To: (Recipient list suppressed)
Subject: Your April 15th, 2003 Caricature

April 15th, 2003


Your April 15th
, 2003


Howdy all,

(and happy tax day in the USA) this issue's caricature features Iraqi Minister of
Information Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf. Now at first I felt a little uncomfortable
about drawing this guy, but then I read a few of these articles linked to this Wired News Top Stories casting this guy as more like the minister of dark humor than the minister of disinformation. And as I read the articles and the utter litany of hilarious one liners and evil dictums this guy spewed  I found myself "getting it" too. In fact at one point in one TV interview it's reported even he almost began laughing at his own fabrications. In the seriousness of all this war stuff going on, I just find myself scratching my head when it comes to Mr. Al-Sahaf: one quirky side show.

Here's a link to the site where I found one small picture to draw him from. You'll also
find a collection of some of the amazing things this guy said during his tenure:

And here's the link to the original Wired News article and part of
the Wired headlines:

Wired News - a must-read for the latest information and commentary on
our rapidly changing digital world.
W I R E D N E W S Top Stories - 09:15AM 14.Apr.03.PDT
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - advertisement

- - - - - - - - -
Wacky Iraqi Minister a Web Star (Culture 2:00 a.m. PDT),1284,58452,00.html/wn_ascii

Many in the press dismissed Iraq's Information Minister as a liar or a
crackpot, but he's fast becoming an online celebrity thanks to his
sense of black humor. By Leander Kahney.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

OK, so what makes this guy caricaturable

Starting at the top, of course the beret was a mainstay in the latter days - and
that's really how I recognize the guy. So of course we're given that rare recognizable
prop that'll really add to a caricature of this guy. Heading south, the eye brows
are full, dark and arched over the rather HUGE glasses.

Glasses and eyes

But don't let the glasses obscure the eyes themselves. His are Dark with a
highlight fairly square over the pupil. He's also got fairly well defined double lines
over the eyelids - you may have to squint to see this, but they're there.

The nose

Further south, his most notable feature: the nose. Large and bulbous, but also
remaining fairly high leaves a generous "apron of the upper lip". When you give
someone a huge nose, you have to sometimes under exaggerate where the "naso-labial
folds" pop out from along side the nose. Most of the time they're congruent with
the upper edge of the cylinder of the nostrils -  that is both structures arise from
the same skin fold (both the nostril and the folds). Does that make sense?

Heading south to the mouth

The nasal philtrum is that little canal that runs between the base of the nose
and the upper lip. And the lips, full as they are, lend themselves better to under
exaggeration when you're trying to maintain that overall big nose effect.
So my rationale is always "what hits me as the one or two most obvious things"
when I first look at a face. For him the glasses, the beret and the nose are
foremost. Everything else is subservient to those.

Some fine detail

I think it's also worth noting the "planes" that are visible at the corners of the
lips. When I say "planes" I mean the bottom of the lip - and the upper lips at
that. Look close at the junction of the upper lip, the teeth and the upper most
corner of the lower lip. All this is occurring at the left corner of the mouth (his
right), And you can see the "plane" effect of the upper lip there - it's like you're
looking at a ribbon wind and curve it's way around. The lines and the direction
of the lines on the lips re-enforce this too.

Working to the chin Mr. Al-Sahaf has a wide chin and jaw - but these are over-
powered by the overall size of the cheeks. The cheeks are at there widest
just below the cheekbones and in front of the ears. All these adding to the comic
potential of caricaturing our subject.

Part of the bigger picture

Lastly, look at the things that suggest perspective: the glasses, the eyes,
the amount of flesh and the width traversed when you draw a line from naso-labial
fold to the farthest drawn part of the cheeks (much larger going to the right side
of the picture). There's also perspective "cues" when you contrast the size of
each nostril. (See how much larger the right nostril  - his left - compared to the
other side?).  Look at the shoulder too - the shoulder that almost runs off the
lower right corner of the picture (his left shoulder) comes out at you a lot
farther. See how that works?

Actual drawing details

This picture was drawn with a $.99 cent Papermate #2 mechanical pencil on
Grumbacher/Pentalic Paper for Pens. The actual drawing is about 10 and 1/2
inches from the top of the beret to the lowest point of the shirt collar.

Your assignment

As always, authentic observation is your starting point into drawing of any kind. Have
you been following the "From the Top" series? (You can find it at the top of the Archives.)

And if you haven't been doing the assignments, I highly recommend diving on in. The
upcoming set of lessons build directly on them - and when those arrive you'll be happy
you've been chipping away. For today, all I want you to do is look for the "3/4" view
when you're just out and about, talking to people, paging through magazines, etc.

What's the "3/4 view"? Well it's just about any view of the face between a side view
and a profile. What's significant in a 3/4 view is the presence of perspective. Like
the cues mentioned above (the parts closest to you being the biggest). See if you
can't detect the subtle size difference between the eye closer to you in a picture (or live)
and the far eye; in the chin, the cheekbones, the shoulders...perspective's effects
can be seen everywhere. You can always see more on the 3/4 view in the e-book
section within the Chapter 14 on the shapes of the head:

Take care all, stay safe and keep on drawing!


Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
Executive Director
Kasbohm & Company Strategic Multimedia
home of and

(952) 544-0657
1351 Hampshire Ave. So., #127
St. Louis Park, MN  55426

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