Caricatures to me is all about drawing the head and face!

We will work with this photo.
Movie Star Gerard Butler.

You saw him in movies like “300” and “Olympus Has Fallen.”  I will show you step by step how I approach drawing him.  I believe this is the biggest and most important lesson you need to learn.

We are in the caricature profession.  This is the first place they will look at.  They want to know that that drawing looks like them.  This is personal and will decide whether they like your work or not. Which means people will hire you or not.  

This is how I got 58 reviews as of this writing on yelp.com in Hawaii.  Please spend time in this area.  Do practice. I cannot stress it enough.

I made it easy for you to follow.  Letter steps are the key.  At first, it may appear easy or then again may not but please work at it.  As said, the letters will designate to the steps you will take.   Please take close attention to what I do between the eyes and eyebrows. (very important)  If there was a secret how I do caricatures this is it.  Get this part down and you will see advance improvement in your drawing skill.

It is for me, if I get this part down even though it’s the beginning stage of drawing the subject at hand, I am confident I will know the outcome before it’s over. Psychic ability you ask?  Nope, just experience doing thousands of people.

Follow the drawings and watch and shadow me for now.  See those letters below?  They are the first letter that designates to the facial features you do and in that order.

Notice the letter “E” that means eyes. The next “E” is the eyebrows and so forth.  See how easy!  You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out.

  Please remember these steps, it so you don’t need to think-it anymore.  Make it so a part of you, that it is no longer sequential steps but a smooth process.

I don’t need to explain it to you, it will happen for you, too!

E, E, N, F, C

These letters represent names of facial features and the order you follow when you draw any face.

E (eyes)

This is how I draw the eyes see that black spot surrounded by the surrounding circle? Look at the right side of that black spot I did a shade that ends on the right side of that circle. Do you see it?  That smudge creates a shine to the pupil.

Now this part is critical in my opinion. Where, you place that dot will determine your success in drawing Butler. Go over to the photo and visually study it, now to your drawing look above his eyelids and place that dot just below the bottom where his eyebrows start on your drawing.

Do you see it? Just below. Place that dot right there. That will be near where you render his eyebrows. Not to worry, just render without thinking but do look at the photo and render it like I did below. Truly there is no guessing involved, your eyes will guide the way.

"Knowing is not enough, WE MUST APPLY. Willing is not enough, WE MUST DO."

BRUCE LEE

N (nose)

You see his right eye (your left) I put a line there, right after the pupil, because in that side his nose where it begins near the eye is in the way. It is really the face in perspective. Notice I did not continue with a straight line down towards the loop of his nose that heads toward the nostrils. If you look closely I shaded the other side with a smudger. I call this “a line without a line.” What I mean is I used a shade to make it appear it’s a line but really I shaded the  other side to make you feel there is a ridge. Do you see it?

Say yes! Whoaah! Now that was a loud yes! Thank you again.

I almost forgot you see that stop bar I talked about, well that’s a reminder that somewhere in that area the bottom of the nose should end,  otherwise Butler will look like Pinochio. Hee hee, I know I don’t have to explain it further, you get it!

Ok, lets get to the forehead, we are half a head there. This part will take some getting used to, but don’t be afraid, I’m here for you!  TaDAAHHHhh!

C (cheeks,lips,
chin & jaw)

This area includes the rest of the head features that round out complete, the head. Because Butler is in a slight angle we see his left side cheek with not much to do but the right side have the length of his head and begins right below his ear lobe.

His sideburns and beard follows along in a diagonal path down to his beard. There is no pivot points except for the fact we have his ears as a guide to how you are going to draw Butler’s lower features.

I will not go into detail except that you draw him as you see him. The hard part was, you guessed it when you did his eyes and brows earlier. 

I know, I know I hear you, “Hey wait just one moment Frank. It’s easy for you to say, I am not you, OK!!!!”

I get that for that I’m sorry. Here I have no erase key so I cannot take it back. But as said this takes practice and a good look at your subject. I promise just by “doing” in time you will get better. It’s mileage on your part. Do practice and you will get better. There is no other way. You will get good, I promise.

E (eyebrows)

This is where Butler will come alive on paper. Study his eyebrows.

As you can see, the brows are now filled using that dot I made in the previous example. Again I used it to tell my fingers to work off of that dot. Notice I went along the top of the eye, making it parallel above the top portion of the eye.  Get this part “down.” So practice this area of the face.  It’s not the only place that are important to your success I cannot stress enough that if you get this part down to where you can draw this part under 15 seconds, you will create quality work that your competitors cannot come close to achieve. I know what I’m talking about! No bull here!

