Category Archives: How to draw faces

Here’s a quick and easy diagram which shows the basics of drawing a face. The accompanying article also tells you how to make money doing it!

World’s Biggest Virtual Caricature Wall of Fame Just Got Bigger — with 41 More Faces Added!

ATLANTIS, FL — Rosalita’s Tex-Mex Grill’s online caricature wall of fame now features nearly 600 faces, as drawn by South Florida caricaturist Captain Cartoon!

The caricature captain came aboard the highly popular and acclaimed Rosalita’s on Cinco De Mayo in 2010. Since then, he has drawn 100s of faces Tuesday evenings during “Kids Eat Free Night” at the highly acclaimed Mexican food restaurant

“Some places I’ve performed at actually post copies of these caricatures on their walls,” says the captain, “but this restaurant’s highly cultural decor was not conducive to it, so we posted everything on the Web.”

Not only are customers entertained and gifted with a free Captain Cartoon caricature, they get access to a ready-made digital version online. “I snap a pic of the drawing that night, usually with my Blackberry, then open it up via Photoshop and restore the photo to as near a look to the original as possible,” says the captain.

“I’ve also posted ‘how to make greeting cards from your caricatures‘ online,” he adds, “so folks get the most out of this.”

Captain Cartoon gets requests for all kinds of sketches, and savvy entrepreneurs even come in for caricatures they use for their business cards. “Why pay lots of bucks to get these done when you can come to Rosalita’s (Tuesday eves) or Duffy’s (Wednesday Eves) and get professional renditions for free?” he asks.

See the ever-expanding “World’s Biggest Online Caricature Wall of Fame.”


Captain Cartoon’s Latest Cartoon Billboard is Up as He Launches Online Drawing Lesson!

Port Saint Lucie Billboard

Right side of the mammoth cartoon billboard in Port Saint Lucie, Florida

PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL — When Captain Cartoon draws a political cartoon, people usually notice — and his latest cartoon opinion is no exception! Measuring 37 feet by 10 feet, this full-color monstrosity can be seen in all its glory on US 1 in Port St. Lucie!

The political cartoon billboard ranks as the Captain’s biggest ever (size-wise) — and was drawn in support of the local police department in its ongoing layoffs dispute with the city council. It caricaturistically lampoons local pols over perceived city misspending, and comes on the heels of two other “major” political cartoons produced by the Captain as billboards, all targeting “spend-crazy” politicians in West Palm Beach and Alachua County, Florida.

All his billboard cartoons were produced in support of police unions. (Note: The Alachua County cartoon was drawn “billboard-ready,” and though it was circulated on a flyer, there’s no evidence any billboard version was ever created.)

No stranger to cartoon controversy, Captain Cartoon’s political sketches were first published in his 1969 high

First Political cartoon

One of the Captain's first political cartoons published in 1969. He was 16 years old when this sketch was penned with a felt-tip. Uncle Sam looks more pregnant than fat here.

school paper, and on December 25, 1969, they began appearing in his hometown weekly. The Captain’s oft-favored subject: the local police. This would earn him his first parking ticket in 1971.

In 1977, One of the cartoonist’s most infamous sketches “inadvertantly” targeted the local police department, showing officers “on an emergency run to a local donut shop.”  Originally produced as part of a comic strip series in 1976, the strip was re-published in the Captain’s local newspaper following his election win as a city alderman.

Unaware “that” particular comic strip was published that week, the Captain became aware in a hurry after TV, radio, newspapers — and cops — began calling him.

“Everyone thought I was picking on police as an extension of my school newspaper days,” the Captain said. “And while this was accidental, the overwhelming notoriety opened my eyes as to the power of the political cartoon. I could have been elected Mayor that week, it was so popular,” he added. “People still talk about that today.”

Donut Debacle Comic Strip

Comic strip from the series "Double Eagle & Co." published originally in the Freeport, Illinois Journal Standard in 1976.

