Digitally Formatting Your Drawings

Getting your artwork from paper to computer is known as digitally formatting your art. To get artwork from paper to computer, you need a basic piece of equipment known as a scanner. Scanners, or more specifically, flatbed scanners, are absolutely essential to cartooning today, because without one, you can't digitize your artwork. With a scanner, you place your drawing face down on the surface like you would a copy machine. From your computer you operate the scanner controls, and within a few...

The Eraser toot Cleaning up your art digitally

One of the great things about working with art in the digital age is that you can modify your art using the computer in ways you never could before. The ability to modify your artwork on the computer helps produce clean, crisp art. The Eraser tool in Photoshop is one of these great tools that make your job a lot easier. After you scan in your artwork you may find smudges, smeared lines, or other imperfections in your line art. These types of imperfections have a way of becoming even more...

Scanning In Your Work

The last step in the process is to scan your artwork into your computer. You must scan your line art in the computer in order to color it, resize it, format the image file, and, of course, e-mail it or post the image on the Web. To scan in your black-and-white line art, follow these steps 1. Place your artwork face down on the scanner glass. 2. Select Bitmap mode to scan in black-and-white line art. 3. Scan in your line art at 300 dpi or better. 4. Save your work as a TIFF file. Turn to Chapter...

Introducing point perspective

When drawing your cartoons, you want to make sure everything looks in balance and in place. Drawing objects in the correct scale and from the correct perspective gives your cartoon a richer, more realistic and natural appearance that isn't jarring to the eye. When introducing perspective in your artwork, you have three main choices. This section explains how to draw from one-, two-, or three-point perspectives. The number of points refers to the number of vanishing points in each drawing. Check...

Putting Everything in Your Comics in Perspective

Understanding perspective and the vanishing point Drawing household items using various perspectives Sketching your characters in perspective m artoon characters are, by nature, one-dimensional, unless you're putting your characters into a pop-up book. But they don't have to look one-dimensional. Drawing your cartoons with the illusion that they exist in more than one plane is part of the art of cartooning. In this chapter, I give you the tools to take your characters and cartoons from flat...

The Lasso tool Moving or scaling an image

One great thing about Photoshop is that it allows you to edit and change your art in ways that would have proved nearly impossible before. The Lasso tool is an example. This tool icon looks like a rope lasso, and it allows you to literally lasso part of the art and move it around (see Figure 15-5). Before this tool was available, cartoonists had to white out the area they wanted changed and redraw it, or physically cut it out and glue or tape it in the new area. With the Lasso tool you never...

Going the Hand Lettering Route

Perhaps you want to be a tad more adventurous and want the lettering in your cartoons to have more of an original look and feel. If so, you may want to consider hand lettering your cartoons rather than using computer type fonts. Hand lettering is more than just writing out dialogue in your normal handwriting. As you begin to letter, you discover that you really are drawing each character letter instead of writing it. Doing your own lettering takes time, patience, and practice. I suggest you...

Drawing the world around your characters

The environment that your cartoon character inhabits is part of the complete cartoon world you create. You want this environment to be recognizable to readers, accurate, and most of all, fun. The setting that surrounds your cartoon characters is kind of like a movie set. If you pay attention to the backgrounds in movie scenes, you see everyday things like chairs, cars, trees, furniture, and so on. The backgrounds in a movie scene are probably no different than the everyday world that you live...

Setting the correct resolution

Before scanning your work into the computer, you need to set the resolution on your scanner. Resolution affects the clarity of your image the higher the resolution, the sharper the image will appear. Resolution is expressed as the physical dot density of an image or number of dots per inch (DPI) when the image is physically reproduced by being printed onto paper or displayed on a monitor. The higher the DPI, the clearer the image and the better you can see small details. Most scanners have...

Coping with rejection

There's a strong chance that you'll receive a form letter saying thanks but no thanks. Remember that the odds are against you you're in good company if you've collected enough rejection letters to wallpaper your walls. Prepare yourself for rejection and accept it as part of doing business. The important thing is not to get discouraged and depressed about it use it as a motivator to produce something bigger and better the next time around. Rejection and failure can be a good character builder in...

