Face Off: How to Draw Amazing Caricatures and Comic Portraits – A Book Review

If you’ve been to a street fair or amusement park lately, you may have seen a caricature artist in action. People stop to have their comic portraits drawn in a cartoon style, often with very large heads and tiny bodies doing something funny. If you’d like to learn how to draw these types of drawings, the book, Face Off: How to Draw Amazing Caricatures and Comic Portraits, by Harry Hamernik, can help.

Most books on how to draw caricatures are from famous artists who have done many celebrity portraits in the past. Artists like Dick Gautier and Lenn Redman are two of the better known ones. But their styles are a little dated, and you might be looking for something more applicable to modern style.

The book starts by discussing materials and supplies you will need, including pencils, paper, markers and color pencils. I like the instructions for a do-it-yourself lap easel, which can be made cheaply if you have very basic handy construction skills.

It then covers marker, pencil, and colored pencil techniques. These include how to not get fuzzy lines, varying your lines, working with value, and color blending. Then he shows how to color a portrait using pencils and even some computer coloring techniques.

He presents a specific process for drawing a portrait and encourages you to draw ten faces every day for twenty days in a row before trying to sketch someone. You need to know how to do the process of a caricature first, without getting stuck, before you can then add the difficulty of trying to make it look like someone.

The next section covers how to draw specific features. He gives several sample face shapes and examples of noses, eyes, hair, etc. There are multiple helpful hints and tips scattered throughout, such as this one about eyes: “A larger iris will make your subject look younger. Think Bambi.”

He also discusses and explains distance, anchor, and pivot points. These are key when drawing portraits, because the tiniest change in details can make your caricature look like the person or not. Drawing a likeness is extremely difficult.

The rest of the book contains two large sections, one for 3/4 view portraits, and one for profile views. These, like the section on face forward portraits, give lots of examples, tips, and tricks.

There is a great sampling of different facial types and a fair range of ages, although there are no older people at all. But there are some with glasses, a head bandana, jewelry, and facial hair, the sorts of things that can trip you up.

Overall, this is an excellent overview if you are wanting to learn how to draw in this style. Face Off: How to Draw Amazing Caricatures and Comic Portraits, by Harry Hamernik will get you started in the right direction.

Jamie Nelson, Talented Photographer

I was able to grab an interview with Jamie Nelson the photographer published in popular magazines Zink, Linie De Luxe, Plaza, and Highlights. Her work is also shown in art galleries across the globe.

I was absolutely in love with her pictures the first time I glanced upon them.

She uses bold color and graphics that really pop out at the viewer. Vivid is a great word to describe her art, and yes it is much more art than fashion, it’s the kind of pictures you would hang up on a wall to enjoy daily.

Her work is very distinct as quoted by Anti-mag “Well, I dare say she is pushing the envelope in that genre of photography and she’s doing it very well.” Another great article at


I hope you enjoy the article as much as I do.

What are your inspirations?

Jamie: I have never been very inspired by other photographers. I have always drawn inspiration from life experiences and my deep urges to share my passion and vision with people.

I am mostly inspired on the day of the shoot when the entire creative team pulls together to create.

I am inspired by the chaos of shoot days and the beauty of the final result that is created by several artists.

When did you realize you wanted to do what you’re currently doing and when did you begin?

Jamie: I was in my senior year of high school, getting ready to apply to Stanford for the pre-med program.

Ha ha, thank god that didn’t happen!

I took an art class and fell in love with photography and completely changed my direction.

What are your favorite items to use in your art?

Jamie: I enjoy bold, colorful clothing that makes a graphic statement and transforms the model.

However, lately I have been obsessed with shooting beauty and cosmetics.

In the same sense, I am inspired by bold, colorful makeup that creates graphic statements on the model and transforms her.

Do you have any favorite products or equipment you use when creating your art?

Jamie: I really don’t like to stress importance on equipment.

It has never been about what type of equipment I use.

I was always the poor kid in school with the junkiest camera.

Everyone likes to ask this question, but really, there is no special magical equipment in my opinion.

Are you a part of any artist communities online or offline?

Jamie: My favorite online community lately has been http://www.iqons.com.

