A portrait of Mr. T
A caricature of Mr. T
What is a caricature? The key difference between caricature and drawing a
portrait of someone is the intentional distortion of the
subject in caricature. This distortion is difficult
because the features of the subject are what makes the
subject recognizable, when you start fooling around with
these features, then you run the risk of losing the
likeness of the subject. So in order to keep the
likeness you should understate features that are minimized
on the subject and over-maximize the features that are
maximized on the subject. If you go against the grain
and minimize a person's large mouth you will loose the
likeness. Who ever heard of a drawing of Mick Jagger
with small lips and mouth? Or Jay Leno with a small,
little baby chin? It just wouldn't look like Jay or
What is caricature?
Here's a dictionary definition of caricature:
car-i-ca-ture (care-E-kah-chur, -chr) n.
1. A representation, especially pictorial or literary,
in which the subject's distinctive features or
peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a
comic or grotesque effect.
2. The art of creating such representations.
3. A grotesque imitation or misrepresentation: The trial
was a caricature of justice.
Being able to draw
portraits of people and knowing and understanding the
human face is pretty central to being able to draw a
caricature of someone. All the techniques taught in
the DRAWING PEOPLE section of this website can be
applied to caricature with some additions to the
technique. For these caricaturing lessons, I'm going to
assume that you already can draw a portrait, or at
least, that you've looked at the
DRAWING PEOPLE section of this site.
much concerned with the "artistic" definition when we
say caricature on this website. Let me say a few things
about what I see a caricature as:
let's learn how to say the word caricature. It's
pronounced CARE - ick - ah - chur. Or if you're British:
CAR - ick- ah- chah.
Click to see Basketball Lincoln
think caricatures and cartoons are the same thing. The
difference between the two that I see is this: a
caricature is simply a cartoon of someone or something
that the viewer can recognize as a specific someone or
something. As soon as someone known by the viewer is
seen in a cartoon, it becomes a caricature. Here's an
example to the right. This is a cartoon of a basketball.
If you take that basketball and draw a stovepipe hat on
it and give it a beard, it goes from a cartoon of a
basketball to a caricature of Abraham Lincoln. It's
recognizable as Lincoln even though it doesn't have a
face. But the addition of "Lincoln-like" props give the
basketball a recognizability as Lincoln.
the issue, a caricature doesn't necessarily have to be a
cartoon, it could be a painting, or a sculpture, or even
a photograph. You could draw what you thought was a
portrait, but if the proportions are incorrect, but it
was still recognizable as the person you were drawing,
then it could be seen as a caricature. I think a
caricature is a caricature if the artist intends it to
be a caricature regardless of how it was made.
website is going to show how to create caricatures. So
the definition of caricature that will work for this
website is the one that says that caricatures are
intentionally skewed portraits of people drawn in a
somewhat cartoonie style, because that's how I do it.