A caricature drawing is a fun and humorous gift to give to someone, whether you’re doing it personally, or as a job, selling your creations to other people. This is a totally different beast to portrait drawing, and instead of creating a mirror image of the person you’re trying to capture, you’re creating something which looks fun, a little ‘out there’, and basically makes them laugh. Of course, a caricature is not designed to be insulting in any way!
One of the easiest ways to create a caricature is by using a photograph as a baseline. This gives you a static, constant reminder of the person and their key features, whilst being much less pressure for you. If there is someone sat in front of you, and you are trying to draw them, you may feel rushed, because they’re getting bored, or perhaps not sitting as still as you would like. For that reason, drawing caricatures from photos is the best way to begin, especially for someone who is learning and developing their skills as a caricature artist.
When you’re learning how to draw caricature pictures, you need to see it all in step by step images. Words can only help you so much, and you need to be able to watch someone creating a caricature of their own, so that you can develop your own skills and learn along the way. There are many online tools that can help you do that, such as Learn to Draw. This is the best way to begin, and a good way to develop what you already know too.
So, where to begin?
How to Draw Caricatures From Photos
Grab your tools, e.g. your paper and your pencils, your blending tool and your eraser, and find yourself a comfortable spot. You need a photo of the person you’re wanting to draw, and you need to sit down and really take the time to assess it. Look carefully at the photo, stare at it if you have to. Grab a piece of paper and write down a few words that come to your mind, e.g. the features that jump out to you.
Also think about the personality of that person, are there are any common factors that can be reflected in their appearance? E.g. if they are known for having a lot of opinions, perhaps you could make their mouth bigger, and perhaps you could have them shouting. If they are known for singing, you could incorporate a microphone into the picture and have them mid-song. If they are known for pulling a certain face when they are singing, you could incorporate that.
Basically, you’re looking for physical appearance and personality too – you want something that you can capture on paper that not only looks like them, but which is exaggerated.
Speaking of exaggerating – when you are looking at the photo, you need to pick out the key features that you want to make even more so. For instance, someone who has big lips, you want to make those lips larger. Decide which features you’re going to exaggerate. You should also look at minimizing features too, which can ironically help to maximize other features.
Now you have an idea what you want to do with your caricature, it’s time to start drawing it. Prop up the photo in front of you, so you always have a point of reference. You can keep looking up at it as you’re drawing, and this will help you stop from straying from likeness, and into something else entirely. Remember that a caricature is exaggerated, but it still needs to look very much like the person, so that it is instantly recognizable.
Keep your lines bold, draw them with confidence, and remember that hair, in particular, is not something which needs to be too detailed. When you are drawing hair from a photo, you should simply copy the line of it, e.g. the outer shape. Every single hair does not need to be drawn in caricatures, just enough to be able to capture the shape and overall essence of it.
How to draw caricatures from photos is really about patience and practice. You need to experiment, but you need to be true to the picture you are drawing from. You can copy the pose, or you can simply copy the face, but the photo you pick needs to be on which is essentially them, i.e. a picture which everyone will instantly recognize, a famous look. From there, you can get to work on maximizing their key features and creating a comical likeness of the person, famous or otherwise.