There are some really amazing talents on there.

Do you have a favorite piece that you have photographed?

Jamie: I enjoy shooting with taxidermy animals for some reason.

It was a phase I went through for awhile.

They have been frozen in time with their one last movement or action in life.

They are still, quiet, yet bold. They seem to be an overall metaphor for my imagery.

I would like my models & imagery to hold the same tranquility and timelessness.

What themes do you have in your art?

Jamie:The work tends to be bold- whether colorful or colorless, there is always an element of boldness.

Each image is glossy and perfected, even if the content is rough, raw, or grungy.

I carry a lot of vintage aesthetic into each image- a juxtaposition of several eras of time that inspire me.

Do you see yourself moving in any new directions?

Jamie: I see myself moving into the commercial field quickly.

After I gain success in advertising campaigns, and top magazines, I’d love to be able to settle down a bit and focus on going back in the fine art direction.

Where can people view and or buy your work?

Jamie:My work is usually featured in internationally distributed magazines carried at Barnes & Nobles and Border’s. Although some are obscure foreign magazines that may be difficult to find.

I also am doing more art shows locally and internationally. The most current will be one in Rome in May.

What experiences or training has helped you grow as an artist?

Jamie: There are so many elements that have assisted my growth over the years.

School was very important to develop the technical aspect of my photography.

Having a solid team of other creatives around me as really made the artistic vision and flow easier to perfect.

Shooting consistently and practicing always teaches me something new.

When shoots go horribly wrong, I love it and get excited- I always learn so much from those ones!

Did you attend School or take any classes to get started?

Jamie: Yes, I went to Brooks Institute of Photography in CA for 4 years.

I also took an art class in High School, which initially piqued my interest for photography.

What advice would you give to beginner photographers?

Jamie: Develop your own style. Stay true to it. Try to get your work out to as many people as possible.

Be persistent. Be willing to make sacrifices for what you want

The Rembrandt Affair – A Complicated Story Smoothly Told

This is the story of a Rembrandt painting which is under restoration work with a friend of the legendary Israeli assassin Gabriel Allon. There is a secret associated with the painting which sparks off a chain of intrigue which travels across various borders. Although it is a sequel to Daniel Silva’s earlier works with the same protagonist Gabriel Allon, the new readers will not find it difficult to comprehend the story since The Rembrandt Affair is a complete work of fiction, without any loose ends.

Clear Distinction between Fact and Fiction

The ability of the author Daniel Silva to tell a complex tale shines in the complicated as ever The Rembrandt Affair as well. This is one of those rare stories where Art and Mystery are woven, and the author skillfully mixes fact and fiction together. Unlike other authors, Daniel Silva makes it clear – what is fact and what is not – for the benefit of the readers. This way, there is no confusion in the mind of the readers; they are always in the clear.

Global Agents Join Ranks

In some areas, however, there are denials by the author but readers know that holocaust and other some scenes are real whereas the characters are fictional. The stolen painting, the complicity of Swiss banks and Nazis seeking refuge are all well known incidents (including the Rembrandt painting). The novel The Rembrandt Affair also delves deep into the history and then covers the sons of Swiss bankers and Nazis as well as the protagonist, Gabriel Allon, whose mother was a holocaust survivor. The very existence of Israel is threatened since Iran is building the nuclear weapons at a rapid pace. The CIA and MI6 operatives also join the Israeli agents to tackle the businessman in question.

The Story Is Less about Violence

Contrary to the first impression the readers may get, the story is less about violence and more about gradual covert operations, which do not seem so dramatic in the first instance. Even those plots which seem very attractive at first impression, cannot sustain the story if the readers do not feel empathetic to the characters. All the characters created by Daniel Silva are passionate and human at the same time. The female characters are also equally sympathetic and believable.

Gabriel Allon Has A Tragic Past

The main protagonist, Gabriel Allon has come through a tragic past as his mother was a Holocaust survivor – and he didn’t know all about her till late in the life. His son died in a bomb blast meant for him and the first wife had to be institutionalized due to that tragic event. The overall narration of the story is smooth and every scene appears like a gentle brushstroke from a master painter.