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Nov 26

The Art of Caricaturing

Mitchell SmithThe Art of Caricaturing“. This 1941 book, written by Mitchell Smith, is a fascinating read in its own right. Not only is it fun just to look at – most of the caricatures raise a smile in their own right, even if Kaiser Wilhelm II is a distant memory by now – there’s a wealth of practical information in here.

And while it certainly helps to be able to draw, if only a little, before starting with this book, it does provide a fascinating insight into the way in which cartoonists drew some 70 years ago. And there’s even a set of exercises at the back, although I expect a Gillott’s pen number 303 may be a bit difficult to find, and the list of people to draw may not be regularly featured in the newspaper any more. And although the author’s kind offer of “profitable and constructive criticism of your work” is generous, I suspect, alas, that it is no longer possible to contact the author by means of the publisher…

You could even follow this book as a practical course – he even demonstrates lines, shadows, how to methods of hatching – and for those of us out there (and I include myself in this category) obsessed with fonts and typefaces, the “lettering” section should prove interesting as well…

Either as a historical curio, or for an artist looking to create some 1940s styling, this is an interesting tome. Of course, the fact that it’s available for free just sweetens the deal…

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