For the first time ever in my life, yesterday, I tried my hand at cartooning. It’s a very shady cartoon. Basically I was playing around with a sketch pad and pencil, drawing random lines, and didn’t have any idea about what I was going to draw till I drew. And then once I realized a theme was emerging, I force-fit a caption on it and finished the cartoon.
I realize that some people have easily caricaturable features and some don’t. For example, it was insanely easy for a first timer like me to fairly accurately represent Anna Hazare (called thamma (younger brother) hazare in my cartoon. I hope to make this a series). Given his gandhi topi, triangular face, kurta-pyjama, etc. it wasn’t hard at all to represent him.
Ishant Sharma was next – given the long hair and goatee. Though, when my wife saw my caricature she thought I’d drawn Jesus Christ. I thought Harbhajan will be easy, given he’s a surd, but my cartoon of his looks like a young Bishen Singh Bedi! I guess I need to retract my earlier statement that all turbaned Sikhs look like one another.
The hardest of all (for a novice like me) were the other Indian fast bowlers – Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel, while having idiosyncratic faces, don’t have any idiosyncratic features that makes it easy to caricature them, and hence it requires a greater degree of skill in order to draw them.
Thus, the trick with good caricaturing, I guess, is to identify those features of a person which are easily sketchable, and which (given minor context) will make them identifiable. Yes, I need to definitely improve my drawing skills, which I know are abysmal. But I also need to learn how to represent people without really drawing them accurately.