The Different Kinds of Caricatures

By The Caricaturist | Caricature Facts

The Different Kinds of Caricatures

For a long time, caricatures have been an important means of presenting people in a funny yet insightful way.   Caricatures have been employed to lampoon, satirize, comment or compliment a subject or event.

Some of the earliest forms of caricatures can be found in the words of Leonardo da Vinci and Hieronymus Bosch. These days, plenty of people are learning how they can make use of caricatures to bring about fun and enjoyment to their parties and other kinds of gatherings.

Caricature is still one of the most popular forms of art found today. You will find funny portrayals of celebrities and powerful personalities. You can also find caricature art depicting everyday life.

Caricatures can be made for a variety of intentions and goals but they always share one feature; the way the subject or subjects’ bodies are significantly distorted.

When it comes to drawing caricature bodies, fat people are drawn three times fatter while thinner people look more emaciated and skeletal. The eyes at times are illustrated with bigger proportions while noses are exaggerated twofold.

The way in which the subject dresses or acts is either trimmed down or exaggerated. The aim of caricature is to expose an attribute or personality by way of funny exaggeration of the subject’s most distinguishable features, practices or behaviors.

Caricature is more than just a simple display of the grotesque and the bizarre. It is an artistic representation in which the most identifiable feature of the subject is shown in a manner that warps or overstates their substance to achieve amusing or tongue-in-cheek results.

Keeping viewers fascinated with humorous portraits is the purpose of caricature. Even though the style is illusory and a far cry from the genuine display of the powers and vulnerabilities of the human body, it tries to express a complete story, only this is done via a significantly bizarre and exaggerated illustration.

Here are some of the chief kinds of caricatures


The earliest caricatures were done by Italian artists in the 16th century. In fact, the word caricature originated from the Italian word “caricare” which means to “exaggerate.”

Artists of that time challenged each other to create portraits and illustrate the likeness of the subject with just a few lines.


Political or satirical caricatures often suggest commentaries or statements on a political standpoint. In this style, the most recognizable feature of the subject, which is usually a politician, is grossly exaggerated. You will mostly find works of this kind on newspapers, editorials and related magazines.


The grotesque kind pokes fun of intangible concepts and abstract art. The idea of grotesque artwork is based on the necessity to complicate the simple to the most extreme proportions.

Usually, the illustrations done in this kind of caricature style are typically sarcastic. For example, an artist can focus on a popular concept then warp the image. With this kind of style, artists can moderately tweak an identifiable illustration or painting to produce absurdity.


Contemporary caricature started in the 1940s and through the years, the approach to this kind of style underwent changes. Not only were the caricatures refined in a sense, they were also pleasing to the eye when compared to grotesque and political styles.

Contemporary caricature is not only limited to humor but it was also turned into an art movement where artists now create on-the-spot artworks on the streets for a small fee or during public/private events.

These days, caricaturists can get hired at weddings to provide caricatures for the attendees. They can start work either during the wedding breakfast or during the reception.

Caricaturists can also do commissions at private gatherings where they can draw the guests on site. To create camaraderie and boost the branding and services of a particular company, the company sometimes hires caricaturists to provide spontaneous portraits of the attendees.

These are some of the chief kinds of caricature. Caricature can add fun and interest to any kind of event or entertainment. There are factors that you have to master first though, before becoming a good caricaturist.

Apart from possessing drawing skills, one has to be fast when it comes to churning out work as well. You can check out for more information and caricature techniques.

The website “Learn to Draw Caricatures” also includes suggestions on how to work the field and acquire gainful employment from this type of profession.

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