Sketch o’the Week- Alison Pill!

September 18th, 2013 | Posted in Sketch O'The Week

Alison Pill ©2013 Tom Richmond

I had so much fun drawing Jeff Daniels from “The Newsroom” a few weeks ago that I decided to take a shot at another cast member from that show, Alison Pill.

I wish I had seen Alison here a few years ago when I was writing my book, because she is a perfect example of my “lines of force” theory for caricature. A central theme with caricature is the fact that a face has a fixed amount of entropy between all its elements. When you exaggerate the relationship (distance, size, angle) between some features, whatever you did needs to be balanced in another area to re-establish equilibrium. That’s generally easy when you make a nose longer, as you logically make the head longer and narrower and move the eyes closer together as a result. If you move the nose closer to the eyes, they eyes become farther apart and the head widens. But what happens if you are forced to move all the features closer together like Alison’s face demands? Then the “energy” or “force” you are squashing in needs to go somewhere, and the face itself expands in all directions. Her face is a perfect example of this.

the force


  1. Rob Hensby says:

    I think I get it…did Stephen Hawking help ya’ write it? 🙂

  2. Trevor says:

    This is really helpful. It is great to see the caricature and then an explanation of what was done to create it.

  3. alison says:

    intriguing to me because she doesn’t look fat because of the outward expansion ~ perhaps her proportions are saved by the narrow neck and angular jaw

    • Tom says:

      Those elements do help, but mostly it’s the prevelant cheekbones and forehead that prevent her from looking fat… you can’t have fat on your forehead, and the large forehead makes he head read as large (skull-wise) rather than fat.

      • Richard Buff says:

        I love these instructional types of blog posts. And your followup comment about the forehead was enlightening too.


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