The Captain eventually re-drew the strip and published it in Petersen Publishing’s famed CAR-toons Magazine 1n 1987.

Within months of the “Donut Debacle,” the Captain produced a series of cartoons targeting his city’s then-newly appointed police chief, whose financial and procedural dealings ran afoul of several city council members. After causing the local newspaper to do an “about face” from its initial support for the chief, these led to the appointment of a new chief nearly a year later. “Essentially, these cartoons ran the guy out of town,” he quips.

A second cartoon series was produced in defense of a police department’s removal of catalytic converters from police cruisers, an issue raised by the Federal EPA. In 1978 the Feds attempted to fine the city (Loves Park, Illinois) $18,800 for the alleged infraction, and the Captain was drafted by the Mayor to target the agency with a cartoon campaign by inverting the acronym EPA to “APE.” Copies of the cartoons were sent to U.S. Congressmen and Senators, and Sen. Adlai Stevenson III, citing that the government was being made to “look foolish,” finally prevailed upon the EPA to reduce the fine down to a paltry $1,200, (covering attorney’s fees.)

Cities very rarely — if ever — beat an EPA fine. This was a first.

Captain Cartoon would go on to produce “cartoon campaigns” for a variety of causes, culminating in two separate cartoon booklets, both of which generated headlines around the country in 1985 and 1986. One effort gained the endorsement of the then-Chairman of General Motors as well as the Governor of Illinois.

But this is 2010, the 21st Century. Are “cartoon campaigns” still viable in an era of digital media? “You betcha” says the Captain, “and this latest billboard cartoon proves it!”

“It’s an art unto itself,” he says, “one needs to know just how to do it. I’ve had forty years experience! Unfortunately, it’s an era of canned artwork and digital clip art. Access to newspapers, usually running syndicated national cartoonists, has been budgetarily sparse. BUT — the Internet provides a whole new opportunity for this kind of expression.”

In an effort to spark a renewed interest in the field of cartooning and cartoon promotion, the Captain has revamped his website’s “Fun Zone” as the Captain’s “Cartoon Chest,” featuring coloring pages, learn-to-draw lessons and his own intellectual property features, past, present and future.

He’s also ramped up his “history” page, and lists his major cartoon accomplishments on a political billboard cartoon promotion page.

“Part of teaching people how to draw lies in creating ‘purpose,’ ” the Captain says. “When people see what can be accomplished via cartoons and cartoon campaigns, they might jump into the fray. It’s never really enough just to learn ‘how,’ one needs to know ‘why.'”

“Had it not been for my school newspaper, I may never have chosen this field,” he says.”There’s much more to cartooning than comic books and national syndication. I’ll never win a Pulitzer, and you’ll probably never see my political cartoons in syndication (though he was syndicated three times with comic strips). “Localized political cartoons just don’t work that way.”

“Regardless, I’ve moved mountains with my work,” he asserts. “When a labor union nearly lynched me over a cartoon in 1980, that made it all worthwhile, because I knew I had made my point.”

Captain Cartoon is a caricature artist in South Florida. You can see his work here.

Kids Turn Tables on Caricature Artist — and Draw Him!

Caricature of Captain Cartoon

Captain Cartoon

Sea Captain lookalike Captain Cartoon is undoubtedly one of the most “caricatured” caricature artists in the country!

But it’s not other pros drawing him — it’s kids (and some older folks too!)

Girl drawing Captain Cartoon

Determined birthday girl draws a caricature of the Captain

“I seem to bring out the “artist” in people, says the South Florida caricaturist-cartoonist. “And any way you can stimulate a person’s artistic side, that’s always a good thing.”

One 8-year-old birthday girl asserted that she intended to draw Captain Cartoon, sat in his chair, and proceeded to whip out a 4-minute caricature! “Her lines were solid and clear”, says the Captain, who has since posted it on his website (and also, on this page.)

Girl's drawing of Captain Cartoon

Here's the Birthday Girl's artwork.

