In this tutorial, and by using some various outline examples, I will show you how you can create a cartoon character that is different and fun to look at.
All you need to do is create an outline that is original and relevant. Here are some examples to help you get started (on the right of each picture, you will find isolated parts of the character to give you a better idea of the effect involved)!
The first image displayed above is one of a normal character. All lines used to create the outline are similar in sizes. The result is a character that looks plain, solid and sharp. It's your best choice if you want to create a funny-looking character for children.
This second example is similar to the previous one only the line is a little thinner. The character is more refined and elegant. You can also use this example to create a character for children. But the drawing can also be appropriate for older kids who prefer cartoon characters with more attitude.
This third example is a little more complex to create. Adding variations to the line's width will make the drawing more refine and fragile.
However, it can be tricky to create a character like this one. You cannot just add thick lines anywhere. For example, you can create the thinner section of the line on top of each part of the character. If you don't draw the outline using a logical pattern, the drawing won't be as effective and visually attractive.
This example is similar to the one shown previously. But the line is thinner and very subtle. Just don't make the line too thin or you will lose your character in the background (but it doesn't really matter for this example since the background is white!
This fifth example is also interesting. The previous example showed a line with one thick part only. This example is different. The line looks like a big wave. But as you can see, this effect doesn't work well on all parts of the drawing.
The body, for example, works pretty well. But the ears are a little distracting to look at. The problem could be resolved by creating an ear using only a couple of waves (instead of 10, like it's the case right now).
Out of the many outline examples available in this tutorial, this one is probably the most interesting one. Drawing an outline that is light, irregular and slightly blurred will give an illusion of fur to the dog. This cartoon dog looks a little more realistic! But it does involve more work if you are drawing your characters with a normal pencil.
This example is similar to the one shown previously. But notice that the line is darker and thicker. It's still effective, but it would probably become annoying if the line was even more thicker and darker! Finding the right balance is the key!
Finally, you have an example of things you should not do. The outline is created with a mixed of straight lines and dots. It's visually ugly and distracting. Try to stick with something more subtle! Your goal is not to show the outline of your character, but to make this one attractive and pleasant to look at!
I hope the various outline examples available on this page are enough to stimulate your imagination. And don't hesitate to try new things! I've only played with a couple of options here. I'm sure you can come up with new ideas too!
And don't hesitate to trust your judgment. If you feel the outline you have created doesn't work, even if you can't tell the reason (why) it's not working, just go with your feelings.
Another simple tip would be to show your work to others. Accept all the critics with pleasure and just go from there to create new characters with killer outlines! So start generating new ideas using these outline examples and good luck!