How to Draw Cartoons

Part 1

Learning how to draw cartoons is much easier than most people think. If you doodle, you can learn how to draw cartoons – it’s really that simple. 4anime

As with all visual art, the trick is to develop an eye for proportions. The basic proportions can be taught but much practice is required before you can quickly sketch what’s in your head and get it right the first time. I like to think of this first step using a term from architecture – “massing”. An architect starts a drawing by trying out various decisions that connect the sub-parts of his creation to the larger work. An artist sketching a concept for a cartoon is no different. Start with a rough idea of what you want to draw. Begin drawing some crazy lines and forms. Arrange these roughly to depict the object you want to draw. By externalizing your existing knowledge of proportions you are in a better position to see what needs fixing. Play with the image by trying different “massing” decisions.

There are many levels that you can apply this technique to as you approach the scene you are rendering:
1. The level of the picture as a whole and the act of composing the scene.
2. The level of how body parts relate to each other
3. The level of how features on a face for example are to be arranged.

Specific examples of proportions can be helpful as well as more general guiding principles:
1. For kids, a body height equal to head height
2. For adults, a body height twice that of head height
3. Similar, modified rules apply to animals of different ages

Although they cannot include every potential scenario you would like to draw, as you work through specific examples, you will end up teaching yourself tricks that apply to more general settings.

Another useful tip to put your drawing practice into overdrive: Practice your drawing with an “upside down still life” technique. What do I mean by this? Your brain is conditioned to fill in the gaps when looking at an object rather than “really” looking at it. Try this simple exercise with an object in your environment that you think you know

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