YouCanDraw.com Insider's E-magazine


Issue #5, 30 November 1998

The Private Emagazine/Email Discussion List

For YouCanDraw.com Insider Members Only. Dedicated to You,

the up and coming Caricature Artist.


In today's issue: Two great ways to build your caricature reference file

Two great ways to build your caricature reference file

Here's two ways/places to build your invaluable caricature reference file:

On-line and at home. Do you know if you "right click" on an Internet image with

your mouse you can save that image on to your hard drive? I'm not

promoting any kind of copyright robbery - but what I am promoting is building

your own cyber-file of photos, caricatures and cartoons etc. for your

reference, your amusement but most of all for your cultivation as a


Build a computer file from On-line Sources

On your own computer, you can build a great download file of photographs

and caricatures for free!.

How do you download on-line pictures? For example, if you go to the

insiders site, go to any picture or illustration. Place the pointer over

the image or caricature - not the link to the image, but the actual

image. Then right click on it. You'll get several choices in a "pop-up"

window. You'll be prompted to save the image in the file of your choice.

No file yet? Go to Windows explorer and create a new file just for


(How do you do that? Click on the "start" button at the bottom left of

your window. You'll get the screen with all your computers programs

(by clicking "Programs").

Scroll around until you see the "Windows Explorer" name and icon. Click

on it. The program opens. You'll get a page full of yellow folders: your

hard drives are on the left, your actual contents on the right.

At the upper left hand corner in the control bar you'll see "file" (it's

on the same line with "edit", "view", "Tools", "Help"). Click and scroll

down to "New", move the pointer right to "folder" and release. Viola! A

"New Folder" will appear in the "contents" side of the screen at the

bottom. There you can name the file "Caricatures" or whatever you like.

(It's flashing blue). Click anywhere else on the screen and now you have

a new, permanent file.

So, anytime you want to save an on-line photo or "gif" or "jpeg"

illustration, you now have a place to put it. (So when you right click

on the Internet photo and get the pop-up window, you can click on the "save

image" option and then navigate right to your new folder in 2 seconds.)

Many of the recent caricatures I've done I've drawn while using 3-4

downloaded photos opened in Photoshop (Adobe's great photography

editing program). I don't have to spend money on magazines or books -

I got them from the 'net and drew them directly from my monitor.

Building your "real" picture reference

Of course, sometimes I just got to get out of the house and I want to

spend money! In those cases, I go to Borders or Crown. Here's some great

magazines for caricatures: People magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Time

and News Week, The Enquirer (you'll see repeating trends of celebrities -

it's kind of fun predicting who you'll see in there again.) Blockbuster video

has these 20 page throwaway movie guides - free - just loaded with

celebrity photos. Rolling Stone has great photography. Time and Life

magazines put out these "The Decade in Photography" or "The Past 50 years"

period issues that are gold mines of photography. "People" has their yearly

compilation, and incidentally is out right now. A lot of smaller, non-chain

bookstores carry these large issues (older ones, back issues) for a fraction

of the original price.

This might seem like a shallow consumerist or "star struck" approach to

caricaturing, but what has come clear to me is this: by drawing celebrities you

learn to look at everybodys' face, their features, their expressions as

works of art, as things totally unique in the universe - not just celebrities.

I don't mind if that sounds corny - you'll understand what I mean once you

get into a

few serious drawing sessions (where you really drop deep into

"R-Mode"). Celebrity faces will only be a trail you've left that shows

you're turning into a true observer/artist.

Buy an Alphabetic File

So getting back to building your own reference library...Build a file of

collected photo clips. By that I mean, clip every and all op/Ed

caricatures you see in newspapers, magazines, and periodicals.

Grab cartoons as well - its great

to compare facial features of cartoons to realistic caricatures and

photos. Try to spot the differences. (Generally cartoon characters have

abstracted features - something you may venture into when you draw

features over and over again.

Build an alphabetical file of both the photos and caricatures. Put Brad

Pitt's photos in with caricatures you've clipped of him. That way

in time you'll have both caricatures AND photos of celebrity's and you'll

have them at your fingertips when it's timely (because of events) or

when you just get the urge to draw.

Why do celebrities?

Plain and simple, if you draw a familiar face, everyone will recognize

it - then you just sit there and lavish the praise. "Boy, that really

looks like Madonna, man are you talented". It's a public testament to your


Down the road, when you want to get out and do parties, you'll have your

own ready made marketing tool: a whole board covered with dozens of

celebrities - evidence and testament to your growing skills.

Until Next week - keep drawing! (Remember, just 15 minutes, 3 or more

times a week will get you going.