Learn to Draw Caricatures - visualizing caricatures




Visualizing Caricatures

Study as many faces as you can

In order to do a good caricature you have to know and understand what it is you're drawing. Look at pictures of people in magazines and look at your family photo albums. Stare at people as you pass them on the street. Look at faces and see if you can visualize a caricature of that face. Study your subject. Look at the face from as many angles as you can. This is why drawing from life - when the person being drawn is sitting right in front of you - is infinitely easier than drawing from a two dimensional photograph. Being able to see the person "in the round" is best because you can get a "whole" sense of the person, rather than a two dimensional sense that some photographer gives you. You may be handed a photo of Jay Leno shot from above his head which would make his noggin look huge and his chin look small. The resulting caricature would be pretty nasty. Find as many photos of your subject as possible and try and get a sense of what they really look like. Notice the facial features in relation to one another. Does the hair recede and thus make the forehead look huge? Do they have an overbite and thus make the chin look small? Do their ears stick out unusually far from their head? Do their eyes seem too close together? Are their eyes horizontally aligned? (have you looked at Shannon Doherty's eyes?) Is their nose hooked or does it curve upward? After this intense study, try to visualize a completed caricature in your head.

Here's a basic question you may be asking: "How do I know which features to exaggerate on the face?"

Visualize the caricature you want to draw

Here's an answer: You'll know by looking at a face. If you have a mental picture in your head of what an "average" face would look like, compare that face to the face you're looking at, and note the differences. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes the dude's nose is just too large for his head. Or her ears are so large she could flap them and fly away. Caricaturing isn't always "exaggeration", it's also minimizing features as well as maximizing them. Maybe you're thinking "How can she be such a loudmouth with such a small mouth?" Look at the person and gauge the relative sizes of one facial feature against the other facial feature. The features of the subject should only be compared to their own features. If you have two people in a drawing and the first person has a larger nose than the second person, don't give the first person a large nose if he really doesn't have one in relation to his own face.

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