Converting your bitmap file

Before you can jump in and start coloring your artwork, you first need to take a few steps after you scan in your cartoon. As I mention in the Selecting a Photoshop mode Bitmap, grayscale, RGB, and CMYK section earlier in this chapter, you need convert the bitmap file to grayscale if you haven't already done so. To convert the file, follow these easy steps 3. Select Grayscale. Grayscale mode allows you to work in layers, so you can color and edit different parts of your cartoon independently of...

Saving Your Work

After you clean your artwork and size it just the way you want, you need to save the file. Make sure you always have a master original. This master needs to be a file that's unflattened, meaning all the layers are still open and you can go back and easily change elements of the cartoon. Save your master as a .psd file (the abbreviation for a Photoshop file). Remember It's a good idea to be saving and backing up your work as you go. This will prevent your losing hours and hours of work if...

Fixing Mistakes

Nobody's perfect every artist makes mistakes. And most cartoonists change their mind at least once when they're sketching out an idea. The more you draw, the more you'll change your mind. When you do make a mistake or change your mind, don't panic. Although the easiest and fastest way to deal with a change is to start over with a fresh piece of paper, you're probably not interested in killing a small rainforest while sketching, right You don't have to throw your sketch away and start from...

Drawing Inspiration Getting Started with Cartoons and Comics

Comic And Cartoon Space

J.M re you a budding cartoonist, or would you like to be a professional cartoonist someday The world of cartooning is more diverse and interesting than you may realize. In this part, I explore the world of cartooning, including the different types of cartoons and the tools you need to draw them. I also give you tips on how cartoonists come up with their ideas, and I help you find humor in everyday life. After you know where to look, you'll have more ideas than you'll ever be able to use.

Grasping What Perspective Is

Train Going Away Perspective Drawing

As you look around the real world, everything you see is from a three-dimensional viewpoint. So for your cartoon world to look like the real world, you must draw objects in proper perspective. When you're drawing cartoons, the term perspective refers to the technique of drawing that creates the illusion of space and depth in a flat panel. Perspective basically means that an object appears to get smaller as the distance between the object and the viewer gets bigger. For example, as a car drives...

Choosing a scanner

To be able to digitize your artwork, you need to scan your cartoons into your computer. The scanner you select can make a significant impact on the quality of your digital work. When choosing a scanner, you have three basic options A relatively inexpensive flatbed scanner This type of machine can scan in black-and-white line art and text documents. A full-color flatbed scanner This type can be quite costly, but it allows you to scan high resolution photos or other completed art. An inexpensive...

Looking at the Different Cartooning Genres

Checking out the venerable tradition of comic strips Getting political and in-your-face Editorial cartoons Going gaga over gag cartoons Looking to the future webcomics artoons are as old as man. Just take a look at the walls of early cave dwellers. Although you don't find any talking woolly mammoths, you do find something intrinsic to all cartooning simplification. The very heart of cartooning is the simplification that allows an image to communicate across almost any barrier race, gender,...

Recognizing the Wrong perspective

You don't have to be the world's greatest art critic or an expert in geometry to know that something drawn from the wrong perspective just doesn't look right. It's natural for your brain to have an intuitive negative reaction to a drawing in which something is incorrect. Modern art may be the exception to this When drawing your cartoons, make sure the perspective corresponds to the real world around you. Otherwise, the overall composition will fail. Figure 12-6 shows an example in which the...

The geeknerdy guy

High Water Nerd Pants

Everyone knows the geek nerdy guy he's probably one of the most fun characters to draw because he's so easy to caricature. Unlike some family staples, this guy is thin and lanky and uncomfortable with other human beings, but he's probably worth a billion dollars in tech stock. The following are a few traits or patterns that the geek possesses A thin, slightly underfed look. A pale complexion He hasn't been out in the sun for years. Thick glasses He has spent many years reading and squinting at...

Drawing your characters garb

Drawing Womens Figer Lessons

Clothes are all pretty universal to draw on both men and women characters. Both genders wear pants, shoes, and coats. Generally, only women wear skirts, unless you're drawing a kilt, or a dress on that uncle on your mother's side that no one talks about. I briefly discuss drawing pants earlier in the chapter when I talk about drawing legs and adding details like pockets. When drawing shirts, it's important to capture the details like the collar. Determining what this character does for a living...

