How to Draw Caricatures

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Hey guys, this page is all about understanding how to draw caricatures with Instant Lion. The artist we’re featuring has been working with caricatures for over 25 years and made a full time living out of it: Graeme Biddle. I’ve been following him for a long time and I have to tell you, he’s brought my caricature skills to the next level!

Heres an image of a caricature I, MYSELF, made after following his guide!

How to Draw Caricatures


As you can see he’s taught me how to draw  a person’s face and how to draw cartoons simultaneously and combined them into one unique style.
I had been drawing for years and it was only recently that I learned how to do this! I had been trying for years to create good caricatures and I could never get it down. I have to tell you if I had to give you advice it would be to get his guide!
His lessons are SOLID and help you improve dramatically. A lot of new artists use free online lessons to try and help them but this just leads to slow and inefficient progress. Trust me I know because I made the same mistake but I was stuck for years.
Long story short, the best thing to do is the buy Biddle’s guide as it will rapidly improve your rate of progress and actually teach you something instead of you having to do it on your own. A teacher is invaluable and his step by step caricature training is the fastest way to get better. Here’s an example of his work.

Now lets get to how to make these! Below you’ll find a comprehensive step by step guide to making your own funny face drawings!


How to Draw Caricatures

A caricature is “a representation, especially pictorial or literary, in which the subject’s distinctive features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.” What this means in real words is that caricatures purposely mess up proportions to make it funny. If you stumbled on here looking for ways to learn how to draw realistic people or faces step by step then I have to redirect you to this site. However, if you want to learn ways of drawing cartoon characters like Phineas and Ferb you’re at the right place. All caricatures have three things in common
  1. You have to be able to tell who the drawing is supposed to be of. If you draw Justin Bieber and everyone thinks it’s Michael Jackson then you have a problem.
  2. You have to exaggerate some features otherwise you’re just making a portrait.
  3. Caricature drawing is more than just drawing faces or body parts (like hands). You have to be able to make a statement with the caricature.


Caricature Drawings

The first step in learning how to draw a cartoon person is to understand what you are looking for. I want you to imagine something. Imagine you’re walking down the block and you see someone with a HUGE forehead. You just can’t help but stare. Why?
In reality if you physically measured the size of the forehead it would almost be the same but you perceive it to be very different because of the relationship of the forehead to the head. A typical face looks like this.

how to draw caricatures

As long as you have all these pieces in a similar relation you have a face. Remember THIS IS ALL YOU NEED FOR SOMETHING TO CLASSIFY AS A FACE
Now keeping it at the very basic level, for something to be called a caricature it just needs to mess with these proportions. Look below to understand what I’m saying.
How to draw caricaturesNow these drawings a VERY basic but you get the idea. In order to form a caricature, or any art in general, you have to start with the basics. When looking at someone’s facial structure and decide which aspects you want to exaggerate. Remember to try and pick something that has meaning behind it.


“But what do I exaggerate?”


Good question! The trick here is to imagine the “average face” (the one I just showed you) and think about how the individual differs when compared to that. Is there nose bigger than usual? Maybe they have a small mouth? You have to examine the INDIVIDUAL and compare them to the average face. Remember, if you draw a caricature of two people and one has larger ears than the other DO NOT exaggerate his ears because of that. You have to compare his face to the average face alone NOT to anyone else’s face!


Caricature Details

Detailing the caricature is up to you. When drawing with pencil you may need a blending tool to create shadows, but as you see in the caricature I made, you can make do without it as well as create a caricature by using only markers.

How to attack Caricature drawing

As a beginner, it is often quite hard to create caricatures on your own. The best thing to do is to create a series of drawings getting you into the caricature mood. The first drawing should be a very simple portrait of the individual. Theres no need to get fancy, just create the basic shape and fill in the eyes nose and mouth. What you want to do is create THICK lines and separate everything to give your portrait a cartoonish feel. Something like this is fine:

draw caricatures

However, EVEN THIS is too complicated for my liking. The hair doesn’t need all those individuals strands and you DO NOT need to focus on the eyes so much. Remember, STICK to the BASICS! These pictures shouldn’t take long to complete, maybe 30-45 minutes at most.
Now that you have your basic portrait down you’re going to create what I like to call “mini-caricatures.” Examine the face and notice the things that jump out at you and try to exaggerate them one by one. Look at the following image from learn to draw . com: see how he’s created multiple mini caricatures? This is what I want you to do.

how to draw caricatures


Now that you’ve examined all the exaggerations it is up to you to decide which ones you feel like showing in your final copy. Remember you are the artist and this is your interpretation so feel free to choose whatever you want as long as you ensure the face still looks like the individual at the end!


