A Beginner’s Short Guide to Drawing Caricatures

By The Caricaturist | Caricature Advice

A Beginner’s Short Guide to Drawing Caricatures

Drawing caricatures can be a fun thing to do in your free time. It is a great way to discover this form of art.

If you find the amusing and the bizarre in everyday life and objects, you will surely like this art form. Here are some simple steps in order to produce a caricature.

Selecting the subject

Anybody can be used as a subject for your drawing. The subject can be a family member, a friend, showbiz personalities, political bigwigs, and even pets and animals.

Make sure you have the proper gear for the job

Sharpen your pencils and guarantee that you have your erasers within easy reach. The kind of pencils you employ in your drawing will influence the line quality of your caricature sketches.

Vary the lines each time you draw, and mind the light and shadow too. All flat lines with no variations in between are uninteresting.

Make sure that you place thicker lines in the right places. For example, parts of the face like the eyes, chin, mouth, nose and outer lines of the drawing require a heavier hand. Softer lines meanwhile should be used in places that require detail like wrinkles and eyelashes.

It is crucial that you mind the variety and placement of lines in order to make your subjects appear more lifelike and dynamic.

Drawing the body

The most distinctive feature of a caricature is the exaggeration of the subject’s attributes. You can begin by sketching a small body then illustrate what you think the subject would wear while going about with his or her normal routines or hobbies.

If the subject is a nurse and plays guitar in a band during his spare time, you can draw the subject with a guitar and medical equipment.

It’s all in the head

Now this is where things can get a bit complicated. Caricatures are exaggerations of the person’s features. The head can be drawn massively and if the subject has a broad forehead, you can draw the subject with a forehead twice as wide as normal. Big noses call for a bulbous nose. This is where you are going to lay it on thick.

Hair matters

Hair is another one of the aspects that caricaturists often have a field day with. Curly hair calls for drawing it ten times curlier. For subjects with longer hair, you can overstate the length of their tresses by drawing them with a length that reaches all the way down to the subject’s toes.

Eye know-how

Eyes are the foremost facial parts that provide expression. Together with the eyebrows, they allow individuals to express themselves without moving or saying anything.

You have to overstate some aspects of the subject’s eyes; if the subject has thick eyelashes, you can draw them longer and thicker than usual. If you are using colors, you can also highlight the blueness of a subject with blue eyes, for example.

Master the nose

In caricature art, the nose of the subject can be exaggerated, especially if said subject’s strongest feature is his or her nose. People with bigger noses are drawn with bulging ones, big nostrils are also highlighted.

Mouth tips

When it comes to the subject’s mouth, you should first determine the distance of the mouth from the subject’s nose.

The mouth must begin with the lips. Lips are either pouty, thin, plump, wide or straight. The shape of the mouth determines how you need to overstate them. When it comes to the teeth, subjects with big teeth can be drawn with an overbite or buck teeth.

Other Suggestions

  • Determine at least 2 or 3 features that you can exaggerate. The exaggerations can be done either with shape or size, or you can make use of both.
  • Caricatures are exaggerations, but keep in mind not to go overboard that the subject becomes virtually unrecognizable. A caricature is supposed to be faithful to the likeness of the subject, yet amusing at the same time.
  • You can practice by making caricatures in random situations. Try doing it at a party, the library, down the streets or in a coffee shop.

Practice is key in becoming a skilled caricaturist. If you want more tips and methods, go to Learn-to-Draw.org. The site offers step-by-step instructions which will help you hone your skills. Practice is also a fundamental way to discipline yourself if you want to make a career out of this art form.

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