drawing cartoons

On this page I want to share with you how I go about drawing cartoons. On this site most of my cartoons are quite simple, single-gag pictures. The cartoon featured on this page is a more detailed type of cartoon which I sometimes draw. If you are interested in how to draw cartoons I hope this page will be of interest to you.

drawing cartoons

This is the finished drawing as it appears on the site. Below I'll show how I ended up with this finished cartoon.

drawing cartoons

This is the initial rough sketch I came up with. I got the idea for an expedition in search for a giant anaconda after reading about the Warner father and son team from Northern Ireland, who made an real life expedition to Peru to search for a giant snake.

I wanted to combine five or six small gags in the same picture. I roughly laid-out how I wanted the picture to look. You can even see the faint lines of a previous rough sketch showing through from the other side of the paper.

I still like the feel of pen or pencil on paper when drawing cartoons, so I draw first on paper and then scan into the computer to finish it. I don't really have any particular brand of paper - I use whatever is white and to hand.

drawing cartoons

This is the pencil draft as it ended it. I used the above rough sketch as a guide and started again with a fresh sheet of paper. I sketched it out using an HB mechanical pencil.

drawing cartoons

At this stage I have started to ink in the drawing and am about half way through. Here I am using a fibre-tip pen, very small size. I don't have a precise size, that's what it says on the pen! The pen cost about 100 Japanese yen - that's 75p, or just over a US dollar.

drawing cartoons

The inking in has now been completed and I have cleaned the pencil lines with an eraser. I use any brand of eraser as long as it's good quality.

After cleaning up the page, I scan the image into my computer (I use a Mac book) with a Canon scanner. On the computer I work with a Wacom drawing tablet.

I apply a colour threshold to eliminate some of the remaining fainter lines which I no longer require, and also to make the lines a little stronger.

drawing cartoons

I have now added grey tones. I work using the GIMP image program and use the standard paint brush tool, adjusting the brush size as needed. For applying greys, I set the colour to black and then adjust the opacity to as to obtain a range of greys.

After finishing the tones I'll add any missing little details and do any tidying up if necessary. In this case, I'll add the spots to the anaconda, and also it's eyes on tongue.

I like this style of cartoon to look a little loose, because if I try to make the drawing too tight or clean I loose some of the flow of the lines.

Next I'll cut the cartoon down a little, and add a border. After that the last thing to do is to do now is to add my footer and signature.

That's it!

If you're interesting in drawing cartoons I hope this has been of some help to you.

drawing cartoons


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