STEVE PRESCOTT – Guest Caricature Artist

   Posted by: woodbeecarver   in Carving Friends, CCA Related


Caricature Carver Steve Prescott  was gracious in granting me permission to show photographs of his recent carvings.  (click on photograph to enlarge.)   Using these photographs as a visual instructor one can learn from the instruction of “reading between the lines.”

Visually study the beginning photographs of a caricature Bull Rider.  Look for the overall story being told and then  “read between the lines”  to allow the subtlety of the sense of movement in the facial expression, the curl of the cinch rope with bells attached and the rodeo motifs in his outfit.  Next imagine how the Bull Rider was carved using an imaginary knife to carve the in’s and out’s of the carving design.  Such study of reading between the lines goes much further than recognizing a “nice” carving to recognizing the intricacies of the caricature art. Study now the close up features of the Bull Rider with a sharpened eye for detail and subtle nuances.



Caricature carving works best when a story is being told through the visual effects of the carving.  Caricature Carving is an “exaggeration of realism”  as humor is an “exaggeration of  reality.”   Good Caricature Carving leaves little to the imagination other than what the viewer wants to see in the carving.

Every carving tells its own story from its first impression continuing with an overall study. Some stories are quite evident while others require the use of imagination to fill in the untold story. Some even require the reading between the lines.  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

CARICATURE IS EXAGGERATION OF REALISM,  be it a visual effect or a verbal effect with a play on words.  A cartoon as a two dimensional drawing is an exaggeration of realism as well as an exaggerated use of words and phrases.  Few cartoons stand alone as a drawing only.  A caption is needs to add the punch line or to draw the contrast of the humor created by both the drawing and the words.

In the next series of photographs of another of Steve Prescott’s caricature carving  of a school teacher giving a pig student a low grade for a “messy” paper assignment.  Notice the overall story that at first has a question mark as to its punch line story.  That is until the caption on the base is read to put the exclamation point on the story.


Some carvers have described “caricature carving”  as a realistic carving that turned out bad by saying something like, “I tried to carve this cowboy but it did not turn out right so I will just call it a ‘caricature.’”   Nothing could be further from the truth.  A bad carving does not make it a caricature; it is still a bad carving no matter if it is a caricature or realistic carving.

For a carving to be caricature it needs to be “planned to be a caricature.”   The planning part is to use imagination, knowing what part of the carving will be exaggerated and what the story is that will be told.

A “picture is worth a thousand words,”  so as each photograph is viewed try reading between the lines to allow for the story of the carving to tell more than what meets the eye.

The final example of imaginative Caricature story telling is another of Steve Prescott’s caricature carvings of the “Lawn Ranger and Toro.”  The play on words plays a big part in the planning to be a caricature with the examples of the weed eater having teeth, the El Toro mower has horns, the yard man is wearing the Lone Ranger’s mask which makes him the Lawn Ranger.  This is an example of not only a human caricature but also machines as caricatures. Even more so it is an example of allowing the play on words to guide the imagination.


Well done Steve in helping us to “Read between the Lines”  of Caricature Carvings that tell a story within a story that is within another story. Thank you for elevating Caricature Carving into an Art all its own.



This entry was posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at 4:38 pm and is filed under Carving Friends, CCA Related. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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