Tips for Creating Caricature Sketches

Tips for Creating Caricature Sketches
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As a caricaturist, there are some fundamentals that you must know and understand, as well as some useful ways to learn more- and then breaking all those rules once you have learned them. Following are tips for creating caricature sketches.

Tips for Creating Caricature Sketches

As a caricaturist, there are some fundamentals that you must know and understand, as well as some useful ways to learn more- and then breaking all those rules once you have learned them. Following are tips for creating caricature sketches.

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Know the Fundamentals

Whether your goal is to create realistic or cartoony character art, the first thing you must understand is a bit of basic anatomy. This will help you to get the most out of your art. Of course, you don’t necessarily need to know the technical names of body parts, but it can be helpful to have an understanding of the shapes of the various muscles from various angles, and the way they relate to one another as well as how they behave in certain actions and poses.

Learning to Draw

There are lots of ways that you can learn- from books, by analyzing the works of other caricaturists, practicing from photos- but actually drawing from live models should also be part of your learning process. Sure, books will teach you lots of things such as ratios, where muscles are located, and how they function- but working with live models will show you that everyone is different and offers you the ability to sharpen your observational skills.

Rules of Proportion and Anatomy

According to some experts, the ideal figure is 8 heads high. The average person is about 7.5 heads high, while a heroic figure is much more impressive at 8.5 heads high. This is handy information to have, especially when you’re having issues drawing a figure. If you want more of a caricature look, you might consider making the head a bit larger with a smaller body- around 6 to 6.5 heads high.

Build Figures with Basic Shapes

When you are drawing a figure, it’s a good idea to break it down into basic shapes and then build it up from there. This is an especially great technique when you’re building the same character from a different angle. In addition, breaking the figure down into basic shapes/forms is great in helping you understand how things fit together. It can also be fun to mess around with stylistically.

Hands are Important

You should never skimp on the hands, people will notice if you do. When it comes to drawing people, even with caricatures, the hands can be just as expressive as the model’s face. At the very least, you must draw the hands so they complement the pose or action of the character. You can’t fake your way around them either- people do take notice.

Have Fun with Faces

There are lots of guidelines regarding proportion when you’re drawing faces, especially when you’re working without a point of reference. However, you must keep in mind that these are guidelines, not necessarily rules. Look around, there are no two faces that are exactly alike- and the fun in drawing is to mess around with the ideal.

Exaggerate & Break the Rules

Once you have an understanding of the basic structure of a figure and how the muscles relate to each other, you can make the ridiculous believable. Even when doing a realistic piece, it’s handy to have some anatomical knowledge so that you will know when to break the rules and when to follow them.

You Can’t Practice Too Much- or Enough

As an artist, make it a habit to keep a sketchbook on you at all times so that you can work on your skills. Draw people you see on the bus/train, in meetings, at the park, at lunch, etc. Look through fashion magazines and draw the models you see in there- or choose a feature to focus on. This will help with your familiarity of anatomy and how they are different from one person to the next.

Imaginary Creatures

Once you have an understanding of basic anatomy, you can use this knowledge for drawing imaginary creatures. This will allow you to create them in a more believable way.

 Use Shapes for Hair

While it’s true that hair is technically not part of the anatomy, you can still use the same concept for drawing it. Take the time to study your model and then break the hair down into basic shapes so that you can create form/placement.

Telling a Story with Your Picture

The pose and position of your character should offer some sort of contribution to the overall picture. After all, it’s not only the hand gestures and facial expression, but the body language of the figure that reveals what is going on in the picture. You might consider studying other caricaturists to learn more about telling stories through the pose of your character, regardless of the style you are using.

Improve with Practicing Caricatures

We’ve already mentioned practice, but in addition to practicing traditional portraits, you’ll want to practice drawing caricatures. This will help you easily pick out the features that make a person unique.

As a budding caricaturist, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. Use these tips- and get lots of practice drawing loved ones and you’ll become well-known before you even realize it.

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