That comfy ol sofa

Drawings And Sketches Sofas

If you're drawing a family cartoon, you'll probably be drawing your characters on the couch eventually. Some characters, like Dagwood in Blondie, seem to spend the better part of their day on one. Many cartoon sofas incorporate the following characteristics Their pattern is loud and plaid or crazy and clashing. They have springs coming out of the bottom of the cushions. They're overstuffed and comfortable looking. When drawing a sofa, follow these steps 1. Sketch a long, three-dimensional...

Setting the Scene for What You Have to

Cartoon Metaphor

Editorial cartoons are powerful forms of communication, but they're not without their methods and formulas. You need to familiarize yourself with some common elements of these cartoons in order to get your point across effectively. This section gives you a leg up on the more traditional methods as well as the alternative route. Grasping the art of visual metaphors One of the primary functions of an editorial cartoon is to make a strong point to the reader. One of the best ways to accomplish...

Sitting at your desk

Desk Three Point Perspective

A desk is another common object that you'll probably draw many times in some form or another when creating a story line with characters and their surroundings. Figure 12-9 shows the desk from a two-point perspective. You can see the parallel lines that indicate the two different angles. Figure 12-10 shows the desk from a three-point perspective. This is probably the way you would draw the desk if one of your characters was looking down at it. You can see the parallel lines that indicate the...

Planning your layout

Comic Strip Layout

Layout is such an important facet of drawing cartoons. You don't want a flat and boring cartoon, so make sure your cartoon world is as graphically interesting as the real world. Experimenting with different perspectives, angles, and background details can help improve your story line and increase your cartoon's visual impact. The basic layout of the art and the placement of the characters and scenes are dependent on the story line. After you write the script what the characters say in the word...

Going from lines to making shapes

Objects Shapes Cartoon Square

You don't need to have an advanced degree to be able to sketch interesting and compelling characters and drawings. You just need to know how to start with some simple shapes circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles and then build on them. These shapes translate into basic cartoon designs and forms like heads, bodies, and buildings when you put them together. Everything you draw is essentially based on simple shapes. After you master simple shapes and the...

Creating Classic Editorial Cartoon Characters

Elephant Suit

Editorial cartooning has classic and genre-specific characters that editorial cartoonists regularly use as metaphors and symbols. These classic characters are easily recognizable and have become American icons. They include the symbols for the Republican and Democratic parties, along with Uncle Sam, just to name a few. This section looks at some of these characters in more detail and the step-by-step process to creating them. The elephant was officially adopted as the mascot of the Republican...

The lounge chair

How Drawing Square Box

Every household has at least one chair, so look for opportunities to include a lounge chair in your cartoon. If dad's taking up the couch rather than leaning back in the easy chair, mom may be sitting there knitting, or it may be used as a jungle gym by three or four rug rats Incorporate these traits when drawing lounge chairs Their pattern clashes with the other furniture. They recline back for maximum laziness. They're overstuffed and broken in. When drawing a lounge chair, follow these steps...

Trying Different Female Body Types

Most cartoons also have at least one leading female character that readers can relate to. Women are no less varied in body types than men are and can be equally fun to draw. Just like the male body types, the female body types begin with the same basic frame using the same basic circle shapes. If you've never drawn characters before, check out Chapters 6 and 7 first they show you how to sketch the basic face and body. This section shows you how to draw some of my favorite females who frequent...

Focusing on all those teeth

A mouth wouldn't be a mouth without teeth ask any great white shark and he'll tell you the same . A character's teeth can say so much Nice, straight teeth give the impression that your character is an upstanding, honest person, while crooked or missing teeth can give the impression that your character may be a hillbilly or a rough bully type who lost some teeth in a fight. And big teeth can give a cartoon character a goofy or wacky look. To draw teeth, utilize the center guideline so that the...

