How to Draw Cartoon Characters




Whether they come from space or from beyond the grave, whether they are young, old or eternal, knowing how to draw cute cartoon characters is always essential if you want to become a professional artist. Unlike animals, characters are much more challenging to draw when weird postures or body parts like hands are involved.

In this series, you will find a wide list of characters featuring a good range of subjects like ordinary people, creatures, monsters, fictional characters or just people working hard. Some lessons are slightly more difficult while others are pretty basic.

Some of these tutorials were created many years ago (when this site was created) while others are more recent. That's why you might have the feeling that some lessons are very much different from one another.

A few examples that you can try right now!

This is a good example of a simple lesson that you can try just to practice yourself a little bit. Snowmen are extremely easy to achieved since all you need to do is sketch a few basic circles (three in the case of the tutorial found below) and then add all the accessories needed to end up with the desired character.

These accessories are very easy to implement. The hat is made from a weird rectangle while the arms are done using broken lines. Three dots are added on the chest to form the buttons. A scarf made from three small rectangles is added below the head. Facial features are also represented by basic elements.

How to draw cartoon characters - a snowman

A cute cartoon boy for a more challenging tutorial

Now that we have worked on a very simple character, let's try something a little bit more complicated. At first, this cartoon boy might seem easy to illustrate. However, some areas can be tricky to sketch. Luckily, the legs are only represented by a large rectangle. The head and the body are also made from basic shapes.

However, adding hair to create a nice haircut can be frustrating at times. The hands are also more challenging to draw. Once you are able to work on the shape of the hand that can be seen on front, adding fingers behind will be very easy.

How to draw cartoon characters - a boy

Working on a different character ... and a new posture!

For this third example on how to draw cartoon characters, why not try to create a wonderful and adorable dinosaur? These terrible and aggressive creatures were once ruling the earth. It's now our turn! In this lesson, you can work with a large cartoon dinosaur from a side view while the animal is walking. Don't worry! This posture is not as tough to draw as it seems.



Indeed, the fourth step (the one with the legs made from rectangles) is really helpful to show you how to achieved this position easily. You can also go one step further and add shadows, highlights and textures if you want to!

How to draw cartoon characters - a dinosaur

Fictional characters are fun to illustrate too!

Illustrating a fictional character like a wizard is also rewarding. This lesson does offer a few challenges for beginners. First, the head is more complex and facial features are harder to draw. Sketching accurate proportions may be slightly more difficult. Fortunately, both hands are relatively easy to create.

Fictional cartoon characters are a joy to draw because often you can cheat a little. Since these imaginary creatures don't exist in real life, you can add accessories or play with various shapes more freely.

How to draw cartoon characters - a wizard

Want to draw a girl? How about drawing two!

Drawing a woman is also different from drawing a man. Some body parts are different (like the breast) while others are simply not drawn using the same proportion (like the shoulders, the waist and the hips). For the tutorial found below, you are invited to draw two beautiful young ladies using mostly circles, short rectangles and curved lines.

The posture and the facial expression of each character is also different from what we have seen so far. Unlike the previous boy that was drawn using a perfect circle to represent the head, these girls have a pointed chin.

How to draw cartoon characters - girls

a solid character made of steel

Sometimes you need to draw mostly rectangles, squares and triangles to end up with beautiful cartoon characters. It's certainly the case if you need to create a cool cartoon robot. The version found below is similar to most vintage robots seen in movies from the 50s and 60s. Small textures are added inside the arms and legs as shown below.

The last step is also important if you want to apply a few basic effects to the illustration. Indeed, some highlights and reflections are visible near the head of the character.

How to draw cartoon characters - robot

One last simple example before the big list! :)

Let's conclude this part of the tutorial by sketching an amazing pirate mostly made from simple elements. As you can see below, the head, the body and the legs are all made from small circles and squares. Even the skull found on the hat is pretty simple to create. The most challenging part is probably ... the hands (once again!). 

How to draw cartoon characters - pirate

Enjoy more cartoon characters to draw here!

We are not done yet! If you want to discover more cartoon characters and learn how to create additional fictional creatures, then you can use the list below! Most illustrations are done using the same tips, the same techniques and the same style as the characters we have drawn so far.

The first set below consist of simple cartoon illustration filled with sketches, tips and fun facts (just to make things more interesting!).

Here is the complete list of tutorials:

The second set of tutorials is made of simple step-by-step lessons. In most cases, each step is commented to give you an inside look at how to achieve your illustration perfectly.

How to use these drawing lessons

There are two types of drawing lessons in this section. First, some tutorials contain not only the drawing lesson itself, but also a few sketches of different characters and a few tips on important features that must be added. You can also enjoy a few fun facts to learn more about each character.

The other drawing lessons are simply made of easy commented steps. These tutorials are usually newer, but not necessarily more/less interesting and/or better than the old ones. They are simply different. It's up to you to choose between both format and see which one you prefer.

Are these tutorials appropriated for beginners?

Yes, but you can find easier drawing lessons if you want to. Just select any lessons under the "Beginners" section in the navigation menu on your left. These tutorials are perfect if you have little or no drawing experience. You can still try a few cartoon characters from this section, but some of them might be tougher to execute.

Can I use a vector software to create these illustrations?

Once again, you can, but these lessons were designed to be drawn with a pencil. You can find optimized tutorials for vector application under the "Vector Tutorials" section in the navigation menu on your left.

What should I do to get the most out of these lessons?

Take your time and practice. Don't hesitate to draw a particular character more than once. It's tough to succeed on your first attempt, but you should be able to get nice results if you draw the character two or three times. 

If you feel like you're stuck and cannot proceed any further, just select a new character. You can always work on the original lesson later. Drawing is all about practicing and being dedicated.

Another good tip would be to start your sketches using a pencil that won't create dark lines. Basic shapes created in the beginning of the lesson are usually erased very quickly. If these shapes are hard to remove, your illustration might be hard to read.

You can also use ink once the sketch is done, but this step is optional for now. Your main goal should be to draw cartoon characters as perfectly as possible.

Can I have access to printable files featuring these characters?

Yes and no. Under the link "Printable Resources" in the navigation menu, click on "Ebooks". From there, you will have access to all exclusive printable resources available on this site. Not all characters are available, but a few of them are. Learning how to draw these cute illustrations will be much easier using these templates.

You want to draw more characters? I suggest you take a look at this cool website for more tips: How To Draw Cartoon Characters of your choice. Create your own cartoon pencil drawing, it's so easy to have your favorite cartoon figure everywhere...


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