Course: Art of Sculpting: Caricature

Achieving a recognizable likeness!

Have you ever tried to draw or sculpt a real person but in the end it just does’t look like them? Understanding facial likeness and being able to reproduce it requires lots of practice. The goal of this short course is to help you develop such skills by exploring the artistic style of caricature!


What’s this course about?

In this episode of the “Art of Sculpting” series we are using hyperbolic stylization known as “caricature” to better understand and capture facial likeness. You will practice discerning things like head shapes, big noses, pointed chins, and crooked smiles which all contribute to a person’s distinguishing features. Here’s a breakdown of the lessons:

  • Lesson 1 – Before we overwhelm our brain with the third dimension, first we should study photos of faces and make notes about distinguishing features. Once we’re able to identify them two-dimensionally, then we can take it to the next level of realizing such features in 3D. We will use dynamic topology to block out our caricature.
  • Lesson 2 – With our caricature blocked out, we can focus on nailing our short list of distinguishing features.
  • Lesson 3 – After we feel confident that we’ve achieved the likeness of our main facial features, then we can fill in the remaining secondary details to complete the face. And since sculpting takes a long time, this video is time-lapsed.
  • Lesson 4 – Once the face is finished we can stylize the hair to complete the overall caricature.

Caricature is an excellent exercise in understanding facial likeness. If you can do a caricature, then it should be easy for you to dial back the exaggeration to realistic proportions to reproduce a non-stylized portrait.

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Are you interested in more sculpting tutorials? Be sure to check out http://sculptcookie.com

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8 Responses to “Art of Sculpting: Caricature”
  1. Posts: 72

    I just so love and respect your sculpting tutorials because your great focus and incredible knowledge of anatomy and very structured approach! So much to learn from your sense of observation and analysis. Thank you!

  2. Posts: 4
    Ryan Cooper says:

    This was an excellent course, I’m glad I bit the bullet and got citizenship

    • Posts: 4194

      It’s great to have you! Anything in particular that you like about this course that we can apply towards future courses?

  3. Posts: 4
    Ethen Crowl says:

    I just bought Citizen so I’m new to most of your sculpting tutorials, so one question, is it easier to sculpt in Blender with a graphics tablet (Intuos pro) than with a mouse, or is it really not needed?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Posts: 2037

      Welocome, redwire500! A graphics tablet is definitely the better choice for artistic tasks like sculpting (also texture painting). One reason being the tablet’s pressure sensitivity that a mouse doesn’t have. Also a pen employs more natural motion for people who draw and/or write. I highly recommend getting one if you’re interested in sculpting. I’ve had the cheapest Wacom model for over 5 years (the Bamboo Fun) and it still works great.

      • Posts: 4
        Ethen Crowl says:

        Thanks for the tip. I just bought one around Christmas for concept art, but now it has yet another purpose!

      • Posts: 23
        masayers says:

        I noticed that you always use the inflate brush to add in extra geometry, I tend to use the snakehook brush but just dab it/click it with the mouse to add detail without disturbing the form.

        I use this approach as it seems easier to not disturb the general form.

        IS there a reason why you use inflate instead of snakehook, or is just just personal preference?

        PS I really liked that when some things didn’t go as planned you showed how you resolved them instead of just brushing over it (no pun intended) like some tutorials do. I find often I learn more when things don’t go quite right than when they do:-).

  4. Posts: 11
    blendoodler says:

    Any chance we can have a shading/texturing and rendering tutorial for this completed model? I’m not into ultra-realistic skin textures. I prefer a simplified, quick shading. If I can manage to apply direct painting, why not? There has to be a way to make quick, shaded renders after completing a sculpted model. The hair is another pain in the…

    sample preference: http://www.psdeluxe.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/caricatures/sylvester_stallone.jpg

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