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Technique

When I look at a person, I'll often envision a caricature almost immediately. However, give me a pencil and paper, and I'm utterly, hopelessly terrible at drawing a face—caricature or otherwise—despite being a professional artist, which has been a frustration for most of my life. Then one day it occurred to me that I might be able to use a computer to help render caricatures: the software would allow me to manipulate lines and shapes until they matched what I saw in my mind's eye.

As a graphic artist, I mostly think in terms of black and white, which is why I chose a high-contrast chiaroscuro technique, although I'll use a different visual style according to the subject. While it takes an average of about a day to complete one, it can vary from a half-hour to more than a week. Often I'll push elements around the screen a fraction of a millimeter at a time for hours, but it's worth all of the work when the last puzzle piece drops into place.

The software I use is CorelDraw, which I've been using since Version 1. The typical rendering consists of roughly 50 shapes, although the count can range from 2 to over 200. Please bear in mind these are not "computer-generated." I only use the computer to facilitate the rendering process; this is otherwise very much human-generated art. That said, one distinct advantage of this approach is that the drawings can be enlarged literally to any size and they will always remain sharp.

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