Caricature is one of the oldest and most popular forms of drawing, usually executed as pen or pencil sketches. For long, it has been a powerful tool for political sarcasm and comic representation of some current issues. These works mostly exist around a cartooned version of one or more characters, often placed in an animated adaptation of real world objects. However, a visible comical twist is added by highlighting some idiosyncrasies in the characters’ personality. This often appears as daunting as creating the portrait of a person, but it is not true. Follow these steps to understand just how simple it is to create compelling caricatures:
• Subject. The starting point is to decide upon the theme and the desired presentation. This has a bearing on the elements involved and the type of the character – real or imaginary. According to the subject matter, your character also will have certain physical characteristics.
• Reference. If your idea is to devise a completely new cartoon, you need to have a vivid imagination. As a beginner, you can do well to take reference from some real persons and tweak the picture as per your preference. In effect, your animation will be an eclectic mix of some prominent features of certain faces and personalities.
• Basic frame. The art of caricature drawing is an assembly of some of the fundamental geometrical shapes. Whether it is your imaginary design or an inspired one, begin with creating the outlines. The proportions and shapes do not need to be in line with the natural forms. For instance, you may end up with an oversized head portion or an elongated nose, etc.
• Delineation. Adding details is a trickier job in the case of an imaginary work, as you are required to synchronise a set of disparate components into a coherent whole. If the character is purely imaginary, take your time to imagine the individual components of the picture. You can try a rough drawing on a separate piece of paper as well. In the case of references, identify the structures and exaggerate them. For example, a square jaw is made to look even more bony, big eyes are shown as protruding, prominent ears are enlarged, and so on. However, there is no hard and fast rule regarding such modifications. Remember that the theme has the greatest bearing on the final execution.
• Shading. Cartoon caricatures usually do not carry elaborate shading effects. In fact, the retrace lines and loosely sketched contours are identified with this art form. Nevertheless, if you want to factor in the presence of light or highlight certain elements, you can use some shading and shadows with minor smudging.