Discover Your Cartoon Style 101: Studying Famous Cartoon Faces | Asia Noble | Skillshare

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Discover Your Cartoon Style 101: Studying Famous Cartoon Faces

teacher avatar Asia Noble, Pro Doodler

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

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Preview (Optional)


    • 3.

      What You Need


    • 4.

      Heads Up!


    • 5.

      Real Eyes


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Mouthing Off


    • 8.

      How to Start Your Project


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About This Class

This will be a series of videos aimed at beginner cartoonists. Perfect for simple comic creators and hobbyists.

The great thing about this method despite its simplicity is learning how to apply it in other reference studies.


This class will focus on creating an easy to follow, step-by-step method of studying cartoons and understanding what makes each cartoonist and cartoon style unique.


The method discussed in this class will build a foundation for which to study the student's own distinct style and develop that further, by critiquing individual parts of a cartoon's head, its proportions, lines, and other aspects.


- How to start an efficient self-study habit

- How to collect and organize reference images to study from

- What to focus on when studying references (specifically faces and heads)

- How to do a study of your own work and pick and choose aspects of which you can improve on


Complete the class project by following the instructions below

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Asia Noble

Pro Doodler


Hi! My name is Asia (she/her), a self-taught illustrator and an active freelancer since 2014. My goal is to share what I've learned and make learning less intimidating to the absolute beginner. I've illustrated for newspapers, books, comics, and tech companies like Yahoo and Google. My preferred media includes ink, acrylic, digital paints (Clip Studio and Photoshop), and vectors (Adobe Illustrator)

