Good Advice On Drawing Cartoons
Here is some advice I’ve put together that might help you if you’d like to learn to draw cartoons:
There are no permanent rules in cartooning, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t advice. Following suggestions can help you draw better and lead you to discoveries of your own. Just remember, when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing that you must do or must not do in your cartoons. At times you can break rules of proportion, perspective, color, anatomy, and logic. Be messy. Be neat. Be wacky. Be wild. It’s up to you.
Start out simple
Start with the easy stuff. The hard stuff will come later. But guess what? Eventually the hard stuff will seem easy.
Take your time
Learning something new takes time. It’s better to get it right than to do it quickly. In time you will be able to draw faster automatically. Improve at your own pace. Besides, cartooning is so fun, why would you want to rush?
For big projects it helps to plan and prepare in advance. This means making sketches, sometimes lots of sketches, gathering materials, maybe making notes and outlines – even before you begin your main drawing. Other times you don’t have to plan anything. You can just sit down and doodle.
Experiment with a variety of materials and techniques to see what works best for you. Try using different kinds of pencils and pens as well as crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, paints, and computers. Some cartoonists use all of these. Try different kinds of paper too. Draw faces with different expressions, characters in different positions, objects from different angles, and scenes with different backgrounds. Experiment as much as you can. Find out what you feel most comfortable with and what produces desired effects.
Use good materials
Once you find out what kinds of materials you like to work with, get some of good quality. For example, there are good magic markers and cheap ones. If you are serious about drawing, go for the good ones. They may be a little more expensive, but they will make your pictures better. Go to an art store and ask if you can test some out.
Buy a sketchbook
A sketchbook is an excellent thing to draw in because your pictures will stay together and you can look back and see how you’ve improved. You will also have plenty of paper whenever you need it.
Keep a reference file
It is a good idea to keep a file of pictures you can refer to later to draw something in particular. If you like drawing sports pictures, for instance, you can save some old sports magazines and tear out certain pictures so you will have them when you need to look something up. And, of course, you can find plenty of reference material online.
Study the masters
Take a look at some of the best cartoons you can find or those that you enjoy. Try to figure out what makes those drawings special and why those cartoonists are so good. Then adapt some of those insights into your drawings. This does not mean you should copy the pictures exactly. Instead you might figure out how to draw a mouth at a certain angle or a hand in the correct position or figure out what makes a drawing funny. These are things you can incorporate in your own pictures to make them more professional.
Part of being a good cartoonist is being original and creative, both in the ways your pictures look visually and the ideas behind them. Learn to see things differently than other people do and transfer those insights onto paper. An original drawing is special because it’s something you created. You and only you brought it into this world. You will always be the person who created it.
Develop your own style
Your style is like your voice. Everyone’s voice is a little bit different, and so are everyone’s pictures. No two people draw exactly alike, and they shouldn’t. If you develop your own style and draw in ways that feel right to you, your pictures will look their own.
Draw what you like
There are so many possible things in the world you could be drawing, it would be impossible to draw everything. Spend your time drawing things you like best. That way you’ll be more motivated to practice, you’ll learn to draw things you enjoy, and you’ll end up with some really cool pictures.
Learn to simplify. Cartoons are usually not as detailed or realistic as other kinds of pictures. That’s what makes them cartoons. Sometimes a picture that has less clutter and fewer lines is more effective than any other kind.
Learn to exaggerate. Make things bigger or smaller than normal. Stretch and pull. Bend and curve. Distort your drawings to your heart’s content. They’ll end up like nothing you’ve seen before.
No picture is perfect. That’s good for two reasons: you never have to worry about being perfect, and you can always make it better. Try drawing the same picture over again, but make it a little bit different. You could change a tiny detail or a large feature. It might turn out better or worse. If it’s worse you can try again, or go back to the first one. If it’s better, you’ve improved!
Be open to comments
Show your cartoons to other people and get comments. Listen to what they say about your drawings, whether it’s good or bad. Stick with the things that are good and work on improving the things that are not.
Put forth effort
Drawing won’t always be easy, especially when you’re trying something new, but go ahead and try anyway. The worst that can happen is you won’t like what you tried to draw, but you can always try it again. The harder you try, the easier it becomes. The more you try, the more you will know how to draw.
You gotta believe you can do it. You may not believe it right now, but the more you try, the more you’ll gain confidence. It grows on you. Don’t give up.
Whenever you enjoy doing something, it’s easier to accomplish, you get better results, your skill or talent increases, you feel better while you’re doing it, and your confidence improves. This is certainly true about drawing cartoons. But the best thing about enjoying what you’re doing is you’re having fun! So have fun while cartooning, draw things you enjoy, and make them look the way you want them to.
Cartooning is life
A lot of the advice you get about drawing cartoons can be applied to anything you try or want to learn: a new sport or hobby, or any goal in life. Start out simple. Take your time. Experiment. Study the masters. Put forth effort. Believe. And have fun.