“She didn’t want to tackle the hat, but that’s OK. She has lots of talent,” he said.

Another 8-year-old girl penned the Captain at her mom’s 40th birthday party. “She was courageous,” he says. “She dared to draw my hat.”

“And she gave me lots of hair!”

But it’s not just kids. A woman celebrating her 50th birthday commandeered his paper and markers and drew a very colorful caricature of the astonished artist.

This past May a 40-something man recently sketched the Captain at a block/birthday party.  “It looked like something you’d see in the New Yorker, it was that good” said the Captain.

Doodle of Captain Cartoon

Man made this sketch of the Captain at a block party.

From time to time prominent South Florida watercolor artist Carol Ann Sherman (see photos here) stops by a local restaurant and sketches him. “Her work is beautiful.” he says. “And folks waiting for restaurant tables get a big kick out of it.”

“One I am very proud of is a thank you sketch several little girls drew at a birthday party, says the Cartoon Captain. “You know you did right by them when you get one of these.”

woman sketch of caricature artist

Woman sketched Captain Cartoon at her 50th birthday party

caricature of Captain Cartoon

Young girls teamed up on the "thank you" sketch

There are lots more kid-drawn sketches of Captain Cartoon on the Captain’s “Kids Fun Zone” section of his official site.

“Everyone at these parties loves to see the tables turned on me” the Captain says. “The way I see it, it’s all part of the show.”

Are You Artistic? Make Extra Money Drawing Friends — and More!

Get those eyes close to the middle of the head when you draw faces. It's a great start.

Get those eyes close to the middle of the head when you draw faces. It's a great start.

Times are tough, and if you’re like most everyone else, you’re looking to either cut costs or land a second part time job. But here’s an even better idea for the artistically-inclined: Grab a sketch pad, pencil, a felt tip marker — and a “tip” jar — head to the nearest party, bar or restaurant, and start sketching people’s faces!

Of course, you’ll need to ask permisson first, but you’ll be amazed at the reaction, and most importantly, your filled-up tip jar.

People love art — whether they admit it or not — especially when it comes to seeing THEIR face on a frameable piece of paper. Back when I started doing this I got the urge to walk into a bar, pencil and pad in tow. When I was finished, I’d had 4 free drinks and $35 in cash!

If you’re nervous about drawing people, and/or afraid they may be overly critical, DON’T be. People work hard to see themselves in the picture you draw, and nine times out of ten, they’ll see their likeness. As you get more practice under your belt, YOU’LL get better too — and one day you’ll wake up and say “Hey — I’m a bona-fide ‘portrait-caricature’ artist!”

More importantly, you’ll also realize you’ve come up with a new way to make ends meet!

What to charge? If you’re just starting out, it’s always best to do these “free,” with a tip jar close by. Yes, some folks will take you literally and walk away without tipping, but nine times out of ten, you’ll see a tip, anywhere from $1 – $5. Yes, you may have paid a theme park caricaturist $25 for a drawing years ago, but hey — the theme park takes most of that money. AND, it’s a good bet you’re not working at one of those high-priced parks.

Once you’ve become adept at drawing faces, you might land a “paying” gig at a local restaurant or bar, drawing customers — especially the kids! Caricature artists are “great draws” at these places (no pun intended) and they’re hard to find. Plus, you may start landing parties, where you are hired “by the hour” to draw the crowd. Caricature artists make $100-$200 an hour at these events, doing 1-3 per day on weekends!

Caricatures are by definition “exaggerated features” of faces, but that doesn’t mean you add three extra chins to an overweight person, or draw a guy with even less hair than he already has. Caricature artists have field days with politicians and celebrities for newspaper drawings, but that person sitting in front of you is generally NOT a public figure. He or she wants to “look mahvelous” — that’s why they’re getting their picture done.

