15 Master Link Page
The Supply Store
IV : Masses of the Head and Caricaturing the Caricature
back to Part I
back to Part II
back to Part III
at Part IV
Click on any part of the face to go to that section
The Block head view
This next picture demonstrates the blockhead view
- remember it? Go back and check it out
if it's looking a little foreign. I have no side view to work from I'm
just imagining what a side view or a 3/4 view might look like. I'm
gathering that from what I know about the front view: the under bite,
the strong jaw, the bulbous nose. Is this an accurate picture? I'm
not sure. A little bit on the right track. But more important I'm
forcing myself to think in three dimensions. It's a great mental exercise.
I want you to try this some time too.
Conjuring up a 3-d side view
The four main masses of the face
Do you recall the four main masses of the front of the face? Allow me
to repeat them. They're the forehead, the cheekbones, the maxilla and
the jaw. (The nose is kind of final touch. We're more concerned with the
underlying masses here. ) The masses all correspond to the main bones of
the face. The last mass you see here is the rest of the skull. I know
we're getting into s fair amount of depth (and I know I keep saying
that), but I can't say it enough: the more you know of what lies under
the surface, the more you'll recognize, the more you'll actually and
truly see. And if you can see it, you can draw it.
This next picture is a straight-on shot. Again, it's a sort of block
head view. Can you see pick out the masses? (Forehead, maxilla,
A "Block face" rendering
Next look at a more stylized and caricatured
three-dimensional front view of the same masses. These are actually extrapolated
from the fourth pencil drawing in the "Our comparisons
drawings" below. By adding a little
thickness to the otherwise flat appearing planes you see in the
illustration just above, you get more of that
three-d effect. Do you kind of see it? Scroll up and down
until you do.
frontal view "Blockfaces"
Ramping up to actually exaggerating!
All this is building up to do one thing: exaggerate! Are
these all the steps I go through when I draw at party ? Consciously no.
But at home I do. And I review it every time I draw. So when you do get to a
gig this stuff is so well internalized your unconscious mind
sees it effortlessly for you. You'll find yourself saying in a very
scholarly voice to yourself "Ah yes, there's the triangularis and
the orbicularis oris coming together just under the primary dimple in
front of the body of the mandible of the right cheek" Or
something very close to that. You may not say those exact words,
but you'll have learned to look beneath the surface with your developing
You're now a high powered "CAT Scan" machine
Like a high powered cat-scan machine you'll know why a
curve or a shadow or a hollow looks the way it does on anybody's face. And
that simple curve, line or shadow just might be the very thing that
makes your caricature hit the nail, really capture your subject's unique
look, be "the Bomb". I'm serious! It's subtleties that make
every face so unique. How did Leonard Bernstein answer when asked " How does an unknown get to play Carnegie Hall?" His answer?
"Practice." With practice you'll see it.
|Taking off on what we've discovered:
summarizing all of our findings....
We've gone through a lot of steps here so lets recap what we've
discovered. Here it is in a table:
The overall shape
of the head
|Compared to Mr. Average Hef is is
- the greatest mass of Mr. Hefner's face is below
- Hef's cranium fits entirely within the boundaries of that of
Mr. Average: it's smaller;
In relation to
|With both Hef and Mr. Average lined up
horizontally dead center on the middle of the eye line we
- the body of Hef's nose lands above the bottom
of the nose line (which again lies 2/5ths the
distance down the distance between the middle of the eyes and
the bottom of the chin)
- the long nasal septum travels below Mr.
Average's bottom of nose line;
- Hef's mouth lines up above Mr. Average's middle
of the mouth line,
- The bottom of the chin lines of both line up quite nicely.
In relation to the
- Hef's eyes are the traditional one eye width apart - but appear
- The width of the nose at it's widest is more than one
eye width wide. (Mr. Average's nose remains within the
vertical lines drawn down from the middle most corner of each
eye - thus are equal to or less than one eye width
- The width of the mouth is wider than the distance between
the middle of both pupils, i.e. the corners of the mouth
pass outside lines drawn straight down from the middle of the
|Eyes: down sloping ;
Nose: bulbous tip with a long septum, the bulbous tip
being by far the largest mass of the nose;
Mouth: the shared line between the upper and lower lip
is a wide and flat "M" with big upturns at it's corners;
Cheeks: well defined with an angular :naso-labial fold;
Jowls: out curving with many layers of dimples;
Chin: big, square-ish with an under bite;
Hair: thinning, drawable with a minimum of lines;
Ears: Not a whole lot said, dominated by other features
Bony and muscular hints
- As you saw in the deeper anatomy analysis, certain muscles
cause strong folds and wrinkles: e.g. the
naso-labial fold, the different layers of dimples, etc.
