Sunday Mailbag- Reference for SotW?

December 11th, 2016 | Posted in Mailbag

Sunday Mailbag!

Q: Have you ever considered posting the reference pictures you use for your Sketch of the Week caricatures? Often I know of  the folks you are sketching, but I learn more when I see why you chose to push here or pull there based on the reference picture(s) used. Just a thought.

A: Some people have asked if I would do that. I suppose I could, but I often don’t base the caricature on a single photo, and the SotW isn’t really meant as a teaching tool. It’s just a sketch I do for fun and sometimes put in the store for sale. Posting the reference would take some of the fun out of it for me. Besides, if you really want to see the reference I used a simple Google image search for the celebrity’s name will probably give you the exact picture(s) I used within the first 20-30 thumbnail images That is usually how I get the references I use.

Thanks to Sean Platt 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 your questions and I’ll try and answer them here!



  1. Carlos A. Zuluaga says:

    I guess posting the pictures could also infringe copyright in some cases.

    • Tom Richmond says:

      Actually no, I don’t think so. I think using a photo or series of photos to demonstrate an art style or technique based on those photos would be considered “fair use”, just as using a photo as a reference for a caricature at all would not be copyright infringement just so long as the artist sufficiently “transforms” the source material into something new.


Sketch o’the Week- Julie Newmar! #batman #batman66 #catwoman #julienewmar

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