June 20, 2024


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How to Draw Caricatures

2 min read

Getting Started!

When learning how to draw caricatures you will want to observe your subject and see which features make the subject recognizable. For example, perhaps your father has a large nose; noses are very popular features used for exaggeration in caricatures. The features that you choose to exaggerate should be features that make your subject recognizable.

Caricature vs Portrait?

The main difference in a caricature and a portrait is that a caricature is almost a cartoon rendition of the person. A portrait is more of a realistic view of the person. When you begin to learn how to draw caricatures, you will want to use people that you know. You will also need to have a good understanding of the basic layout of the human face. Techniques such as proportion and foreshortening can also be very handy. All techniques that you learn in drawing people can be used in an exaggerated manner when drawing caricatures.

Seeing the Subject!

Being able to see the subject “in the round” is the best way to get a whole sense of the subject you are drawing. You will also want to recognize any features that can be minimized as well. Not all features are exaggerated in a manner that makes them large, but you can also make them very small. For example, if you are drawing a person and they have a small mouth, you could make it even smaller in the drawing. This is a sort of a reverse exaggeration.

Dumb it Down!

You will also want to “dumb down” certain features. For example, hair is often “dumbed down” because you will not want to draw each hair in a caricature. This gives the picture more of a cartoon-ish look versus a portrait look.


Simple rules of drawing apply to learning how to draw a caricature. Don’t exaggerate features that aren’t naturally or easily recognized. For example, if your subject doesn’t have a large nose, don’t give them a large nose. Work on features that can be exaggerated without rendering the person unrecognizable.

A Caricature is a Caricature, if you say it is!

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