"If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that."

F (forehead, hair, ears)

The forehead, the drawing begins from his right brows and go up almost verticle and bends midway to that line. See arrow.

 Now the hair goes behind the top of the forehead to create the forehead to come forward then I draw his hairline that almost goes horizontal to the eyes.

Note the way I draw hair. I draw lines in the direction of the wave of his hair. This I do with most hair. Even curly hair, I shape it in the direction of the mini waves.

Now on the subject of ears, I don’t spend too much time on ears, for me, say 8 seconds. It’s really lines that’s similar to the outline of the inner ears.

Funny in all my ears I have never heard comments, “You draw ugly ears!” That’s because, as said, most people look at the eyes.

Pay close attention to the right side of Butler’s ears. Notice I darken it. The reason is that the ears suppose to cast a shadow on the hair and down to the nape of the neck I render it dark in value to the hair color. Work on this area, it’ll take time and practice, OK!?

"I always believed if you put in the work the results will come."

MICHAEL JORDAN

NBA  STAR

This is my completed version of
Gerard Butler. You can do this too!
All you need are 3 things important for your success;
practice, practice and last practice!

I have cut and paste Butler’s drawing on to Superman’s body.  You can see the cut marks. Just by learning how to draw people’s heads you can become a fairly good cartoon artist for parties.  How would you like to do this at parties?  Imagine what the guests would think?  Hire you ?  I would!

Press above and I want to share more secrets, with you. The subject? How to draw a woman!

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Great article! That’s an interesting concept using this E, E, N, F, C method, and it makes perfect sense. Starting with the eyes, which I would think would be the most difficult part of the face to do, then eyebrows, nose, forehead with ears, and finally the cheek, jaws and lips. When I was younger, I wanted to be able to draw cartoons, but the closest I got was drawing Snoopy. Thanks for the information!

    1. Why thank you Kevin, yes the “pivot point or dot” concept works for me. It really started as an accident if you will. Vision this Kevin, I had a long line of people wanting their caricatures done. So as most people like me in this profession do is I speed up my drawing. I noticed when I started to draw the people I kept touching a spot on the drawing right above the eyes. The placement I noticed did mater because it made is so easy and confident to lay down the eyebrows, making it pretty on point to the person. If I may be so bold to say, pretty on point.

      This so called “accident” turned into a habit and, wow, what a dang new epiphany came to me. I just created a wonderful secret that I share with you. It works Kevin, try it even though you thought you can only draw Snoopy.

      I thank you for the comment and really do appreciate it and if you’re bored come over when I complete this website I got more to share with you!

      Aloha and Mahalo!

      Frank

    2. Thank you Kevin, yes these concepts work for me and I really believe it’ll work for you! Give it a try, you have nothing to lose except time.

      Kevin I learned this by accident, I was at a party this particular one had an unusually long line wanting to get a caricature from me. So you guessed it, I had to get going. As I was drawing one person after another, I noticed I was putting a pencil dot between the top eyes and the brows. I noticed by just doing that my work started to really get to look like the people.

      I’ve been doing it till this day and it still holds true, people cannot believe the accuracy of this secret. Even I sometimes surprise myself on how “on point” my caricatures are as to the likeness of my live subject.

      Thank you Kevin try this you might even do more than drawing Snoopy’s!

      Mahalo!

      Frank

  2. Wow, what a good article. I have no talent to draw, so I might be your hardest challenge. This makes me want to try–you are so clear on how to go about it.
    Even if I don’t try (I plan to at least play with it a little), it is always fascinating to get an insight into how people go about creating something.
    This is one of the clearest articles I’ve read on “how to”.

    1. Thank you so much Jane, I appreciate your comments! I am honored and humbled!
      Mahalo nui loa!

  3. I met Frank “online” , and he did a drawing of my pup, Gus, as a surfer dude. I love it! He was working from a photo, but put so much expression into Gus that he really captured his essence.
    You can bet it will be hanging on my wall, and everyone love it, for sure!
    And reading this post, I marvel how clear his suggestions are. May even try it myself!

    1. Thank you Keith. I am thrilled you love your drawing of Gus the surfer dude.
      And thank you for the compliment on my drawing suggestions, I am humbled Keith
      Thank you so much!

      Frank

  4. Wow, you make a drawing look almost easy. I have often wondered how the artists at places like Disneyland and other fun venues can draw such a close likeness to people they have just met when they are sitting in front of them. I don’t think of myself as particularly creative but with your method, I think I will give it a try. It looks like a lot of fun and I would love to be able to draw for friends and family. I’ve bookmarked your site and will come back again for more instructions as I learn. Thanks, great information!

