How to Draw People And Characters




In this part of the website, I will show you how to draw people that are easy to reproduce, fun to draw and filled with great shadows and reflections. Indeed, my goal for these drawing lessons is to give you a few techniques to help you enhance your cartoon characters quickly and easily. Hopefully, the whole process will be amusing and not very painful! :)

If you want to complete all tutorials and achieve a result similar to mines, you will need to own a vector software. Doing everything manually is certainly feasible, but it's not the easiest and most effective technique.

You can find many cheap graphic software on the web. I use and recommend Xara Photo and Graphic Designer. Adobe Illustrator is also another great choice, but Xara is much more affordable and more intuitive for simple task.

Although we are using a simple 2D software, my goal is to create characters that also feels three dimensional. To do so, I will show you how to create simple shadows using the gradient tool, the transparency tool as well as a few basic shapes.

Each step comes with a detailed description and two pictures are also available to help you see the changes performed for each of these steps. This part of the website IS NOT about creating cartoon characters, but rather on how to enhance these characters with nice effects. I will show you how you can mix all those effects to come up with a drawing that will be gorgeous and simple.

Ready? Let's start with a few basic examples ...

an adorable cowboy to begin with

Our journey on how to draw people begins with this cute cartoon cowboy. This simple character is mostly filled with brown colors and drawn using circles, curved lines and filled with just a few basic details. Indeed, only the hat and the clothing are needed to recognize this fun character.

As you can see (and this will be true for all following lessons), the character doesn't have strokes or outlines. That's why shadows are crucial to make some elements (like the eyes) easy to read. This is even more relevant for a character like this one which is featuring only a few different colors.

How to draw people - Cowboy

From a male character to a female one

In this second example, a cute cartoon nurse can be seen standing with both arms opened. Once again, this character is mostly filled with a single color (light grey) and can easily be recognized even if only a few details are available. Shadows are needed almost everywhere to create depth and volume inside this illustration.



If you want to learn how to draw people that are different and easy to recognize, then it's important to draw all body parts accurately. In this case, we can easily identify this woman with details like long hair, a basic uniform required for her job and a smaller waist than the cowboy character we did earlier.

How to draw people - Nurse

let's try a fictional character now!

Drawing a boy or a girl is fun, but working on a fictional character filled with creepy details like a demon is even more challenging! The fun part about learning to draw these creatures is the fact that references are not always the same for each person. You can be creative and draw whatever you want! :)

In this case, I tried illustrating a fun cartoon demon featuring two large wings, sharp horns and a weird smile. Don't hesitate to try various accessories, colors, patterns and effects.

How to draw people - Demon

a simple snowman to work with something more relaxing

If you don't feel like working with a complex character like the demon we just did, you can try this fun snowman drawn with just a few circular shapes and filled with simple things like a hat, a scarf and branches. Most details are relatively easy to implement and don't require much advanced drawing skills.

As you can see below, even if a snowman is usually filled with a bright white color, you will need to use a touch of grey to create this effect properly. Nothing is 100% pure white in the real world, so we need to be cautious about this reality.

How to draw people - Snowman

be careful ... this witch is looking for trouble!

Let's go back to learning how to draw people (instead of objects like the snowman or fictional characters like the demon) and let's see if we can draw a beautiful cartoon witch loaded with small shadows and reflections inside the head, the body and the hat.

This fun illustration is a good challenge for people looking to work in areas that must be filled with strong and original shadows. The fifth step is a good example of how adding these elements can be tricky if you are not familiar with this character.

How to draw people - Witch

even more lessons on how to draw people are waiting for you!

Below you will find the complete list of all lessons available on how to draw people like the ones we just tried. Some of these lessons are offering great challenges (like the reaper, the devil and the troll) while others are simpler and easier to achieved (like the baby, the chef or the maid).

Once you are familiar with most techniques available inside these tutorials, don't hesitate to draw more characters (or even animals) using all the tips you have learned. Be creative and don't forget to practice as often as possible! That's the key to success! :)


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