10 December 1999


YouCanDraw.com's Insiders Communique


Well Happy Holidays again! to all the YouCanDraw.com subscribers

In this issue:

1) Tips on how to get a good likeness.

2) Featured site: Another way caricaturist's and cartoonist's
can make money

3) I'm taking a New Years Holiday


1) Floyd Stockwell of Iowa writes:

"At times the portraits tend to head me in
> the right direction in getting a likeness. Something that I need alot of
> work on. Do you have any suggestions on how to get a likeness in my work?"

(Here's some tips I gave Floyd - and he thought you all might benefit from
this email - I'm flattered Floyd, so here they are:

Floyd, you sound a little frustrated there, but you're on the right
track! Try this: literally get some tracing paper and - for practice -
just trace the features and the outlines of the face. Pick some famous
people. Grab a magazine and trace every face - and do honest tracings -
don't pull away and say "it should look like this". Draw only what you
see under the tip of the pencil. This actually pulls you into R-mode -
the "real time", artistic mode of the brain.

Pull the traced sheet away and ask yourself "does this look like the
person?" If the tracing is true, you'll recognize the face. There'll
probably be something missing - and it's probably the shading (unless
you draw the contour of the shaded area - which is what you eventually
ought to be doing - (and will be demonstrated in a fair amount of
depth in the upcoming section on "Light and Shadow"))

Then redraw each feature as you see it on your traced paper several

When I first started doing caricatures I spent 2-3 hours a day just
drawing the features and the skull. I'd spend an hour just doing eyes,
then an hour on noses, then ears, then lips, etc, Then I'd draw them
from all angles until I just knew them. I know I'm a broken record about
this, [doing features over and over] but it worked for me. (And several
others) I did this for two or three weeks while I was in Spain broke
and almost homeless!) I also did a little "remedial" feature drawing
every few days after that initial period (once I got square into drawing
faces every day). That little three week period really set the foundation
for me.

I also think getting "Mr. Average Face", or the "In-betweener"
memorized, internalized so every face you look at you're sizing them up
[looking through your own "proportion grid"].

I was at the gym tonight and they got this TV hanging down over the
bikes and this guy comes on the screen and I looked and I swear to
ya Floyd, I almost saw that "average face" grid over his face and I knew
I could draw him in about 30 seconds accurately: "nose is well above the
even the 2/5ths line, corners of mouth go well beyond the lateral
corners (widest corners) of the eyes; compared to the large mouth and
teeth I could draw realistic eyes and make the mouth just huge in
comparison; the hair is just a scrub, forehead looks small in relation to
mouth...so make it really small - but maintain the shape of the

Write out the list of proportions Floyd. (I think I did that on the "Mr
Average face" section) Maybe I'll put them in this weeks e-communique
again. Keep it at your side whenever you draw - ask those proportion
questions on every face. You'll start getting it!

So having an internalized feel for all those relations works well (for
me) too. It's a jumping off point every artist uses. It'll help your
portraits too."

-----------end of email to Floyd-----------------------------------------

(Floyd, btw, is a master cartoonist and up and coming caricaturist)

Folks, this is right out of the "Mr. Average Face" section but I included
it so you can all quiz yourself and LEARN (I mean Internalize) those pro-
portions. When you can look at a face and list those proportions, your
drawing (realistic or caricature) will jump up several notches.

Here's the pop quiz from that section:

Pop quiz: try to answer the questions before you look at the answer. You'll
be quizzed on all the face's guidelines - that's both vertical and horizontal
guide lines.


1) What's a "unit of measure"?

Answer to 1: A unit of measure is some arbitrary feature or line length you
find in something you're about to draw. It's a size that makes sense for the
picture you're composing. In drawing faces and in this lesson we're using
the eye as the unit of measure. Everything can be explained in terms of how
many eye widths or fractions of eye widths they are. For example: the face
is five eye widths wide; the nose is one eye width wide; the mouth is almost
two eye widths wide; the eye is about a one half eye width tall, etc. Getting

2) How wide is the Mr. Average Face ? (Hint: give answer in terms of eye
widths and inches.)

Answer: five eye widths, or about 6 and 1/2 inches.

3) How far apart are the eyes spaced?

Answer: about one eye width.

4) How wide is it from one corner of Mr. Averages mouth all the way to the
other corner?

Answer: almost two eye widths.

5) How many mouth widths are the pupils apart? (re-read the question
carefully! - this is a trick question.)

Answer: about one mouth width.

6) How many mouth widths wide are the eyes at their widest? (That is from
outside corner to outside corner?)

Answer: About one and a half mouth widths. Think about it. The pupils are
about one mouth width apart. The pupils are roughly in the middle of the
entire eye structure. That means there's a whole other half eye width to the
outside of each pupil. You got two eyes, so you add another eye width to the
total. That gives you three eye widths. A mouth is about two eye widths
wide, and one eye width is about half a mouth widths. Total them up = one
and one half mouth width.

7) How much space is there between the outside corner of the eyes and the
widest part of the face?

Answer: about one eye width.

8) The horizontal guideline of the eyes divides the front plane of the face
in _____ . (Fill in the blank.)

Answer: half.

9) The base of the nose falls ____ between the distance from the horizontal
center of the ___ and the ___ .

Answer: half way; eyes; bottom of the chin.

10) The distance between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin
can be divided into ___ equal parts. The horizontal center of the ___ begins
one third the way down this distance. The top of the chin begins ___ ___ the
way down this distance. The bottom of the chin is therefore ___ ___ the way

Answer: three; mouth; two thirds; three thirds or at the bottom.

11) The front view's horizontal base of the nose line continues into the
side view as the ___ of the ___ line. Both mark the horizontal ___ of their
respective views.

Answer: bottom, ear; center.

12) Another way of saying that (question 11) is that the bottom of the ___
and the base of the ___ are at the same level.

Answer: ear; nose


If you want to review or dive in to this ("Mr. Average") section,
just click here:


(if this link gets broken into parts on your email, that is, if it isn't all
highlighted blue, click here:


then type in or cut and paste:


Floyd - check out this site: this guy explains a thing or two about
using cartoons to make sales, use in business or go elsewhere with your
craft. (I might include this with the next email)


2) For those of you interested in seeing how others are making money doing
caricatures and cartoons outside of the "drawing gig", check out cartoonist and
writer Dick Hafer's site.

(This is a clip right from his site:

"Dick hafer is a successful, published writer with over 30 years experience
in advertising and marketing. He has combined his cartooning talent with
his communcation skills and is able to provide a powerful service to the
business community...)



3) Lastly, I'm going home to Minneapolis for the Millennium. (Get to leave
all this sunny CA stuff for some REAL Holiday weather - I genuinely love
it up there!) I'll be taking a break for about 2 weeks starting about the 30th
of December - then we'll get right back to it.

Take care, keep on drawing, send your comments, criticisms, and forward
any good sites you think caricaturists or up and coming artists might
benefit from - I'll post them in the communique.