Drawing a cartoon character can be fun. You can even invent your own characters and start creating a comic book or even animating a short film. The technique is similar to that of drawing a realistic person. You have to focus on the general shape and proportions of the character and exaggerate certain parts to give it an original style.
Method 1 of 3: Draw a cartoon character or animal
Step 1. Start with the head
You can draw a circle, a straight horizontal line with a curve underneath, a pear shape, an oblong, or all kinds of other shapes. To make something very simple, start by sketching a square with rounded corners that you will adapt as you add details to the design.
To make a square with rounded corners, draw a shape with 4 sides that stand out well, but draw curves instead of angles to round them
Step 2. Delineate the body
Use circles, ovals and lines to achieve a very simplified overall shape of the character. For example, you can draw 2 circles or 2 overlapping ovals to represent the torso and stomach. You can exaggerate the belly of a rather large character or the torso of a muscular character. Add strokes for the limbs and position ovals where you will place your hands and elbows.
You would use a similar technique to draw a realistic human. Think about the basic proportions. If you're struggling, look at a photo of someone with posture similar to your character. However, in cartoons, some parts may be overdone and others may be toned down
Step 3. Add an action line
Position it along at least one side of the body. A line of action does not necessarily correspond to a movement. It is a curved line that is incorporated into the design to create a sense of dimension. Usually it curves inward from the head, outward around the body and then back inward again at the bottom. Draw this line on at least one side of the character. You will use this to guide the details you add.
Step 4. Make benchmarks
Draw lines that will serve as guides for the different parts of the body. They will help you figure out how to fill in the body and add the details. Draw vertical lines in the shapes of the face and torso. Depending on the subject's posture, the center line may be curved slightly to the right or to the left. This curve will help you add dimension to the drawing. After all, real people are not flat, but have relief!
Horizontal guides can curve up or down depending on the direction the character is looking and the shape of their face. For example, you can draw a horizontal line from side to side of the face to help you position your eyes and nose
Step 5. Fill in the face
Start with the eyes. Think about what facial expression you want to give the character and use it to represent an emotion. Position your eyes on the horizontal guide you drew and your nose near the point of intersection between the horizontal guide and the vertical line. The mouth should be under the main horizontal guide. Draw circles or ovals for the eyes, a small hook or curve for the nose, and an up or down curve for the mouth. Surround the head of hair represented by straight or curved lines.
Eyes close to each other and slanting down and the middle with eyebrows facing the same way can represent anger. Large eyes that squint very slightly can make the character look cute and innocent. If you want to indicate surprise, try to curve the eyebrows high and draw wide eyes
Step 6. Draw the torso and limbs
Draw straight lines for the upper arms and curves for the forearms. Draw straight lines for the thighs. If the calves are visible, represent them with curved lines. Add the simple details of the hands, like a closed fist: draw a rectangle with 3 lines inside to delimit the fingers and a thumb on the side.
A pear shape often works well for the torso and stomach. If you want the character to appear very muscular, try doing an inverted pear shape
Step 7. Add the final details
Draw things like clothes and shoes. They don't need to be complicated. You can just draw a line down the middle of each arm for the sleeves and bring the fabric out slightly at the shoulders. Draw a curved line to represent a simple collar and another downward curve at the waist to indicate where the top ends or where the pants or skirt begin. Draw a very simple shape of pants, shorts or skirt by drawing horizontal lines on the legs and slightly bringing out the garment on the outside of each leg.
Draw very simple rounded shapes for the shoes
Step 8. Go over your features
Once you like the design, go over its lines with a dark pen or felt-tip pen. Work carefully, as the ink will not come off. When you're done and the ink has dried completely, erase construction lines and other pencil marks.
Step 9. The drawing is finished
Good work !
Method 2 of 3: Represent your favorite character
Step 1. Choose a template
Search for an image of the character online. If you have a model, it will be much easier to reproduce the subject. Find a detailed picture of your favorite cartoon character and use it to help you draw.
You can even look for a tutorial on how to draw a particular character to make your job easier
Step 2. Draw the general shape
Use a pencil to draw circles, ovals, and rectangles to get the right perspective. For example, look closely at the face to determine if it is rather round or oval and draw that shape in the appropriate place. Perhaps the torso is rather oval. Make a corresponding sketch. Add rectangles for the limbs with circles or ovals for the arms.
Step 3. Add hands, ears and feet
If the character has unusual ears, like Mickey's round ears, draw them. Add ovals or circles for the hands depending on the shape of those of the character you have chosen.
Don't forget to draw shoes or feet
Step 4. Make the landmarks for the face and torso
Draw a curved vertical line in the middle of the face. Bend it to the side where the character is looking. If he's looking straight ahead, make a straight line. Draw a vertical line down the middle of the torso curving it to the side where the character is facing.
Also draw horizontal marks. Those in the face should be curved up or down depending on the orientation of the head. Those in the torso and stomach should define the curves of these parts to give them relief
Step 5. Fill the body
Draw the main elements that compose it. Connect the lines that make up the limbs and joints, and add the lines you haven't drawn yet around the body and torso. Use the curves in your model to properly position those in your drawing.
For example, some characters have very thin limbs while others have more defined curves
Step 6. Draw the clothes and the face
Add eyes, nose and mouth based on your landmarks and model. Pay attention to the proportions, that is to say the relative size of the different elements in relation to each other and the different distances between them. Draw lines around the limbs to represent sleeves, pants or a skirt as needed.
For the hair, draw a flattened V shape to represent the parting. Add curved or straight lines depending on the hair of the character you are reproducing
Step 7. Go over your features
When you're done, draw the character with a dark pen or felt tip pen. Be sure to iron on the lines of the drawing and not on those of construction. Let the ink dry completely, then erase construction lines and other remaining marks with a pencil.
Step 8. Admire your work
Method 3 of 3: Refine the drawing
Step 1. Make the strokes clear
Lightly press your pencil. If you try to draw with a pen from the start, you will not be able to correct your mistakes in the process. In addition, at the beginning you need construction traits. They should be traced with a pencil, because you will have to erase them at the end.
It is important not to press too hard. Otherwise, you will leave fingerprints in the paper
Step 2. Look at the interior structure
If you're struggling to get the right proportions, rely on the character's skeleton and muscles. Most art students struggle with proportions at first. To help you understand them, look at the basic anatomy of animals or humans. Try to search for anatomical drawings of the type of subject you want to draw online and copy them for practice.
Drawing lessons from live models can also be helpful in helping you draw cartoon characters
Step 3. Exaggerate some parts
Pick the ones you want to stand out. Cartoon characters should be overdone because their mere appearance helps to tell a story. If yours is angry, you can exaggerate their face with an enraged expression. If he's fierce, you can bring out his muscles or armor. To do this, give these parts slightly larger proportions compared to the rest of the body.
Step 4. Correct yourself as needed
Feel free to change the shape of the character as you draw. If the outlines don't suit you, erase them and redraw them. If you want the face to be more defined or cuter, adjust it as you draw it.
Since you are using a pencil, you can make changes to any part of the drawing. Also, as you realize it, you will see what form the character can take
Step 5. You are done
Well done !