In This Chapter

Getting your cartoons in comic books, greeting cards, and magazines Joining professional organizations Finding inspiration and resources online and in books very young aspiring cartoonist wants to know how to break in to the cartooning business. However, finding information on how to actually become a published cartoonist isn't easy colleges don't offer a specific degree that will land you a job, and you'll find few seminars on the subject. You need to consider many important factors when...

Starting with circles

Big Spectacles Cartoon Characters

If you're an avid reader or fan of comics, you know that most cartoon figures are short and small with a slightly large head. You see this in many classic comic strip characters, like Charlie Brown and Snoopy from Peanuts and Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. Most of the modern cartoon characters on TV also have this type of body design. Drawing a classic cartoon body begins with sketching a basic shape, either a circle or an oval, and building on it. Classic cartoon characters are often kids, and...

Keeping your characters consistent

Some cartoonists age their characters over the years, but most of the time, characters don't age. The Simpsons has been on TV for more than 20 years, and Bart Simpson is still a 10-year-old kid. Charlie Brown should be retiring to Scottsdale by now but doesn't look a day over 9, and SpongeBob hasn't aged a day No matter what core group of characters you decide on, you want to ensure that you draw the characters consistently. Doing so is important for two reasons Practicality Having your...

Spacing the legs and hips

Stick Figure Cartoons With Words

How you space your character's legs and hips depends on the character's body type and stance. Most of the characters I discuss have small legs in relation to their body and generally don't have any discernible hips. Of course, when designing and drawing your character, hips may be important, especially if you're drawing a sexy-type character. 1. On each side of the character's lower torso, just below the waist, draw curved lines that look like parentheses . 2. After you have both sides drawn...

Drawing a chair

How Draw Chair Perspective

A chair is a common object that you'll probably put in your cartoons in some form or another when creating a story line with characters and their surroundings. Chapter 9 shows you how to draw a chair. To draw a chair from two-point perspective, which is probably the way you'll most frequently draw it, just line up each angle to the respective vanishing points on the horizon line. In two point perspective, vanishing points need to exist on the same horizon line. Figure 12-7 shows a chair from...

Leg to Stand on Drawing Legs and Feet

Legs carry your character, literally and figuratively. Their positioning conveys movement and attitude and helps support the character's unique shape. Many of the characters in this book have a large torso and upper body and smaller legs. However, you can create your character with any legs you want. Figure 7-21 shows a couple of characters with fat and skinny legs legs should be appropriate to a character's body type and help exaggerate his characteristics. In this section I give you the...

The family car

Top Down Vehicle Drawing Truck

Every family piles into the family cruiser eventually, and in some cartoons, the cars are the stars. A car can add dimension and reality to your cartoon, either as part of the background or as a character see The talking car section later in the chapter . Keep the following in mind when cartooning family cruisers They often have squatty, exaggerated, funny-looking shapes. They're often some kind of SUV or station wagon. They're more accurately rendered if you study current car models to pick up...

Moving into color Comparing RGB and CMYK

Before you can begin to color your artwork, you must convert it from bitmap to grayscale and then to a color mode. You may wonder why you can't save it directly into a color mode. In order to ensure that your line art is crisp and true black, you must scan it in first as a bitmap. If you scanned it in directly as a color file, the line art would appear dark gray and the file would probably be too big to work on without using up too much of your computer's memory. Also, Photoshop doesn't allow...

A room with a view setting the scene indoors

Realistic Drawing Shoering

Creating a room for your characters is like being a set designer. You have to know all the elements that go into the setting, what looks good, and what works best for the story line. To get a good feel for what goes into designing the indoor sets for your cartoon, take some time and walk around your own house and take some notes. How does your kitchen look and how is it laid out What about the bathrooms and bedrooms And the den Making sure you include the right furniture, wall hangings,...

Experimenting with your handwriting

When you write your lettering by hand, you can also experiment with different scripts, varying them with different cartoons or to change the mood or feel of a cartoon. Your options are endless, so take a notepad and try different ones. However, when you decide to go down this road, you need to make sure your lettering is consistent from cartoon to cartoon so that readers can easily identify your work. For example, you may create a standard-looking cartoon lettering in capital letters, like in...

