Monday, January 6, 2014

The Thinking Behind The Drawing

So just how do you go about creating a caricature?

Welcome to the January edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

If you're Tom Richmond, Mad Magazine illustrator and one of the most sought-after commercial caricaturists in the country (check out Mick and Keith to the left, Letterman and Spielberg, below), your take on the subject goes something like this:

"How does one determine the 'correct' changes to make to a person’s feature relationships to make a good caricature of them? Well, that’s the trick, isn’t it? Every caricature begins with the observations the artist makes about the subject, and how their particular face is perceived by them. 


"MAD legend Mort Drucker has been quoted as saying that there is no 'one correct way' to caricature a subject. Any given subject can have several interpretations with respect to the exaggeration of the relationship of their features… and each may be as successful as the other. 

"That’s one of the unique things about caricature as an art form. Portraiture is basically absolute… Your drawing either looks like the person with the correct features, proportions and relationships, or it does not. 

"Caricature is subjective to a point. The artist's goal is to draw how they perceive the face, and exaggerate that perception. The result may be different than how others perceive that face, can still be a successful caricature. 

"Iconic Broadway theater caricaturist Al Hirschfeld used to say he once drew Jimmy Durante without a nose at all, yet it was still recognizable as Durante."

Here are a recent few of my own -- all retiring executives...from Duke Energy, United Way and Belk:



See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another eye-opening opus of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

Joel Kweskin