The Shape Of Things: Cartooning Basics | Kristin Spore | Skillshare

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The Shape Of Things: Cartooning Basics

teacher avatar Kristin Spore, Illustrator/Children's Author/Florist

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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

8 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Warm Up 1 Circles & Triangles

    • 3. Warm up 2 Lines, Triangles & Hearts, OH MY!

    • 4. Creation 1

    • 5. Warm up 3 Lines & Curves

    • 6. Warm up 4 Lines & Curves Continued

    • 7. Creation 2

    • 8. Goodbye!

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About This Class

Hello and welcome All!

Here we are exploring the simple steps into creating a cartoon character. Piece by piece, I will demonstrate how to start from from the most basic shapes and build them into a larger character.

In this beginners course, no skill is needed; just the desire to learn and the willingness to have fun. I invite you to add upon to those glorious stick figures so many of us often resort to, and open your mind to the possibility of cartoons.

Join me, pen and paper in hand for these these fun shape building exercises.


Meet Your Teacher

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Kristin Spore

Illustrator/Children's Author/Florist


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1. Intro: hi, everyone, and thank you for joining me. Kristen Renee, on the shape of things for basic cartooning here will start with shapes that we know and love, learn how to recognize them and build upon them to solely create amazing cartoons. Our schools are as follows. Increase awareness of basic shapes and drawings, create new and exciting cartoons and, of course, gained greater understanding of how to create your own unique drawings. My approach is pretty basic and straight forward. We're gonna do to warm ups and a creation each time I'll show you how to do the steps, give you a basic skeleton and will build from there. Don't worry about running off the arts gorgeous yet in my class, all you'll need is a pen, a pencil or erasure paper might help to Let's get started. 2. Warm Up 1 Circles & Triangles: Alright, guys. So I'm gonna show you how to use some very basic shapes such as circles and triangles to make a few different things here. So first we're going to start off with a very basic skeleton of an ice cream cone. I'm gonna point out the shapes and then from there, we're just gonna build on. So first, keep in mind that this is just a skeleton and will draw a very small circle to start here. Perfect. Next, we're gonna create the second layer of a nice Kimco Associates. Two scoops start with a larger second circle. Awesome. And now we need a cone. So that's just gonna be an upside down triangle. Perfect point. It's about it. So now that you have your basic skeleton, I'm gonna show you how to use those shapes. But make it a little bit more cartoon like, so to start, go ahead and draw a medium sized circle at the top of your page and we're going to do the second scoop now which goes under it. So three Teoh almost large. See shapes on the side. That's gonna be your second scoop. Don't combine them on the bottom. Si si. I'm leaving some space open here because we're gonna want to make the ice look like it's piling over this call. So to do back, we're gonna do smaller little see curves like we just did for the belly of the ice cream backwards. See? And now go ahead and connect it. So from sea to sea, just a straight line. And now we have the illusion that the ice cream is sort of overlapping cone working to create the cone. Let's make it less pointy, a little more talented. So take a straight line and curve it. Come on up to connect with a little over laughing we just made. And now we're gonna give it some detail to do that straight line down the middle and keep doing that. So, another straight line, maybe another one over here. Great. And now let's add texture. So we'll go across and lines Christ across, across like a sugar Come. Okay, so now I want to add a little bit more flair on the top ice cream portion of this, So I'm gonna do away the sort of line here. And let's do one more here, the top just awaiting sort of line kind of implies that there's a topping on the scream. But what's ice cream? Without Sprinkles? So to do the Sprinkles, we're just gonna do some straight little lines. They go wherever you want, really? And I think that we might need a cherry on top to do that. Let's do one small circle with a stem. There you have it. Now you can tell we use just one circle built upon with another used a triangle in these very basic shapes to sort of create something larger. 