How to Make Cartoon Maps

Written by joy campbell
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How to Make Cartoon Maps
Making a cartoon map starts with researching the area. (Ableimages/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Making cartoon maps is a matter of creating maps with humour. The artist highlights and emphasises areas and features to call attention to them. For example, if the artist is drawing a flamingo, he may stress the long skinny legs; for a rabbit, it might be the teeth; for a duck, the bill. When drawing people, the artist may find a feature like the nose, smile or eyes to accentuate. A cartoon artist can add humour to the name of a place. An example is a name like "Royal Harbors," where the artist can draw a king's crown to represent the harbour. First, research the area you want to create for a cartoon map through online sources like Google maps, Google Earth, MapQuest or Yahoo maps, or by looking at maps and visiting the area.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Sketch out a broad layout for the map from the research. Include the names of the main roads, buildings and areas you want to include in the map. If you are working with a client, get feedback and approval. Make adjustments as necessary.

  2. 2

    Add details to the sketch in a cartoonish way, such as emphasising features of buildings, creating signs, adding trees and creating people as cartoon caricatures. Add labels to buildings, parks and other areas as necessary. Include signs for punch line humour, like "SS Minnow" on a yacht. Once again, if you are working with a client, get approval before moving to the next step.

  3. 3

    Make a copy of your work and then create line art working with the copy. Creating line work is simply going over the sketch's lines with a black pen or marker.

  4. 4

    Add colour using your favourite media, such as watercolours, coloured pencils, paint and markers or scan the sketch into the computer and use your favourite graphic software. Present to the client, if you have one and collect your money.

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