Learn to draw cartoon animals | Paul O'Neill | Skillshare

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Learn to draw cartoon animals

teacher avatar Paul O'Neill

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Drawing a famous mouse

    • 3. Trex

    • 4. Class pdf file

    • 5. Hands

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About This Class

This is a beginner level class, you do not need any previous experience drawing or cartooning. Cartoons can be a nice way to learn to draw. For equipment all you need is a pencil, some paper and an eraser - the eraser is optional.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Paul O'Neill


Hello, I'm Paul. I am an artist, cartoonist, teacher and data analyst. I live in Ireland but I've also lived in Japan for a significant portion of my adult life.

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1. Introduction: Hi. Welcome this class on cartooning, specifically drawing cartoon animals. So my name is Paul Have been drawing cartoons for about 10 11 years. Not reaching. I started drawing cartoons because I was a teacher. I taught English as a foreign language, and I find that just being able to draw simple cartoons on a white board was often very helpful. Trying to explain different ideas to people. I find the drawing cartoons was a very good way of learning to draw. To draw anything just became more confident in making marks with pencil and paper drawing circles, ovals, etcetera. So I hope you enjoy the class. There is a pdf that you can dine load that goes along with the class. It just has some basic exercises and ideas that you can practice with. And, of course, for a class project, you can create your own cartoon animal characters and upload them onto the project section of the class. It would be great to see some people's cartoon's finished cartoons in terms of equipment. Really, you don't need very much if you have a sketchbook or some paper, um, pencil on dinner razor. That's hold you need. And in terms of the level. So I'm assuming that the people doing this class have little or no experience drawing cartoons, but they would like to get started. 2. Drawing a famous mouse: Okay, So I mentioned in one of my other cartooning classes here on skill share that many famous cartoons are built on basic ships, squares, rectangles, circles, etcetera. So not everyone will have seen that class, so I just quickly review that. So starting with these basic building blocks, these basic ships being create characters such as with The Simpsons. So lots of the heads are kind of square or ovo circular bodies, rectangles for legs. I'm feet that are slightly triangular and so on on other characters. Also so Calvin and hopes again circles for heads. The body is kind of ah rectangle, but a bit curved. In the case of hopes, the body is more of an oval ship, also ovals for the feet and finally, Peanuts characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, etcetera again basic ships, ovals, rectangles, circles. So using these basic ships, you can build create your own cartoon characters. So in this class, we're going to be focusing on animals rather than on people. Okay, so again take you through step by step. This is a character that I'm trying to recreate it. The character is the most from the old cartoon. Siri's Tom and Jerry on this. Far as I remember, Jerry was the mice. So we're starting off with circles one for the head, one to indicate roughly where the body will be. And then there's ah kind of circle or a sea ship, which is the beginning of his ear. When you're drawing the cartoons, think about the position off the basic ships, what the basic ships are on. Also the positions, the relative positions of these ships and, of course, the relative sizes of the ships. So in this case, his ear is very large. It's almost the same size is the head. So from these basic ships, the next step. So you still see the circle for the head of started Adan, um mice, cheeks, nose, eyes on the body where it started off. You can still just about see the original circle, but I've started to define the body a bit better. Put in the legs, arms and initially just draw the hands of circles. Okay, so then murder on from this. It's one of the things you have to do when you're starting. A drawing is draw the lines on these construction ships, these basic ships, and very lightly user. Ah, hard pencil on just very lightly on the page. The reason is that you're going to probably have to move things around, change the ship of things, the size of things. And you can see this here. I've started to redraw his body on his leg. So the original body was right here. The leg was here. No, I moved both the body ship on the leg position. If initially you're putting too much pressure on the pencil, you'll create very dark lines, and those are very difficult to raise. It's a very light touch, just very faint line, and you can build up and you can change the lines quite easily, then Okay, so again, starting to change a few other things, the position of the foot. In fact, both feet changed a little bit, then starting to out in details and the details are added in at the end. Once you're happy with the position of everything on the relative size of everything, then you can add in details by details. I mean, for example, the fists, the hands, they're no longer just circles, and I have fingers and thumb. It's worth noting that and a lot of cartoons, especially older Western cartoons, things like Disney, Tom and Jerry. Daffy Duck Older was search of I'm cartoons. Hands were often drums, three fingers not for I know a number of reasons why. First of all, a lot of these cartoons were animated on. The fewer details you had, the easier was out of it. So three fingers on the thumb is easier to an imminent than four fingers and a thumb. Um, there's also it just looks better Sometimes when you add in, the fourth finger starts to look like a bunch of bananas, so it's easier to draw quicker to draw. It's easier to animate, and often it just looks better. So this is almost the final drawing. It's just a few little things that in so added in a teal on just finished off the feet. So this class is not about fine art or redrawing famous cartoons. But I just wanted to emphasize that starting with these basic shapes, you can recreate famous cartoon characters, so I definitely recommend if you want to learn to draw cartoons, start with those basic ships, always draw them freehand, so even if it's a circle, don't try to tree. Aside of circle, just draw a circle freehand If you find it difficult, just practice practice for five minutes every day, just drawing circles on a just in a cheap sketchbook or scraps of paper, just roll circles. 