19 July 2002
Your 19 July 2002, YouCanDraw.com
every other week caricature
Today's caricature is of guru economist Alan Greenspan. This guy is really
caricaturable! From the glasses to the very malleable mouth, to the "butkus"
nose (of course I can't talk :-), to the prominent ears, the scantily covered
scalp, the mobile talking hands...he's a tough one to miss.
In drawing Mr. Greenspan today, I was using two pictures - both with similar,
but different lighting. If you sit and stare at a pictures or pictures long enough,
you start seeing all the differences in fine detail, but drawing those differences
sometimes gets confusing! I say this often but rarely do it myself (at least
not like I used to) to always get some distance from your drawings when
you feel like your'e straining to capture it.
Looking at the drawing today, I see some subtle areas that could use a little
touching up. For instance, the shadow along the jowl above the hand, and the
shadow under the nose don't "jive", and there should have been more shadowing
along the chin and jaw on the hand side of the picture as well. (Both easily
The eyebrows look more like hair than eyebrows (he has such high riding
brows I thought it might work to put them above the glasses - even completely
off the face, floating in air could have been a humorous move); the hairs start
taking on a look of a "head piece" rather than occasional strands.
The shape of the head worked well, and of course making flappy elephant ears
was a real coup -almost to the point of excess. But what the heck is caricature
about? Heh heh. I mean, they could have been drawn 2-3 times larger.
Curves v. angles
Another thing I've started incorporating these days is the use of angular lines.
What a do I mean by that? I mean rather than make, for instance, the curve of
the cheek a nice round curve, approaching it as a group of angled straight lines
seems to have a more dramatic affect. Look at the line of the cheek above the
hand - see how the entire jaw line is a bunch of straight lines linked by sharp
angles? That's what I mean.
Also note the perspective embedded within the picture - most obvious in the
the glasses. Since the vanishing point runs off to the right, everything on the
left side of the picture (namely the right side of Greenspan's face) is closer
to our eye, and therefore bigger. Note how the lower lip gets larger as it gets
"closer" to us (I quote "closer" because it's all still on the flat 2-D plane of
the paper); note how the distance from the groove of the left eyelid (his right)
to the left point of the chin (again his right), is longer then the same
dimension of the opposite side of the face? Sometimes you don't notice
these subtle differences until you actually measure them. ("That is "sight"
it.) And again, the glasses portray the most obvious example of perspective.
Lastly, note how the highlights of the lower lip, the lower eye lids, and the
tip of the nose all work in concert to reflect light coming from the upper
All and all I'm very happy with the first draft of this pencil drawing. What
did I use? I had some 4-d lead in a mechanical holder, and I drew on Beinfang
50 pound "Take me along" 11" x 14" Sketch paper. (I couldn't find my "Paper
for Pens" pad - still packed away).
The original photos
To see the original pictures click on the following or go to Google and do a
search in images for "Alan Greenspan".
These next two contain large pictures - no broadband? It'll take a little time but
the second link has some great links to all sorts of other politicos and celebs -
good resource for other pics (never mind the ego on this kid, he seems to
get himself pictured with all sorts of famous people...all in the name of art:-):
A word of warning. If you're easily offended, avoid this next site - the pictures are
first rate, but the site is pretty "Springeresque" (Sorry Jerry):
And last but not least, Amazon has some of the best pictures on the 'Net -
they do larges scale scans of book covers which are by design top end
professional photographs. What a deal!
And very lastly, Theresa from Michigan, please let me know how you're doing!
Until next time, keep on drawing - and if you've just signed up, watch for the
links to the "Flash Interactive Exercises" in the next communique (in a week).
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm