How to Draw Cartoons

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing pencils

  • Black felt-tipped marker

  • Drawing pad

Draw Cartoons

How to Draw Cartoons. Cartoons are fun to draw and fun to share. A few simple lines can show an amazing range of expressions and emotions. Cartooning is a great way to make a living. Cartoons are used to illustrate everything from advertising to greeting cards. All you need to get started are some basic tools and simple techniques.

Warm up your drawing arm by doing some loose sketches with pencil on paper. Start with looping circles and simple shapes. The idea is to loosen up so that your movements with the pencil are smooth and easy.

Draw the Basic Shape

Step 1

Plan your character. Before you start drawing, have a general idea of what you want your cartoon character to look like.

Step 2

Divide your paper widthwise into fourths.

Step 3

Draw an oval in the top fourth of the paper. This will be your head. Make sure that it takes up most of the width of the section of the paper.

Step 4

Draw a wider oval shape that takes up the next two regions of the paper. This is the torso of your character. Add a curved line along each side of the oval to suggest the arms.

Step 5

Draw a line from the bottom of each side of the oval to the bottom of the drawing space. Add a third line between them. These will shape your legs.

Step 6

Sketch in rough circles or triangles for the feet.

Add Details to Bring Your Cartoon Character to Life

Step 1

Lightly draw a curving line from top to bottom of the head.

Step 2

Draw a second curving line across the oval, dividing the oval into four parts.

Step 3

Draw eyes at the center horizontal line. They should be on or slightly above the line.

Step 4

Draw a line for the nose along the middle vertical line.

Step 5

Draw in the mouth with curving lines in the bottom half of the oval. An upward curve makes a smile. A downward curve makes a frown. Try drawing a sideways six for an open mouth.

Step 6

Suggest expression with squiggles and lines for eyebrows and dimples.

Step 7

Lightly sketch in clothing and accessories.

Step 8

Go over the main lines of your cartoon with a fine tip felt marker.

Step 9

Erase the penciled guidelines when the ink is dry.

Step 10

Color with markers or colored pencils if desired.


Always sketch lightly in pencil first so that you can erase your guidelines. Draw quick sketches of movements to help you get a feel for how to draw action in cartoons.