How to draw cartoons: All you need to know about it

A cartoon refers to a single or a series of drawings that tell a story or joke. Although it is mostly drawn, cartoons can sometimes also be animated. In this article, we will look at how can draw cartoons. Read on to find out more!

History of cartoons

History of cartoons

Using images to tell stories was used in prehistoric times.
After the invention of the printing press, all kinds of news reached the public through heavily illustrated printed flyers or pamphlets. By the early 19th century, many magazines and newspapers began publishing satirical political cartoons.
We see cartoons on the internet in newspapers and even as animated films.

Why are cartoons so popular?

The cartoon is an important part of every child’s life. Not only do they provide entertainment, but they also help young children learn more about the world around them. For example, children learn about loss, love, friendship and other essential life issues through watching cartoons. 

However, cartoons are not limited to children. Cartoons created for an adult audience explore darker themes and go deeper into real-life problems. They aim to produce content that matches the age and maturity of the audience.

In general, cartoons are popular as they are fun and provide escapism from the harsh and competitive reality. 

How do you start to Draw Cartoons?

How do you start to Draw Cartoons?

To start drawing cartoons, begin by learning how to draw basic shapes. You will probably already know how to draw basic shapes like a square, triangle or circle, but drawing cartoons requires you to learn to draw pyramids, spheres, cylinders and hexagons. 

Then, learn shading and darkening techniques to make your drawings more realistic. Some techniques you can learn include cross-hatching, hatching and veiling. Also, learn how to draw perspective. This establishes perspective in the eyes of the audience.

Once you are confident with the basics, begin sketching things around you. You can draw the bottle on your table, a window, the vase on it or even the bird you can see outside. Then practice drawing stick figures. 

Finally, follow sample work and tutorials. You can also copy your favourite characters as practice. 

Learn to draw cartoons

What Factors should you consider when creating a Cartoon Character?

1. Keep your audience in mind. 

Firstly, determine if your character is for children or adults. Should it be playful or serious? Once the audience is determined, move on to choosing the colour scheme of your character. Younger audiences prefer bright and colourful scenes while older ones like more visual stimulation. 

2. Decide how the character will be used. 

will your character only appear in still images, or will it be in 2D or 3D animation? depending on its use, a character has to be designed differently. Characters in still images or 2D animation can be unrealistic or bizarre. However, characters modelled in 3D animations must be designed with the ground in the physical world. A character in a 3D one. 

with tiny legs and a large body would be quite comical in a 2D animation. However, the same character would probably topple. Thus, you need to decide how the character is used to determine its design and range of motion. 

3. Research real-life examples

Use a real-life object, animal or person to model your character. Although you probably already know how a dog, cat or person looks like, it might be difficult to craft their body parts, hands and feet from memory. 

4. Keep it simple

Lastly, keep your design simple. You do not need to create a character with several hundred moving parts. Instead, create an extraordinarily simple character. This always works better to capture the audience’s attention. 

5. Add proportions

Add proportions

Proportion is important to building a cartoon character. The artist must define the characters structural feature to depict their characteristic. For example, a bully with a combative nature will have a small head but a large chest. Furthermore, the muscle will also be visible in his arms and legs. On the other hand, a timid character will have a larger head but a lanky body. 

6. Draw characters in different positions

It is crucial to draw characters in different positions, situations and clothing.

How to create your Cartoon Style?

Creating your cartoon style involves getting inspiration or ideas from your favourite cartoons. For example, you may like the mouth shapes from Family Guy or the trippy colours of Rick and Morty.

Secondly, your cartoon style is dependent on what you can draw consistently. Don’t give up on drawing cartoons because your drawings are not good. to find your art style!

Materials required for Drawing Cartoons

1. Paper

You can use standard A4 paper or sheets of high-quality sketching paper. 

2. Pads

Using 70gsm paper pads are a great alternative to using loose paper. Similarly, you can also opt for a sketchbook. 

3. Pencils


You would require pencils of caries hardness and lengths. 2B, 3B and 4B are generally used more often than others. Pencils in the 6B or 8B range are very soft and allow for smudging, thus they are meant for ketching work. On the other hand, pencils in the 2H, H or HB range are not soft enough and don’t allow for a smooth drawing experience. 

You can also opt for a mechanical pencil for more detailed work. 

4. Pens

Fine liner pens are a great way to add some extra dimension to your drawings. they are available in sizes 0.05mm,0.1mm to 0.3 mm. 

