How to Draw Cartoon Police Officers

Written by steven lafler
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Cartoon police officers appear in comic books, graphic novels, manga and cartoon movies and television shows. You can draw cartoon police with the help of some reference images and a few simple drawing techniques. Your drawing can be finished with the tools used by professional cartoonists. The drawing can be used as a model for creating your own comics with cartoon police officers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Reference images
  • Ballpoint pen
  • Tracing paper
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Drawing paper
  • Water colours
  • Black ink
  • Water colour brush
  • Fine-point pen
  • Scanner (optional)
  • Computer (optional)
  • Photo-editing software (optional)

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  1. 1

    Collect photos and drawings of police officers for reference. Think of what type of officer you want to draw. It could be a standard officer with a badge, hat and gun. The subject could be male or female, a traffic cop or a SWAT team member.

  2. 2

    Use a ballpoint pen to trace the shapes directly on your reference image. Trace the shapes that make the police officer's figure using ovals, circles, rectangles, squares and triangles. Trace the head as a circle, oval, square or rectangle. Trace one big shape for the torso. Break down arms and legs into a series of elongated ovals. Trace hands as a circle with small ovals or rectangles for fingers. Set this shape drawing aside for later reference.

  3. 3

    Use pencil and paper to draw a series of stick figures in a variety of poses. Try the poses you want to use for your cartoon police officer. Exaggerate poses by stretching arms or legs to convey action. Use as many sheets of paper as you like until you have some great-looking stick figure poses.

  4. 4

    Pick your favourite stick figure pose. Refer to your reference image with shapes traced on it. Add the shapes to your favourite stick figure pose in pencil, working from the largest to the smallest shape. Erase and redraw as necessary. If the pose does not work, try another.

  5. 5

    Add details to the face using shapes and lines. Decide what expression to use, such as a smile. Keep the face simple. Check your reference image for uniform and equipment details, and add them using shapes. Draw everything from hats to nightsticks by reducing them to their basic shapes. Add details with lines. Keep your drawing simple, and do not worry about tiny details.

  6. 6

    Cover the pencil lines with ink. Use a fine-point black ink pen to easily cover the pencil lines, or try a No. 1 watercolour brush with black ink. Draw in black ink over the most important lines; do not cover every part of every shape used to construct the figure. Erase the remaining pencil lines once the ink is dry.

  7. 7

    Colour your cartoon police office with watercolour paints. Once coloured, go over the black ink lines again. Try photo-editing software as an alternative colouring method. Scan the black and white image into your computer at 300 pixels per inch. Colour the picture using the paint bucket and brush tools. Use the lasso tool to trace an area, then add colour to it with the paint bucket.

Tips and warnings

  • Practice with brush and ink before using it to draw over the pencil lines on your cartoon police officer. Dip the brush in black ink. Try making a smooth line that goes from thin to thick, then back to thin by varying the pressure on the brush. Do not get too much ink on the brush or it will blob on your drawing.

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