Sunday, October 26, 2008

Malaysian Caricatures

My first attempts at caricatures were total disasters, not only were they moronically amateurish, they were totally disgusting and unacceptable. I thought you'd give a pencil and paper to a mountain gorilla, he could come up with a better drawing than that! Of course I did not realise that being an "artist" meant you could draw caricatures. Its a totally new ball game, like soccer to rugby. Yeah, you kick a ball to a goal, and you run like a mad man, but that's where the similarity ends. Drawing caricatures requires the drawer to delve into the subjects' psyche, their moods and everything (even psychic, sometimes, I think!)besides their outward physical attributes, and oh, very important, an evil sense of humour! What is a caricature if it is not funny? Its like a joke with a weak punchline. Okay, lets cut the craps and see what I have come up with (after weeks or teeth gnashing and hair tearing and suffering ridicule from my inner self):-

1. Mat Taib.
The subject is easy (start with easy subject!) because he has a face chockful of features, craggy, lines, eyebags, prominent eyelids and thick lips.

2. Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
This must be every caricaturist's dream subject, with his prominet lips, slitty eyes and an overflowing smile!

3. Ong Ka Ting
This subject is fair game too with his prominet lower jaw and typical oriental eyes, a great help to caricature is the subject hair style, besides the shape of his face. Hair style always make or break the likeliness of a caricature, fortunately Ong has a unique hair style that is easy to capture.

4. Shahrir
Another subject with plenty of prominent features. Top being his thick lips and the shock of white hairs, longish face.

5. Teresa Kok
This is a tricky subject. I find trying to caricature women more challenging than men and I think most caricaturists think so too. Maybe its the gender thing, me being a man? Ever wonder why there are few female artists and practically NO famous artists the like of van Gogh, Picasso et al? Anyway, Teresa's features are more subtle even though she has a "remarkable" face, and in this case, I am trying to capture the "essence" of her character, not the likeliness. Sometimes if you draw a caricature following the subject's features, you end up with a grotesquely different person.

6. Chua Jui Meng
Doing caricature in colours present another set of challenge, that is highlighting and shadowing facial nooks and corners and protruding features. Caricatures with colour tend to make the subject more lively and a better perception its 3-dimensions. In this case Chua has a unique hairstyle and prominent moustache (often a caricaturist's lifeline),and a craggy lined face.