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The Art of Caricature

Updated on September 10, 2014

About caricatures

I have been drawing caricatures of people for over 25 years. Up until 2004, it was more of a sideline than an actual profession. All of that changed once I attended my first caricature convention. The NCN stood for the National Caricaturist Network. It is now called the International Society of Caricature Artists (ISCA) It's a trade association for artists who love to draw exaggerated faces.

Once I attended my first convention, my whole life changed. I saw just how talented many of these artists are. I learned how many have made a business out of it by selling their work at theme parks and zoos. I realized for the first time that my skillset wasn't just sideshow entertainment. I realized that caricature illustration was a true artform. I am still learning more and more about it daily. My hope is to help educate the public on what it is that makes this unique artform so special.

Goofy Faces Video

International Society of Caricature Artists

Sketch Monkeys!

NCN Promo Video

ISCA Trailer 2011

ISCA Convention 2013

Great Books about Caricaturing on Amazon

The Mad Art of Caricature!: A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces
The Mad Art of Caricature!: A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces

This is the latest book on how to draw caricatures and it's one of the best I've read. Tom's book is very thorough and comprehensive. His illustrations alone make it worth the price. This is a must-have book for your caricature lesson collection.

Face Off: How to Draw Amazing Caricatures & Comic Portraits
Face Off: How to Draw Amazing Caricatures & Comic Portraits

This book is an excellent guide to learning to draw retail-style caricatures like the ones sold at theme parks and zoos across the nation. I highly recommend this book for those wanting to learn how to draw retail caricatures.

Let's Toon Caricatures
Let's Toon Caricatures

This is another useful book to help you learn to draw retail-style and party caricatures. It includes a very useful "gag" library of different poses and backgrounds for beginners.

A Caricaturist's Handbook: How to Draw Caricatures and Master Exaggeration
A Caricaturist's Handbook: How to Draw Caricatures and Master Exaggeration

This is another outstanding lesson book on how to learn to draw caricatures from illustrator/animator, Jim Van Der Keyl. In addition to his insight, he also shares other pointers from many other master caricature artists as well.

REJECTS: the Extreme Art of Retail Caricature
REJECTS: the Extreme Art of Retail Caricature

Not everyone likes the outcome from the artist who draws their caricature. This book is a collection of the best rejected art that no one has ever seen. And ironically, it may be some of the best caricature work you will ever see from Oscar award-winning artist, Joe Bluhm.


Caricature Video Lessons on Amazon

Your Supplies - What to buy for drawing caricatures

Here are some excellent links to everything you need to get in order to begin drawing caricatures. Instead of going from art store to art store or surfing the web all day, simply find everything you need all in one place!

Lar DeSouza CaricatureTraining Videos

Watch Award-winning Caricaturist, Lar DeSouza in action as he explains the caricature-drawing process over 4 videos below!

Caricature training with Lar DeSouza Pt 1

Caricature Training with Lar DeSouza Pt. 2

Caricature Training with Lar DeSouza Pt. 3

Caricature Training with Lar DeSouza Pt. 4

Reader Feedback

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    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      [in reply to MI-Lee]

      Hmmmmmmmmm. Did I write the blurb above that was posted in October of 2006? Maybe there's ANOTHER Lee bouncing around the Internet who started drawing caricatures in the 1950s and who has been an NCNer since 1993 ... and who has attended the tremendously wonderful conventions of the organization. Howsoever I've been fortunate to have gone to SIX conventions, rather than five ... twice in Orlando, twice in Las Vegas, and one time each in Atlanta and Reno. Folks, being part of the NCN has been a life-changing experience. I've met and drawn the faces of thousands of truly beautiful people (for a caricaturist there's no such thing as an ugly face). Caricaturing has taken me to distant places, including the islands of the Caribbean, on fancy cruise ships, and back and forth across Lake Michigan from Michigan to Wisconsin on board the SS Badger, the largest and last of the coal-fired steam ships on the Great Lakes, two days a week in June, July, and August...!

    • Brian Lofgren profile image

      Brian Lofgren 9 years ago

      Hi Robert, I mainly draw, quick, cartoon portrait type, entertainment caricatures; so I love to watch artists who draw the really exaggerated faces. I enjoy your page. Your love of the art really shows. I started drawing caricatures in 1987 too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I recently joined the NCN. It has reawakened my passion for caricature work to an extent it never was before. I have seen more progress in my work and stepped out of my comfort zone more in the last two months than in the last ten years!Bob Bauer is a terrific guy and a great help!

      Rock Cowles

    • profile image

      anonymous 11 years ago

      I just joined the NCN this year, attended the convention, and I'm SO glad I did! Now I know I may not be the best artist, but I am definitely doing what I was put here on earth to do! Making the earth a little brighter, one smile at a time!

    • profile image

      MI-Lee 11 years ago

      I've been a member of the NCN since 1993, and I'd like to say that old guys like me (I've been drawing caricatures since the 1950s) are inspired by the enthuiasm and collegiality of the younger fellows (and women). I've attended five of the conventions and have enjoyed learning a lot about the art!