A caricature of Danish fairytale writer, Hans Christian Andersen
. This was done for Danish artist Kim Larsen's online gallery
of the writer, which features interpretations by many artists.
You'd think someone with so many caricaturable features would be a walk in the park to draw. One false start, three trashed drawings and eight or so abandoned roughs later, I came to the final version above. Here
, you can see the only other version which got past the rough stage, but to me it turned out looking more like an American Indian elder. The problem I found was that you have all these prominent features- the nose, the skull-like forehead, sunken eyes, bad posture and so on. If you decide to exaggerate all these traits they tend to cancel each other out and you're left with a fairly mundane caricature. But the good thing about all the false starts was with each drawing I became more and more familiar with his features and was able to push the caricature further each time. I don't think I could have gotten to the final drawing above on a first attempt.
On a different but similar note, I was in Denmark last year for the 200th anniversary of H.C. Andersen's birth, and here are a few little happy snaps
from the trip. The first was from a play about all his fairytales put on in his hometown of Odense, the second is my son Alex in front of Andersen's childhood home.