How to Draw Cartoon People (And Body Parts)




Before learning how to draw beautiful cartoon people like the ones found on this site, you must know how to draw each body part accurately. Men and women have unique physical particularities that you need to understand and study in order to sketch realistic postures and characters.

If you don't know how to draw a simple hand or a nose, chances are you won't be able to know how to draw people that will look convincing to your readers. Of course, you can always play with each body parts of your character if you wish. Do you prefer to draw someone with four fingers? Go ahead! You want to create a woman with long legs and small arms? Why not! Be creative!

Drawing a person is really simple once you know what they're made of. Take a look at all the examples below and study each of them carefully. Once you will feel more comfortable, play with those parts and start creating amazing cartoon characters!

The first thing we need to draw: a head!

Naturally, most of use are usually working on the head first when sketching a cartoon character. This is the part of the body where it all happens (facial expressions, dialogues, emotions). It's important to know how to place the eyes properly, how to create a nice jaw or how to create perspective using only a few simple tips.

In this case, the lesson below is featuring a basic head of a male with no hair. See how this head is simply illustrated using a large circle and a solid square? Also, note on the final image how a few subtle lines are added around the mouth to add a little bit of realism to this cartoon character.

Cartoon people and body parts: head

Want a more challenging head? Try this one!

The previous head was the one of a young man with a soft skin and virtually no shadows or highlights. If you want to work on a more challenging illustration, then this tutorial of the head of an older man is definitely for you! Loaded with wrinkles, shadows and tough ares to duplicate, you will learn a lot while drawing this character!

This basic image is filled with subtle shadows that are a joy to create! Notice how not a single shape is filled with color gradients. Shadows are strong and quite visible throughout the lesson, but these elements must be very subtle (you can see the difference when you are comparing the last image with all the others).

Cartoon people and body parts: old head

Working with realistic eyes

Eyes are the most interesting element to draw on a character. An eye can be made of a simple circle filled with a dot or a complex object loaded with reflections, shadows and textures. In the example found below, it can be considered a mix of both. Indeed, the shape of the eye is pretty basic, but some details found inside are slightly more complex to create.



Don't worry if you are struggling with this part of the body! Eyes are extremely difficult to get right. Unfortunately, you must learn how to draw realistic eyes if you want to succeed at drawing characters. Eyes and pupils are the first place a reader will look when analyzing a simple cartoon illustration.

Cartoon people and body parts: eyes

Don't forget to create nice ears too!

Ears are also a fascinating body part to create. Let's face it ... ears are really weird to sketch. They have a really unique shape that can be tricky to illustrate if you don't pay attention to all details carefully. In the example found below, the cartoon ear is filled with simple shadows to help you understand how this element must be drawn. Don't hesitate to use all the references needed to create an accurate ear in your work.

Cartoon people and body parts: ears

Another fun part to sketch: the nose!

Just like most body parts from a simple cartoon character, the nose can be made of a simple curved line. However, if you want to work with more realistic cartoon people images, then learning how to draw a long (and beautiful) nose made from several curved lines (not just one) can be a good idea. 

In this lesson, you can see how the cartoon nose is created from two small oval shapes and a long straight line. Once again, it's important to draw just a few shadows in the right places to end up with a nice result. Don't forget to create a small reflection on the tip of the nose to complete this simple drawing lesson.

Cartoon people and body parts: nose

Not a body part, but still very important!

This section is not only dedicated to body parts, but also to clothing. Indeed, some body parts are often hidden by pants, socks, or jackets and learning how to draw these objects is also important if you want to succeed at creating cartoon people. Once you are done drawing heads, eyes, noses and ears, why not create a beautiful jacket to complete the top part of your character?

Drawing a cartoon jacket is relatively easy using small rectangles and squares. You biggest challenge (if you want to end up with a realistic illustration) is to add all these textures using shadows and reflections. 

Cartoon people and body parts: jacket

One last piece of clothing before proceeding with the full list

So far we have worked mostly on the head and the top part of the cartoon character. For this last example, why not create pants using mostly rectangles. Once again, the real challenge is to draw all the imperfections and draw realistic shadows inside this illustration. References can be handy when working with clothing since a different posture can mean new shapes and shadows to draw.

Cartoon people and body parts: pants

Drawing great body parts to create great cartoon people!

Below you can have access to all lessons from this series to help you draw fun cartoon people made with beautiful eyes, realistic noses, short ears, complex hands and wearing nice piece of clothing. Don't hesitate to look at yourself in the mirror to study all these elements carefully and understand precisely how they must be drawn. :)

Are these drawing lessons for beginners or not?

Of course, these drawing lessons are easy and can be done by beginners with basic abilities. No need to use complex shapes or create amazing textures to get the desired effects. A few lessons (like the pants or the t-shirt) requires a few notions that are more difficult to apply. Indeed, shapes are not easy to duplicate and adding a few extra elements to create shadows and reflections can be more challenging.

Why pants and t-shirts? These are not bodyparts!

It's true, but these elements are crucial to create the perfect cartoon people. These tutorials should help you draw all those basic elements that are needed to end up with a realistic and interesting cartoon character.

The next step is to practice drawing these elements and incorporate them into your illustrations. Even more important is the fact that you must use your own style to draw your cartoon people. Don't hesitate to try different things. You never know what will be relevant or not until you draw it yourself!

Yes! It's time to draw and practice now! :)

Cool! All the most important body parts that you need to draw are available above. Don't hesitate to try them all and practice as much as needed to help you find you own style. Like I always suggest, don't hesitate to use a drawing software to convert your illustrations into vector designs. Vector images always look more professional and it's an easy way to improve your artwork in no time! So start sketching cute cartoon people right now and happy cartooning!


Go back from How to draw cartoon people (and body parts) to home page














Pascal and Hal - Webcomic

Follow the current adventures of Pascal & Hal, two lovely cartoon characters gifted with amazing personalities. New and exclusive comic strips are added twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays). Enjoy!