Cartoon Fundamentals: How to Draw a Cartoon Face Correctly
You’ll learn how to draw cartoon characters in this simple cartoon drawing tutorial. A good cartoonist can extract the main details of an object or a human being, with the goal of a child recognizing the drawing and being drawn to what they’re looking at.
Understanding Human Perception
Can you tell me if the two images below represent the same object? Most people can’t remember all of the details that make up a car, a dog, or even a child from memory.
1. How to Draw a Cartoon Face
Draw a vertical and horizontal line intersecting at the center of the circle, as shown in the image below, and then trace the face axis along the center of the circle.
How to Draw Cartoon Eyes: Step 1
Draw an oval shape with a slight tilt to the side at the top and bottom, leaving a gap between the eyes about the same size as an eye. Since we’re still in the drafting phase, you can draw another eye in the center to serve as a measure.
Draw both pupils directed to the center (a very effective tactic used by major cartoonists). Tip: Draw a line below our eyes to give them more life and “realism.”
The main structure of a face is the character’s skull and eyes, which can be old, young, fat or thin, male or female, human or animal, and so on.
Let’s put the correct nose on our character and see what effects it has on the human face in 3D. It’s very common to draw only one side of the nose; if you draw only its tip, it’s likely that already achieves a convincing effect.
A good and expressive trace will suffice; however, when drawing a child, the lips should not be drawn! Children, regardless of gender, have simple mouths in cartoon style.
The ears are seen from the front (because our character is facing the camera), so the internal cavities aren’t visible, and we’ll just do a simple shape with some basic perspective (more on that later).
Because the circle we drew at the start has already defined the shape of our skull, all we need now is a very simple and childish haircut to bring our boy to life.
How to Draw Cartoon Hair! Help!
You don’t need to be a stylist or a fashion designer to make perfect hair; there isn’t a right way to draw hair, so you’ll have to experiment until you find the perfect haircut for you. Just remember that the hair is responsible for defining the personality of our characters; it can express age, rebellion, conservatism… incredible, isn’t it?
Here are some more cool cartoon characters to draw. As usual, let’s start with the eyes. This time, we’ll draw faster, adding wrinkles, eyebrows, and eye pupils. Notice that we haven’t changed much; we just expanded the eyebrow a bit. Older men have thicker eyebrows, occupying more space on the forehead.
This time, we’ll raise our chin a little more, like this. Our character already has a unique “look” to him! This is fantastic, and we’ll move on to selecting the best nose for him.
Let’s continue with the nose, but this time I’ll make a completely different nose. Notice how the ends of the nose are very close to the bottoms of the eyes. This is a good technique to use when designing larger and wider noses.
Instead of drawing the mouth, I’ve decided to use a different technique: instead of drawing the mouth, we’ll simply draw a big mustache to give our character a better persona. Done! A big and exaggerated mustache for our old friend!
Remember how I said that hair can help to represent age and personality? Check it out. We’ve just added some side hair and left him bald on top. It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes, isn’t it? Also notice that I used the same ear from Tommy, our beloved boy. That’s the advantage of working on templates. That’s the magic of cartoon!
3. How to Draw a Female Character
Let’s try some more simple cartoon drawings. I don’t know… I think Tommy needs a sister! He’s been lonely out there. Let’s make a sister for him now, as if by magic: Hey!!! How did you do that so fast? Very simple… Women tend to have more delicate facial structures. Here’s a female cartoon face drawing step-by-step guide: Thin eyebrows Larger and expressive eyelashes Small chin
4. How to Draw Characters With Different Facial Expressions
Emotions and facial expressions should come to mind when thinking about cartoon characters to draw, and we’re now ready to add more emotions to our dear Lucy (yes, that’s her name). Let’s draw her after receiving the news that the school holidays are over… Once again, we achieve something completely different just by adding two things: the tears and the new shape of her mouth! Isn’t it amazing?
5. How to Draw a Profile View
Draw the template below again. Now we’ll learn how to make Tommy and Lucy from a profile view: Notice how the ear stays in the center of the circle in profile. When comparing them side by side, be aware of the main structural differences.
6. Play With Angles in Cartoon Face Drawing
Eyes, noses, mouths, ears… all the details that make up the face change shape when viewed from different angles. It’s very common to see cartoon characters looking in every possible direction with different camera angles, because they will need to react to situations and objects around them, which helps them come to life!
Easy Cartoon Drawing Exercises
Let’s put everything we’ve learned so far into practice… Below is a basic cartoon face drawing template (only circles and directional guides) where we can practice our drawing skills in various positions: Let’s mark the eyes in different directions for each of the circles… Now, let’s add some random jaws, with different sizes and shapes… It’s up to you now.
7. How to Draw characters With Different Ethnicities
As we near the end of our cartoon face drawing tutorial, I’d like to encourage you to keep experimenting with facial expressions and, whenever possible, to invest more time in studies of the face. Learn how the eyes and mouth react in various situations. Look at different ethnicities and the key features. For example, those of African ethnic origin tend to have a slight chin.
You’ve Learned How to Draw a Cartoon Face!
Take what you’ve learned here and apply it to your first characters. You can earn a nice side income selling your character designs on Grasshopper.com. There’s plenty more to come, and this is just a small portion of the cartoon drawing tutorials I’ll be presenting to you.
Discover More Cartoon Drawing Ideas and Tutorials
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to draw cartoon characters. Do you want to learn more about drawing? Here are some helpful tutorials and resources: Remember to check out our complete guide: Learn How To Draw.
What are the steps to create a character?
Character Design in Four Steps
- Visual Interest.
- Mistake #1: Incorporating Cliches.
- Step 2: Hone In on Your Character’s Traits.
- Step 3: Begin Sketching.
- Step 4: Finalize Your Character Design Drawing.
How do you draw character art?
What can you do to improve your character art?
- Start by drawing curves.
- Draw the face and eyes.
- Create poses and body language.
- Retain the best aspects of a sketch.
- Study characters from pop culture.
- Build your own visual library.
- Choose your tools.
- Retain the best aspects of a sketch.
What are the 7 Steps to Great character design?
YouTube has more videos.
- DO YOUR RESEARCH!
- Know Anatomy (The REAL Thing)
- Know The Universe.
- Understand the Story (And Where Your Character Fits)
- Begin Drawing and Experimenting.
What are made up characters?
Characters that are entirely made up or fictional.
How can I be good at drawing?
Here are some suggestions for those who want to improve their drawing skills:
- Look at drawings. Whether simple line drawings or meticulously detailed renderings, looking at other people’s work can teach you a lot.
- Draw from drawings.
- Draw from photographs.
- Draw from life.
- Take a class.
How long does it take to learn to draw characters?
It takes an average of five to ten years of proper, consistent training to learn to draw realistically; you can get to an average level in two years, but the number of skills you need to master to draw realistically takes time.
How do I develop my own art style?
What factors influence the development of an artist’s style?
- Copy the Artists You Like. But a Lot of Them.
- Copy the World Around You. Mimic nature.
- Practice, Practice, Practice.
- Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. Push Your Skills.
- Make Time to Play. Let go of expectations and just have fun.
How do u draw yourself?
Self-Portrait Drawing Techniques
- Start with a light sketch.
- Add shadows and smudge them. Add shadows to make your sketch look more professional.
- Do your hairline after you outline. Start with the head and work out the proper length.