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How To Become A Caricature Artist

 By Dennis Moore Hopkins

Caricatures are a distorted portrait of an object but needs a reasonable likeness. The subtle but very important skill in caricature art is being able to capture your subject's personality and expressing it well as you learn how to become a caricature artist.

A portrait artist attempts to recreate real-life pictures while a caricature artist focuses on exaggeration. Some over-exaggerate facial features; this is only a matter of style. For example, will the sketches be over-pronounced or will it just be a sized-up original object? To what degree should you combine the thin, thick, and dark lines?

Always start with the shortest subject if you are drawing multiple subjects on a single page. Rather than draw horizontally, stack them vertically on your paper. Art class 101 lessons of drawing circles for the head and then filling the eyes, nose and mouth is reversed. In sketching caricatures draw the insides of the face first and mentally get an idea of where the cheeks and chin will fall on the paper. 

Lightly sketch some boundaries, but leave finishing touches yet.
Begin with the eyes, the top eyelids first. Observe the distance, size and shape.

Next draw the outline of the nose and note the relationship between the eyes and the nose. If your subject has a large nose, use thick lines, here is a good opportunity to exaggerate. 

When drawing the mouth, pay attention to the distance from the nose to the mouth. Observe the top lip. Is it thin or pouty? For wide-mouthed subjects, over-exaggeration works well here. Use softer lines.

The face is drawn in a top to bottom order. Next, draw the chin, cheeks, and jaw in that particular order. The chin provides another opportunity to exaggerate. Drawing the chin first also automatically suggest how the jaw line ends.

Remember this while learning how to become a caricature artist - exaggerations do not always have to be up-scaled. 

Next, draw the ears and the inside hairline. At this point, the finished caricature will clearly show if or not they have a big forehead.

Round up by drawing in the hair and head. If they have hair, be generous, bear in mind that the outer perimeter of the head is an edge so a thick line is needed.

If the subject has thick, bushy eyebrows, or almost invisible ones, you want to bring this out when sketching it. 

Next, draw in the bottom eyelid and add the eye bags if present, next, eyeballs and return to finish the bridge of the nose. Next draw the cheeks, take note; some people have more cheek structure than others. 

The final steps are to add the minor details such as freckles, scars, and facial hair and your caricature is almost complete. Add finishing touches and now you have successfully mastered how to become a caricature artist!

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