Character of Caricature: Part One

My newest project challenges me to do something I hadn't done in a while: caricature. The trick to caricature is capturing the essence of the character in the exaggeration of features. The other trick is to exaggerate the correct things as it relates to the material. When I first did caricature in a public setting, I was in high school. It was for Ethnic Week and I was featured as the caricature artist. Well, I had done caricatures of friends and teachers as doodles in my notebooks and such. So I had a good understanding of how to mock people. But doing this for people, I had to mentally prepare myself to not to exaggerate the unattractive features. I only wished I had learned that lesson before I drew our assistant principal.

This project comes from a friend of mine who hails from my high school days. Elissa works for the Jung Education Center in Houston www.junghouston.org. The center "offers over one hundred courses, programs, and conferences every year that address the critical social and spiritual issues of our time as well as the need for personal growth and development." She needed an artist to develop a caricature of Carl Jung – something light-hearted yet respectful. I paused... so no huge nose or funny teeth - no exaggerating the unattractive features! OK. I can do light-hearted and respectful.

So immediately I asked for examples and at the same time, I looked up images of Jung and briefed myself a little on Wiki. I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a feeling for what he was like as a person to do the drawing some justice. I mean, it would be odd to draw him laughing and smiling if he was known to be unhappy or vice versa.

Here are a few images I had found and a few Elissa had sent me:

From these images and based on a few things I read on the man, I was able to come up with a few rough sketches. And one was picked to move forward:

What I liked about it was that it captured a lighthearted attitude with his smile and the glasses placed on his head. Elissa had told me that some important physical aspects were his glasses, his mustache and the pipe. I thought it added to the friendly nature to have the pipe in his hand. And the great thing was these very objects also added to the respectable nature she also wanted captured.

From this point, I clean the drawing up and transfer it to board where I will begin inking. Stay tuned for part two!
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