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Craft the perfect caricature

By Jesus Rodriguez Martin
Web: Open Site
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Date Added: 1st August 2014
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Jesus Rodriguez Martin (Rodmart) shares the process and techniques he used to paint his image, Bob Hoskins Caricature!

This image was created to take part in the caricature group on Facebook “BookFace Caricature Contest”. This kind of group is very useful to practice, improve your skills and share your work. In this case, the sketch was made in a traditional way, but sometimes all of the process can be fulfilled digitally (sketch included). Nowadays there are a lot of computer programs that enable you to imitate traditional techniques (Sketchbook Pro or Artrage for sketching, and Photoshop and Painter in regard to painting) and make the transition to digital media easy.

Searching for references

Whenever I start a project I spend significant amount of time searching for references. Although you use one only image in the end, I think itÂ's important to have pictures from different points of view because the facial features can change a lot depending on from where we see them. If it isnÂ't possible, itÂ's good that we at least have a front view and a side view. In case you want to make a detailed and realistic caricature, I recommended finding high quality photos.


Once the reference image is chosen, we proceed to create the sketch that can serve as a guide for the following painting process. It is up to the caricaturist to decide on the features that make the subject unique and recognizable. It’s this vision that guides the caricaturist on which significant elements to emphasize.

Emphasizing doesnÂ't just mean to enlarge or decrease the size of a feature. Factors like the shape of the head and the relationship between the features (angle and distance) play a very important role in the success of a caricature.

The initial sketch

Preparing the reference image

Since I wanted to make a painting in values I obtained a black and white version of my reference image. There are many ways to do this â€' convert the image mode to grayscale, desaturate it, create a new layer filled with white above the layer with the picture and change the Blending Mode of this layer to Color â€' ItÂ's up to you!

Converting the reference image to black and white

Brush settings

In this case I used brush “24”in the standard Photoshop library, because it gives the traditional feel to my paintings, but you could use a hard round brush if you donÂ't want that finish. Regarding the settings, these will change based on the use of the brush. If youÂ're going to do a sketch, paint hair or start to block forms youÂ'll have to change such settings.

The brush settings I use to start painting over the sketch

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