Caricature Classic

In this method, the head is five eye widths wide, with a single eye width between the eyes, and between the outside eye corners and the outside of the head. The nose is one eye width wide, and therefore the nostrils are equal to the corners of the eyes. Another simple method for establishing the “normal” relationship between eyes and mouth is via the equilateral triangle that should be formed by the points of the outside corners of the eyes, and the center point of the bottom of the lower lip. Every book on learning to draw the human face has some similar method of standardizing the proportions of the average face.

Do human faces really conform to these exact relationships? No, of course not. That’s the point. There are differences from this face to that, some very slight and some more pronounced, and the caricaturist exaggerates these differences to create a caricature. Knowing what is supposed to be there is half the battle of seeing where things are different.

Again, making these observations is the trickiest part of doing caricature, but the good news is you don’t have to come up with a shopping list of deformities in order to do a caricature. In fact, all you have to do is come up with one good observation. Just one, and you can use that as your cornerstone and build your caricature around it. It could be as simple as: this person has a skinny face… or big eyes… or a small mouth… or a square jaw… or a bent nose… or whatever. More than one is better, but just one will suffice.


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