Ways & How

How To Draw Cartoons

How To Draw Cartoons

Planning to draw a cartoon of something but intimidated at the daunting challenge of making your drawing look like the real life inspiration? Well, balk no more. Although drawing may seem challenging, the process of illustrating can actually be broken down into simple steps that even the least experienced can easily follow and get great results. Drawing, like any skill, can be learned and improved upon with patience and practice. It is actually easier than you think. You can draw cartoons of just about anything, but with this article, let us start with learning how to draw cartoons of people. Here are simple steps that even first-timers can easily follow:

  1. Start with stick figures. This may sound overly simplistic, but drawing stick figures is actually the best starting point. The objective is balance and proportion. Start with a vertical line. Then draw an oval for the head over the uppermost part. Make sure the line crosses the middle of the oval so that it’s balanced.

    Next, draw lines for the hands and feet.



    Again for balance, make sure the lines on one side matches those on the other. Now you should have a proportioned stick figure with a head and complete limbs. It is best we start your cartoon with a stick figure skeleton as this serves as the framework for the drawing. If the framework is balanced and well-proportioned, the cartoon will be as well.

  2. Know shapes. Any figure (person, animal or inanimate object) is basically composed of shapes joined together. So, the next step is knowing the shapes that make up your figure. People are easier to draw because even though they may differ in facial features, skin color, and clothing, they have the same shape composition. You have a circle or oblong for the head, smaller circles or ovals for the hands and feet, a short rectangle for the neck, a big rectangle for the body, and narrower rectangles for the limbs. Start to fill out your stick figure by drawing the appropriate shapes for the various body parts.

  3. Add curves. Now that you’ve filled out your stick framework with shapes, your cartoon should have more body. What you need to do is to replace your rectangles with circles and ovals. Real people are curvier, and so this will make your cartoon look more realistic. Also, different people come in different sizes so draw your circles and ovals based on how skinny, curvy, or chubby you want your cartoon to be.

  4. Join the joints. At this point your drawing will have more body, will no longer be angular, but may still be a bit disjointed. The next step is to join the parts where the joints should be. Draw lines and curves to connect the feet to the legs and the hands to the wrist and the neck to the head. Then, erase all the lines except the outline. After this step, your drawing should look much more like the outline of a real person and very different from your simple stick figure.

  5. Finish with features. This part is where you draw in hair, face, and clothing for your cartoon. For the face, draw a cross that evenly divides the face in four equal sections. Draw the eyes in the upper half above the horizontal line, the nose along the vertical line and the mouth in lower half with the vertical line evenly dissecting it.

    You can make your cartoon look happy, sad, or angry by drawing the eyes, nose and mouth in a way that corresponds to your desired emotion. Examples are an upturned mouth for an angry expression, a smile for a happy expression, and the mouth in a line for a glum expression.

    Do not be afraid to go over the outline when drawing the hair, the clothing, and shoes. After you are done, erase the lines of the outline so the clothing, hair and other final features will not be disrupted by the outline of your cartoon’s body. Fill out the drawing with color, making sure you always color in the same direction, and voila, you’ve got your cartoon person.

Remember, it is important that you don’t expect too much too soon. As long as you keep practicing, your next cartoon is guaranteed to look better than the last. Also, you can apply the principles above in learning how to draw cartoons of people to other things as well, such as animals and objects. Articles and tutorial videos on advanced drawing courses with more techniques on how to make your cartoons more realistic (making them appear more three-dimensional, for example) are abundant and easily available online. Just keep drawing, and your cartoons will look better and better!  

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