How to Draw 3-D Cartoons

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One way to draw three-dimensional cartoons is to pay attention to the line weight, as heavier lines can be used to indicate a shadow area and thinner lights can be used to represent areas where the light hits the object. Practice drawing cartoons in a 3-D way with art instruction from a professional cartoonist in this free video on drawing lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Drawing Cartoons & Objects
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Video Transcript

Hi, Joel Hickerson and grin, GrinDog.com. Today we're going to draw 3D cartoons. The first thing, you want to think about is your line weight. And as things come forward, you want a little thicker line. So, I've drawn a dog here. The nose is the very, in the very front or in the foreground of the picture, so we're going to thicken the line up around it. So it looks like it comes forward. The other thing that you, you, and I've done here, is you want to layer it. Like you can put the nose here, the muzzle there, the eyes and then the back of the head. Kind of in a descending order as it goes away from you. And as you draw the nose, give it a little shadow on the underside and maybe a, a reflection on the top. Same thing with the eyes. Reflections and shadows are going to really make this like a lot more 3 dimensional. A shadow to the back. Other things you might want to think about as you're doing your reflections, it becomes obvious, is maybe a light source. If the sun's shining over here the light's coming from here. But don't limit yourself. Just because the light source is over there, if you need a, a light source to come out of somewhere else to illuminate the, the figure you can do, you can create your own. You can cheat a little bit. Because to be cartoons is it's, it's not really. It's all unreal. The main thing is come around the stuff in the foreground has a thicker line. Kind of pushes it forward. And as it goes back the line becomes thinner. And you can kind of see as the, as the shadows take place, the dog seems more rounded, more three dimensional. And the reflections really help too. It's a good exercise is to get a sphere and just do the old, the old art school shading technique, that makes that look a little more round. Or makes your sphere from the light source kind of round off. Then when you have a, an orb like this, give it a little round shadow underneath it. Same way with the, if the light source is coming here and you want to make a light source, a shadow on his back. Things in the background can push him forward as well. Like if you have grass behind the figure. You might put a little grass in front of the figure and it, it'll make his foot look a little farther back. Put an edge to things like this, a name plate on the dog. You can do that and again drop a little shadow behind it. And the bottom of your figure to give it weight, do a little thicker line down there. And that's how you draw 3D cartoons.

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