How to Draw a Cartoon Person

Drawing a cartoon of anything means reducing it to its most simplistic shapes and elements while still clearly representing it in a way that is recognizable. This can be difficult for beginners of cartooning, especially if you're attempting to draw a person. Fortunately, there are steps you can follow to make sure that your cartoon person is an accurate rendering of the person you'd like to draw.

What Materials Do You Need To Draw a Cartoon Person?

You can use many materials for drawing cartoon people. Some people prefer to draw digitally. But if you're a beginner, the best tools are pencils, medium-weight white paper, an eraser and a felt-tip black marker. You'll also need a hard flat surface like a table or desk and a good source of light.

How to Draw a Cartoon Person For Beginners

Drawing a cartoon person can be a fun task even for beginners if you break the process down into manageable steps.

First, in pencil, lightly draw a circle for the face. The shape of the cartoon face may be more angular than a circle, but you will always begin with a circle. Then, draw the face axis. These are two lines that bisect the circle, like an x and y-axis. One runs from top to bottom, and the other from left to right. You should have a circle with a cross through it.

The next step is drawing the body. Cartoons are not as detailed as photorealistic drawings, so draw a single shape for the body or torso. If you want your cartoon person's body to be tall and thin, draw a long slim oval for the body. If you want your cartoon person's body to be short and round, a small circle will suffice. Cartooning is about exaggerating, so even though a real person doesn't look like a small circle, viewers will understand what you're drawing.

Next, add the legs and arms. Begin with thin pencil lines that create the shape that you want your limbs to have. Then, go over these with wider ovals that look more like legs and arms.

Hair and facial features are the last details you can add. Exaggeration here is important. Small eyes and a large mouth can make a person look old or mean. Big eyes and a small mouth make a person look innocent or youthful. Experiment with the features you'd like to add on a scrap piece of paper before choosing the ones you want and adding them to your drawing.

How to Draw a Cartoon Person From a Photo

Drawing a cartoon person from a photo is similar to drawing a cartoon person from your imagination but somewhat easier because you have a likeness to draw from. If you're trying to draw a cartoon person from a photograph, the most important thing is to pick the features you want to emphasize. Does she have prominent ears? Big eyes? A long neck? Exaggerating these features somewhat will help make your cartoon identifiable as the person you're drawing, even if a lot of the smaller details are left out.