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My Lesson on How to Draw Cartoons

Updated on May 12, 2011
A Character reminiscent of the Gorillaz band, why not try a combination of scribbly & bold lines?
A Character reminiscent of the Gorillaz band, why not try a combination of scribbly & bold lines?

Why Do I Draw Cartoons?

I wanted to make this article my third follow on from two of my other hubs Fairground and Funfair Games and Charity Events and Fundraising. The reason for this is because I have so many photographs of the signs I am working on and want to share them with my regular readers but also I like to go into more depth about how I achieve the quality. The characters I have been painting are fairly simple to me but to the unprofessional artist they may like to here some of the small tricks I used to get them as bold and exact as the original print off that I use as a reference.

This is a step by step guide and I will begin with how I draw a cartoon character on a blank board with pencil because it good foundation for me to have a strong 'blueprint'.

Photo courtesy of

How do I draw a cartoon?

Here is a photograph of one of my most recent signs for the Wilkinsons 'Open Day' charity event, I thought it was a good example of how to draw a funny cartoon because the rats features are over emphasized and he has a cheeky hands like he is grasping for cheese. When drawing cartoon eyes and expressions it is important that you get them right because they hold the most attention to the viewer, misinterpretations can often occur for example; one of my viewers thought that the rat looked happy considering he was going to get splatted but you can also consider that his eye brows are raised so it is also a nervous smile.

I designed the lettering fairly quickly but they are in suit with drawing cartoons because they are almost graffiti like and squashed to indicate a playful splat rather than making it appear gory.

Step by Step drawing Cartoons

I have included many photographs here of how I went about drawing cartoons which I documented in those previous hubs mentioned above, I did this to show how I added particular detail to improve the overall quality, however there will be more photographs uploaded in future hubs of more completed characters.

One way to add detail is to use prominent colors such as metalic paint, although this depends on which medium you are using and the surface to be painted. I have used these to give realistic effect to the trash cans in the Top Cat painting above.

How to draw cartoons step by step

Depending on which cartoons you require, a good resource to begin researching is on Google Image search, you can find easy to draw cartoons and obscure themes such as the 'Goalie Bear' which I have recently finished creating in the picture above. He is an easy character but when done properly can produce a impressive sign for the funfair game if you notice the scenery I have draw surrounding him such as the goal net and typography.

Remember it is important to get the symetry of his almost eliptical face right and if need be use a round object to draw around for the football.

Draw Cartoons and Paint them

As we can see in the above photograph; cartoons rely on block colors and bold lines to make them work, as long as you have the patience to create these with precise and clear brush strokes, any other details to improve how you draw cartoons can be added later.

It really is a matter of building layers and it is a process which a childhood TV artist called Neil Buchanan once taught us on his TV show 'Art Attack', he took the layering technique to extremes by creating large scale images using objects such as clothing folded and layered across areas such as football fields and tarmac surfaces.

If you found this article of mine useful you may like to checkout my other hub with 'Different types of Drawing', this explains more 'Drawing How To' lessons.


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    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      brilliant, i always wished drawing came easy to me but alas, i cannot draw.... here are some tips i will come back to on a rainy day, thanks

    • N.E. Wright profile image

      N.E. Wright 7 years ago from Bronx, NY

      Hello Richieb799,

      Wow, you are talented.

      I have several family members that are talented artists, and a young niece who is interested in learning.

      I will show her your drawings on your Hub.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      Hi Sidpoudyal, thanks for your comment, if you would like to see the finished version, follow the link which says 'Funfair & Fairground games' in the first paragraph of this hub. cheers

    • sidpoudyal profile image

      sidpoudyal 7 years ago from Redondo Beach

      Top Cat! da da di di ba da Top Cat!

      What? You are way to young to remember top cat ;) Do you think you will get to finish painting that drawing? It looks like its going to be great!

    • profile image

      xres55rummerxr 7 years ago

      Real nice cartoons. If you have the time maybe you could break it down for us even more and post a youtube video then embed it here. Just a thought. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 7 years ago


      Nice hub! I just discovered that you are an artist. Thanks for the lesson on how to draw cartoons! It was nice going through this hub. =)

    • Richieb799 profile image

      Richieb799 7 years ago from Cardiff, Wales UK

      Thanks Wayne, your the real pro at cartoons mind,I've checked yours out many a time, my specialty is more portraiture.

    • waynet profile image

      Wayne Tully 7 years ago from Hull City United Kingdom

      Hey I remember top cat...even the song that went with it drawings!

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 7 years ago from Lone Star State

      nicely done sir---another great artist hub

    • Bimendra gun profile image

      Bimendra gun 7 years ago from Sri Lanka

      you're great writer riechieb, thank you very much for following me

    • HappyHer profile image

      HappyHer 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      That's great. I don't draw very well, but I might try my hand at some cartoon sketches!