5. Erasers

Erasers are essential when drawing cartoons. Ensure that the eraser is not too rough as you do not want to tear the paper while erasing your drawing. 

6. Pencil Sharpeners

Again, another essential item for drawing cartoons. 

7. Colouring

Staedtler Luna Colour Pencils Set - Stationery Guy

You can opt for a medium for your choice. Some popular options include colour pencils and brush pens. 

Steps involved in Character Design

1. Research

First, begin to look for objects or people that inspire your character. Using reference images determine how your character will look. 

2. Sketching

Create a rough sketch of your design. Create whatever character you want without being worried about your final lines or proportions. This helps build a solid base to come up with new ideas for your final character. 

3. Construction

The construction of your character is essential for a strong shape and proportion. 

4. Tracing

Once you have a rough sketch of your design, trace it to determine the final look of your character. 

How do you draw cartoons step by step?

1. Begin by drawing the head of the cartoon girl. The head can be a circle, pear-shaped, oblong etc.

2. Create an outline for the rest of the body. Use ovals, pear shapes or circles to do so. For example, use two circles, one for the chest and one for the stomach to create a heavyset man. 

3. Then, add lines for the limbs placing ovals where the elbows and hands should be. 

4. Incorporate a line of action on the side of the body. This line doesn’t always refer to movement. Instead, it is a curved line added to give your figure a sense of dimension.

5. Then, add guidelines for different parts of the body. 

6. Using the guidelines drawn, fill in the details in the head first. Determine what emotion you want your character to express and use your guidelines to draw the eyes, mouth and nose accordingly. A simple guide to follow: Draw the eyes on the horizontal guidelines, the nose on the point of crossing of the vertical and horizontal lines and the mouth below the horizontal line. Use a small hook or cure for the noes, oval for the eyes and a curve for the mouth.

Image source: Google

7. Eyes play an essential role to showcase emotion. therefore choose the placement and shape of the eyes carefully. Big, slightly crossed eyes make the character appear innocent while tilted eyes with closed eyebrows can indicate anger. 

8. Once complete, sketch in the torso and limbs using straight-line got the upper arms and thigs and round lines for the lower arms and calves. 

9. A rectangle with three lines on the front and one on the side indicate a closed fist.

10. Add in finishing touches like shoes, clothes and accessories. 

11. Finally, fill in the lines with a pen or marker. Color the image and your cartoon girl are ready. 


1. What platforms can beginners use to learn how to draw cartoons?

You can learn to draw on almost any platform. Several artists put up character design and drawing lessons for a beginner on youtube, which you can watch for free. alternatively, you can pay for classes on Udemy and Skillshare which offer a variety of cartoon drawing learning modules. Lastly, you can also purchase a book, for example, Learn How to Draw Cartoons – For the Absolute Beginner, to learn the basics of cartoon drawing pictures. 

2. What careers can you choose if you like to draw cartoons?

If you like to draw cartoons, then the following are the career paths you can take.


Average salary: $17.20 per hour

Animators create movies cartoons for films or video games. As a cartoonist, you will enjoy and excel in this field. Animators begin by hand drawing rough sketches of their characters, but use computer software to create the final version. Furthermore, animators are required to draw every aspect of the character including the background and the foreground. 

Graphic Designer

Average salary: $17.50 per hour

Graphic designers create original images for websites, print media, clothing, signs and logos. They require a strong knowledge of the brand they are designing for. 

Art teacher

Average salary: $18.20

What better way to practice art every day than to become an art teacher. Art teachers work from elementary school to college. They aim to teach students a variety of art methods. State certification is required to teach art. Furthermore, you must be a good communicator and be able to use a variety of techniques, thus being able to tailor the instructional methods to each student’s style.


 Average salary: $43,756 per year

An illustrator creates drawings for advertisements, logos, magazines or books. 

Motion graphics designer

Average salary: $70,289 per year

Motion graphic designers take the animation to the next level by using visual effects and cinematic techniques to make movie artwork look realistic. These designers use computer software and programming to create drawings that are in motion. This is a career field that is slowly gaining popularity.

3. How to draw bodies of cartoon characters?

It is common practice among artists to use pear shapes to create the body of a character.  

Alternatively, you can use the inverted pear shape to create a character that is strong or powerful. 

