Have you ever noticed the caricature booths at amusement parks, Las Vegas, or in shopping centers? They look pretty fun, don’t they? I’ve spent a good chunk of time amused and curious as to how the artist or caricaturist is able to capture the humor and happiness in rather normal-looking things or people.
Drawing caricatures can be a fun and entertaining way to tap into a different form of art and cartoon drawing. If you can see the humor and creativity in normal things, read on, because we are going to show you how to exaggerate and distort a person or image in 8 simple steps to create a caricature.
Step 1: Choose a subject
You can turn anyone into a caricature: a friend, family member, celebrity, or even your pet.
Step 2: Get your pencils and drawing equipment
Make sure everything is sharpened and that you have some erasers on hand. The types of pencils you use are going to impact your drawing’s line quality. The line quality of caricature drawings is very important. Make sure you have your lines vary as much as possible in your picture. Flat lines are going to be boring, so make sure that your lines are thicker and harder in certain places. For instance, they should be harder: under the nose, mouth, chin, eyes, and all of the outer lines of the drawing. Softer lines should be applied to places in the drawing where there is detail, such as on wrinkles or other delicate facial features or structures.
Additionally, it can help to vary the thickness of the individual lines on your drawing and to keep them smooth and confident. For instance, if the lines on your drawing vary in weight from thick to then, this helps add life to your drawing and will keep it from appearing lifeless and boring. It is important that you incorporate these drawing techniques to add a dynamic look to your caricature.
Step 3: Body
A caricature is meant to be an exaggeration. Start by drawing a small body. On the body, draw an outfit of what you think the person you are drawing would wear doing one of their favorite hobbies. For example, the person might be like to hike in their spare time or do ballet. In which case, you would draw them wearing hiking equipment or with a tutu and ballet flats on.
Step 4: Head
This is where things can start getting funny. For the head, you will need to draw a big and oversized head while making sure that you exaggerate the shape of the person’s head. For instance, if your subject has a wide forehead, then you are going to want to draw their forehead much wider than normal. If they have a big nose, then exaggerate the nose on their face. This is going to make the person look more comical than ever.
Step 5: Hair
Time to stick some hair on your subject’s head. If your person has very curly hair, then make sure you draw their hair 10 times curlier than it would normally look. Another example is if they have long hair, draw their hair reaching all the way down to their toes to exaggerate the length.
Step 6: Eyes
Now onto the window’s to the soul. You will need to exaggerate certain qualities of the person’s eyes as well. Draw their eyes using as vibrant colors as you can and accentuate the person’s eye features. For instance, if your subject has long eyelashes, draw the eyelashes particularly long and huge.
Step 7: Nose
As we mentioned before, you are going to want to exaggerate the person’s nose regardless of what shape it is in. The shape will be pretty straightforward. Most people either have a: big, small, straight, or lumpy nose. If the person has large nostrils, do not be afraid to exaggerate those as well.
Step 8: Mouth
When starting to draw your subject’s mouth, notice how far the mouth is from the person’s nose. The mouth of your caricature should start with the person’s lips. The lips should be plump, thin, or straight, and their shape will help you determine how you want to exaggerate them. For the teeth, if the person has very straight teeth, make sure that you over-exaggerate the straightness. If they have big teeth, on the other hand, give them buck teeth or a noticeable overbite.
Your caricature drawing is now complete! Show your subject their portrait or give it to them as a surprise gift.
Tips for Drawing Caricatures
- Once you have chosen the subject that you want to draw, find at least 5 to 8 pictures of your subject. This is important because it will make it easier for you to develop two things that are important to your picture: exaggeration and likeness. Various pictures will help you study your subject from different angles and in different lighting conditions.
- Study your subject’s features. There are going to be elements of their appearance or face that are not “normal”. This will help you decide how you are going to make your subject look more unique so that you can deviate away from what is considered the “ideal face”. A caricaturist is supposed to have good and keen perception to be able to look at a subject and know what parts of them should be exaggerated.
- Look for 2 or 3 features that you can use to deviate from their normal size or proportion. Keep in mind that your deviates can be done with size, shape, or both. If it helps, try to think of some famous people or actors or actresses. Pick out their facial features that you would want to exaggerate and think about how you would go about doing that.
- Remember to pay attention to the eyes of your caricature. You do not want to exaggerate your subject’s eyes in such a way that it makes them look unreal. A caricature is supposed to look realistic and humorous at the same time.
- Play around with creating caricatures in random places. For instance, when you are walking down the street or in line at the grocery store, attempt to see people as their caricatures.
This type of quirky, exaggerated, and cartoon art can be difficult if you are just starting out drawing caricatures. However, the end result is going to be humorous and entertaining for the subject and anyone else who takes a peak. Learn how to draw caricatures in one hour with this course!