Create Your Very Own Cartoon Character!
Have you ever wondered how the cartoon characters on TV are created? Maybe you have the drawing skills but not enough knowledge in cartoon character design. Regardless, this drawing cartoon tutorial/article will teach you the step-by-step process to designing your own funny cartoon character. Once you have finished reading the tuorial you will know how to draw a cartoon. Before we start, you must promise yourself to remember this key method throughout your character design: KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Step One: The Idea
This step is the foundation of your cartoon characters. You DO NOT need your pencil for this step unless you are taking notes. In other words you are not drawing during this stage. I guarantee you that you will thank yourself once you get to the later steps.
Simplify your message by analyzing the profile of your cartoon character design.
Choose if your cartoon character is male or female, tall or short, fat or skinny, animal/creature/human, etc.
Impress your audience by applying a set emotion to your cartoon design.
Is your character sad, happy, disgusted, scared, or angry?
Show your desired emotion through your cartoon character's facial expression and body language (hand gestures, weight balance, etc.)
Choose effective wardrobe, props, and hair styles.
Is your custom cartoon character wearing a shirt? Pants? Hat? YOU decide.
Match these things to the mood of your character (example: if your character is sad try long droopy clothes; if your cartoon character is mad go with sharp/pointy clothes.)
Consider facial hair and head hair. Does your character have long hair? Short hair? Is he/she bald? Does it have a goatee? Beard?
As you can see on the example above, we have given this cartoon character a playful hairstyle and a clean-shaven face.
You should now have a good idea as to what your cartoon character is goin to look like.
Step Two: Structure
It is now time to pick up that pencil and get to work on your cartoon character design.
Work with basic forms.
Spheres, cubes, cylinders, you name it. Anything that is simple and three-dimensional.
Spheres work great for heads.
*** THINK ROUGH DURING THIS STAGE! ***
Construct the ENTIRE form of your character before refining any individual section. (Think 3D!!!)
Choose the direction your character is facing. In the case of this guy with the lemon water, he is facing at a three-quarters angle.
Step Three: Proportions And Balance
This step is very important. Think it through and take your time. If your character does not look balanced then it will look terrible.
Exaggerate your forms.
Make skinny cartoons even skinnier, make fat cartoon characters even fatter.
Your cartoon characters must appear as though they are supporting their own weight.
Step Four: Dig In!
Here is where we pay close attention to individual sections of the character.
Apply minor detail to individual sections of your cartoon character art.
Sketch roughly the placement of features (eyes, mouth, nose, fingers, etc.)
Distort forms to your own liking. Be playful and match the mood of your cartoon character design (if he is stubborn, make him stiff and square; if he is happy make him round and bubbly).
***SLOW DOWN! REFLECT ON YOUR CHARACTER BEFORE YOU CONTINUE!***
Step Five: Touchup
Add funny cartoon features and details to enhance the humor of your cartoon (example: reflection on sunglasses in my cartoon guy).
Fix any spacing issues. Negative space and space between facial features is significant to your cartoon design.
Step Six: Finalize Your Design
Let's complete this thing!
Trace your lines with a pen or digital software such as Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. This process will create crisp clean lines that will read well to your audience.
Add color. Match your colors throughout and don't overdo it!
Congrats! You're done. Now you know how to draw a cartoon. Add this character tutorial to your favorites and follow it step by step each time you draw your cartoon characters. Remember, practice makes perfect. If you're having trouble, give it a rest and come back to it. You will succeed!
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Copyright ©2009 by RottenToons.com. Created by Ty Lombardi. All rights reserved. You MUST learn how to draw a cartoon.