Learn to Draw Caricatures - Thoughts and Ideas on Caricature




Random Thoughts

Now that you've drawn a few caricatures, let's look at some points in caricaturing a bit closer.

Pushing it

Really "pushing" the caricature and stretching and distorting to the extreme is quite fun, but it poses a lot of challenges. If you want to really oversize an element of the face, you have to know that it will effect the other parts of the face. For example, if you draw the nose really large it will seem like the eyes are closer together, and the large nose will obscure the mouth. Experiment with it, but I would suggest not pushing the caricatures too far as you are learning. Pushing the caricature could possibly kill the likeness. And I think that likeness in caricature is more important than the art itself. A really wacky caricature is useless if no one knows who it is meant to be a caricature of.

Do you see small eyes or a large nose?

Using the blending tool & pushing the drawing

If you have a mental picture in your head of what you hope your final caricature will look like, it will help in the drawing process. If you know that you want to give your caricature really small, squinty eyes, most of the other facial features will have to be drawn larger than you think. To the right is a step by step demonstration on drawing a caricature that's being "pushed".

In addition to sketching in the shadows, another way to create shadows is with a blending tool. This tool is tightly rolled up paper about the size of a cigar. When you buy a blending tool it's clean. But to make it work for you, you have to get it "dirty". Take your 5B pencil and tone a piece of paper by rubbing lots of graphite on it. Take your blending tool and rub it all over the graphite and really load up the tip of the blender with graphite. With the blender full of graphite, you should be able to "write" with it. Write your name in cursive lettering on a blank sheet of paper with the graphite-laden blending tool. Do you see what the tool is used for? The more you use it the more graphite will get on the blending tool and the better it will blend the shadows of your drawing.

Take a caricature that you've drawn, and if you have shadows drawn in around the eyes, take you blending tool and rub it across the shadows. See what the blender does? The blender will soften your shadows and create a middle gray tone. Neat huh? Sometimes I use the blending tool, sometimes I don't, it depends on the caricature and the look I'm going for.

Begin to develop your own style of caricaturing, but in doing so, please PLEASE don't start drawing the same caricature over and over. Don't draw the same eyes, same nose and same mouth, only changing the hair to call it another caricature. You'll find that if you do a lot of caricatures, you'll use the same style, but please don't keep drawing the same face. Look at what you're drawing and conform your style to the face, don't conform the face to your style. Always draw what you see.

Look at the three caricatures to the right that I've drawn and see if you can go through how I drew them. Look at how I've distorted them and see if you agree with how I caricatured them. Compare the photo to the caricature and look at how I distorted the proportions to achieve a caricatured drawing. Look at the photo, close your eyes and imagine what your caricature of that person would look. How is your caricature different than mine? Study other caricaturists and pick things out that you like about their style. Draw the caricatures that other caricaturists have drawn. If you copy the drawing of others, you'll find that you begin to really evaluate and transform your own style. See that no two caricaturists would draw the same face the same way, and further, the same caricaturist probably wouldn't draw the same face twice the same way.

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