Caricature Drawings

What is a caricature?

Caricature of Barack Obama, Sleeves rolled up and ready to take on the next four years

Caricature of Barack Obama, Sleeves rolled up and ready to take on the next four years

Often confused with a “character”, such as Barney, Luke Skywalker or Batman for example, a caricature is something rather different. Caricature is a selective exaggeration of facial and bodily proportions, according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgment. There! That should clarify things!…No? …O.K., I guess that is a lot to process. Let’s try and simplify it a bit. The word caricature comes from the Italian, “caricare”, meaning to charge or load. Al Hirschfeld, ( perhaps the greatest caricaturist of the 20th century ), stated that the word caricature comes from the Italian, “to stuff a sausage”. This is probably the most descriptive definition, although still a bit enigmatic. A very early comment on caricature can also be found in the 1716 work “The Christian Morals”, by Thomas Browne, which states; “Expose not, thy self by four footed manners unto monstrous draughts, and caricature representations,” perhaps meaning, beware the Caricature artist!

Well, I don’t think we need to be quite so intimidated. Basically, a caricature is a “loaded portrait”; an exaggerated representation of a person’s anatomical features, while focusing on likeness and expression. Distortion is a common, yet rather inaccurate description. True caricature does not seek to distort. The artists goal is to ‘stretch” certain features in relation to one another so that the elements of the drawing still make sense structurally, in spite of the exaggeration. A caricatures origin is embedded in realism, while expanding upon it.

“Big head, tiny body”, is also a common idea of what a caricature is. There is some truth behind this perspective. In many instances, the head is drawn out of proportion in relation to the rest of the anatomy. This technique, however, often lends itself to an unequal distribution of detail within the image. If the head occupies 80% of the page, the remaining 20% becomes confined. This leaves the remaining portion of the page insufficient to render the same level of quality given to the face. The level of detail should be consistent throughout the entire drawing.

The word “cartoon”, is often used as a synonym for caricature. While there is some crossover, cartoons are generally much simpler than caricature. Images such as, Charlie Brown, Bugs Bunny, and SpongeBob Square Pants, are more indicative of the cartooning world.

Caricature, as we view it, is simply a way to laugh at oneself, enjoying a good time while doing so. Having a live artist at your gathering is a show in itself, offering entertainment for your guests and a personal keepsake of your time together.



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Artist at Your Next Party!

  • Black & White pencil drawings
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Digital Illustrations

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Caricature Art Experience

For over twenty years our artist worked on the Las Vegas strip drawing caricatures of every tourist, famous person and elvis impersonator that passed and wanted a unique piece of art. If you have a picture that you would like transformed into a cartoon or if you yourself would like a famous person in your living room caricaturized then please upload the picture and let us go to work for you. Wedding photos are popular gifts for newlyweds and can be flattering and fun really enlightening and enhancing a wedding gift.

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