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Subject: Your January 17, 2003 Caricature: Ari Fleisher

January 17, 2003


Your January 17, 2003 Caricature:
Ari Fleisher


Buenos Dias all!

(Y Feliz Nuevo Ano!) That's howdy all and hope you're still having a great New Year (That's my translation anyway :-). Today's caricature is of USA Press Secretary Ari Fleisher. I'll keep my opinion of this guy to myself and let the caricature do the talking. So without further ado, what is it that makes Ari caricaturable?


What makes Ari caricaturable

Well the obvious things are the bald dome and forehead, the glasses, and the always well pressed suit. The less obvious to me - but those things that became a little more apparent after a little more observation - are as follows...

Less obvious but very caricaturable findings

- the tired eyes with the heavy eye lids - these make him look tired (as I imagine the Prez's press secretary must be these crazy days);

- the way the eyes dominate the upper half of the frames of the glasses - which
makes him that much more tired;

- the eye brows are spare and a good distance above the glasses;

- The nose - I think that's his most interesting feature: note how in the photograph you can make out two very well demarcated "diamond" shapes within the nose 

- one in the middle section of the nose (the dominant part of the nose) and the second in the very tip of the nose? Also look for the strong angles in and around the nose. For instance the nostril shapes are very angular. The second tiny diamond shape at the tip of the nose is very subtle - until you see it and then it jumps right out.

Ari also has broad lines that circumscribe the mouth - actually the naso-labial
, but he has such a strong maxilla, there's no real fold - just a fine line. The
maxilla (the bone behind and above the nose and upper teeth) is softened by
a little extra flesh - not a fat look, just a middle-aged, slightly fleshy look.

We can't talk about the mouth without talking about the lips. Two things become obvious when studying the mouth and lips: 1) Ari has a noticeable under bite and 

2) he has a significant asymmetry of the upper and lower lips: the upper lip is
strongest on his right (left upper lip as you look at the picture) and the lower lip is strongest off to his left (right as you look at the picture).

Playing up the under bite is best accomplished by keeping the highlights strong on the upper part of the lower lip and offsetting that with a stronger shadows beneath the lower border and under curve of the upper lip. Does that make sense? (Hint: Look at the picture and find these things as you read about them).

And did I say he has full lips? Let it be said: Ari has very full lips for a white guy. Capitalize on that :-).

He's also got a good strong jaw and chin - albeit again the middle-age fleshiness shows up a little more.

Overall shape of the head: not counting the generous dome top, I think a decent caricature can be accomplished by shrinking the forehead and head and playing up all the other features. There's a taper from his cheekbones down to the corners of the jaw so it's a more believable picture I think if you make sure your overall shape is more of a right side up "V" as you travel from cheekbones to jaw bone. I tried drawing it the other way, and in my version he just starting looking fatter. Of course, if you give lots of strong angles in place of loping curves to a face you can make even a fat face look athletic.

Me, I chose the mouth and lips to play up the most. By giving larger lower
teeth - that border on small tusks - you get much more of a contribution to
strengthening that under bite. Shrinking the eyes and glasses proportionately
brings even more attention to the makes them (mouth and lips) look bigger yet.

Finishing touches

Putting Ari behind a podium and in a suit are very recognizable props, pretty much a cliché for him - but I can't imagine seeing this guy at a Starbucks or a McDonalds. He seems to be solely a creation of the television.

Here's the original picture link (It's a really good picture too!):

So that's all for today folks. Keep on drawing, stay safe and sound, and see you in
a couple weeks :-)



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

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

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