Experimenting with Male Body Types

Most cartoons have a leading male character that readers can relate to. Your core characters can be as eclectic as you want them to be, but most cartoons are home to certain easily recognized stereotypes. Remember that when I talk about stereotypes, I'm talking about personalities and traits that are universal and familial to the specific character and not about negative images or ideas. For example, the father character always yelling at the teenager to mow the lawn can be true and funny. This...

Looking for honest feedback

If your mom was like most, you probably grew up hearing how wonderful you are. Mom was probably your biggest cheerleader, telling everyone who would listen that her kid was going to be the next Charles Schulz. From a Parenting 101 standpoint, encouraging your kids in their artistic pursuits is one of the best things a parent can do. However, the downside of buying into mom's beliefs is that you may have never done an honest evaluation of your work. Friends' opinions don't count, either. Because...

Adding Humor to Your Story Lines Good Writing Trumps Bad

One of the most fundamental principles in the comics industry is that good writing always trumps bad art. Basically, you can spend all the time in the world drawing your comics and sketching your characters in all sorts of elaborate and wonderful ways, but unless you can come up with innovative and fresh ideas, write well, have good comic timing, and have something funny to say, you're bound for the trash heap of history. The history of cartoons is filled with the carcasses of dead comic strips...

Drawing the actual ear

Cartoon Picture Outer Ear

When drawing the ear, don't overlook the inside of the ear. Capturing the inside of the ear accurately makes your character's ears look believable. From the outside, the ear is made up of a couple of parts Pinnas It forms the outer ear shape with the earlobe at the bottom. Meatus The inner part of the ear and the ear canal where your eardrum is located. Figure 6-18 shows an example of a completed left ear with a close-up of the inner part of the ear. You draw the right ear the same way, only...

Pets Are People Too Drawing Classic Cartoon Animals

Happy Goldfish Cartoon

Like their real-life counterparts, many cartoon families have at least one pet. The pet is often a dog, but it can just as easily be a cat, fish, or gerbil. You're limited only by your imagination when it comes to introducing animals into your cartoon families. If you prefer, you can make animals the only characters in your cartoon, like the comic strip Pogo does. In such cartoons, your animals can conform to stereotypes the mean rat, the kingly lion, the sneaky snake, and so forth or you can...

The little kid

Little kids are always fun characters to draw because they're so easy to caricature, and like babies, they're appealing and cute. Many of the longest-running comic strips have kids at their center. The following are a few traits or patterns that the little kid possesses Large head Typically topped with hair that looks like a bird's nest. Oversized sneakers, with all sorts of colors and fun designs on them. Always wears shorts Because he's always on the move. When drawing the little kid...

Shading and highlighting with the Burn and Dodge tools

Other features you can use in the Photoshop toolbar allow you to add elements of lighting and shadow into flat art images. The Burn tool and the Dodge tool are both designed to help you accomplish this in a realistic and believable way. Burning an image with the Burn tool darkens an area, while dodging an image with the Dodge tool lightens the area. You can see how these two tools can add shading and highlighting and give a 2-D image a 3-D effect by noticing the difference between the original...

They Came from Outer Space

Cartoon Round Robot

One of the great things about being a cartoonist is the ability to take liberties with reality and create your own interpretation of the world around you. This is especially true when creating unique and out-of-this-world characters literally and figuratively so you may want to include aliens, robots, and other creatures in your cartoons. Because nobody has ever seen an alien unless you believe the UFO conspiracists , your aliens can have any look you want them to have one eye and antennae...

Getting Your Workspace Ready to Go

Angular Movable Art Desk

Setting up your drawing area Choosing a worktable Purchasing the necessary supplies Deciding on a computer and other equipment Getting the right software m n order to be able to draw cartoons on a regular basis, you need a little area devoted to your craft. Although drawing cartoons at the kitchen table is perfectly okay, having a dedicated area set up for drawing is not only more efficient it's also more fun The right lighting, a well-appointed drawing table, a comfortable chair, and the...

