Putting a Face on an Inanimate Object

Inanimate Object Cartoon Characters

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...

Drawing stick figures Cartooning shorthand

Agile Stick Figure

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...

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...

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 ....

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...