5 June 2002
Your June 5th, 2002
YouCanDraw.com every other week caricature:
In today's issue of the "Every Other Week Caricature" you'll see that
old-son-of-a-gun Fidel Castro. I'm also going to issue you a challenge
today. And what's that? It's this: No matter what stage you're at in your drawing,
no matter how perfectionist you are, grab a caricature, any caricature and
caricature it. That's right, caricature the caricature. It's great training and it'll
really pull you out of yourself.
It doesn't matter if the caricature isn't even a good one to start with, just grab the first
one you see, take out a sheet of paper and draw. Don't worry (consciously), about
where the horizontal and vertical landmarks line up. Don't worry about proportion,
or line strength/weight. Don't worry about getting the highlights and shadows
right. Grab a picture and dive on in! If the nose is the first thing you focus on,
grab that. Heighten that. If it strikes you as bulbous, make it really bulbous. If
the eyes seem to really get tiny, so be it. NO THINKING ALLOWED! Just do
it. Draw. I'll tell you why you're doing this in a second.
Put aside 30 minutes to do this and just do it! :-) No judging the results. Just
accept and embrace them. You might be very surprised. You might be tickled pink.
And that's just what I did for today's caricature. I found this picture of Fidel:
and I found it by accident in thee most incredible on-line library of David Levine
caricatures on the whole planet! I'm a huge David Levine fan so you can imagine
my excitement when I stumbled on to this. (I've been spending 5 bucks a month
on the New York Review of Books to buy each issue's gaggle of 5-6 pictures, so
this site is a real find). Check it out:
The only problem is that you have to know who's in the library to find them. Hint
number one: Look for literary or political figures (enter their name into the search
Out of touch? Don't know who's who? (Like me) Just type in a high use letter,
one that's found in so many names like "a" or any other vowel and you'll
be amazed at the mother lode of results you get back. (I feel shamed by
this guy's production over the past 40 years...it's amazing, simply amazing.)
So why the assignment today?
I was talking to a friend about Improv comedy (he's very steeped in it) and
as he was telling me about it I realized how similar improv comedy and
off-the-cuff at-a-gig caricaturing are. Both are about "getting in the zone".
You don't get "in the zone" by talking about it, you get there by doing what
you do. In his case, improv comedy. In ours, caricatures.
Improv comedy and caricature
What's similar? Taking what you're given, whatever you're given and saying
"yes" to it. Following your gut's lead and if your body offers an answer (eg starts
drawing one big funky nose without you really even thinking about it), you
run with it whole heartedly. Whatever comes out, comes out. It may make no
sense to you until you finish it (the scene or the picture) - but to the audience,
a whole different, sensical story unfolds. When you feel finished with your
picture or your 30 minutes is up, you get to play audience to your own
picture - and I'll bet it makes much more sense to you from a distanced
point of view than when you were drawing it. If not, so be it, it was only an
So be brave! Dive in. Don't worry about the results. Trust your gut. You just
might be amazed.
If you just signed up
Also, if you just signed up, make sure you get your Flash Downloads (they're
the Flash Interactive Exercises). There's 4 of them, and here's the links
to all (they're between 2 and 3 megabytes each):
They must be downloaded in their entirety to function correctly. Use this utility
to assure a complete download:
It's a shareware - so if you use it enough, honor these folks and buy it from them.
Well that's all for today, hope you're all having a great summer! And keep on drawing.
Jeffrey O. Kasbohm
6920 Southdale Road
Minneapolis, MN 55435
"Once and for all getting you drawing faces and caricatures"