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The Mad Art of Caricature!: A Serious Guide to Drawing Funny Faces

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In The Mad Art of Caricature , award-winning caricaturist and illustrator Tom Richmond shares his secrets to creating great caricatures, drawing on his 25 years of experience teaching live caricature techniques and producing award-winning humorous illustrations and caricatures for publications, books, advertising, video games, film, television animation, and clients like MAD Magazine . He takes the reader on an artistic journey, examining what really makes a caricature successful, what to look for in a face, and how to draw it. You will also learn how to apply this skill, whether it's drawing live, theme-park-style caricatures, or creating caricature for publication work. Loaded with everything from basic theories and drawing instruction to professional tips and tricks, this book contains something for novices and experts alike. The Mad Art of Caricature! is perhaps the most comprehensive and complete how-to guide on the art of caricature ever published. With over 500 illustrations, it's the definitive guide to the art of caricature. This master class of a book unlocks the secrets of the caricaturist's unholy craft, rendering them so simple to grasp that any idiot can soon be drawing just like Tom Richmond, assuming, of course, that the idiot is as fabulously talented as Tom Richmond. Good luck with that.
GARRY TRUDEAU , creator of Doonesbury Learning to draw is a challenge. Having lessons before you from a Master will smooth the road and define the way. Tom Richmond is a blowtorch of caricature genius with the drawing touch of a Holbein. You've come to the right place.
C.F. PAYNE , caricature illustrator, painter and MAD Magazine cover artist Tom Richmond is a very fine artist and his caricatures are wonderful. Anyone who enjoys the art of caricature will want to read this book and see his excellent artwork. They would be interested in how he thinks, what he looks for in the face, how he sees the people he draws, and what makes them unique.
MORT DRUCKER , MAD Magazine caricaturist, cartoonist and illustrator This is easily one of the most comprehensive, enlightening and provocative books on the art of caricature that s ever been written from what the author tells me. I hope to read it someday.
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC , famously weird musician and songwriter As a cartoonist, I can write humor and draw funny but when it comes to good caricatures, that is hard! I wish I could have had Tom's book earlier in my career.
SERGIO ARAGONES , MAD Magazine cartoonist and creator of Groo The Wanderer After studying Tom's great book, I am now going to try charging $800 per smiley face.... More if I color it in.
JEFF DUNHAM , superstar comedian and ventriloquist The Mad Art of Caricature! has quickly become the gold standard in the examination and instruction of the art form.

175 pages, Paperback

First published December 1, 2011

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Tom Richmond

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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Parka.
796 reviews455 followers
August 14, 2013
( More pictures on my blog )

This is an excellent book on caricature by caricaturist and illustrator Tom Richmond. There are few artists who are more qualified to write a book on drawing caricatures. Over the years, he has drawn for many print media, especially for MAD magazine which is known for its art.

To get the best out of this book, you should already know how to draw basic portraits. This book gives you the tips and techniques to add to your knowledge of portrait drawing to create the caricatures.

There are enlightening drawing tips on every page from the start till the last page, accompanied by lots of amazingly drawn examples. It teaches you how to push the limit of drawing facial expressions without sacrificing likeness to the character. You'll learn how to modify head shapes, enhance features, put in expressions and more. It also covers a bit on body postures. Towards the end there's a section on drawing live caricatures.

The very last section looks at the caricatures from MAD magazine and includes the process of working from start to finish.

This book is packed with tons of information and is most highly recommended.

5 out of 5 stars with funny faces.
Profile Image for David Slatten.
16 reviews1 follower
July 6, 2017
I have been involved with some sort of art my entire life and have always wanted to do caricatures but never really knew how to do them. I tried but they always wound up looking like bobbleheads. Tom Richmond breaks down the process into easy to understand principles that enable the reader of this book to learn how to approach caricatures accurately. I am proud to say that I now am able to produce caricatures that I am proud of. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has a desire to draw caricatures or anyone who just wants a better understanding of portraiture in general.
Profile Image for Dick Aichinger.
481 reviews4 followers
July 18, 2021
After taking up pencil sketching ... again ... I've been looking for items to copy for gaining some confidence. After doing a couple caricatures, I found this book. It isn't so much a how-to type guide on drawing caricatures as much the philosophy Tom Richmond applies to his caricatures. That's just as well since I don't think I have the skill to develop my own caricatures.

