Sketch o’the Week

August 27th, 2008 | Posted in Sketch O'The Week

I thought I’d do something different for “Sketch o’the Week” this week.

I’m a member of an international organization of caricature artists called the National Caricaturists Network, which I occasionally blog about here. Part of membership is access to a private forum where ideas, opinions and artwork are shared concerning caricatures and the business of caricatures. One of the forum sections is called “The Firing Squad”, where members post pictures of themselves and other members draw their caricature. A lot of the caricatures in my “Me Gallery” come from there. This week I thought I’d take a person from “The Firing Squad” and do a little mini-demo of a caricature sketch.

Here’s our “victim”, caricaturist Doug Sterner:

He’s got a lot to work with! Here are my observations. Some are a result of the nature of the photograph (there is a slight fish-eye feel to pictures one takes of themselves at arms length):

  • Long, narrow face
  • prominent nose, a little pointy
  • large distance from nose to top lip
  • prominent, bony, cleft chin
  • heavy brow
  • Overbite and strong front teeth
  • wide forehead
  • ears set back on head

In drawing our caricature I need to make some decisions as to what aspects more important than others. According to the Law of Constant Mass, if I emphasize his chin and upper lip area, I will have to ignore the big forehead. Clearly that is the way to go here, especially at this angle which offers the chin/jaw in the forefront. Therefore i will shrink the forehead and enlarge the chin/jaw/upper lip area. I will also make the nose and brow large and make them protrude out. Finally I’ll follow through with the smaller cranial mass by narrowing the back of the head as well, which results in the ear protruding farther back. Here’s our rough with some notes added:

Then we do the actual drawing, making some adjustments as we go:


  1. awesomeair says:

    Thanks for this one. I’ve always wanted to know what you saw and how you analyzed the face. How about a short video?

  2. Hey nice.i just signed up for the forum yesturday, can’t wait to start drawing people in the firing squd!!

  3. caricaturize says:

    Of all the generous things you share with us, this is the best! Please do more valuable observations like this! Thank you. Did you ever talk about lineweight, where to put thick and where to put thin?

  4. TerryElliott says:

    I’ve read all your tutorials (100 times) and this one ties them all together. Thanks!! It’s very helpful to get a run down of your thoughts on a specific image.

  5. yondaime_kazekage says:

    it’s all good, and it’s all inspiring. 😀 i’m struggling to develop my own style in caricature, but i did learn a lot from your style, mr. richmond. 🙂 (altough i’m no where near to your skills) i think you dont have to upload a short video, i’m thankfull enough with all the caricature tips u shared with us :p .cant wait to buy your “how to do caricature” books.


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