3. Trex: Okay, So for the class project, um, we're going to an animal, but perhaps not the usual animal. And you might think it's not cats, dogs, birds. We're going to have a go at drawing a dinosaur, specifically kind of t rex style dinosaur. So again, we're starting off with basic ships, so his head for her head is basically a rectangle. But you'll notice that the front end of the rectangle this is where the nose will go is a little bit smaller than the back end of the rectangle. So this kind of a sloping edge and then for the body body is an oval or like an egg ship, and you want to draw another circle here on this is going to be the top of the leg. Then the late will come down here and then his tail the tail. He has a big tail thes curved lines, slightly s shipped curve lines. And then you want to join the head on the body together. So has a very thick neck. Draw lines. Dina, meet the oval for the body. And also one from underneath the underside of the head course. You can change the proportions you can make the body bigger or smaller. You can have a big head. A small head short too. Maybe a short stumpy tail. This is cartooning. It's not. You're not trying to draw on exact representation of Ah T Rex dinosaur. It's up to you. You can make it. Ah, funny dinosaur. If you want him, maybe give him a tiny little head in the big body. Uh, pull your choice. Okay, So now you start. Once you're happy with your basic construction lines, you could start outing in some more details with other than legs on the T. Rex legs has the knee joint. It kind of points backwards. Similar to say, a dog's back leg and, of course, the arms and it stumpy arms with a big claws. Big close on the feet as well. The teeth You don't have to show the teeth could just be a smiling face where you can have the zigzag line to show, um, sort of crocodile or alligator style teeth. The nose could just be a circle or oval shipped, and you want to put the eye and the eye is towards the back of the head. Once you have all of that. You can start outing and details we're gonna add in eyelids North straw. Start drawing in these lines or heavily. Syria's the construction lines. And don't be afraid to play around and change the ship of the head size of the head, body and so on. So if you're happy with your final cartoon and if you want to, you can upload it to the project section of the class. 4. Class pdf file: Okay, so I've added in a pdf downloadable. PdF to this class just contain some very simple sketches, which you can use as a starting point to create your own cartoon animal characters. We have the usual ones. Cats and dogs. Cats and dogs are very similar except of the faces. Then have a angry birds. Angry chicken squirrel, a couple of turtles. Turtle one is very cartoon animal turtle and then turtle to is when you kind of anthropomorphize the cartoon. So big words. But yeah, basically, the the animals behaving more like a human. It's standing upright. It can talk things like that. Another cat, this time. Angry cat. Remember to add emotions to your cartoons. It's the emotions that can make the whole thing come alive. Make amore funny and so on. It's also very useful for telling stories. Or why's the cat angry on that? One more page on the pdf. Just another idea for fish again. You can change the emotions with fish. Usually don't draw any nose with fish, but you can add in eyebrows. I'm not sure fish actually have eyebrows, but you can add them in if you want, um, other things seaweed starfish just to set the scene that you're underwater, you could add in some. We've you line is just just flowing currents or water a few bubbles. So again, the pdf is not mentors. Finish cartoons that you can just simply copy, but they're just ideas that you can start with. Uh, they can also be used for practice, so remember, and everything we're starting with ease. Basic ships, Huvelle circles, etcetera. Keep everything very light so that you can arrays it very easily. Don't go over lines heavily until year. You're happy with your cartoon. I usually start with the head, add in the body and then start adding in things like Thiel's hands, arms, legs, things like that. 5. Hands: Okay, so one last section on this class is just briefly looking at drawing hands. Now it's true that drawing hands, even cartoon hands, can be a little more tricky than drawing heads and bodies and things, but it doesn't have to be very difficult. Start off with simple hands, simple gestures on work, up until year, war confident with more complex ships. So one of the tricks of ready mentioned was to get rid of one of the fingers. Just have three fingers, the thumb that's just less to worry about. It's easier to draw, and it's still we're still building on basic ships. So in this example, started with Movil three over basically gives me the palm of the hand, and then I drew in a square. The square gives me the base of the thumb and also tells me roughly where the ends of the fingers will be. The fingers themselves air just ovals again. Remember, about the size so your fingers are not all the same size. The first and middle finger are bigger and then smaller circle for a smaller finger. Also, cartoon hands are not exactly the same as realistic hands. They're a bit more reverie so you can ban things and doesn't have to be anatomically correct. So a few more examples these ones are on the class. Pdf just for reference on. You can use them as practice or starting points. So hand holding a baseball this hand was copied from the drawing. Hated of, uh, Jerry the most and one more with the finger pointing. Just practice the basic ships. One sure happy. You can also use other references. Look it other cartoons that maybe you like, go online, google them and copy what you see. It's one of those things you just have to practice in practice.