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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.

khilden.com

katherinehilden.wordpress.com

facefame.wordpress.com

katherinehilden.com

artamaze.wordpress.com

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