- Arts and Design
Having Fun Creating Cartoon Art
Enjoying Digital Cartoon Graphic Design
Creating cartoon characters with simple designs and altering those designs in unique and interesting ways can take you down unexpected paths and add to the total fun. You can start creating all kinds of cartoon people and animals and all of a sudden you've got a cartoon universe filled with an interesting cast of characters that was a blast to make. You can add these cartoon characters to an array of products in Print-on-Demand online stores such as Zazzle, GreetingCardUniverse, CafePress or Redbubble or create greeting cards on several online sites. You can sell these or order your own so you have a supply of your own cartoon art cards to give on different occasions. The wonderful thing about putting cartoons out there is that cartoons are always timeless and don't really get stale.
People just love them!
Starting with Simple Shapes
When creating a new cartoon character, I frequently creates circles and stretch other shapes. I like to start this in Inkskape because it is easy to move the objects around independently with this vector program. I usually take these shapes and start to paint, stretch and redraw them in GIMP or Photoshop Elements. You may only need one program if you are adept at using it. I use about 4 different graphic programs frequently, depending on the filters and my comfort level with the task at hand.
The image beside this text is a simple shape created in Inkscape I painted and added details to make the female figure in a lot of these cards.
Inkskape is a free download and has a ton of functionality. GIMP is very easy to use and is also free. A tutorial for both are available online.
It just takes time and practice.
Great Stuff on Amazon
Reusing and Transforming Design Elements
This is of the first character designs I did from the shape in the picture above. This design is the genesis of a dozen of other designs I have made and will probably result in more. In fact, the introductory picture of this lens is a derivative design from this.
Open one of your cartoon characters or any photo you have in a graphic design program and select Filter/Distort. From this menu experiment with the Polar Coordinates or Whirl and Pinch or Twist functions. The filter might stretch out the character or image, change the orientation and change the pose enough for new interesting ideas you can use on greeting cards, t-shirts, etc.
The possibilities are endless. Be sure to save copies of the new pictures and save the original. Add some new color and change up a few other design elements and you might end up with five designs from it in no time.
Some great Cartoon Figures from Talented Artists on Greeting Card Universe
Here are some great examples from some very talented artists of cartoon
figures on GCU.
Example Cartoon Drawings on Greeting Cards
Many of these cards are examples of the different cards I created from variations of that original cartoon character.
YouTube GIMP Totorial
This will help you get started with this free graphic design/photo editor program that has a lot of functionality and is easy to use. That's a more than be said of some software you purchase.
Drawing a Cartoon Tiger
This YouTube Video shows you how to draw a tiger. I'll keep rotating these videos every week so come back for more.
What to Do WIth Those Cartoons
You can do many things with those cartoons. You can do some of the following things:
* Put them on a greeting card site such as Greeting Card Universe
* And you can also add the designs to your Zazzle site or use them in your blog
* Create a political cartoon and make your own shirt with it
* Create your own comic book and sell it
* Write a children's book with your cartoon illustrations
* Create prints of your creation on a much larger canvas-just make sure the image
will not be pixelated on a larger canvas or print
* Market these prints at an art fair
* Teach an art class
These are just a few adventurous things you can do.
Designs Do Not Have to be Complex
You can make your designs as simple or complex as you want them. You can spend the time to add lots of background details like found in many comic books. I prefer a cleaner, less busy design that gets to the heart of the emotion or thought, but enjoy looking at some of the complexity and intricacy of others' work. Start simple and you can always add complexity later as you get more comfortable with your digital palette and experience.
For greeting cards, multiple borders and backgrounds can be added to spruce things up. The digital painting of the snowman is an example of a more complex drawing I did with more detail. I worked hard to create the icy looking details for the holidays. I get satisfaction from the simple and complex designs. Get started and enjoy what comes from your cartoon universe.