Drawing cartoons is a fun way to spend an afternoon and can even be parlayed into a career with a lot of practice, some great opportunities, and solid networking skills. But what a lot of people don’t realize is just how many solid drawing skills figure into a great cartoon. Take the picture below for example, found on how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com.
You’ve probably seen similar step-by-step procedurals with other cartoon figures. Identifying basic shapes is crucial to getting the overall subject right. The only thing that makes it “cartoony” instead of realistic is the stylized, simplified lines and shapes. The shapes are just not refined the way they would if you were trying to draw a realistic dog, as shown below in this excerpt from my Basic Shapes Lesson.
The interesting thing about most skilled cartoonists is that they learned traditional drawing skills first. They learned the rules first so they knew how to break them. You can look at the basic diagram of the cartoon dog with a couple of circles and rounded triangles but chances are if you tackled it without any training or instruction, just from looking at a dog and trying to distill it down to its most basic shapes, you wouldn’t know where to start.
That’s why I recommend you invest in some good instruction with traditional drawing skills, even if you know you want to veer off into cartoon and anime drawing. It’s learning those rules of realistic shapes that allows you to tweak and play with and have fun with variations of those shapes. Read my blog entry on guidelines on choosing solid online drawing instruction.
Click HERE to find out how you can draw anything you see in just weeks with my college-level drawing course.