February 17th, 2002
Your 17 February 2002 YouCanDraw.com
every other week Caricature
This week instead of a finished caricature you’ll see a few quick sketches,
some very rough “roughs” that will lead up to the finished deal. Truth is I haven't
drawn for almost a month (with the move and all ) and I’m rusty! (Of course that’s
always my excuse.) And who have I chosen for the honor this week? None other
than talk show legend Larry King.
So getting right to it, what struck me first about Larry was his hairline, his
glasses, where his eyes line up within the glasses (always just under the
top rim of the glasses), and something that goes on around his mouth. By
that I mean Larry talks a little more out of one side of his mouth than the other -
there’s an asymmetry there. If you ever watch him on television I think you’ll notice
this. When he’s not smiling and just talking his lower teeth seem to flash very
often too. (There’s some things I only notice after watching someone for a while
- things I don’t notice in one or two snapshots.)
Other things I noticed -
The overall shape of the head is almost that of an exaggerated light bulb - very
broad at the top and tapering to a relatively pointy chin. I didn't appreciate the
small chin because the overall size and shape of the head dominate his visage.
(I’ve been looking for a place to use that word “visage”:-)
Mr. King always seems to have a full head of hair too - but I didn't notice that right
away because he has SO much forehead. Also, note the shape of the nose:
starting from under the bridge of the glasses the nose subtly jumps out, then
hooks down a bit through the main body of the nose until you get to the tip
of his nose - where it becomes angular and large - almost carved out Karl
Malden style. At some level I think everybody notices this, but until you
consciously go down your checklist of facial features, (and sub features) and
take the time to scan and explore each feature and sub-feature, it isn’t readily
obvious. But isn’t that what all of us are shooting for as artists - to be thorough
OK. Those are things that grabbed me. Now to the drawings...
Of all the sketches the one with the red asterisk (bottom center) is the one that
somewhat gets in the ball park of Mr. King. The other sketches, like the one
on the top left, there was more playing with the height of the forehead than with
the other parts. Common to three of the four drawings is the shape of the nose,
the eyes, the glasses, and attempts to nail what is unique in his lips/teeth/mouth.
The lower right picture is ok for showing the height of the forehead but misses
pretty bad on the mouth.
But you know what? All that’s just fine! It’s the experimenting you do in the
course of drawing anything that makes you a better artist and “recorder”. So
don't get hung up on not getting it right - I’ve tried four times here and am
only now getting close to “figuring out” what makes Larry King look like
One last thing: a lucky accident
As I was drawing the picture with the red asterisk I was quickly running out of
space at the bottom of the page. That forced me to squash the part of the face
beneath the nose. The result: it pulled me from my need to stay realistic and
forced an exaggeration - and surprisingly, an exaggeration that seems to
work. :-) So now I have a good feel for how to approach the final exaggeration...
which you’ll see in two weeks.
Until then stay well, keep warm and keep on drawing - Spring is coming!
PS - Here's a couple links to some Larry King pictures:
Also check out any books by Larry King at Amazon (or any book store for
that matter) for some great pictures - click on the "larger picture" option.
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
4702-C West 130th Street
Los Angeles CA, 90250
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"