To: (Recipient list suppressed)
Subject: Your January 17, 2003 Caricature: Ari Fleisher
January 17, 2003
Your January 17, 2003
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
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
- 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
folds, 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
a little extra flesh - not a fat look, just a middle-aged, slightly
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
Me, I chose the mouth and lips to play up the most. By giving larger
teeth - that border on small tusks - you get much more of a contribution
strengthening that under bite. Shrinking the eyes and glasses
brings even more attention to the mouth...plus makes them (mouth and
lips) look bigger yet.
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
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
Kasbohm & Company Strategic Multimedia
home of http://www.YouCanDraw.com
1351 Hampshire Ave. So., #127
St. Louis Park, MN 55426
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"