A caricature is a sketch that captures the essence of a person by calling attention to, or emphasizing specific physical features. You can find a variety of caricature examples in all types of media. Many times, you’ll find caricatures of movie/TV stars in animated shows or entertainment magazines.
You can find political caricatures in editorial cartoons. Depending upon the design/rendering, a caricature can be complimentary or insulting. No matter what the intent, the caricaturist is typically seeking a humorous response. You may find it challenging to find easy caricatures to draw– but here are five things to keep in mind when you are drawing.
Exaggeration: Easy Caricatures to Draw
You can look around you and see that people come in a variety of shapes/sizes- that is what makes everyone unique. If that wasn’t true, the world would be pretty boring. There would be no variety or culture. When it comes to caricatures, the degree that you exaggerate the various facial/body features defines the intent behind the design of the caricature and causes the viewer’s focus to be directed to those features.
So, when you are creating a caricature of someone, you need to spend some time studying their features and figure out which ones really stand out to you. While it can be easy to try to incorporate and exaggerate all of their features, focusing on the top 2-3 can help you capture their core attributes.
Do they have a tiny nose, a huge chin, a gigantic smile, or bushy eyebrows? These may be the features that stand out. From this point, you can build on the caricature, exaggerating other features to support those primary attributes.
Keep in mind that exaggeration can be making the feature larger or smaller in various ways. The most common type of exaggeration when it comes to full body caricatures is to make the head so much larger than the body. This works great, especially if most of the features that you are going to exaggerate are on their face.
When you’re creating a caricature, you might also want to consider simplifying some features. After all, some of the features may distract from the ones you are wanting to emphasize. You may want to leave out certain lines on the face or simplify the hair. Of course, every caricature is different, and the simplification of certain features will vary depending on the rendering and the style that you are using.
One example of simplification could be leaving off eyelashes, especially if that particular feature is not really all that noticeable on the person. Just like you would study the model to determine the features that you want to exaggerate, you’ll want to look for the features you want to minimize. This will help to emphasize the exaggerated features and allow the final caricature to be easy on the eyes.
Once you have figured out which features you want to exaggerate and which ones you want to simplify, it’s about determining how to construct the features in a way that is effective.
For example, if your model has a strong, large chin, consider blocking in a square/boxy shape for that feature. Keep in mind that simple shapes are what lay the foundation for the features that you want to emphasize. When you use simple shapes to capture the features, you can do some experimenting with how large or small you want to make them before you add any additional details to define the form.
Another key piece of fun caricature designs is the spatial relationships between all of the features. Just like you looked at your model’s face to determine the features you wanted to exaggerate or simplify, you’ll want to consider the placement of those features. Perhaps their eyes sit close together or their mouth sits low on their face.
The area that certain features occupy can sometimes create an illusion of the space between them. Someone that has a receding hairline may appear to have a large forehead, while someone that has a smaller bridge may have eyes that seem further apart.
Finally, finding balance visually between the features that you have repositioned, exaggerated, or simplified will help you to determine easy caricatures to draw that are both appealing and fun. An appealing caricature resonates in the minds of your audience.
So, take some time to study and to experiment with the relationships between the features of your model. When you make everything the same size and/or too close together, they end up canceling each other out. Visual contrast is what supports the composition you have worked so hard to create.
As you take the time to explore these tips, it’s critical to keep in mind that there’s no one “right way” to draw a caricature. Explore various designs for your caricatures, trying a variety of combos by changing up the different body and facial features.