Caricatures by Simon Ellinas

CARICATURES ARE EXAGGERATED portrayals of real people. They take the prominent distinguishing features of the face and deliberately emphasize the characteristics of each, be it a large nose, a high forehead or a toothy grin. People like looking at caricature drawings because, in reality, we all form mental caricatures of each other in order to make it possible to recognise each other. It is also fun for the caricaturist to inject as much of the person’s personality into the drawing as possible. This can often be done by adding bodies and various props relevant to the particular person.

One problem caricaturists face when drawing caricatures of celebrities, is that it is often difficult to find just the right photo to work from. They are often careful to only be shown in their best light and from their ‘best angle’. There is a certain angle and lighting which always shows up a person’s true appearance. In the selection above, there is a variety of treatments from black and white ink drawings through Photoshop-coloured caricatures and watercolour paintings.

Probably the most difficult person to capture, in the above gallery, was Nicole Kidman. This is a problem with a lot of Hollywood actresses – as there seems to be a uniform set of looks that many aspire to attaining. It is always impressive to see really successful caricature drawings of stars such as Marilyn Monroe or Gwyneth Paltrow when, on the face of it (sorry!) their features don’t really seem to to give you much to hang onto. With male stars, of course, it is very different – Sylvester Stallone, Liam Neeson, George Clooney and many others have a whole host of facial structures a caricaturist can go to town on.