Creating drama with action words

Cartoon Action Words

You can add as much show and fervor to your comics as you like, and doing so with a handwritten font is easy. Everybody is familiar with the classic comic book action-style words like BOOM , POW , and WHAM These words and the way they're drawn create a sense of action and add drama to the visual story line. They can also serve as an important artistic element to the overall cartoon. You can see how this type of bold lettering can convey action and is dynamic in its visual impact and expression,...

Utilizing twopoint perspective

With two-point perspective, your drawing has lines parallel to two different angles. You can have any number of vanishing points in a drawing, one for each separate set of parallel lines that are at an angle relative to the plane of the drawing. If you have more than one vanishing point in two-point perspective, all the vanishing points have to exist on the same horizon line in other words, at the same eye level perspective. You can use two-point perspective to draw the same objects that you...

Adding facial hair

Parallel And Angle Cartoons

Facial hair is an element that can be character-specific and help define a character in a certain stereotype. Facial hair can come in many styles and shapes, ranging from full beards to goatees to sideburns. A mustache is another element that can change the entire look of a character. To draw a mustache or other dominating facial hair, determine how it will affect the character's look. To draw a mustache, begin at the corners of the outer nose, about level with each left and right nostril. Draw...

Telling the story in shadow

A four-panel comic layout can be boring and repetitive if each panel looks the same. One way to add a little variety is to have the images or characters in one of the panels appear in shadow or silhouette. Using shadows and silhouettes in the course of comic storytelling can be a powerful way to communicate mood or tone. For example, if the first two panels of your cartoon are action-oriented and then you pull back to show the characters in shadow or silhouette in panel three, the art and punch...

Tightening up your sketch

After you make a rough sketch and like the idea and are ready to move on, the next step is to tighten up your sketch. Tightening up a sketch means to define the lines so that the characters, word balloons, background, and overall composition are clearer and more defined. This is the stage when the final composition comes into focus and you can see how the line art will look prior to beginning the inking process see Figure 4-7 . When you tighten up your sketch, you simply go over your first...

Focusing on the fridge

Fridge Cartoons

The refrigerator's nice rectangular shape is similar to the boxy or square shape of many other household items, such as TVs, beds, radios, microwave ovens, toasters, and so on. Chapter 9 shows you how to draw different household appliances. To draw your fridge in two-point perspective, you need to line up two different angles so that they meet two different vanishing points on the same horizon line, if you were to draw a ruler out as far as the line goes. However, most of the time, the...

Drawing onepoint perspective

Single Point Perspective Cartoon

A one-point perspective drawing is a drawing with a single vanishing point on the horizon line. This is the standard receding railroad tracks phenomenon demonstrated in Figure 12-2. You typically use one-point perspective for objects that have lines either directly parallel with the viewer's line of sight or directly perpendicular such as railroad slats . So you can use one-point perspective for roads, railroad tracks, or buildings with the front directly facing the viewer. Figure 12-3 shows an...

Making Lettering Part of the

Lettering communicates directly to readers by conveying the story or punch line, just as text from a book does. However, cartoon lettering differs from the text of a book or newspaper because it's actually part of the art. Lettering is a crucial part of the overall composition. Good cartoonists make sure that their lettering complements their style and doesn't fight against it. Lettering should be easy to read but also organic it should flow with the rest of the art. Certain types of lettering...

Considering Various sizes and shapes

Like most things in the world of cartooning, you won't find fast or firm rules when it comes to creating a nose. Choosing a shape and size is up to you, but the nose should be appropriate to the character and his personality and should be in keeping with your own cartooning style. As in the real world, nose shapes and sizes are often specific to men and women, the young and the old, and the fat and the thin. Males tend to have large noses the older a man gets, the bigger his nose can become, in...

Starting on the right foot

To draw legs, start by deciding if your character is going to have small legs or bulky ones. Remember, classic cartoon characters tend to have simplistic body types and body parts. The legs are often very simple in structure, so the key is not to overdo it. To draw this type of legs and feet, refer to Figure 7-22 and follow these steps Start your legs with two straight lines and then fill in the details. Start your legs with two straight lines and then fill in the details. 1. From the bottom of...

