How to Make Cartoon Characters

Written by joe turner
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How to Make Cartoon Characters
You can make your cartoon character look however you want. (rugby 3 players standing cartoon style image by patrimonio designs from

Making your own cartoon characters can be fun to do. It can seem difficult to begin with and you might have some trouble finding inspiration or knowing where to begin. Using lines and shapes and following some easy steps, drawing your own cartoon characters can be simple. With a little practice you will soon be enjoying drawing your own cartoons with confidence.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Find some inspiration. Watch cartoon shows or read cartoon magazines and look at the different characters in the shows or magazines. Look at how they have been drawn, what features have been exaggerated, how the artist has used colour and added personality to the characters.

  2. 2

    Draw the basic outline of your character. Draw a simple stick figure in whatever position you want your final cartoon character to be in. Make your stick person out of simple straight lines for the arms, legs and body, then add an oval or circle for the head.

  3. 3

    Use a series of simple shapes to make up your cartoon character. For example, use an oval shape for the body and rectangles for the arms, legs and feet. Keep the shapes as simple or as complex as you like. Once you have drawn the basic shapes you can change them to change the figure of your character to add muscles or make the character bigger or smaller. Remember part of cartoons is exaggerating features, so don't feel restrained to making your character look realistic.

  4. 4

    Add clothes by drawing larger rectangles over the arms and a square over the body to make a T-shirt. Add more rectangles over the legs to create trousers. As you add clothes to your cartoon, erase the lines that would be underneath. As you did with the body shape, experiment with drawing different styles of clothes.

  5. 5

    Draw small ovals for the eyes with small circles inside for the pupils. Make a nose out of any shape you like, depending on how you want your cartoon to look. Add ears by drawing a half circle on each side of the head and hair by drawing any shape on the top, then erasing the lines you have drawn over.

  6. 6

    Draw the mouth using a half moon shape with the straight line at the top, then add teeth by drawing a line across the middle of the mouth and more lines down to make small rectangular teeth.

  7. 7

    Exaggerate key features. To add personality to your cartoon character, make facial features bigger or smaller or an unusual shape. Add distinctive clothing--it can be too big or too small for your character or just recognisable in style--or add funny hair.

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