    1. Why thank you Lillian what an honor you want to give it a try. Nothing to lose, really! Yes be my guest. You know if you get good at it you’ll be hounded by your relatives at every occasion you can think of. Good it’ll make for needed practice. I promise with practice makes you better. NBA Michael Jordan said it is so.

      I am here Lillian for you…not done yet I will post supplies you will need, Lillian I’m a perfectionist. I want it the best for anyone who want to do this.  So please be patient my dear friend. And nothing like a fan.

      Much mahalos!

      Mahalo means Thank you in Hawaiian!

      Frank

  5. I’ve done a lot of drawing, but never have I heard of your method. It’s certainly very interesting and I love the E, E, N, F, C method you brought up in your article. I usually like doing a lot of ‘construction’ lines but that’s because I don’t do much caricatures.

    I also am glad you mentioned “practice, practice, practice” because goodness, that’s what I tell people too. If you don’t take the time to practice, you’ll never get better. It’s not enough to read about it as it is to actually DO the work.

    1. Thank you Carprincess, for the lovely comments. I am humbled and honored you found my EENFC method interesting.  Yes too, practice makes perfect. Well not perfect but more experience makes things much more smoother to master.

      Mahalo Carprincess, I thank you for posting my review!

      Frank  =)

  6. Having no previous experience in the world of drawing this article has truly opened up my eyes to some new hobbies and ways to express myself. Drawing has always been a meditative way to disconnect and help the body relax. Thank you for your content, and take care. Also what brands do u you recommend I user for sketchpads etc.

    1. Hi Ryan and thank you for approving my site. I am honored and humbled. 

      As for drawing etc. and brands to recommend I would use Prismacolor ebony  black pencils. I will soon put out he products needed as soon as I get all the kinks out of my site!

      Thanks again Ryan I really appreciate your comments!

      Frank

  7. This is really cool! Thanks for sharing your drawing secrets. Not everyone wants to share theirs you know, but you did.

    I do not consider myself an artist but I do like to sketch sometimes. However, I cannot seem to master the art of drawing and that leaves me frustrated. Exactly the reason why I did not take up engineering or architecture because I thought you need to have some drawing skills.

    Well, I’m guessing this is also how cartographers make sketches of a “person of interest” in criminal cases or anything of that sort, lol.

    By the way, they say that left-handed people do not only have a nice penmanship but are also gifted in drawing. What do you think?

    1. Hi Alice, I’ll answer the last question first. I don’t know about left hand. What i share with you Alice can be applied with left or right hands. But you do need a pair of eyes…a must.I’m not sure blind people can do this. Just my opinion.

      Drawing is not a talent but if you keep doing it it will becomes a skill. Like all things practice and success with patience is around the corner Alice.

      What is a cartographer? Never heard of it. 

      Last point Alice, please don’t put yourself down about not being able to draw. Frustration comes when there is no guidance. I certainly can help.  As said, as long as you have 2 eyes you can do this and with practice. 

      Anyways Alice, I really do appreciate you making  comment!

      Aloha from Hawaii!

      Frank

  8. This is a fantastic article on how to draw! I didn’t know their were some very simple steps you can take in order to make a fantastic quality drawing. I am not very good at drawing myself, but I know its all in the practice. With this proper technique, I will learn more efficiently. Thank you so much for this guide, looking forward to seeing more content from you soon.

    1. Ryan thank you very much. I have confidence in you to acquire this skill. 

      Why? Because you believe in yourself. Never mind what others think of your abilities. If you do what I tell you your friends will be in awe what you have accomplished in say a few short months, maybe weeks at this.

      So Ryan do practice because I too practice a lot what I preach!

      Thank again for the review my dear friend!

      Frank

  9. Awesome front page! Great information and learning tools. You are so hands on without actually physically being there.. and I love your encouraging messages.. work hard and it will reward you! What was neat that I learned was using letter, I wouldn’t have known that if you hadn’t brought it to my attention. Thanks for the lesson!

    Kristy

    1. Thank you Kristy, you made my day. The greatest compliment for me is for you to feel you are not alone
      I am here with you by your side. Thanks again,

      Frank

  10. My favorite actor!!! Love the outcome of the drawing and it’s interesting the way it’s created… Great job!!

    1. Ohhh you do like him! Great! Glad you like his rendition! Mahalo! Frank =)

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