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When I'm trapped behind my desk and I have the idle moment, I'll occasionally image-search for mug shots and do quick sketches. Until recently these were committed to stickies which would then be used to dispose of my gum. I'm trying to save some of this stuff now.
...It's amazing how many different faces there are, isn't it? Almost every face I reference has something about it which makes me pause and think "I never thought of that before!" It could be the fold of an eyelid, the swoop of an eyebrow, the fall of a jowl. . . it can be a lot of fun learning from the most basic of observations.
...When I draw from my head-- freestyle, so to speak-- and I'm not concentrating on trying something new, I tend to draw faces, figures, caricatures that are similar to all of the other faces, figures and caricatures that I've drawn freestyle before. As a cartoonist susceptible to my all-too-human nature I will fall into that rut because I'm familiar with how to draw those things; I know I can get things to look the way I want them to look.
...So, at the moment I'm worrying about developing a cartoonist's shorthand that will limit the variety of faces that I can come up with; drawing from mug shots (and, of course, real life) encourages me to consider other solutions.
...A few of my favorite cartoonists seem to have a very limited range of faces or figures, and while that doesn't take away from my admiration for their work, I imagine that expanding their visual vocabulary could only help. I believe in some cases they may have chosen less variety because time constraints or because it's a comfortable and recognizable style, which is fine; for myself I would like to be able to scratch out a completely distinctive character every time. Long way to go on that, I know.
...These are fairly faithful caricature attempts.

The End.