They Came from Outer Space

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 aren't required! This section walks you through the different steps on drawing these extraterrestrials.

Beaming down aliens

Not all aliens are little green men, but they can be if you want them to be. Designing a totally new life form can be fun as well as challenging. Aliens are associated with certain stereotypes, but you're free to experiment and give your alien whatever appearance and personality quirks you desire.

The following are a few common traits of the cartoon alien:

✓ Has spindly arms and legs covered with a one-piece, futuristic outfit

✓ Has a large head with big eyes

✓ May "speak" telepathically

When drawing an alien, keep those traits in mind and follow these steps:

1. Sketch the main part of the alien's head as a large circle, and then draw the center guidelines, as shown in Figure 10-16.

2. Sketch the alien's tentacle body coming out from the bottom of the space helmet (see Figure 10-17).

In this pose, the alien is facing you. It has a long body that looks like one single tentacle from an octopus. Using Figure 10-17 as a reference, begin by drawing two lines starting from the top of the head area and going down parallel to each other. Curve both lines in an up and down fashion and have the ends meet at a point. The finished shape should look like it's squirming.

3. Draw the alien's face, which is large and round like a balloon and is enclosed in the big round helmet.

The alien is facing you so you see its one large eyeball.

Alien Mind Control Helmet

4. Sketch some extra details (see Figure 10-18).

Add other details like the spots on the alien's head and the bottom scale lines on its tentacle. Use your own imagination and creativity and add other details like a spaceship in the background.

Figure 10-17:

The alien must practice mind control, because it has no arms to halt you in your tracks.

Figure 10-17:

The alien must practice mind control, because it has no arms to halt you in your tracks.

Alien Space Armor

Figure 10-18:

The alien is one ugly looking creature!

Figure 10-18:

The alien is one ugly looking creature!

Ugly Space Creature Cartoon

Cyborgs and droids

If you're a fan of science fiction, you know that cyborgs are a cross between a human and a machine, and the result is always one twisted looking lifeform! You can include some cyborgs and other droids in your cartoons for a unique mix. Imagine a human falling in love with a cyborg and all the fun you can have with that story line.

The following are a few traits of the cartoon cyborg:

✓ Is a mixture of human and machine; mix up the parts any way you like

✓ Can perform inhuman feats because of its part-robot makeup

✓ Is usually one of the villains in the universe set on conquering the world, so a mean look is essential

When drawing a cyborg, keep those traits in mind and follow these steps:

1. Sketch the main part of the cyborg's body as a circle, sketch a larger circle above it for the head, and then draw the center guidelines in both circles (see Figure 10-19).

2. Sketch the cyborg's arms and legs coming out from its torso (see Figure 10-20).

In this pose, the cyborg is walking to the left and the arms and legs are moving in a stride manner. The left leg is in a full stride outwards while the left arm is holding a ray gun.

Holding Gun Pose Drawing

3. Draw the cyborg's head and facial features (refer to Figure 10-20).

The cyborg is a mixture of human and machine, so you want to draw it with a variety of fun gadgets and machinery. Its helmet is covering its entire head, and it has mechanical vision goggles. To draw the goggles, begin by placing them in the center of the helmet along the horizontal guideline. Finish by drawing the end ear cap devices on each end. Because it's facing left, you only see the right ear device. On top of the helmet draw an antenna on each side of the vertical guideline.

Gpi Finish Drawings Cap

4. Finish the cyborg by adding tubes and wires all over its body (see Figure 10-21).

Add other details like body armor and a jet pack. Personalize your cyborg as you choose and make it your own creation.

From the classic science fiction of the 1950s on through to the last Star Wars movies, robots have been an integral part of popular culture. Just like aliens, you can draw and include robots in your cartoons in a hundred different ways, and they're always a blast to create!

Here are a few traits common to the cartoon robot:

✓ Always senses danger before humans do

✓ Sports a lot of flashing lights and gadgets on its chest

When drawing a robot, keep those traits in mind and follow these steps:

Figure 10-21:

The cyborg is one mean looking dude!

Figure 10-21:

The cyborg is one mean looking dude!

Cartoon Round Robot

Classic robots

1. Sketch the main part of the robot's torso as a square box and sketch a circle on top for its head, and then draw the center guidelines (see Figure 10-22).

Drawing Legs Standing Poses

2. Sketch the robot's arms and legs coming out from the sides of its body (see Figure 10-23).

In this pose, the robot is standing facing to the left, and the arms and legs are flexible like an accordion. You see only the right arm completely; the left arm is protruding out from its side.

3. Draw the robot's facial gadgetry (see Figure 10-23).

Sketch out the robot so you see all its face plate buttons and gadgets and flashing lights on its breast plate. It has a rotating laser for an eye and a slit for a mouth.

4. Finish the robot with a few extra accessories like clamps for hands and a satellite dish on top (see Figure 10-24).

Add other details like the bolts and screws to hold the robot together.

Figure 10-23:

Does it do windows?

Figure 10-24:

The robot is a must have for the 24th century!

Figure 10-23:

Does it do windows?

Pogo Figures

Pogo: Politics in a swamp

Pogo followed the misadventures of a group of creatures living in the Okefenokee Swamp. Pogo himself was a possum, and his best friend Albert was an alligator. A mainstay of Pogo was the lampooning of political figures as fellow swamp creatures. Contemporary figures of the day like Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, J. Edgar Hoover, and George Wallace all made their appearances. As a result of the strip's political undertones Walt Kelly, creator of the Pogo comic strip, was often censured. He took considerable heat for lampooning Senator Joseph McCarthy, as well as for depicting Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev as a pig and Cuban leader Fidel Castro as a cigar-chomping goat uttering pro-Marxist rhetoric.

Walt Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1913. As a young man, he worked for Walt Disney as a storyboard artist on animated shorts.

Later, he graduated to such full-length feature films as Dumbo and Fantasia. While illustrating army manuals during World War II, Kelly developed his most famous character, Pogo, who first saw print in 1943 in a comic book. Pogo didn't debut in newspapers until 1948.

After Kelly's death in 1973, his widow continued the strip with the help of various assistants until the summer of 1975. Another attempt to revive the strip was launched in 1989 but failed shortly thereafter. But Pogo lives on in book collections and retrospectives of the original strips.

The strip had an unrivaled influence on so many cartoonists, including Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Berkeley Breathed (Bloom County), Jeff MacNelly (Shoe), and Bill Watterson (Calvin andHobbes).

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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