One of my favorite movies is Blazing Saddles, directed by Mel Brooks starring Gene Wilder, Cleavon Little, Harvey Korman, and other big names. Many people know Gene Wilder from his legendary role in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as Willy Wonka himself. Although this was possibly his most famous role, he has played other characters in a variety of other movies, mostly in the genre of comedy; especially Young Frankenstein, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and other iconic films. If you have not seen this movie or any of his others, I highly recommend you watch them.
I chose to do a caricature of his character “The Waco Kid” in Blazing Saddles. He plays “The Waco Kid” who was known as the ‘fastest hands in the west’.
I looked at his features and chose to expand on a few; lengthening his nose and face, his hair, shortening his chin, shrinking his hat, and smaller details. I saw his most prominent feature to be his nose alongside of his hair . I wanted to expand on that and center the piece around it. Using a ballpoint pen, I spend the most time on the strokes on his face and less so on his torso, etc. I also made it a point to use directional pen strokes following the contours and angles of his face.
Looking between the two images I found there are a few things I can improve to further capture his likeness.
- Make his hair crazier than it is
- Push his eyes closer together and experiment with their size
- Maybe scratch the entire drawing and instead of lengthening his entire face, maybe dialing it back a bit and going for width?
- Look at more photos and do many sketches instead of just one
The most difficult part of doing these kinds of drawings is capturing the likeness of the figure. Distorting the figure can be done, but does it look like the person? I am no expert on this and certainly need to make improvements with doing both, but this activity is a great way to refresh. Taking a photo of a family member, friend, etc. and doing a caricature of them is enjoyable and their reaction is always worth the work.