What is a Caricature

Car-i-ca-ture /'karikachar; -,choor/ n. a picture, description, or imitation of a person or thing in which certain striking chariacteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect. (Oxford American Dictionary.)

While the caricatures that we produce at Pier 39 Caricatureart are not intended to create a "grotesque effect," the word caricature does mean "to exaggerate." While to some this may mean the exaggeration of physical facial features such as a nose, ears or a pair of eyes, the aim of a good caricature is to capture or exaggerate the essence, spirit or the personality of a person, not just the physical features.

A caricature drawing is different than a "normal" drawing such as a portrait. The purpose of a portrait is to "portray" the subject being drawn in a manner that shows a realistic depiction of anatomy and lighting with shadows and highlights. This is known as "realism."

Caricature drawings are traditionally thought of as a cartoon art form. What does the word cartoon mean? The word cartoon comes from the Italian word "cartone" which came from the Latin word "carta," meaning "card." During the renaissance while great masterpieces were being painted on canvas or chiseled into stone, a quick sketch became known as a "card drawing." Cartooning is the art of quick sketch.

Due to the nature of caricature being a form of "quick sketch," a caricature that takes 20 minutes costs much less than a portrait that takes 4 hours.

Our Sustainability Goal

Currently we are drawing our caricatures on card stock that is only composed of 30% eco responsible material. This is not acceptable and our sustainability goal is 100%. We are currently in search of a paper company that satisfies our needs for being a friend to the environment