Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Shape of Shapes to Come

Don't worry. It's not this...

  which still could be a reject. If you'd of told me eight years ago that I'd be doing caricatures that look like this now I would have said "Get outa town!... How could I ever achieve such a washed out front-lighting in a live caricature?" And you would have answered, "—but this is from a photo." And I would have replied, "Well, if that's what it's gonna come be it."

When I was trained in caricatures, the first order of business was to draw straight parallel lines that gradated smoothly from thick to thin and back again like this.

I had to do pages and pages before I could advance to the next exercise which was pom poms.

Pom poms would form the foundation for how to draw hair

 and obviously pom poms. A day and a half might have been spent, practicing line quality in this way and familiarizing myself with the marker before I was introduced to representational forms in the form of forms showing mouth forms and nose forms.

(not actual form)

This was the part I had been looking formward too. This was the training that wasn't available at art school. I was given a page of eyes shapes. There were about 10 or so cartoon eyes I would copy over and over; then mouths; then noses, and finally face shapes which included also the ears and hair. 

(not actual form)

And the next step was where it really became fun.  I had to use the shapes to invent faces, and also I was to sit down stray children for free demos and find ways to force their faces into the forms. Of course I was permitted and encouraged to change up the shapes, but I wanted my caricature to look like "the live caricature style" which I always had a great admiration for, so I would ask my trainer for new shapes which he would kindly give me, and at one point I approached a caricature phenom who worked at our park and asked if he could show me some of his shapes, but he sort of laughed the question off, and I realized that I could learn some of his shapes by simply looking at his caricatures. Stupid question. Stupid! Stupid!

  After I built up a good shape vocabulary, I began experimenting with exaggeration, which to me, at that time, meant looking for the most unusually large dimensions and making them larger which is pretty much how it works. And, I must add that I would veer from my shape sets whenever I saw a different more correct or concise way to represent something. So I saw shapes and exaggeration as being two different things:

the shapes
The bank of features that you have in your head.  A specific shape should be drawn in accordance with it being perceived/felt in the customer's face.

the exaggeration 
The stretching of the shapes, interestingly, also to be done in accordance with it being perceived/felt in the customer's face.

  But what do you stretch a shape too? You stretch it to a shape, and if the viewer makes a connection in his brain between that shape and the face of the subject than likeness has been achieved, at least as far as that shape is concerned. So it's all shapes. I'm tellin' you. 
  For instance what if somebody looks like this guy?

Then, well by golly, that's what we want to show. This drawing is by the immensely cool Basil Wolverton. A live caricature artist has all kinds of stuff like this in his head, and he yearns for the right opportunity to bust it out. 

And this is a shape too.'s all shapes and exaggeration and who knows waht.


Friday, December 13, 2013

But Rather Just Like

 There's no love like stinky love.

A dark brown background can help make your colors pop out a bit. Chroma contrast. I learned that back in college. There's supposedly three dimensions to color: Value, Chroma, and hue. Do you know about this? Value is the difference between black and white; chroma is the difference between red and gray, and hue is the difference between red and green, or yellow and purple—or any opposing sides on the color wheel. When I was a little kid I remember asking my mom if a color has an opposite and she said no, but later on I figured she was wrong because the opposite of red is green. But she wasn't wrong, because green is only opposite if you're talking about red hue, and I wasn't.. Let us continue.

 This caricature feels like safety.

  This caricature feel like doorknob. These girls were too fun and cool and down for whatever.

Selling a caricature with acne is always a victory.

  Hair near the eyes is a bother to draw. What are some other bothers to draw? I will list them:

  complex eye brows
  long hair that was just up in a pony tail moments ago
  identical twins
  hanging roller-coasters
  motorcycles. Alright that's enough.

 She looks like Kenny Banya.

   Fun Korean couple. The girl was a little huffy after it all, but I'd be huffy too if someone botched my baseball implants.

  Not to toot my own horn, but they looked just like this..and probably still do.

   I think she asked for pretty, but they always ask for pretty. What am I? The beauty doctor?

   It's not everyday you get to draw conjoined twins. This couple was cool. They really seemed to be conjoining themselves.

  Maybe she was a wicked Irish devil. Maybe he was an all American church softball heart-throb, none of that was important. All that was important was their love. And so she climbed up the ladder of his arm and kicked him in the face.

  She complained about it a lot, but she got a frame. This is the spam face-shape, not to be confused with the soap face-shape which is horizontal. I think next week I'll do a thing about shapes. I have some ideas.

  The elephant's foot face shape. You'd be surprised how many Asians don't look like Asians but rather just like funny looking white people.

  Frame!...I'll tell ya... the trick to selling a frame is to draw a lot of minus symbols. It makes them think they're getting some kinda discount.

Well, this is a framer too, actually. Bust my buttons!

  I got her pretty good on this one. She wouldn't let me take her photo so that's how you know.

  This girl had some eye surgery done. I can tell. She kind of looks like a villainous queen. I don't think he liked this sketch too much. The drawing before this was very very um..shall I say..cautious, but he was cool though.

  Surely, there's a place in caricature for structure and solidity, but I got a warm spot, I must say, for some stray lines floating around like some endoplasmic reticulums.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Korean Plastic Surgery

  If you're an American gal, you think the girl in this picture is considering getting surgery to rid herself of this massive nose, but actually, the drawing is more or less what Korean plastic surgery looks like. This is what the ladies here change into. 

Here's a Korean face. I like this girl.

Mostly I like that her chin does this:

and this:


 And who can forget this:

   Hoeng Hyun Hee is her name. She's well known in Korea. She's on a Saturday Night Live type of show where people do skits and the camera frequently cuts to pretty girls in the audience laughing and enjoying themseves.

Actually, for Asians, hilarious chin muscles are fairly common. It's a little known fact. When the average Asian women is posing for photos and saying hello these muscles are not exposed, but when she's on the subway, letting it all hang out, they unfold like some glowing Avatar flower. An interesting side note: It's considered impolite in Korean culture to spank a woman's chin muscles as you pass by, even gently.

   This drawing is meant to show the essence of the Asian face. If you are among those who find Asian women beautiful, this drawing encapsulates all the reasons why. I happen to be among those, but if you're not among those, you may yet have romance waiting for you here...

In the form of a waxy faced cybord lover. 

  I don't intend this to be a scathing indictment of plastic surgery, but look how that face on the right has the upper lip sculpted in such a way that a simple shadow ends up looking like a mustache! That's some subversive, confrontational, postmodern shadow art for you right there.

  And sometimes people beast their own face for what ever reason. See the girl I drew at the top. That's real. The story is she became addicted to plastic surgery and then the doctors cut her off, and then she injected oil into her face and that's when things turned beasted. Should I post a real photo? Ah.. I'll let you look it up if your curious enough. Any image search for Korean plastic surgery will turn up a a picture of this brave young lady.  What do Korean's go in for when they do the plastic surgery. Usually they want bigger eyes, a longer and sometimes beefier face, a less awesome/sturdier chin, well defined eyebrows. The ideal is very clear and unambiguous when you look around at Korean girls on the street and on tv.

Here are some faces that contain the Korean ideal of female beauty.

   Look at this though. This is a tad shady.

  Tell me, face detectives, has this photo been doctored? I do believe it has. This is the "before" picture in the simulation of what's going to happen to your face. I think they did it the other way around though. Shouldn't the Photoshopped version be the plastic surgery version.
 I don't know what's real and what's fake anymore. Whatever happened to fishing and flea markets and feel good campfires?