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Caricatures my little hobby on the side

Caricatures my little hobby on the side

What are Caricatures?

Lots of refashions happening but none at the finished stage so this week I’m focusing on the caricatures I’ve been doing. I don’t get a lot of time for art at present and its become an issue as you would know from my other entries that I see art and the creation of it as similar to breathing, us artists simply must create to feel any sense of being. I’ve found a small window of opportunity in my lunchtime breaks at work and manage to get a caricature created in that short time span each week. The use of watercolour means it dries quickly and I don’t have to worry about getting in the way of the other staff sharing the small area we have.

This week I chose Miley Cyrus, a colourful character with unusual hairstyle choices and a constant desire to poke out her tongue, making her otherwise pretty but generic features much easier to personalise!

I’ve been at this for seven weeks now and these are some my victims

Paul Henry

Paul Henry caricature by Collette Fergus

Winston Peters

winston paters caricature collette fergus

My favourite so far John Key

john key caricature collette fergus

John Campbell

John Campbell caricature by Collette Fergus


I know Ive got a long way to go before Im really good at these, but for now Im having fun trying to capture people and immortalise them in caricature style. Any ideas on who do next please let me know, Im always open to suggestions!

Caricatures: The Art of Exaggeration and Satire

Caricature is a form of art that involves exaggerating the physical features or characteristics of a person or object to create a humorous or satirical representation. It is a type of drawing or illustration that uses distortion, often to the point of absurdity, to highlight certain traits or personalities. Caricatures can be found in editorial cartoons, advertising, entertainment, and social media.

History of Caricatures

The roots of caricature can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where hieroglyphs depicted individuals with exaggerated features. However, it was during the Renaissance that caricature began to emerge as an art form. Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer created drawings that distorted human faces and bodies for artistic purposes. In the 18th century, caricatures became famous as political and social commentary in England. James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, and George Cruikshank were some of the most famous caricaturists of the time.

Caricatures continued to gain popularity in the 19th century with the advent of the lithographic printing process, which made it easier to reproduce images in large quantities. In addition, the rise of mass media and the development of newspapers and magazines provided a platform for caricaturists to reach a wider audience. In France, Honoré Daumier and J.J. Grandville created satirical caricatures critical to the government and social classes. In the United States, Thomas Nast used his caricatures to support the abolition of slavery and expose corruption in politics.

Famous Caricaturists

There have been many famous caricaturists, each with a unique style and approach. Here are some of the most notable:

  1. Leonardo da Vinci - Although he is better known for his paintings and inventions, Leonardo da Vinci also created caricatures of people and animals.
  2. James Gillray was a British caricaturist who satirised his time's politics and social mores. His work often included exaggerated depictions of politicians, such as Napoleon Bonaparte and William Pitt the Younger.
  3. Honoré Daumier was a French caricaturist known for his satirical depictions of French society and politics. He is particularly famous for his lithographs of lawyers and judges.
  4. Thomas Nast was an American caricaturist who used his drawings to support the Republican Party and expose corruption in New York City politics. He is credited with creating the image of Santa Claus as we know it today.
  5. Al Hirschfeld was another American caricaturist famous for his drawings of Broadway celebrities. His distinctive style involved using a single, continuous line to create the outlines of his subjects.
  6. Sebastian Krüger is a contemporary German caricaturist known for his exaggerated portraits of celebrities and politicians, such as Mick Jagger and Angela Merkel.

Caricatures continue to be a popular form of art and satire today. They provide a way for artists to express their views on politics, society, and culture in a humorous and often insightful way. Whether used for entertainment or social commentary, caricatures remain a unique and fascinating form of art.


Posted: Sunday 31 March 2013

Don't forget to take a look at more of New Zealand contemporary artist's work in Collette's Online Galleries