Q: Which is the hardest feature on a face to draw? I’m finding the mouth to always mess things up despite following some of your advice in that realm (i.e. draw the lower line of the upper lip first, etc). I would probably say whichever feature one is trying to caricature, probably has the most impact on whether one’s drawing “works” and that could potentially be the hardest but for me, things seem to fall apart more when I get to the mouth. Any ideas or exercises you would recommend?
A: The hardest feature to draw is whatever one you happen to be struggling with at the time. It’s different for everyone, and changes with an artist’s development. The way to combat that is to study whatever feature is confounding you and work on drawing it until you stop having trouble with it. Look at the work of other artists in how they handle the mouth, learn the anatomy behind it, and fill up sketchbooks drawing it at every conceivable angle and position. Keep drawing mouths until they change from a weakness to a strength.
Thanks to Michael Hagerman for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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