It was an interesting read, however, as he explained how he looks at what is a good caricature and the ways to exaggerate features to produce a good caricature.

As he points out, doing a portrait of someone is easily spotted when a feature is messed up. A caricature is more forgiving ... they are all an exaggeration. So when I copy one to develop technique, a mess up may not be as noticeable. How's that for rationalization for lack of skill?
Profile Image for Kelsey.
112 reviews
October 27, 2021
I thought this book was a fantastic introduction to drawing caricatures. Tom Richmond breaks down the process by first going over basic caricature theory (e.g. the relationships between the Five Shapes, the Law of Constant Mass). From there, he walks through each facial feature, explaining the basic anatomy and providing tips on different ways to exaggerate the feature.

The last three chapters talk about caricatures in different settings: live caricature drawing, caricature in illustration, and caricatures at MAD. I thought Tom's step-by-step example of how to draw a caricature in a live setting was especially useful.

Overall, I recommend this book for anyone interested in drawing caricatures or stylized portraits in general. There are plenty of example caricatures throughout the book, which makes it even more fun to flip through!
July 29, 2017
Best book ever on caricature. You can never teach how to draw a caricature to anyone, but there are few simple methods of seeing caricature objects, Tom Richmod explained it so well with lots of examples. BEST BOOK!.
Profile Image for Salman Israr.
88 reviews41 followers
February 18, 2017
Extremely helpful regardless of your skill level. It's equivalent of The Principles of Quantum Mechanics by Paul Dirac (in quantum mechanics) in caricature/art world! I don't know if the analogy works. :P

Brilliant. Excellent guide. Extremely helpful.
Profile Image for Chip'sBookBinge.
109 reviews5 followers
August 10, 2012
I've searched through a lot of different books on the art of doing celebrity (and average Joe's) character drawings and most of the books I've come across are poorly concieved and executed. That is until The Mad Art of Caricature! came out. All the other books that I looked into, I'd just flip through a few pages and know that it was amateurish and wouldn't offer me anything remotely close to tips or tricks or just an insightful way of working. But with Tom Richmond's book, he goes the extra mile to not only teach his tips but give you a basic understanding of anatomy in a very easy and informative way that never comes across as being tedious.

When I say he gives you the lowdown on anatomy, he does just that. He breaks down everything you will need to know from Head Shapes, Eyes, Mouth, Teeth, Ears and a whole lot more. He even devotes time on Hands as well. Tom starts the book off by telling the reader he can't teach you how to draw better and that is correct. But he goes on to give you tons of valuable tips and the way he works and why it works. If you follow his example, you too can increase your skill at doing caricature drawings.

He also gets into his work method when laying out a page that he does for MAD magazine. The way he works is definitely different from what most others will do. But it's understanble why he does it so that he can have more control of constructing the page for better placement of characters, word balloons, etc...

I highly recommend this as a Buy for any aspiring or professional artist that is looking to add this type of art to their bag of tricks.

5 Stars out of 5.

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Profile Image for Kevin de Ataíde.
592 reviews11 followers
June 16, 2013
Pleasant, image-filled how-to of modern caricature. Mr. Richmond has an excellent line-drawing approach to the art-form and I have much enjoyed his work particularly in MAD magazine over the last decade or so. Line-drawing is valuable for its easy reproduceability and for its universal reach. Two features of the author's work that I particularly admire is that his caricatures actually do things rather than smiling out of pictures, balloon headed on tiny bodies. Anyone can do that. But Tom Richmond's caricatures use more than facial expression to convey themselves. Also, he has a method, an actual method. What a relief to know that art has a method and is not something that happens when an artist mystically tosses ink or paint at a blank sheet of whatever. If you don't get this book because you want to begin or continue caricature, get it for its glossy production and the numerous instances of Richmond's artwork.
Profile Image for Greg.
20 reviews1 follower
December 7, 2011
This was absolutely the best art instruction book I've ever read. It is helpful to portrait artists as well as cartoonists and caricature artists. It has changed my style drastically. I don't know if I'm ready to do live caricatures yet, but I'm a lot closer now!
Profile Image for Kathy.
95 reviews
July 27, 2016
Best book ever on caricature. What Tom Richmond does right is show you exactly what you want to aim for, and he shows it from every angle. Best book ever on caricature. Yes, I meant to say that again.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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