How to Make Cartoons

When an artist sketches cartoons, he uses consistency in the style of his characters. Cartoon fans unknowingly look for consistency to help them to recognize an artist quickly. Achieve consistency by sketching the same basic shapes for each cartoon character, such as pear-shaped heads. A new artist will find sketching cartoons helps him improve his drawing skills. Cartoons use the same basic rules of fine art in composition and perspective, but allow for the freedom of creativity when it comes to realism.

Step 1

Sketch out basic outlines shapes using a non-photo blue pencil. Non-photo blue will not show up when making copies the way leftover pencil marks will.

Step 2

Add character to the cartoon’s personality through its facial features. By changing round eyes to slanted eyes you can change the emotion from light to intense. Add other personality traits like a belly or a punk rock hairstyle.

Step 3

Go back over established lines with a black pen or marker; make a copy before adding color.

Step 4

Add details to the finished cartoon, such as a copyright notice, your name and an e-mail address. A good place to put this is between the gutters for multiple panels or in the right top corner for a single panel.


  • "Drawing on the Funny Side of the Brain;” Christopher Hart; 1998
  • “How to Draw and Paint Crazy Cartoon Characters: Create Original Characters with Lots of Personality;” Vincent Woodcock; 2007

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Comments 2 comments

Ryan 5 years ago

this is really a great article. I am a cartoon artist as well and you can have a look of my work at

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carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

Something new to learn and add to my repetoire of interests. I never though about cartoons in this light. And you made it easy.

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