The art of the caricature

When I meet you, I’m thinking about how I’d draw you.

Sorry, I’m just like that.

This often makes people feel quite uncomfortable. Really, you’ve nothing to worry about: I don’t draw people for free very often, and I usually get their permission first anyway.

When I do draw someone, they usually say something like “Oh – don’t make my nose too big”. This shows a slight misunderstanding of what I do.

Consider these two example caricatures:

Comedian Ed Byrne, drawn in a “park caricature” style. This is the technique I use at events and partiesĀ  -just a few lines that try to capture the unique shapes in the face. Everything is simplified and drawn quickly. I tend to take no more than 3 minutes on these.

This caricature of fellow comedian, Barry Cryer shows a different approach. This is done in pencil, and is much more detailed. More lines, rather than fewer try to pick out the key unique features in the face, but these are given much more substance with the addition of shadows and highlights. These take much more time.

But the art isn’t in making features bigger – I’m trying to capture the shapes in the face and emphasise them: this may mean things get smaller, rather than larger.

Saying that, if your nose is big, I’m drawing it big. otherwise it won’t look like you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top