3. Warm up 2 Lines, Triangles & Hearts, OH MY!: All right, so next shape, we're gonna introduce him triangles. And this is the basic shape that we're gonna be working with right over here. So what, we're gonna dio start to create your triangle? Starting from this side, up and down. Do not connect it. Just get so little mountain, this side and down. Normally, you'd connect it just like this one. But this time we're gonna manipulate the shape similar to how we did for the ice cream cone in the second drawing. So instead of connecting the line, I want you to take this point and go sort of in the middle. Here, take this line goes straight in the middle. Now, this line is very long. We have some left over. You can add just a little bit. I think I'm just You have a triangle in one straight line. Perfect. Now, this is gonna be a bird. You might not see it yet, but from this point, we're going to draw straight across. This is going to be the beak and nice, the top portion of the head. So sort of like, Oh, it did last time. We're going to do a semicircle or half circle. You're even just a curve Wine like so that's creating an ice space. And to create the I. I want him to be sort of sleeping. So I'm going to do just a letter. You next. I want to create his body shape. And to do that, we're going to sort of round down a curve and have it connect like this, Almost like the shape of a B would be kind of like 1/2 heart. So I'm going to start from occur and created to meet this point down there, how we have sort of a B shape that's now here. Now, I want him to have some wings, Of course. So I'm just going to use an upside down heart right in this area upside down heart. Great. He's got wings will, But he doesn t detail and I'm going to stick with the hearts because they're working so well. I'm gonna do a tale here, but I want one side to be slightly larger than the other to give it the illusion of feathers. So I'm gonna do a little or big piece of heart, and he definitely needs feet. So let's do one to end three 12 and three. And now we have a bird 4. Creation 1: moving on, we're going to incorporate all that we've learned from building the ice cream cone. And, of course, the bird we just made that's gonna be using circles and triangles and now even some parts that you know how to use those. So what I'm gonna show you is the basic skeleton of this figure. It involves a circle for ahead. It involves a larger circle and wait triangle at the bottom for her tail and parts for her fence. That's the basic shape of what we're doing here. To start, though, let's build on that way. Want to create a beautiful mermaid? So we're gonna start with two y's. That's how I like to start people. And two guys just means to circles for me. Now. I sort of take one circle first and build on the second. Whatever feels natural to you. That's how I like my eyes to come out next. I want to do the nose. So I have a bit of a placement of where her face is going to be to do the knows. I'm doing a you with the curve pointing up. So just you great Next I'm going Teoh start to create a face shape. So I'm just gonna take a line and curb it like I'm making a circle. Let's go to about here kind of. We have a C shape a little bit. I want to create a space for her ear, which will be another C shape and I'll do a smaller C inside. So now we have some sort of built of her face and it's a little smile. Great. So moving on, we're gonna focus on this portion of the body. Now we're going to draw a second, semi larger circle on the bottom. So we're not completing it all the way with perfect roundness. We're just gonna sort of connect them very light. Not too sharp, too straight. You want to give the illusion that she's got a stomach, frank? So that's her midsection now, and we've got to keep the tail. So we're gonna go from this point here, we're gonna bring it on down and let's go from this point and need it over here. Now you can connect them like this one is perfectly closed off triangle. More than welcome to do that. Or you can just start to add the heart that's upside down from right here. One perfect. So in mine, it's all connected by feel free. You can just If you want to stick with just the basics, go ahead and just keep the triangle and at the heart on the bottom. Now, to be a mermaid, you've gotta have some scales. Thes scales are going to be a very basic shape, almost like little W's okay. And then if w. Is attached to other w So now we have to W's rates up, down, down is that shape doesn't have to be perfect. It's a cartoon. It's for fun. Now I like to take the shapes and I take the lines all the way up. So I'm taking the lines and connect damp. And I'm just gonna put some dots in here because I think we need some way. So now she definitely has a tail. Feel free to sort of just embellish this a little bit. However you see fit. Now we're going to do some arms thes air too crazy. We haven't learned these just yet, but I promise it's nothing insane. Just use a stirring line and we're gonna do those hearts that we discussed so small portion , large portion, and I just connected it. So it looks like she has a fin. And it's really just a heart, right? Small bank, same thing. Down a small portion. Baker portion of the heart and stay connected. Now she's got some hand. A fin definitely needs a top. You can just do too perfect circles. That's fine. I'm just build off the other circle and connect it. However you want to design her top is perfect for you. So you could triangles. You do small circles. I think I'm just gonna do straight lines. Great. Now that you have the top designed, how you like, please give her a Billy, but she just needs one, and we're gonna go ahead and do some I So I think she's gonna be a little sassy. So I just put two straight lines over her eyes to kind of give her a little bit of emotion , and I'm gonna create a line that extends past just a bit in a smaller one. Nash says my lashes. So now we've got her face, but she needs hair because if you're a mermaid, you've gotta have a long, luscious hair. So I'm gonna go right just above her. And I want Teoh take a line that just connects to her ear. So all I did was just kind of curve a line and attached it to her here. So she has a hair flying and you can take this other one and bring it on down. See how that just sort of created her face shape of it. Now, this is her hair part. So I'm just going to drive, bring it down to make it wave. Whatever. Thank you for a little volume wave down trying to avoid those little W's I taught you. And now she's got some hair. So to add a bit texture, just do some wavy lines. Great. And she needs a crown. She just does. So those are easy. Those are gonna be like you're making triangles or mountain ranges up, down, up them up and down. So I'm going up, down Maybe some circles there and she needs and I So she needs pupil. Here we have it. It is too dark circles in the corner of her eye. She must be staring at something 5. Warm up 3 Lines & Curves: So first things first to draw the Popsicle. We're going to start with the body, which is just a line that will curve like so kind of looks like a shepherd's hook. Go ahead and complete that curve and bring it on down and you're just gonna connect the edges of here at the bottom. Now you can feel free to add two sticks like a double stick pop or just a single stick. I'm gonna do just one and that she's so line curving and bring it down like a soft sort of rectangle. And I won't create some sort of dimension in here, a little bit of texture. So what I'm gonna do is due basically this but smaller cell line that kind of goes down and let's do one more down they go. And just like our ice cream cone I want at a waving line here just so we can have something sort of fun here on the Popsicles. We've got a little Sprinkles over here, maybe even stripping just a little teardrop. So that's a Popsicle. Pretty basic, but we just did a shepherd's hook here, connected it down, connected again from the middle. We went and just went straight line, curved again, straight line and so on and so forward 6. Warm up 4 Lines & Curves Continued: getting started with the cactus. It's gonna be very easy. Very similar to the Popsicle. Alright. Start by drawing a straight line up. We're gonna curve it around like so very similar to that shepherd took. Bring it on down. Now, make sure you cannot date from the bottom here. Now we have the full popsicle shaped organ. Add on by creating a curb line right here. So create a curved line. Go ahead and round out the top here. Almost like creating a little bridge, arch. Just follow it down so it connects to the next piece of it. Now you're just gonna do the same thing on the bottom. I'm doing a curved line I'm gonna Bridget across and then follow where it ends and round it out, connecting it to the main piece. Dismayed Popsicle. Reese. Let's do one more very noodle like shape here. Next recedes cactus bullet. That design, which is a semicircle on the side Here. I'm gonna make it spikey to do that. I'm just dropped straight lines, and now I'm gonna do it all over the cactus. So we're basically implying that it's very speaking. Okay? And they have it. So you can sort of see how we just started with the basic shepherd's hook over here. Going up and around creating a sort of popsicle shaped way connected it. And then we just did some curves, followed them around. Gwala, you have a cactus pretty simple. 7. Creation 2: three. So now that you've learned the basics of lines and curves, we're gonna go ahead and combine the cactus and the Popsicle shape that you learn before to make a Kuala. So about mid link of your page, you're gonna want to start. And last time we started with the Mermaid, we started with the eyes. And this time we're gonna go ahead and start with the node. So to start creating new knows, we're just going to use the Popsicle shapely. Already done To do that, we're gonna create a shepherd, took take it up to the top. Now go ahead and bring it on down and we're gonna connect. Tick. Now we're gonna create the nostril. Select possible. Do you put all I have long circles in the nose. Now, don't worry about doing any embellishments on the top. Just leave the nose as is for now. So next we're gonna go ahead and start making the eyes for our Kuala. And that's just gonna be two circles on either side of the knows too little circles. And you can just put two small dots. Now that we have the eyes and nose, we're gonna go