Posts Tagged ‘less is more’

Someone recently looked at my caricatures and said, “look at that detail!”  That was a high compliment because there really is no detail.  I merely create the illusion of detail with very few lines. In the art of caricature, less is more. The fewer lines, the better the caricature.Can we look at this for a moment?  Consider this detail:

Just three marks. Out of context you can’t tell what this is supposed to represent. But look at the whole drawing and you’ll see that these three marks represent an eye and a very expressive one, at that.

I choose to highlight the eye here because people often zoom in on the eyes, thinking they are the most important, most expressive, feature in a face. I know that, but if I overdraw the eyes, the drawing will not work.  Contrary to popular opinion (and I hear this often) the caricaturist does not blow one feature out of proportion. One feature does not a face make.  The whole face has to come through—in a comical way.  Oh, it’s very deep!!!  Haha.  I give classes and workshops on the art of caricature from time to time.  A good caricature is a drawing that looks more like the person than a photo.  For that you have to get a likeness, duh, and for a likeness the whole face has to come together.  Now, class, it really is deeper than making the nose bigger. Or the eyes, or whatever.

Here are a few drawings that illustrate the less-is-more principle.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.






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Marjorie is an interior decorator, who loves a clean line.  Her clients don’t necessarily buy the “less is more” philosophy, but in her own home that dogma rules.  She loves to work with subtle colors and loves to experiment with color relationships in her bathrooms. She throws a party when there’s a new color scheme in one of the bathrooms.  This time her friends finally got together to give her a caricature to celebrate this wonderful idiosyncrasy of hers. The deep green is a joke, apparently.   By the way, that’s Barry the benign accountant/husband sharing the towel with her.  Thank you,  Edith et al.  Go for it, Marjorie!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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