We are studying the brilliant work of Thomas Fluharty. He is a brilliant caricature artist who wonderfully caricatures animals and people alike. However, before we get into people, we are going to start understanding our animal friends first. Last week each student selected a career, personality and animal. This is a Chihuahua is not one you'd want to meet in a dark alley.
A key element into understanding how to caricature is understanding the base anatomy so you know how to exaggerate. This is why we drew at least 3 poses of our selected animal as studies to understand our animals better. Remember when creating your character you are essentially giving that character a voice. The exaggeration should not be a distortion, but a search for a greater truth. Caricature is an enhanced reality that uses the impression of how you feel to create believability.
Why does this illustration from Fluharty work? Batman is a guardian, and so typically are Doberman Pinchers. The brilliance of this drawing is Fluharty's wonderful observation connecting the Doberman's ears to batwings.
Again, it is very important to experiment with form to help find the right solution.
It's through experimentation we make discovery.
While anatomically very exaggerated this feels right. Remember why Ferrell showed you how to use the tracing paper to exaggerate your forms pretty freely without loosing what parts of your original drawing were working.
When crafting your images play off preconceived notions and twist familiar stories to assist you, but avoid clichés at all cost.
This tattooed shark that's flinging tiny people is using the preconceived notion of tattoos equal toughness. The tiny people give a sense of scale. Nothing feels cliché. So Fluharty's triumphs at feeling fresh and original by playing with familiar story tropes and twisting them into unfamiliar territory. Tattoos feel right on sharks, but where have you seen that done in real life? I'd love to see whom or what is actually tattooing these sharks.
Animals can feel safer to caricature than people because our psychological conditioning puts mental barriers on how we judge people. Our exaggerations are not negativity, but finding the deeper truth. If it doesn't feel true it won't work. This is as true with caricaturing animals as is its with caricaturing people.