Learn to Draw Caricatures - Drawing the nose




Drawing the Nose

You've mastered caricaturing the eyes, so the nose should come next. When people think of caricature, they think "don't make my nose look big!". Yes, you could draw large noses, but you should draw what is prominent on the face. If the nose ain't large, don't draw it large. It's funny that many people think that's what makes a caricature - a large nose. In fact, the caricature community doesn't help that stereotype by calling their annual caricature award "The Nose". But what can you do, right? When you get to drawing the nose on the face don't say to yourself "Oh boy! Now I can go to town on this person and really mess them up!" Remember - likeness is key when drawing caricatures - so if the person does not have a large snot locker - don't draw it that way.

The nose sticks out from the face, so it's one of those things I draw with bold lines. If you draw with bold lines, it really separates one thing from another. The nose is something you should really strive for likeness with, even if you've made it HUGE, it must still look like node of your subject.

Let's draw her nose

Let's continue with the woman whose eyes we just drew. Her nose is at three quarters, meaning that you don't see all of it, just 75% of it. Because of this angle, the left nose lobe will be smaller than the right one because it's further away from your eyes. Can you see that her nose could be drawn looking like a "J"? So I'd draw it like a "J" and make the bridge part rather lightly, and when I get to the ball of the nose I'll thicken up the line to get a more shadowed look.

Drawing the nose

At the ball of the nose be very careful and draw the contour exactly as you see it so you can get the likeness. Start the "J" at about even with the tear duct of the left eye, and just eyeball the placement between the eyes, but obviously, the line would be closer to the left eye than the right. Her nose is about one and a half eyes long if you'd have measured the length. You may want to put a mark at the one and a half eye spot so you know how long to make the nose. If you take your pencil and hold it vertically at the edge of the ball of the nose of the photo, and note where that line falls on the eye, that will help you in making the ball and lobes of the nose wide enough (like the red dotted line). The lobes can be drawn by drawing "C"s. The left lobe would be smaller than the right one in this picture because it's further away from the viewer. the top of the lobe would be drawn a bit lighter, and the bottom you could really lean on your pencil to make a thick, shadowed, line.

Click on the photo to see the caricature.

The wrong nose

Let's look at a nose that would be very easy to caricature. This guy has a pretty big nose, so let's caricature it that way. Even when you exaggerate an element on the face, you still have to make it look like the element. If it doesn't, you'll lose the likeness. So if you click on the photo of the dude, you'll see that I did a caricature of him and his nose. I drew the nose as I saw it, but I exaggerated the contours that I saw on the nose. I see that he has a bit a bump on the length of the nose and that the ball and lobe are rather large. So I exaggerated the bump and made the ball and lobe even larger than they are. I drew the nose first, then I drew the eyes and mouth. Because I drew the nose large, I did not draw the mouth and eyes to scale to his nose - I drew them smaller than they are to make the nose look bigger than it is. But tweaking the proportions of the face like that creates challenges. Because I drew the nose large you see less of his far cheek, and his nose is closer to his mouth. The larger nose and smaller mouth also changed the laugh line.

Now if I had drawn a nose on him that was not there, the likeness would have suffered. The large bulbous nose may look funny - but it doesn't look like his nose and so the caricature does not look like him as much. You gotta work with what you've got in front of you. Don't draw what you don't see.

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