Choosing grayscale

Sometimes you may want to scan in your original line art as a grayscale image. Grayscale means exactly what it sounds like, an image absent of color done in a range of gray shades. Most of the time this is best suited for photographs and not line art. However, in some situations you may choose to first scan in your work in grayscale. For example, if you draw your cartoons using an old-fashioned shading material like Zip-a-tone or Duoshade, you want to scan in your art as a grayscale. If you...

Shading

Area you're shading so that it's totally black. This can create a dramatic light dark effect. Don't do this, however, if you need some tonal gradation in the area you're shading, because it will be uniformly dark. Inking in one side of a square-shaped object works better see Figure 4-11a than inking in a side of a round-shaped object. On a round object, a solid black area can lack the gradient quality needed to convey an accurate three-dimensional form see Figure 4-11b . To address this...

Drawing threepoint perspective

Three Point Drawing

Another option you have for adding perspective to your cartoons is to use the three-point perspective. You can use three-point perspective for things like buildings seen from above. In addition to the two vanishing points from the two-point perspective one for each wall a three-point perspective drawing has another vanishing point where those walls recede into the ground the third vanishing point is actually below the ground . Another common use of three-point perspective is a drawing that...

Happy or laughing face

Happy Nervous Face Cartoon

A happy, smiling, or laughing face is a pleasant face and one your readers will enjoy. A smile can be a simple line you draw all the way across your character's face or a short line right under his nose. A smile can be as big and wide as you want to make it. However, always make sure it turns up at the ends otherwise it may be a frown Happy, smiling, and laughing faces are contagious facial expressions. If you want to show your character with a happy or smiling face, as in Figure 6-28, remember...

Drawing the head from all angles

Different Head Angles Cartoon

Drawing a head from different angles is an important element of layout and also impacts the way characters visually communicate with one another. For example, having a character in the foreground talk with a character drawn in the background requires that the character in the foreground turn around and face the background character. Visually, you draw the back of the head of the characters in the foreground. Figure 6-9 demonstrates an example. In this cartoon the character is looking out a...

Mad or angry face

Angry Stick Figure Faces With Mouth Open

Your characters are bound to get mad or angry sometimes. In fact, one of the most common stereotypes in the cartoon world is the wife who's mad usually with good reason at her husband. Where the writers come up with that, no one will ever know . . . right, guys If you want to show your character being mad or angry check out Figure 6-26 , incorporate these important facial traits Eyebrows are turned sharply down. Mouth is open and teeth are exposed like a growling dog. Cheeks are tight and...

The modern mom

Modern Mom Drawing

Many family cartoons have the modern mom at the center of the action. Today's modern mom is really the boss of the family. You only have to glance at every classic cartoon mom to know who wears the pants in the family The key to capturing the modern mom in your cartoons is to capture her unique body type. The following are a few traits or patterns that the all-American mom possesses Appealing but not sexy She has definite mom hips. Perky and happy-looking Unless she's yelling at someone Stylish...

Putting a Face on an Inanimate Object

Inanimate Objects With Faces

The great thing about the world of cartooning is that you can give personality to anything. The key is to add human characteristics to objects, including the way the object moves and how you make the object express itself. You can humanize any object by giving it eyes, ears, and a big mouth. By humanizing inanimate objects, you can create offbeat and unique cartoon characters to give your comic a life of its own. The next sections look at a few examples of how to draw and humanize inanimate...

Buggin out eyes

Bugged Out Cartoon Eyes

Saturday morning cartoons we watched as kids wouldn't be the same without someone's eyes bugging out This is a trait usually reserved for characters who see something they can't believe they're seeing, like a ghost or monster, or a picture of a really pretty girl. You can see this technique in Bugs Bunny cartoons from the 1940s as well as the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoons of today. It's a classic technique and one that's just plain fun to watch. To draw this effect, you need to exaggerate your...

The matronly grandmother

Grandmother Cartoons

Grandma is unlikely to be the star of the strip, but she often shows up in family cartoons. You'll know grandma's here because she's no fly on the wall. Remember that grandma's other job title is mother-in-law, and they're always fun The following are a few traits or patterns that grandma possesses A squatty, round body that's fun to hug. A short, tight hairstyle that's usually tinted blue. Multilayered clothing like sweaters and long dresses. When drawing grandma, keep the preceding traits in...

