• Karl

Caricaturing Frank Bruno

Mainly caricatures of celebrities are commissioned by large nationals or magazines.

I don't do much work in the large nationals---some for the magazines---but not much for the nationals. Mainly my caricatures are for private clients to celebrate weddings, birthdays, retirement, leaving gifts, anniversaries, landmark celebrations---a selection of which can be seen here---But this particular caricature was for a charity.

The organiser contacted me, told me of the situation and asked if I would donate a cartoon for the raffle. He said that if I could produce one of Frank Bruno---the ex world champion--- who was going to be the guest speaker, then he could sign it to and hopefully make more money.

So I did, and a lot of money was raised for MIND, the mental health charity.

Anyway, here's a quick tutorial on how I produced this caricature.

1: First of all I create the caricature, send a rough to the client and once approved I enlarge it to A3, lightbox the image onto heavy watercolour paper. I trace it through so the lines are defined and once inked there are no pencil sketch marks visible.

I use Daler Rowney 140lb NOT(cold pressed) watercolour paper.

Once it's on I mask out the areas I want kept white and then apply the first wash. This one was a yellow Ochre. Once again I use Daler Rowney watercolour tubes.

I chose this wash because the dominant colours would be browns and regal reds.

2: Next came the Red. This shade was made up from a mix of Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson.

Once the wash dried I began to build up the layers of shades on the drapes. First off I darken the mix by adding Cobalt Blue and for the final, deep shading I use a mix of Cobalt Blue and Cadmium Red which makes a kind of wine colour and is very chameleon like in its properties

*Artist note: No matter what colour you place it over, it takes on the shading of that colour; the more blue you add, the darker the shade.

3: Once I had defined the curtains it was time to work on the shading of Frank himself. The colours I used were Raw and Burnt Sienna, with the third and darkest shade being produced by the Cobalt Blue and Cadmium Red mix.

4: All that was left to do was the background table ( which I made sure to only give two shade of a paler green to help punch out the main character), and the people on the top table.

The flooring I decided needed to be coming right at you to help with the movement of the character and perspective of action.

5: Then finally, sign it, frame it and send it off to raise money and do good.

On a final note, Frank Bruno was said to be very impressed and gave the artwork his legendary deep laugh.

I hope you liked this tutorial. Like I said before, more samples can be viewed here and should you wish to commission a caricature, then please contact me for a chat.

I hope you liked this post and have had a good look around the site at the many others. I have plenty of exciting projects on and plan many more ideas for the Cartoonist Diary website and blog and I would love to have you come along for the ride. If you like the sound of that, then please sign up below and get a link emailed to you every time I post something new.


All artwork and the written word are copyright Karl Dixon