Caricature - what is caricature?


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Tracing on your frame

For this exercise you'll need your picture frame and a washable (non-permanent) marker. This time we'll be tracing a picture in the frame. These pictures show a foreshortened hand, which many people have trouble drawing. And why do people have trouble drawing foreshortened objects? Say it with me - "Your logical mind says it doesn't know how." Because the object seems to get distorted in the foreshortening, your logical mind freaks out and sees that the object you want to draw doesn't conform to the "symbol" that it knows.

Tracing is something that your logical mind will tolerate for some reason, so let's do it. Tracing is basically copying. You have the thing you want to trace and you put a piece of paper right on top of it and copy it line for line. The difference here is that we'll be tracing a three dimensional object rather than a two dimensional one.

To start this exercise, print out one of the photos of hands on this page. Now put the print in your frame (cut it to size). Now, using your washable marker, trace the photo of the hand right on the glass of your frame. Trace the contour of the hand and trace the folds of skin where the fingers are bending. Trace every line you see. When you're done, take the hand photo out of the frame and look at your drawing. You could put a blank sheet of paper in the frame to better see your work. Did you get all the foreshortened fingers? Looks good, huh? So now you know you can trace.


Put your hand under the frame and trace your hand onto the glass.

my traced hand.

Now this part is tougher, and the real "meat" of this exercise. CAREFULLY!!! wash the drawing off of the glass of your frame and secure the glass back in the frame without a picture or the backing so you just have the frame and the glass. Place the frame on top of your non-drawing hand. Curl your fingers so you get a little bit of foreshortening but keep your hand flat enough so the frame won't slide around. Now, using your drawing hand, trace your own hand on the glass just like you did with the photo of the hand. Again, trace all the lines you see. It's a bit more difficult because you're now dealing with a truly three-dimensional object and not a photo, but I know you can do it. You're going to have to keep your point of view the same all the time and you might want to close one eye. Try to remember how you drew the foreshortened fingers of the photo and draw your fingers in the same way, with the same types of lines and curves.

How did you do? Pretty fun and challenging, huh? If the drawing of your own hand came out anything like the photo of the hand, you really have got a handle on drawing. Now, all you need to do is draw a subject when it's not right under your drawing surface and draw rather than trace.


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