When you’re an artist, drawing portraits can be a serious business. However, sometimes, it’s fun to branch out a little bit and try something new, such as trying your hand at a caricature portrait. By following these steps, you can very easily learn to draw a cartoon, or caricature, of yourself or your loved ones.
The whole idea behind the art of caricature is to exaggerate. Once you have established the basic shapes and foundations of drawing a face, you can make some tweaks to make them more like cartoons. Take your time and practice drawing various face shapes and then fitting the features to the shape you created.
Here are a few steps for drawing a caricature portrait to help you transition from portraits to caricature portraits.
Vary Shape- Maintain Centerline: Steps for Drawing a Caricature Portrait
The centerline is a very important anchor for the remainder of the structure. So, while it’s fine to move most of the construction lines around, it’s not a good idea to do too much alteration with the centerline.
Explore Some Variations
When you start to add the features to the face, things will start to get a bit more interesting. When you vary the shape of the head itself, you will naturally find the inspiration you need to explore some variations on the other features on the face. Now, see what you can do to start creating caricature portraits of yourself and your loved ones.
Step 1: Find Inspiration
First of all, you need to find a picture of a model you want to reference to create your caricature. You can either take a selfie, ask a loved one to model for you, or do an online search for reference photos. You do what makes you feel most comfortable.
Step 2: Draw the Structure
Once you have found your model to reference, you’ll want to start by drawing the structure. Start by drawing the profile line of the face and then the eyebrows, cheeks, jawline, and chin. You can create interest and attract attention by varying the width of the lines.
Step 3: Add Hair
Next, you’ll add the hairline around the face. Then, add the outline shape of the hair. You will want to use a “V” to indicate where the hair is parted, and keep in mind that the deeper the “V”, the puffier the hair is going to look. You can use decorative strokes to break up the two lines, but you should make sure they indicate the shape of hair. You don’t want it to be too far off.
Step 4: Add Features
Now, it’s time to start adding features to your caricature face. Start with the eyes, they are the windows to the soul. Make sure to draw them carefully because if you don’t get the eyes right, you could be heading for trouble. Draw the eyebrows first, then the eye closest to you and the eye farthest away last. Finally, if your subject wears glasses, add those last.
Step 5: Add Additional Features
Now, draw the nose, starting at the bridge near the eyebrow and working your way down to the tip. Add the nostril closest to you first and the one farthest away last- if it’s visible. At this time, add any decorative strokes that will help to define the nose.
Step 6: Finish/Refine Features
Now, you’ve reached a point where you can start wrapping it up. If your model isn’t grinning a toothy grin, simply draw their top lip and then their bottom one. Don’t forget to add in the smile lines.
Step 7: Add Neck
Complete your caricature portrait by drawing the neck and then the collar. Then, go back to the top of your sketch and add decorative strokes where it’s appropriate. Look for anything you might have left out such as freckles, earrings/other piercings, additional strokes in the hair, glasses- any features that you want to add can be done at this time.
Keep in mind the point of a caricature portrait is to break out of the mold and have fun with it. You can add in some extra color to bring out some personality in your sketch- and then give it to your subject, if you wish, or place it in your portfolio for future reference.