Sunday, August 20, 2017

Introduction to Caricature

We are going to learn how to caricature!

Caricature is a very old art form that often uses exaggeration to tell a story.  You can tell a whole story about someone through the stretching of their features. Also there is a very important point to why one would use caricature to tell a visual story. The most important reason is sometimes an impression can feel more real than the actual reality. 

While the above image says its going to rain does it feel like rain? 

Raining cats and dogs while an exaggeration feels more real.

What says hot more?

 or this?

Look at this ice cream truck! That's heat!

We are going to use Mad Magazine Tom Richmond as a basis for our approach to caricature.

 His website is a wonderful resource that you should refer to for assistance with this blog.

There are three key concepts that you have to understand to being successful with caricature:

 Likeness- If you can’t tell who it is supposed to be, then it is not successful. All good caricatures incorporate a good likeness of their subjects. 

This looks like Jay-Z. The image captures his attitude. He wears sunglasses like these.

  • Exaggeration- Without some form of exaggeration, or a departure from the exact representation of the subject’s features, all you have is a portrait. The level of exaggeration can vary wildly, but there must be some departure. A straight portrait is not a caricature.
  • This is a picture of Bob Ross. Bob Ross is a famous painting instructor who known for telling people to paint "Happy Little Trees."
  • This caricature is an exaggeration of his features but still are good representation of who Bob Ross is.

  • Again here is another exaggeration, but it still feels right. Does Ross have huge hair? Yes. Does he have a big beard? Yep.

  • Comedian George Carlin said it best that what is funny has to be true. So an exaggeration is different than a distortion. If you gave Ross short hair and no beard then it wouldn't feel right.

  • Statement- I believe a caricature must editorialize in some way. The artist must be trying to say something about the subject. It might be something to do with the situation the subject is drawn in, it may just be a play on their personality through expression or body language, it might be a simple as making visual fun of some aspect of their persona or image. Exaggeration itself can accomplish this in some cases. The best caricatures say something more about the subject than that they have a big nose.

  • The foundation of what Art that it's communication. So communicate something! Have an opinion. This establishes why what you say has meaning. When you repeat what is already said or known you are being a glorified copy machine or a parrot.

    You are not a parrot, but a human being! Have an idea. Say something with your drawing.

    Here are some very different pictures of Michael Jackson. Each are showing him in a different point of view depending on the view of the artists.