ahead and create a face shape. We want to keep it so close to the nose. These animals have prominent nose and for cartoon. You want that to stay now? So we're gonna do basically, you shave, bring it on down kind of close to the nose, but his base, but pretty close and bring it on up and connect it. Perfect. Now I'm gonna do a little smile right here. She's got a cute little look on his face. Next, we're gonna go ahead and work on some ears. So for bears do too little round semi circles on either side. And you do too little sees inside for definition ice. So now that we have the face of the koala, we're gonna want to give my body. Koalas are typically hanging on eucalyptus trees, so his arm will be hanging on a tree in just a moment. But for now, let's create around it back. So we're gonna do a curved sort of line, almost like a parentheses. Kind of like how we did the belly for the mermaid. And now for the arm. You want to leave that other side across from it. You want to leave that open. So for the arm, just sort of go right by his mouth. And like the cactus, you're gonna do another curved upward sort of fine around the top. Go and bring it on back. Doesn't need to go all the way. Give him space. But I'll just finding a little bit there. Perfect. And now we need a leg portion which will be smaller than the arm. So what about hear, Say, just to another, her upwards sort of lying slightly smaller around it and bring it on down almost to attach to the back. Not sure if they have tails, but I'll just leave a little bit of room to put one in their great. So now we're gonna start working on the belly, which is pretty simple. Just in the middle here, son noodle shape, just like so. And remember, our call is hanging onto a eucalyptus tree. Right? So I'm just gonna put a line between these two arms and legs and take this one up trees a little bit taller than him, and we'll just sue. It's, you know, keep it keeps going. Now we need some branches. So you're just going Teoh that we'll just use one straight line and you're gonna do to the side. So one like that and an additional straight line leaving space between, and you can keep that connected, doing nothing and bring it on. That's almost looks like a big Why game gonna do another and another small line next, almost like chicken feet. And you're gonna keep doing this for the entire tree. So it's really up to you how you want your treat. A look for me That's one branch and I'll do another one over here with Samore metal prongs on it, and the paralytic triangle says you can see where that sort of comes in a bit. This wonderful branch. Let's do maybe one more further down Nice. And so look where his pot ISS. We're gonna make it look like he's holding on, so just bring this straight down and now you have your tree. So now that we have our tree just gonna do three little prawns for his nails claws and he's pretty much done, we're getting close. Will do some embellishments, but we definitely need some more limbs, so really quickly. Let's go ahead and add an arm. It's just gonna be like we did before. A new little sort of her fine. And we'll go and do one for the bottom. Just a line up there. And now you can add if you want, you can add another line, so it's really sort of defined. I like to do that a little more definition. You see exactly what's going on there in the photo. So now we're gonna go ahead and embellish the tree by using our heart shapes that we learned how to do from the bird. So I'm gonna dio a larger piece of the heart with smaller piece, and I'm really gonna keep doing that all throughout the tree. So it's up to you how you like to style it. So I'm just gonna go fellow so you can keep me connected. A big piece and so on, so forth. Just keep on going. And eventually you'll just start to see where these shapes fit baby hearts trying those lines curb circles, whatever. All right. So I kind of put a little bit of embellishment inside the lease of little hearts. But you've created your own successful koala using just basic shapes, some hearts and line some circles. It's really just about getting comfortable those shapes, learning how to recognize them and then giving yourself a little opportunity to play with um and manipulate them to create these really awesome cartoons I hope you enjoyed. 8. Goodbye!: Well, thanks for everyone who had joined me. I hope that you had a great time and learn some new funds skills that you can incorporate into some amazing cartoons here in the future. Please don't forget to comment and post your amazing drawings. I love to see them and see how everyone's progressing. Um, please also stick around for the cost project. I would love for you to pick three of your favorite shapes. Triangle Square circle. Doesn't matter. You're just gonna incorporate them into one or more drawings, and we're gonna have a good time finding where your shapes are hidden in those drawing. So please participate. It's so fun to get to know everyone. And what we're all made up. Thanks so much. And I hope you into it. I'll see you guys around next time.