4. How to draw a cartoon face?

  • Begin by drawing the basic shape of the face. This could be a circle, oval or any other shape. 
  • Then draw the eyes, To make the eyes draw an oval shape with a slight tilt to the side. Repeat on the opposite side. Lave a gap between the eyes approximately the same length as the eye itself. 
  • Then, draw eyelashes on top of the oval. Place the eyebrows above the eyelashes. The position of the eyebrows also helps determine the expression and demotion of the character. 
  • Now we come to the jaw. The shape and size of the jaw determine if the character is fat, thin, old or young.
  • Then, draw the nose. When drawing a nose from the front, it is common to not draw too many details. On the other hand, when drawing from the side, it is common to draw only one side of the nose. 
  • Make a cartoon mouth. Use something simple to express innocence. Use a simple shape to draw the ears. 
  • Then, draw the hair. Hair showcases the personality of the character. Therefore, pick the appropriate hairstyle. You may look at photo references to draw the hairstyle. 
  • Finally, the character is complete. 

5. How to draw a cartoon chick?

  • Firstly, divide the page into four halves.
  • Then draw a circle in between the page using the top two lines as a guide. 
  • Now, using two U or curve lines, draw the body and join the lines at the face.
  • Erase the neckline
  • Then draw the beak and the eyes.
  • Draw the wings and the feet.
  • Draw the grass and the sun.
  • Finally, colour the diagram.
  • Your cartoon chick is complete.

6. How to draw Patrick Starfish from Spongebob?

  • Begin by drawing a large circle.
  • Then, draw a cone on the circle. Repeat the process by drawing two smaller cones on either side of the larger ones such that it slightly overlaps the larger cone.
  • Draw two small cones for the feet.
  • Draw a curved line starting from the left to the right side. The resulting line should look like a smiley face.
  • On the big cone, draw a circle and a smaller circle with it. This forms the eye of the character.
  • Our starfish is facing left. Thus, draw the second eye close to the first one such that it is coming out of the bigger cone. 
  • Draw two slant lines for the eyebrows.
  • Finally, draw the mouth. 
  • Now colour the image and your drawing of Patrick the starfish is complete. 

7. How to draw your favourite character, Doraemon?

  • Begin by drawing two small ovals in the middle of the page. Then draw two rings inside these. Fill the rings to make them the eyes. 
  • Then, draw a circle between the two eyes. Ensure the circle overlaps with the left eye. Then, draw a curved vertical line underneath the circle as well as a horizontal line that curves upward.
  • Sketch a loose circle shape to make the head.
  • Draw the whiskers using 6 short, straight lines. Then, complete the head by drawing two curved lines to complete the face. 
  • Draw another curved line underneath to make the collar. Sketch a circle in the middle of it.  
  • Then, draw a large circle near the right side of the body to make the foot. Draw a short curved line at the top and another that curves upward towards the body.
  • Lastly, use two curved lines inside the body to make the stomach, and draw another curved line that looks like a smiling mouth. 
  • Your drawing is now complete. Colour the nose and collar red, the bell yellow or golden, the outside of the body a sky blue and keep the inside white. Outline your image with a pen or marker to give it the finishing touches. 

8. How to draw Spiderman for beginners and children?

  • Firstly, begin by drawing the guideline of a man. Use simple straight lines and circles to do so. Mark the proportion of the body such that the chest is wider than the pelvis. 
  • Then, draw two intersecting lines as guidelines for the facial features. The vertical divides the circle into two halves while the horizontal line is a little below the middle of the circle. 
  • Then, begin shaping the torso and neck of the superhero. Similarly, draw the pelvis and a tapering waist.  
  • Now that you have your basic outline of the body ready, draw the limbs. To do so, create a set of small boxed circles and rectangles. Draw the legs using cylinders that are thinner at the end. Keep the proportions of the body in check while drawing as you do not what the limbs to be larger or smaller than the torso. 
  • Now we begin drawing the face. Create the eyes of the mask. The eyes look line slanted U shapes with a line on the top. Then add some relief to the legs and arms of the superhero. 
  •  Once you have correctly outlined, erase the extra guidelines and complete the finishing touches. 
  • Draw vertical lines of the web close to the nose bridge, again, radiating out from the nose. Once complete, you should have webs on all the red sections of the costume including the face, gloves, torso and boots. 
  • Analyze the figure and mark any other detail remaining. Then erase all the excess guidelines to make your drawing look polished and complete.
  • Finally, colour the image and your spiderman cartoon is complete. 

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