Learn How to Draw Cartoons - For the Absolute Beginner

A quick and easy way to illustrate an idea is by using cartoons. Artists use this kind of theme when targeting young viewers or those who’s a little less of art critic and more into the message of the picture being portrayed clearly. Cartoons are “eye candies” that can easily capture people’s attention because of its stereotypical and simply understandable nature. This is also the reason why it is widely used by advertisers when presenting a service or a product.

Let us start with a cartoon that is less styled or something that is not centered on details. The simple kinds of cartoons are the ones that even a child could produce. This is something that you can learn to draw in a short amount of time.

The other kind of a cartoon’s appearance  is in semi-realistic form. These are the kinds of illustrations of people with distinguishable human features. For example, the nose would look like a real nose (not a broken L shape) and the eyes would look like eyes (not dots). The shapes of their bodies (even the exaggerated or intentionally deformed ones) can be easily distinguished as a human’s and not shaped as a bean, stick figures, etc.

The body proportions are also manipulated or modified to easily distinguish the age of a character. For example, a small body with short extremities signifies a child, while a taller one with longer extremities is an adult. The length of the neck and size of the feet are also adjusted to suggest their age.

Aside from the age, the body frame is also modified in a way to express a character's individuality. These frames are easily done by using base forms composed of different basic shapes.

Little modifications are done when illustrating a character’s uniqueness; being imaginative is the key to make your character look differently and significantly distinctive. A simple way is to exaggerate proportions of an average body frame.

An expressive look is important; the character’s facial expression should be easily identified and bold to easily portray an emotion. For example, you don’t have to see the whole body of a cartoon character to distinguish what he feels or what he or she could be thinking.


In cartoons, expressions or reactions (in comics) of the characters are shown not just with facial expressions alone. Adding little more details to your illustration will show what your character feels in a very stereotypical manner. 

Additional details are not used for expressions alone. It can also be used to portray an action or any sudden motion.

When drawing comics, a progressive short story or any form of narrative illustrations, your characters are expected to grow up eventually. This part becomes a challenge for illustrators because the characters will basically change their physical form. When aging your character, you only have to leave behind the body proportions but the facial structure or even just portions of their facial features should still resemble their previous appearances.

More tips and tricks for drawing cartoons are available in the book "Learn How to Draw Cartoons - For the Absolute Beginner". The book contains the very essentials of drawing traditional cartoons, including the perspective of every facial features, body gestures, props, and more. 








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