Saturday, June 11, 2016

Caricature Tip

Caricature tip: Don't worry about which features to make bigger. Instead think about which ones to make smaller.

Louis Philippe as a pear by Honor√© Daumier after Charles Philipon, 1831
If one part of the face must be big, make it bigger. Simplify, minimize, or reduce everything else. What you're left with after all this reduction are the essential shapes, the simple forms of the head and the hair. The most important thing about the features is their relative placement.

Caricature is not the art of accentuation. It's the art of reduction—reduction to essentials. 


Fabio said...

Interesting topic.
So, say a person has a big nose (me :D), it would just be about reducing the head to a simple shape that makes the nose only stand out?
I take it as the opposite is true too, so make small features smaller

Eugene Arenhaus said...

AFAIK, this particular caricature had caused an uproar because it was a veiled insult, not just an adroit observation of shapes or an exaggeration of features. In the argot of the day, calling someone a "pear" meant you called them an idiot - so drawing Louis Philippe in shape of a pear made a very transparent statement.

Unknown said...

This is an extremely helpful tip. It seems like a subtle but really important point for drawing caricatures. I'm going to keep a mental note of this now. Thanks.