Having been a working caricature artist for about forty (!) years now, there are a few inescapable truths I have stumbled over — or crashed into — along the way.
The first is likely the hardest to accept: Resemblance, Like Beauty, is DEFINITELY In The Eye Of The Beholder.
Oh yeah! Amen, brother, accept it and go forward. You are NOT gonna change that.
Another is the level of difficulty in attaining a resemblance on certain faces. About a third of the people you draw are WAY easy, baby, just knock out that very, very interesting item — the nose, the glasses, the goofy hair — and the rest does not matter. “Looks just LIKE ya, Fred!” comes over your shoulder…
Fun job, oh yes.
And about a third of your subjects are middle ground, take more effort. Then that last third are very very hard to draw. Period. No. Not correct. Not hard to draw, and it does look like that person to a degree — just not to the level you want. That’s it.
I drew political cartoons back in the day, not too well and not too long but enough to have tremendous respect for talents like my friend Mike Peters of The Dayton Daily News and the other editorial cartoonists out there. Amazing ability, gang, trust me on that one.
(And amazing courage as well. Yes. A political cartoonist told me that from DAY ONE, he received Death Threats because of his cartoons. Do they continue? Not sure, but I bet so — that likely happens to all those artists. But that’s a discussion for another time.)
Which brings me to — Smokin’ Joe Biden! Here’s my first shot at Mr. Biden from 2008 —
Let’s just ignore the political discussion, please, and look at Joe B. I find him hard to draw! Here’s my latest effort, just in pencil thus far —
Am I thrilled?? No!
Then I looked at some of the other drawings of him out there and — hey, some a those are not too hot, either. Small comfort, yes, but…
Some faces are just harder to draw. Sure.
At this point, we are getting back into George W. Bush territory on this issue. Back then, 1999 or so, lots of us were struggling to draw GWB — until someone started making fun of his EARS. Remember? Does he really HAVE big ears?? Nah, not really… But ya gotta draw something, right?? So we all piled on, so to speak. Same thing gonna happen with Joe B. Sure. Not sure which way that’s gonna go, but it will, and soon now.
If you have seen some good sketches of Mr. Biden please share!