Developing Your Cartoon Man
To Create More Inspired Characters
This cartoon man tutorial has been made for artists who are ready to go past the beginner stage and begin working on creating their own unique style and characters. We should all strive to take real pride in our work and a big part of this is developing your characters as fully as possible.
Who Is He?
The more thought that you put into your character; the easier that it will be to make the character believable in the eyes of the people that see him.
Here's an example that everyone can relate to: Homer Simpson from the Simpsons TV show. Everyone knows his character and some people might even say that he's the most simpleminded character on the entire show - aside from Cleetus, of course! But when you really start to look closely and analyze his actions then you can begin to come up with a personality profile for him and realize that he might not be just as simple as you might think.
Creating a personality profile for a character by looking at his actions as suggested with Homer is working backwards but this is still a good exercise because it help develop your ability to create better characters and ultimately become a better storyteller and artist.
When you're going to create your own cartoon man, you should start with creating the personality.
Here's a list of questions that you can use to
get the ball rolling for your own believable character:
- What scares him?
- Is this character based off of someone that you know in the real world?
- What style of clothes does he wear?
- If your character bought a magazine, which magazine would he most likely choose?
- What kind of foods does he like?
- What's his favorite color?
- Does he play sports?
- Does he have children?
- Is he married?
- Where does he work?
- Is he quick and muscular, or slow and fat?
- Does he have any pets?
- What makes him the happiest?
- Is your character more of a hero or a sidekick?
By answering these questions you should start to be able to see the personality of your character coming out a little. Doing this personality step is extremely important if you plan on using your cartoon man in any kind of comic strip or series of drawings. The more time you spend on it then the easier it will be when you are making your comic strip. If you know your character inside and out, then it's easy to think up a situation, and then ask yourself the question 'What would my character do in THIS situation?' and the answer so quickly and easily come to you.
Basic Drawing Tips
There's lots of good information on this site about drawing cartoon characters and faces but the part that I usually start with what I'm doing my own drawings is the chest. I like to start here because the chest really defines the male character. The arms and legs aren't actually that different for men and women depending on your style but the chest and stomach can really make or break your design and that's why I suggest that you try several different body styles before you finally choose one that you think best suits the personality of the character that you invented in the exercise above.
TIP - You may find it easier to draw the chest in two different parts, the pecks and the stomach, when you're sketching out your cartoon man in the beginning. Doing it this way frees you from thinking of the body as one big blob and will help you more easily come up with interesting shapes.