With the process I used to create the caricatures, it comes in as more photo manipulation rather than digital drawing and painting. I am using the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil and I did do some painting of colour on top of the image to make it into a caricature. I started off by using iColorama, but I could have just as well started in Pixelmator for iPad. The controls for liquefying and warping the image to change the shape of the face in the caricature, are more controllable in Pixelmator for iPad. It’s possible to set up the size of the distortion tool and also the strength of the tool. That’s the case when you’re using the warp tool, the twirl tools or the bump and pinch tools. There is also a restore tool which you can use on an area where you’ve gone a little bit too far. It’s probably more likely you will just do an undo if you spot something you’ve overdone. I suppose if you have only spotted something five minutes or 10 minutes later then using the restore tool will be just perfect.
Using the warp tool in Pixelmator for iPad
When you are using the warp tool, you drag pixels around to change the shape of objects. Previously when trying to do this sort of thing you would destroy the image around what you are trying to change. The way that these tools work now are really very intelligent allowing for extra levels of creativity. The warp tool allows you to drag pixels off in one direction so you can squish things together or make them wider. It’s just a case of pulling and pushing after you’ve set up the size and strength of tool.
Bump and Pinch
The bump tool is great when you want to make something like an eye to be larger. Just tap the stylus or finger in the middle of where you want the area to grow. The longer you hold on the area the more the pixels are spread away from your centre point. The pinch tool is the opposite of that and pulls the pixels inwards. One thing to be aware of when you are using the pinch tool near to the edges of your digital painting, is that it will drag in the edge. This will expose the background which could be transparent or it could be whatever you have on a lower layer. You will have to redraw, paint or use the clone tool to repair the edges of your image. If the side of the images only been pulled in just slightly at the edges then you could possibly do a crop. It’s most likely though if you have been working that close to the edge anyway copying will not do what you need.
Choosing colours in Pixelmator for iPad
There are good colour selection tools within the application, including a colour picker. It can often be easier to pick a colour from your image using the colour picker tool than finding something in the swatches. A couple of times I found it easier to get just the right colour by picking the approximate colour and then going back into make it either lighter or darker. It all depended upon what I was doing at the time, whether I wanted a highlight or a shadow.
It’s not just about distorting
Apart from changing the shape to make the ears bigger or the nose large and bulbous to find the humour, it’s good to make it more like a painting than a photo. Using iColorama and also with Pixelmator for iPad I was able to do this by increasing the saturation and reducing the number of colours. Reducing the number of colours makes the image more comic like. The whole idea of a caricature is to try and make an amusing picture that somehow still captures the essence of the victim (happy subject) while making them look ridiculous at the same time. This process will also be great if you are just making a character for a comic book to using an application like ComicLife 3. Within comic life you would be able to add other filters such as a half-tone to make it more suitable.
Don’t forget the background
With the image I was working with I had to use the clone tool to remove certain elements over on the left-hand side of the image. If you don’t use something like the cloning tool you could just paint the colours in that you want. By doing that in iColorama you be able to make use of the varied sets of brushes available to achieve texture and pattern to make the image more interesting.
Having fun drawing and painting with the iPad drawing apps
When you make images like caricatures it’s easy to see that you don’t have to take making art to seriously. Have some fun, play with the applications and the tools contained within and see what you can come up with.
Here is the previous version of the caricature.