How To Create Your Own Cartoon: Drawing, Lettering, and Finishing

You are making a cartoon and have thought about layout and design already. If you’ve already set up the premise for your cartoon, your joke, your characters and what they are going to do, you are ready to move onto the actual drawing phase of cartooning. The next step in the process of how to create your own cartoon is the drawing, lettering, and finishing step. 4anime

Draw the border of your panel (the box in which you draw) with either a ruler, or by hand. Draw a rough sketch in pencil, adjusting the spacing so that things are not cluttered, but easy to see. Leave lots of room around the words inside the speech balloons or thought balloons. Speech balloons are oval and have triangular pointers on them. Thought balloons look like clouds and have small ovals going down to the thinker’s head.

Keep details to a minimum. You want to add enough detail to build a setting and setup for your joke. But you do not want to overdraw or overwork your art. Remember that the finished cartoon or comic will be in a very small space.

Once you have your layout established and everything roughed in, go over the lines with marker, pen, or ink. Once the ink has dried, you can erase the pencil lines with a good kneaded or plastic eraser. Finally, add shading.

You can use solid black for shading. Keep in mind that black added in different amounts will give you variations of gray, too. Use shading, stippling, or scribbling with a pen. I like to use various gray markers with flexible tips. That way I can get into small areas and corners without coloring over my lines, and the different shades of gray give me interest without cluttering up the drawing, like too many lines for shading sometimes can.

Finally, remember to sign your cartoon. Some artists do so in the spaces between two frames in a comic strip. Some sign above or below. Some sign within the borders of the cartoon itself.

Some artists use a very bold, obvious signature. Others, like me, prefer to have it blend in with the cartoon itself somewhat, so that it doesn’t draw attention away from the gag. The choice is yours. You are the artist!



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