Caricatures with Illustrator Rich Fairhead

by Ryo Sanada

We recently wanted some new caricatures for our 'About Us' page and without thinking too much about it, we turned to one half of El Famoso - Rich Fairhead.

What’s the first thing you do when you start on a caricature?

Ask for a decent photo!

Ideally I'd work from a high res, front on image which makes it a lot easier. I hand draw everything so I don't tend to work any bigger than A4.

What makes a good caricature?

I don't really work on ultra cartoony caricatures but I like a strong black line and lots of detail in the hair when I'm drawing. To be honest, there's never been a face I've drawn that I've found boring.

Rich Fairhead, Live Draw by Jason Bye

What do you look for when trying to capture someone’s likeness in your work?

I freehand all the portraits so ideally everything has to be fairly spot on. I reckon the most important part in respect to starting well is the shape of the head and the eyes…then work out from there and hope for the best!

Can you explain your process of drawing a caricature in simple steps?

I start with a decent photo, pencil sketching the outlines. I tend to send these to the client, get the ok and work on a final pen draft before scanning and colouring (if needed) in photoshop.

Plus photoshop is good for editing any bits that don't look quite right in the final drawing.

Who’s caricature (out of SRK members) was the easiest / hardest? (and why)

Ha. I think I found the easiest was Tim as he had a big smile (which is easier to draw than a slight grin / neutral look). Shaz was pretty hard to draw as I had 2 or 3 goes to get the expression and hair right (and it was a small photo!)
El Famoso (Rich and Chris Fairhead) on assignment in Beijing for Stickerbomb x Levi's, 2015.

Why do you think caricatures are popular and how would you describe your style particular style of caricature?

I think people like seeing an illustrated version of themselves, whether it's spot on
or the artists' take on what they see. (And my style is) hand drawn, 'graphichy', bold line, not too serious, simplistic.

Final caricature of the Studio Rarekind Team 2020

If you're interested in working with Rich Fairhead you can drop him a mail directly here or if you need to have a chat about any of your creative projects, book a free consultation with us right here.