I only know him for the decent, all American rosy-cheeked lad he presented himself as in person.
So I checked out his blog today and decided I could give him some tips and comments which might benefit other folks as well.
OBSERVATION AS A CREATIVE TOOL
Here is a nice caricature he's done of his partner in Bromance. I like it. It is very observant.
One thing he did that many cartoonists don't, is that he looked at each side of a head at a 3/4 angle and drew each side the way it really looks. Many cartoonists when drawing a 3/4 view just take their front view and distort it so that the side closest to us looks exactly the same as the side farther away, just bigger. In other words, the silhouette is the same on both sides, which doesn't make sense at all.
THE 3/4 MOUTH AND LIPSRodrigo observed something that REALLY most people don't. Something that goes against what you would think think would make sense.
The lips on a 3/4 mouth are wider and a different shape on the side of the face that is farther away. You would think hey would be bigger on the side closest to us, but they aren't. Why? Because we are seeing part of the inside of the lip on the side that's farther away.
Go look in the mirror, or look at your girlfriend and see the truth for yourself.
Now, the thing about drawing from observation that is very important - is to REMEMBER THE OBSERVATIONS AND TRY TO USE THEM IN YOUR OWN CARTOONS!
Don't let these nuggets of truth and discovery slip away into the aether! Take advantage of what you see around you and use it! Otherwise your life drawing classes and caricatures are wasted.
Here, Rodrigo did a careful study of a toy and what it looks like from different angles. This is a great thing to do - IF you then apply some of what you observed to your cartoons.
Rodrigo also sometimes does careful construction studies from classic cartoons - also a good thing - if you then apply it to your own work.
Here, he has applied some construction that he learned from observing and copying classic cartoons.
Here, he hasn't. This drawing below is cluttered and hard to read because there are no principles used in coming up with the drawing. All the shapes are disconnected, there is no composition, lines of action or construction - even though Rodrigo is obviously capable of it.
Doing caricatures is also a good thing for study. But again, be very observant. Don't trust what you think things are supposed to look like. Look at what they ACTUALLY look like and caricature that. Then try to figure out WHY things look the way they do.
Observe and analyze so you can apply the observations with an understanding of how things work.
These look flat to me, because the facial features are all squashed flat against the face. Nothing sticks out. In a real face your nose sticks out, your mouth is behind your lips and teeth, the back of your skull is a different shape than your 3/4 side etc.
When copying from life, really look carefully at what is in front of you and try to discover new knowledge of how things look, rather than forcing your subject into preconceived notions.
The worst thing a caricaturist can do is to have a set style that he has to bend his subjects around. Then he loses all the valuable new information that a subject can inspire.
When you learn something new, apply it to your original cartoons.
See you at the next Asifa show Rodrigo!