- the bones underneath suggest the overall shape
of the face and head. They're the frame, the substructure. And
if you try to imagine what they look like, feel their
presence, (a la Mr. Blockhead), they can really inform your
overall understanding of the volumes of the face
and the softer tissue attachments. ("Soft tissue"
is everything other than bone like skin, fat and muscle.)
Now all of these differences are more or less subtly different from
Mr. Average. But all faces are subtly different. It's just the
miracle of our power of recognition that makes all faces so different.
As you've seen, it's details that make all of us unique.
toy with our exaggerations
The rest of this page is devoted to a bunch of quick sketch renderings -
each a little different from the other - and not all of them glamorous. All generally building off the
things that are listed in the table above. I'll also list next to each sketch what's most different from the
starting point. Really challenge yourself to find those differences and
look for other differences that might be apparent when compared
to those things listed above.
Revisiting 24 May 2000's archived
All exaggerations you'll see below build off the following foursome of Mr. Hefner as
sent in the 24 May 2000 Your Every Other Week Caricature
progression series. (See the Archives to see the original accompanying
e-mail) Right after this you'll see the newest exaggerations. All were quick sketches done on a rare rainy L.A.
afternoon. On with it!
The old 24 May
Our comparison models
So here we go, building as faithfully as I can on all the
drawings and findings up to this moment in time. Look close, compare
each picture to the one before and after, write a list of the main
anatomical features and identify them in each picture. Judge and sight their
proportion and dimension in each. OK, go for it!
Here's a short list of things to look for:
|the overall shape of head
the bony brow
the sphere of the eyeballs
the "bags" under the eyes
The horizontal guidelines
|the naso-labial fold
the shadow beneath the lip
the dimples - all layers of them, look for muscle hints
The vertical guidelines
OK ...let's go...our first quick sketch:
- Shrunk the forehead and slanted the
- amplified the jaw,
- raised the height of the hair,
- widened the jowls,
- made the nose even pointier.
- Overall made too fat and squat
- Shrunk forehead even more,
- lowered the hair,
- nose even bigger,
- widened and lowered jowls still more,
- recovered under bite effect of lips wrapping around lip
- Overall: still too squat
- More narrowing of forehead and
heightening of hair,
- lost the down sloping of the
- widened the lip line,
- Overall: I like this
one better but he's too young and with the lowered hairline,
and less down sloped eyes, looks like some one else.
quick sketch experimenting with dropped and widened jowls - I
hit something here that grabbed me and I'll run with this effect
to the end. It's the low, flat bottomed jowls that seem to be
doing the trick.
- Skinnify the head again,
- gave a huge nose,
- lost the low jowl effect,
- gave a little slant back to the
eyes and eye brows as well as the bony brow,
- back light effect in Photoshop
(nice effect, eh?)
- Overall: getting cartoonish -
kinda of fun and I love that background!
- Back to the low jowls,
- skinnier forehead,
- smaller nose,
- approaching an Eiffel
tower look here,
- huge chin,
- long and skinny neck
- Overall: this is the
look I think I was looking for
this is the look I want. I couldn't put my finger on it before
but this is the look I felt in my gut a long time ago:
- Back to the low wide
- bigger nose,
- slanted eyes, (even thought
the brows are horizontal
- It's the Eifel Tower effect
That's what makes this work for me.
- More Eiffel tower
- hit the slant of the eyebrows
and eyes right on,
- look at the angles of the
mouth - compare to the picture above,
- flat jowls are here to stay,
- too much hair and forehead,
- no neck :-)
- Kind of mousy, wouldn't you
- Question: What's different
about the mouth and eyes?
- Answer: mouth is tiny
and the eyes are getting relatively huge
feels to me like the right ingredients; really big nasal septum,
"W" / "M" lip line working well, good under bite,
wide chin, huge flat jowls, we're getting real cartoony here. I
like it even though he's missing his left (our right) cheek!
||This and the next
(final), sketch are really hitting it for me. Someday when I
have a little more time, I'll really run with this look - I'll
put it in a light box or project it on a large canvas and paint
it in as realistically as
|As far as pursuing the
cartoon look goes, this one takes the cake. Compare the vicinity
of the the features in this version compared to the one just
above - look also at the shape of the mouth.
Seems to me it's the under bite that makes the mouth work and
not so much the "W" shape of the lip line.
The Eiffel tower look and the low wide flat jowls make it work
It's interesting to me that it was accidents that made the picture
work (the flat jowls, the Eiffel tower look) I didn't think about it, it
was just kind of a lucky instinct that came from experimenting. Still,
without all the homework we did first, I don't think I'd have come
up with those inspirations.
back to Part I
back to Part II
back to Part III
at Part IV
15 Master Link Page
Kasbohm & Company's
© Copyright, All rights reserved 1997