Sketch o’the Week

July 30th, 2008 | Posted in Sketch O'The Week

Artwork ©2008 Tom Richmond

What? ALREADY?! Seems like I just did a bunch of these. This week’s sketch is a study of “Superbad” actor Michael Cera.

This is a good example of drawing someone “cold”, or in other words having no other reference than a single picture and no other source of information. With most other subjects, especially in regards to jobs for MAD, I have seen the subjects in movies or TV shows and have some impression of them from that source. Things like how they move, their attitude, personality, expressions, etc. are all things that influence a caricaturist’s depiction of the subject. Even if I draw someone like Jack Nicholson from a single photo, what I know of him from these other sources will influence my caricature.

I’ve never seen “Superbad” or any other show Cera has been in, so all I have to work with is the superficial reference from one photo. Therefore I really have no idea if it really looks like him or not. I think it looks like the photo I used, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I captured anything about him. Sometimes drawing someone “cold” make you more objective, and sometimes in means you aren’t capturing what really identifies the subject.


  1. Frosted Donut says:

    Knowing who it’s supposed to be, I can see the resemblance. But before I read the name, I didn’t make the connection. (I’ve seen Mr. Cera in the “Arrested Development” TV series and in “Juno.”) In my mind his face is longer and more rectangular.

    So, to tie today’s sketch into yesterday’s…how does drawing cold compare to doing live caricature? In both cases, you’ve only seen the subject once and have no body of knowledge to draw on (nyuk nyuk). But in live caricature, you get much more information about the person, since you’ve got a fully 3-D model. Does that make it easier or harder?

  2. JWB1 says:

    Knew who it was before I scrolled down . I whipped up a sample of Cera and two of his Superbad costars last year. He’s tough to get and you got him. I think the eyes really make it. f you made this face longer it would add too many years to him . Cera will really break out soon and become a real comedy superstar ala Ferrell. Great Job.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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