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A Little Later, Another Nader

DECEMBER 19, 2006
Ralph's Rebirth
My last post was a portrait of Ralph Nader. It was an ugly affair and I considered it a failure. What left me somewhat vexed was why someone like Nader would present such a challenge. Bell's Palsy has left half his face partally paralyzed. His eyes and eyebrows alone say almost everything that need be said.

I felt that my previous portrait captured his likeness ( although looking at it now I see it even less- he looks more like actor Dan Hedaya), but I felt that stylistically it was stiff and graceless. I put it away for the weekend and tried to put it out of my mind.

Today before starting work I sat down a doodled a portrait of Nader from memory. I wanted to implement the convention that all the great characaturists do: exaggerating the most prominent features to capture the likeness. I thought again about Nader's eyes and eyebrows and his crooked smirk.

And lo, Ralph started to appear! I went to my photo reference and tightened up the sketch until I had a likeness that is at once recognizable and stylized and, to me, sums up Nader much better than my previous attempt.
© 2024 Steve Wacksman