold thing. You miss the details if you don't. In fact, one person I've read says "God is in the details" - so being in tune with your senses, in this case your sight, is step number one.) So, without further ado, lets look deeper at...drum roll please... Mr. Keith Richards.

On with the show - lets dive in!
Click on "Dive in" to get to Part II

Kasbohm & Company's


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