Caricatures are one of the most popular forms of drawing. If you think this style of drawing is relatively new, it is not. This style of drawing has existed for ages already. In fact, even Leonardi Da Vinci used it! So, if you want to learn to draw caricatures, here are the basics that you need to know.

Getting Started

These are basically portraits that distort or exaggerate a person or thing’s essence. This is done to create a very easy and identifiable visual likeness or description of a subject by the use of exaggeration and oversimplification of various characteristics. These could be complimentary, insulting or both. It can also have an intense political purpose or simply be drawn for mere entertainment. Having said the general definition of caricatures, one thing is evident here: it is a very personalized form of art.

A Higher Sense Of Observation

Since it is personalized to a very high extent, you should first observe closely the subject you would be drawing. If it’s a person then, find out what are his/her features that are very recognizable. Go for the obvious. The observation part in drawing a caricature is the key to making the whole work successful. You cannot rely on a pattern for drawing a caricature. People have varying characteristics, which is why applying a template for all your subjects is not advisable.

For instance, maybe your dad has a big nose; noses are quite popular features that are used in exaggeration. Pick out the features that would make your subject very recognizable.

Don’t Mistake It For A Portrait

One thing that you should be cautious of is mixing up a portrait and a caricature. Remember, these two are different. Caricatures are generally cartoon renditions of the subjects being drawn. However, a portrait is a much realistic view of a subject. As soon as you begin learning how these are drawn, you would want to practice with people that you personally know or are close to. You should also have sufficient understanding of the human face’s basic layout. You can make use of various techniques too, like foreshortening and proportion. Different techniques in drawing are still applicable in this style.

Seeing Your Subject

You should see your subject in a 360 degree. This means see him/her at different angles and situations. This is considered to be the best way for you to have his/her whole sense of personality. You should also find features that you can minimize, rather than exaggerate. Not all characteristics are exaggerated by making them big. There are times that you just have to make them extra small to attain exaggeration. For instance, if you’ll be drawing someone that has a small mouth, you can exaggerate by making his/her mouth even smaller than usual. Doing this is something like reverse exaggeration.

Find Features To Dumb Down!

Dumbing down some features is another technique for your drawing to look more cartoonish. For instance, hair is usually “dumbed down” since you wouldn’t really want to draw each strand of it in a caricature. This minimizes the portrait look of your picture.

The Right Way To Exaggerate

Last but not the least, exaggerate However, do not overdo it. Do not exaggerate features which are not that recognizable in real life. For instance, if your subject does not have a big nose, then do not draw him/her with a big nose. Try to focus on features which could be exaggerated without making your subject unrecognizable.