Monday, February 1, 2016

Can Caricature Drawing be Taught?

Can caricature drawing be taught?

Well, there are books on the subject, YouTube videos abound and there are some schools throughout the country whose curriculum embraces it in all seriousness, as they say.

One of the more renowned is the Kubert School, formerly the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art or Joe Kubert School, located in DoverNew Jersey, a three-year technical school that teaches the principles of sequential art and the particular craft of the comics industry as well as commercial illustration. The Kubert School was and still is the only accredited school devoted entirely to cartooning, caricaturing being among the subjects covered.

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

Despite the institutions and programs previously noted, I'm not entirely convinced that one can be taught to draw the human face and distort it in such a way as to get at both the individual's resemblance and their personality. And to do it all in a way that ultimately engenders a smile or chuckle -- or even a hearty guffaw -- from the subject him/herself.  It's kind of like learning to be a comedian; it's been said by professional comics that one has to be almost born with the skills -- to craft a phrase in just the right way, with pacing and timing that must be critically paired with it.

Does that make me and my fellow caricature artists geniuses of some sort?

No, it just means that we can draw to begin with...have a faculty for portraiture in replicating the human face...and are somehow hard-wired to evince, from our own humor-skewed sensibilities, a comical view of that individual through exaggeration and "enhancement" of their features.

Enough philosophical and anecdotal mumbo-jumbo.

Here are some recent caricatures done at a corporate event in Greensboro, NC.

Catch up with us again on the first Tuesday of next month with another scholarly treatise from Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.