Caricatures are like the cartoon version of a photo. A rise in photo personalisation services is giving way to a fun and creative way to display ordinary photos in much more vivid detail. Caricature prints, similar to portraits, are only imitations of them with exaggerated aspects incorporated into the drawing. The end result can be funny with a striking resemblance. Much like ‘Spitting Image’, only in stills.
In tourist hotspots, it used to be common to see pencil artists drawing up caricature pencil sketches of people, often couples, while they waited. Not so hot these days, but the personalisation is still done by many artists, some pencil, some painted portraits, and some with digital drawing tablets.
All types can be framed, but different frames lend themselves to different types of caricatures.
Generally, caricature sketches are drawn on either A3 or A4 sized paper. Digital versions, either scanned and printed, or printed directly from the software they were created with could be any size. Most will start at the 11” x 8” size for a standard print, with larger prints costing more due to the higher cost of inks and paper.
Very few artists will offer the full framing package. Most times, like a lot of art is, it gets left to the customer to handle the framing because everyone has different tastes.
The types of frames suited to different styles of caricatures
Black frames are a terrific option for pencil sketches given that they are different shades of grey on a white background. A style known as monochrome.
For aesthetic appeal, acid-free mount boards can be inserted to add a border around the sketch. The traditional way to keep pencil sketches monochrome is to use an off-white mount board. Coloured mounts with monochrome prints tend to look better as a collection with different colours. As an example, a family collection of four caricatures, each framed with a different colour of mount board in the same style of frame can create an interesting gallery display.
Single monochrome sketches tend to fair better in a black frame either with or without a mount or for added protection, an off-white acid-free mount board to match the colour of the paper.
Wood frames have the widest assortment of colours. Aluminium frames are often variances of gold, copper, or silver.
For colourful caricatures that look like cartoon features, the coloured frame can add an interesting window into the print. These can make interesting visuals for prints that have primary colours as the main tone of the print, such as a pink background mimicking the wallpaper from a Simpsons caricature, or a green for a caricature of people on a lawn with their dogs.
A colour wood frame can pair nicely with prints with bright primary colours.
Do caricatures make good framed gifts?
If you’re thinking this would be a terrific gift for someone you know, just know that they can be insulting if done wrong. When done with thought, caricature prints can make great gifts. They are only rendered images that are exaggerated to an extent.
The key to gifting this type of art is keeping the theme light-hearted. If you know someone has a personal feature they really dislike, don’t highlight it. Like a double neck, or a pointy nose. The best caricatures for gifting will always focus on flattery, not ridicule, like the types you see on social media created purely for entertainment, at someone else’s expense.
If you’re planning on commissioning an artist to create a caricature, they will almost always focus on flattery. If you know of features that should not be highlighted, let them know to avoid disappointment.