For older folks — especially women — see the beauty in their faces. Diminish bags, wrinkles and double chins — you can always add more. Pay close attention to the beauty in their eyes too. Men are less picky about age lines, but they can be sensitive over their hair (and lack thereof.)

Go easy on the kids. A big-eared boy may be “brain-damaged for life” if you draw him looking like “Dumbo.” Little girls see themselves as princesses, and you should draw them that way. I’ll never forget one “chunky” girl’s request that I draw her as “Tinkerbell.” While it was all I could do to keep from cracking up, I did just that. Her smile — and subsequent tip — made it all worthwhile.

How fast can you draw? One veteran advised me that “six minutes per black and white caricature is pretty standard.” That equals roughly 10 per hour. Some caricaturists do these in three to five minutes, others, 10-15 minutes — each. I do 12-15 per hour — now — in black and white. Color generally takes longer, especially if you add figures and backgrounds.

Some caricature artists use 11 x 14 paper, but I use 8.5 x 11 paper, because they take less time and the paper is easily frameable — with standard-sized Walmart frames.

Materials? I use pencil, eraser, brush-tipped pens, “Wausau-brand” brite white paper — and those all-important envelopes to put the drawings in. I’ll usually “pre-pencil” the art, then ink over it. For color, I use the “Chart-Pak” color markers, usually found at any full-service art store.

I did not draw live caricatures until I turned 50, and in previous years, my response was “over my dead body” when asked to do so. When economic times forced me to jump into this field, I was overwhelmingly surprised — not only at the crowd’s reactions, but at my own personal enjoyment doing this. As one veteran caricaturist said, “Bet you wish you started this 25 years earlier.”

My answer? “You got that right.” With over 20,000 portrait drawings hanging in homes around the world, I’m proud to be a caricaturist. Someday, you will be too.

Captain Cartoon’s ‘Caricature Wall of Fame’ Keeps on Growing . . . and Growing . . .

Over 400 caricatures adorn the walls in Boca raton's Wings Plus

Over 400 caricatures adorn the walls in Boca Raton's Wings Plus

BOCA RATON, FL — Caricature artist Captain Cartoon established his second “Caricature Wall of Fame” at a South Florida restaurant, and its skyrocketing popularity has packed the place Monday nights 28 weeks in a row!

The Captain’s “Wall” features computer prints of caricatures Captain Cartoon, aka Dick Kulpa, created for customers during his Monday night appearances. Every caricature is in full color, and each features whatever the child wanted. “If a boy wants his head on a cat’s body, he gets it,” says the Captain. “Other kids are drawn with bowling pin bodies, superhero costumes, sports gear, fishing poles, you name it.,” he says. “One boy’s face is the head of a jellyfish!”

Over 400 faces now adorn the restaurant, and everyone notices. ” Restaurant co-owner Lisa Clark says it’s the most talked-about feature Wings Plus has. “Everyone notices the “Wall” as soon as they walk in. I’ve told the Captain that he has no idea just how much it’s talked about during the week.”


Wings Plus caricatures from Week #26

The “Caricature Wall of Fame” attracts families from miles around, and folks who see it make it a point to revisit Wings Plus (at 441 & Glades in Boca Raton) the following Monday evening. “Monday nights were not all that busy prior to the “Wall,” says the Captain — “That’s why they brought me here in the first place. After three weeks, all H— broke loose!”

“I’ve been slammed and jammed ever since — and happily so. Full color caricatures — with full figures — take roughly 8 minutes to do, as compared to the 4-minute black & whites I do at parties,” he said. “But the quality and color is what brings people back — and if we run out of time one week, they come back the next. Some kids have been drawn 6-7 times each!”

All this comes together to make the Captain, customers — and the restaurant owners — happy. And it’s a sure way to bolster your restaurant, wherever you are. So if you’re in South Florida and YOU want your own  “Wall of Fame,” contact Captain Cartoon. Otherwise, contact a local (good) caricaturist and have him/her build one for you. You’ll be glad you did!