Funny Animated Giraffe Pictures

Rhino Pencil Drawing

The cartoon animal world extends far beyond dogs, cats, and goldfish. Family pets aren't the only animals in comic strips any animal, insect, or creature from your imagination can be the star of the show. If drawing common household pets isn't your thing, branch out into other animal cartoon characters. Certain well-known stereotypes can be a big part of your cartoon humor, such as the elephant that never forgets anything. You can also play against that stereotype, though, with an elephant that...

TV news anchor or used car salesman

Used Car Salesman Cartoon

The TV news anchor or used car salesman is a staple personality in the cartoon world. He's often big, loud, and annoying nearly everyone can recognize this character. You can also make lots of variations within the stereotype he's often cast as the obnoxious next-door neighbor. The TV anchor salesman is a top-heavy character with a large upper body. He starts out with many of the same body-shape characteristics as the tough guy character that I describe in detail in Chapter 7. The following are...

Creating basic head shapes

Cartoon Head Shapes

Designing a head shape requires a familiarity with basic shapes and how to draw them. Though you've probably been drawing circles and squares since grade school, you may not know how to relate them to certain head shapes and the stereotypes associated with each. All you have to do is draw the basic head shape and then add the facial features you want to match your character's personality check out the sections later in this chapter for clear directions on drawing eyes, ears, a nose, and so on ....

Looking down A birdseye view

Three Point Perspective Lamp

Understanding perspective is very important if you want to create height or depth in your drawing. The term used to describe a scene viewed from above is called a bird's-eye view. The term comes from the fact that the viewer's angle and perspective is the same as a bird's if it were flying high up in the air over the object. That doesn't mean you have to draw the scene as if you're a half mile up in the sky it just means that you're looking down at the objects you're drawing. The chair, table,...

Dear old dad

Dad Old Cartoon

Dear old dad is the cornerstone of any character cast with the family at the core. His body type can be one of many, but the classic body type is best described as the middle-aged guy look. This guy is perhaps slightly balding on top and a little wide through the middle. All you have to do is look at Homer Simpson, Fred Flintstone, Peter Griffin from Family Guy, or perhaps your own dear old dad to see what I mean. The following are a few traits or patterns that dear old dad possesses A slightly...

What constitutes a good joke Timing is everything

Cathy Comic Strip

When writing your cartoons, make sure you use timing to your advantage. Comic timing is the use of rhythm and tempo to enhance the humor aspects of a joke or story. Ask anyone who practices comedic writing including stand-up comedians and writers of TV monologues and variety sketch shows and they'll say that the pacing of a joke's delivery can make or break the joke. The same is true for cartoons. Writing a good joke is something that takes a lot of practice, so don't get frustrated if you have...

Cartoon Designs Assembling the Parts

Rich Tennant Cartoons

Have you iigured. out what the powers o that new superhero will be Uovt about the power to meet Leadlines That -would, be a good power. X ou may have good ideas, and you may be able to JL draw well, but how do you put the two together to create viable cartoons In this part, I tell you how to bring it all together, from assembling the cartoon background to using the right type of lettering. I also discuss how to maintain the proper perspective and how to lay out a scene that adds depth and...

Drawing stick figures Cartooning shorthand

Cartoon Stick War Drawings

When sketching or doodling your ideas, you can draw the simplest and roughest kind of sketch just to remind yourself later of what you were thinking at that moment. These stick figure sketches act as a handy reminder so that you can reference that filing cabinet between your ears later on. The point is just to get something down quickly. For example, say you have an idea for an editorial cartoon about rising oil prices. You want to express the desire for the U.S. to become more reliant on...

Giving Inanimate Objects Personality

Exaggerating your characters and backgrounds Making furniture and appliances stand out Drawing different types of cartoon cars Giving inanimate objects a face and a voice hat better way to add depth and personality to your cartoons than to include inanimate objects as characters Face it A cartoon that contains nothing but people can be kind of dull. The world is so full of interesting objects both man-made and natural that leaving inanimate objects out of your cartoons would be a shame. In...