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Subject: Your  March 17th 2003 Caricature: General Tommy

March 17th, 2003


Your March 17th 2003


Howdy all!

General Tommy Franks...

How appropriate is this for St Patrick's Day? I don't know folks but this guy
regretfully may be the big man in the news the next few weeks. (Regretfully not
because I have anything against the man, but the fact that we'll be at war - regardless of what side of the issue you stand on. Anyway, I don't get paid to editorialize...not here anyway. :-)

What's caricaturable?

So what's caricaturable about General Tommy Franks? The first thing that strikes me are the intense eyes. After that the long nose with the rather curvaceous tip. The long nose puts the mouth almost out of sight under the nasal tip. (So this would be a really
easy thing to grab onto and exaggerate to the max: making the mouth even
smaller and the nose even bigger. )



What makes these eyes so intense? It's how the eyebrows lie right in top of the
eyelids. The closer you draw eyebrows to the eyes the more intense the eyes
get. (Men's eye brows are naturally lower arched than are woman's.) Also if you make
the lowest point of eyebrows closer to the nose, the angrier your subject appears. Let
me say that again:  draw the eye brows almost into the top of the eyes and close to
the nose and you get one mad, bad dude. There :-)

Overall shape of the face

The overall shape of the face: it's long and narrow I'd say - with long, prominent, jowly
cheeks - but not enough to make him look fat. There's a 'peanutty' shape formed
between the bones of the forehead, the jowls and the chin. You may have to back
away a little from your computer to see this.

Subtle perspective

Also notice the subtle perspective at work in the picture: Note these: the left side
of the picture is closer to you. How's this evidenced? Like this: the hairline on the
the picture's left is a hair higher then the other side ("hair" get it? :-) The eye closest
to you - it's CLOSER  and therefore bigger than the other eye. And if you draw a
line from the side of the chin closest to you to the other side of the chin, well that
line travels up. These three examples - the hair line, the eyes and the line at the
bottom of the chin all point to a vanishing point in space off to the right in the
picture. Subtle, isn't it? - but note how much more realistic the picture appears
because of it.

More stuff...

The Forehead is relatively high with a short cropped, bristly head of gray hair. The
ears are pretty dang remarkable if you ask me! So that's a feature you could go
hog wild on.  Speaking of ears, note how the anti-tragus (the "cornucopia"-shaped
thing) really jumps out when juxtaposed against the deep shadow in the front part
of the ear. Also note how the gradations of 'gray to black' progress - smoothly. Which
is how real shadows appear in the world. Even though we're doing exaggerations
the rules of realistic drawing still apply :-). What a deal (or a pain...). Realism just
makes caricature that much more fun in my opinion.

...and more stuff...

What else can we say about this picture? Oh, I know, the lines around the eyes  -
the picture on the cover of Time (with Gen. Franks) has to be one of the best studies
of facial wrinkles I've seen a long long time. I recommend going out and getting
this issue  - if for nothing other than to study wrinkles.

Notes about the actual drawing

This picture was done with my trusty 50 cent Papermate  mechanical pencil (#2 lead)
and drawn on Grumbacher Paper for Pens. It's a got a really nice a smooth, "hard"
paper surface that lets you get very accurate lines when you cross hatch. It's also
fairly forgiving if you have to erase. The original is about 9 and 1/2 inches tall
from the tips of the hairs on Tommy's head down to where the picture's cut
off at the bottom.

Your assignment

Get this issue of Time (17 March 2003). Try and draw just the eyes and the wrinkles
around them. AND if you're just starting, do a pure contour drawing of the wrinkles
around the eyes (pure contour is a great way to get your brain into R-mode). Heck,
everybody do that - (do a pure contour of the wrinkles around the eyes - it's
a great way to learn in depth how facial wrinkles form.)

Here's the Lesson Four Pure Contour page if you don't have your e-book handy:

Here's a General Tommy Franks picture I think was taken from the same
photo session the Time cover was taken from:,8599,216117,00.html

To see a small cover of the March 17th, 2003 issue,  (and so you'll know what to
look for when you go to the store) look inthe upper left hand corner of this page:

So dive on in folks - get in your 15 minutes a day of drawing. Doodle
while you watch the news, try to capture the nose of your favorite newscasters -
try doing that for a week. You WILL improve! Guaranteed.

Take care, have a great St. Patty's Day, and stay safe whatever part of the
world you're in.



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"