Actually Drawing the Caricature

OKAY! ENOUGH THEORY ALREADY! That’s probably what you are thinking! So far I’ve taught you multiple ways to approach caricature drawing, but now let’s get into drawing the caricature itself! I have actually managed to upload a book for you all!


Method 1:

Remember, at this point you will have decided what proportions you want to exaggerate so keep that in mind! I’m going to give these directions with my own view so make sure you change it up as necessary
  1. First draw the eyes. Draw a curve for the upper eyelid and almost a line for the lower eyelid. Then add in the tearduct. I’m keeping the eye proportions the same so I will use a ruler and measure our the proportions to keep them normal.
  2. The nose is next! I’m going to be making the nose a LOT bigger because it sticks out to me. Remember, this a proportions game so measure the actual proportions for now and then make your new ones (for example, if her eyes are 3 inches and her nose is 5 inches in real life, I might make the photo have her eyes at 2 inches but her nose at 6 inches so Im changing up the proportion). For now you’ll use a ruler but as you practice you’ll get a feel and will be able to estimate. Remember to keep the shape of the nose so you can tell what it resembles.
  3. Now comes the mouth! I am going to create a HUGE mouth so my proportions are going to be completely different! I want to make sure my mouth POPS out so I really have to nail this one. I have to use my ruler though so I can keep the proportions of the lips and teeth accurate with the new mouth otherwise the caricature will be off.
  4. The chin is also going to be quite large in my caricature so I repeat the process above to ensure the caricature still looks the person I am trying to create.
  5. Now we have the basics of the face down, lets create the forehead. I’m keeping this relatively the same as for this person the forehead is not unusual and this is my personal choice.
  6. The ears, however, are going to be dumbo ears so I bring my ruler out again and go back to the drawing board. Large ears mean changing up the proportions again!
  7. We’re done! Great job! 😀
After this step you get to the easy part : The details. Details depend on you and your style. As long as you get the basic shape and structure down you can create the rest smoothly. For example, you can add wrinkles to the mouth if you want to draw someone who is old or you can add scars or puffy lips. Details are up to YOU. Just remember to make it look like the person you’re trying to depict by following the rules of the human face.



Method 3: Caricature Profiles



Drawing the nose is about 3 things! The bridge, nostril and the curvature. Get those in the right proportions and no matter how exaggerated the nose is, it will look similar!




The mouth is a very important part of any caricature. When drawing the profile remember a few things.
  1. The line that connects to the nose
  2. The upper lip
  3. The teeth
  4. The lower lip
  5. The chin
You can play around a lot with the mouth in a profile view. The most important aspects are the lips which you must focus the most on.




Now the eye. The eye is relatively easy, just remember a few tips. First the upper eye should be thicker than the lower eye. Second add a circle in the pupil to create a highlight. Finally don’t neglect the eyebrow. Eye shapes vary greatly, but the caricature eye shape depends on the mood of the portrait. A happy caricature will have the image of an eye like above. If you want to portray an angrier image create more sharp lines in the eye.



The ear is VERY EASY. The easiest. Just a D on it’s side with a slight opening. Then inside you create a stretched out C. Other than that there isn’t much. Most people don’t notice ears right away so unless there is something huge about the ears, don’t worry about it.



Just a curve connecting the top of the head and you have your forehead. Have the reference for the back of the head so you can make sure it is in proportion. As you get more experienced you don’t need this reference.


This depends entirely on the individual. Just one major tip: neck should be skinny because that is how most caricatures are.
  1. The hairline and hairstyle depend on the individual, but make sure you account for how large the hair actually is. Your hair takes up a much larger portion of your head than you realize
  2. the chins most important aspect is how far it protrudes. Other than that, the connection between the chin and neck is similar.




Heres the caricature one of my friends created using the instructions above! He used a computer to help me measure out the proportions faster but this can all be done with a ruler too!

Caricature Drawing


Another Style of Caricature:


Drawing an Advanced Caricature Step by Step without reading 300 pages!

If you want to learn more advanced ways and more advanced techniques on on drawing caricatures without having to read the entire book check out Pencil Kings! They will provide you with step by step over the shoulder guidance! I highly recommend them, because they taught me what I was able to teach you!
  • Step by step instructions
  • Easy to Follow
  • Online so you learn at your own pace
  • Someone who lived his life both Drawing AND Teaching all about caricatures



Click Here to Check Him Out AND Get a Free Sample



If caricature drawing is just a part of your “art portfolio” and you actually want to learn about drawing all different kinds of art you can still check out pencil kings! They have advanced caricature drawing but also have advanced lessons for everything else as well! Beginners are also welcome!

Click Here to Visit Our Pencil Kings Review