Learn How to Draw Caricatures - For the Absolute Beginner

To draw a caricature is to simply draw an image that is very distinguishable to your model/subject’s identity with or without being photographically identical. There are few ways to make a caricature. Some prefer realistic, while others like it to look like a cartoon. Either way. if you are a beginner, it is better to start with something simple and easy. 

One of the most used method in caricature drawing is by simply associating the elements of a cartoon into a portrait; a realistic face with a cartoon body is an effective way when you are after a semi-realistic style. But if you want a more comical approach, the distortions could go even further.

When making a caricature, modifying the general proportion of a person's body doesn’t end in just maximizing the head’s size and minimizing everything else. Head caricatures can even be more expressive and challenging compared to those with realistic faces and cartooned bodies.

Restructuring the head means adjusting the distances and sizes of each feature, and this is what you must do if you want to get far off from the actual proportion of the head to amplify a particular facial feature. The key is to reform the shape but maintain the certain angular edges and it’s mass. 

Combine the two methods and it will result into a full-blown stylized caricature full body portrait.

Those are the very basics of creating a caricature drawing.  The process of making it and applying these tips can be done little by little. Start with something very simple.

One of the fastest way to create a caricature is with ink. A total beginner seldom fails at first trials when doodling with ink and consistently committing minor errors, such as obvious improper distance between each features or noticeable misalignment. But as you make mistakes, you will remember where you went wrong while practicing and being more confident with your line strokes along the way. 

I'll be using this photo of a kid for my example.  the key is to be very observant. Notice the subtle difference from one half of his face to the other, particularly the shape of the eyes. There are also a stretched skin lining from the sides of his nose lobes that bridge to the sides of his cheeks. these little characteristics should be adapted.

Begin with the most identical part from the shape of the head. In this angle(front view), both sides should be or nearly equal, start from the part near to the ears, ending to the chin, and do the same way on the other side.

Next should be the inner outline of the hair, since this part interacts to the shape of the face it affects the actual size of the head. This should help you figure out where the facial features are placed, especially the ears.

Now begin drawing the ears. The size of our model’s ears was affected by his hair, so just draw it how you see it. A right placement of the ears is helpful for the next steps since you are going to base on it to properly position the other features.

Next is the outer side of the hair, this defines the actual size of the head for your cartoon/caricature, the thickness of our young model’s hair is just as the same distance to his ears, curvy at one side and a little improperly brushed on the other.

Now that we completely defined the size of the head with the ears drawn, base on it for the placement of both eyes. In this case, our model’s eyes have a little difference with each other. His eyebrows are thin, just like his eyelashes that are quite feminine his eyebrows are a little feminine as well. Draw it with a controlled thinness and pointy edge.

Draw a small thin line for his nose line. The model’s nose bridge does not stand out much, so leave that part unmarked. The implied nose line gives a visual illusion that perfectly substitutes the absence of the nose bridge’s visibility.

The model has a thin upper lip, so making a certain portion of the lip lining overlap the mouth opening is just appropriate. This signifies a thin upper lip effectively. 

His lower lip is expressive; show that little expression in a wider movement. Small expressive elements of a caricature like this would help for a more vivid facial expression, especially if it’s only a neck to head portrait.

The last portion of the mouth that should be drawn is the inner details. Not all kind of teeth are illustrated this way. But since he is a child, his teeth features are unique and I think it should show it in this caricature sketch.

Capture the small details with thin diminishing lines. You would not want it to draw too much attention because it might actually mess up the whole image. For a simple ink drawing , aiming for simple, minimal and tidy. Illustrate facial muscle details with thin implied lines, simple enough to be visible and distinguishable. 

Finish the drawing by filling up the parts with a marker. Shade the hair and apply hatches underneath the chin.

If you want to know more about the different styles and the process, more of it along with more examples are available in the book "Learn How to Draw Caricatures - For the Absolute Beginner". Each step is properly explained so a beginner could easily follow through. Learn how to draw caricatures with ease.









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