Bodies are as unique as faces.
Physicality is important in caricaturing. Showing what’s unique about a person’s body or how they hold themselves goes a long way. Bigoni once did a caricature of a couple for their wedding invitation where they were depicted as — literally — skeletons. “That piece meant a lot to me, because the woman in the picture said, ‘It’s just my skeleton but it still looks like me!’” See how you can illustrate a movement or an action your subject is likely to engage in. And win bonus points for tattoos. “People are really thrilled if you get their tattoos correct,” says Bigoni.
Add individualism through props.
Think about who your subject is to discover what background or props might help the drawing come alive. Illustrate what you think the person might be doing, eating, drinking, or reading. Draw clothes you can see that person actually wearing. “Don’t just ask what they wear, but how they wear it,” says Bigoni. “Another thing I always try to do is add any pets that person has. I’ve even had people say, ‘My cat died, but can you add him in with a halo and wings?’”
Developing a personal style.
Although live caricatures are common at events and require speed in execution, the best method for developing your talent is taking your time. Don’t fret if you need to go slowly. Start over if a piece isn’t coming easily. “Sometimes I’ll have to erase because I did something that was too much. Sometimes I erase because I did too little. Figure out what balance best represents the person and don’t be afraid of trying it over and over,” says Bigoni.
Practice with celebrities.
Get started by drawing famous people from your favorite media or sports teams. It helps that you’ll likely be familiar with them and their mannerisms, plus there’s a bountiful supply of reference photos of celebrities available online.
Start a digital sketchbook.
Try opening Adobe Fresco or Adobe Photoshop and sketching various elements of a caricature on different layers. This way you can experiment with different features and props without wasting a single piece of paper.
Helpful tutorials on Adobe Fresco.
Before jumping in, learn the basics of drawing with Adobe Fresco and how to create your first digital illustration. Then, see if you can follow along in creating a comic-style portrait to learn new color and texture techniques.