I love creating classes that focus on accessible (read: affordable) software, workflow lessons learned the hard way, as well as write about the freelance life and the equipment I use. I spent my twenties traveling the world on a budget, and freelancing my way thro... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Welcome!: a lot of times there's so much information to be absorbed. So I want to read it that and make it easier for you to understand the decisions that go behind. Why certain artists used these lines and how you could probably apply the same kind of design are satisfied principles in your own work. Hi, my name is Asia and freelance illustrator from Manila. I'm finishing this class in my home, office and body. So being a self taught illustrator and a freelancer for the last four years, I'd like to share my personal way of learning from other, greater, much better artists that me. So imagine you're watching this because you'd like to learn how to study. I mean, I'm not here to give you what study until you do. I'll be teaching you how to look at someone's work by first looking at the shapes of their heads, figuring out the line style that the characters air using, then later on, isolating the eyes. Figure I have the shape what makes it unique and then all to the nose and the mouth, after which we're gonna put everything together and see if we can create a believable character from the same universe. You're taking your references from 2. Class Preview (Optional): So this is a preview of the cast, and this preview is pretty much the basic technique I used to dissect a cartoon style or Islamic style. I often do this when I'm running out of ideas or when I have to come up with something entirely new. By this, I mean study. You know, iconic cartoonists and clinics. Open up the template from the previous video and notice that you have three separate areas here. Everything is labeled, and all you have to do is click on the folder and then click on the layer that you want to edit. So open up your references folder. I've already prepared mine. Click on all of the references and place them on the layer that says, Place your references. Here it's going to be a bit of copy and pasting for you guys. So as you can see, I'm using Calvin and Hobbes, one of my favorite comics. Growing up, I used to trace all Bill Waterson comics over with onion skin, and I had a lot of his books growing up. So what we want to do here it's study the heads first. I usually just choose a brush that feels natural that feels like a ballpoint pen and in a culture that is not too distracting and it is not too final and try to squint your eyes and see what are the shapes that Bill Waterson likes to use. So as you can see here, there are a lot of like circles and a bit of a modified circle with us flattened triangle underneath for the chin. That's what he uses for Children. You'll also see that the proportion of the heads here are quite distinct. So for Children, the eyes and the nose are generally only 1/3 of the face or 1/3 of the head. The nose is always on the centre, right by the years and almost off the same length and height of the years as well. So here I'm drying and just like using Susie and Calvin's heads as reference as you can see here, I'm not paying attention to the light night I makes or whatever yet, and then here I'm trying to see how Bill Water Son drew mom and Dad for as far as I know, they don't have any names, so you'll see here the shape of Mom's head is very similar to dad's head accepted, exaggerated a little bit. You have the ears slightly bigger, but generally the proportions are still the same. So that was pretty simple, and I hope you were able to follow along. The next few videos will be very similar in nature to what I just showed you. It will delve more into thought processes that I go through when I'm trying to solidify a style or when I'm trying to create entirely new style for clients or, you know, commissions. 3. What You Need: you will need the following a reference folder to place all of your image files reference pictures of all the characters you are going to be studying and the template which you will be downloading from the links below. There two ways to do the template. Oneness by friend, where you use a pencil and a normal in key brush. Another is by digital. So right now, be using Photoshopped. But feel free to use the other programs here. And don't forget your tablets. 4. Heads Up!: So for the first class, I'd like you all to open up your templates. Fill them in with your own artwork. If you don't have enough artwork to use as reference yet, feel free to go back to your favorite artists. I mean, this is what this is about anyway. Try to find the style that's not too complicated. It doesn't really work with realism. It's better to take something from the comics or enemy or Mecca. For example, if you like Miyazaki, you can take a few characters of music and study that. Or if you want to start mixing it up, you can take an equal number of characters from these jersey different artists that you want to combine styles with. I would suggest to start with one first before you start developing and mutating a completely new style from these. So let's get back to that simply. What I want to do is guesstimate the shape of the heads that I'm using. Else you'll see. These are all very different styles. Some of them are Leinart. Some have been done in vector himself that have been painted. I'm doing this just to show you that over the years have had many different styles, but you'll see a lot of very common factors between all of these different heads. Take, for example, the chan, which I'm. It was trading right now you see that I like simple jeans. Do arrows at 45 rules over. You'll also see that the heads arounder that's mostly you're playing around my own head is since I use my face as I made reference to. So these were the those eyes from the eye lines. You see that they're mostly at the centre. Remember from the capital Mom's video, I think I kind of took it from there where I like Teoh focus the face as much as possible. Just 1/3 of the head. That's a personal choice. Obviously you different styles and I love to see them when you started submitting projects . So obviously, when I try to do the head, don't forget to do the whole head, not just the face part of the head is going to be a obscured by hair. Of course, once you have a good collection of heads, you're gonna be able to see the general shapes the take place or that are formed then you'll see what all these shapes have in common. Now, if you're trying to figure out what's wrong with a drying and you don't really know what to do. Usually when you have a look at the big picture and see everything collectively in just their job shapes, you'll be able to see what went wrong and how you gonna prove it. It's also a good way to start kind of tweaking Europe your style as you go. So what I've been doing over here now is, I lowered. The opacity of the layer was doodling on, and I'm going through everything with a pen pressure sensitive fresh. This is just to show you how different line weights can give a certain feeling of dynamism to your illustrations. So I'm not really going heavy on the bench pressure here, but you'll see that it's not like one uniforms laying with all throughout. And this is a technique that I really enjoy doing when I am, when I'm doing when I'm doing my characters, so just trying to finish off all of the heads once you have that, we can move on to the next video 5. Real Eyes: If you look at the eyes of the cartoons that have included as reference, you're going to see that a lot of them look pretty similar. When I was starting out, I first thought that most of my work didn't look like each other, and I was worried that I didn't have a personal style. I only realized later on that this kind of thing, it just appears after years and years of just doing art. So here I am, drawing, um, some feminine eyes. So this is usually the formula I use when I'm doing women's faces. So I usually start with a thick upper lash line and then a lower lash line that is almost close to invisible. When I was a kid, I used to charge people Teoh, Arch if I them, you know, in the same way that some some people do a Simpson ized version of themselves, and this was one of the methods that that I learned so I would copy the eyes, copy the face, copy everything and then just like and you know, personal details of whoever I'm trying to draw. So I will see that I'm doing the actual people's and irises. Unlike Archie, they weren't just black thoughts for me. Eventually I started making them or take these me like because these knee was also another huge influence over my style, and I think you can still kind of see that in a lot of my work. However, if you're working with a much simpler style like Calvin and Hobbes, try to figure out if they're using small dots or large dots. How many eyebrows do they use here? You'll see that most of them either have a unibrow or no eyebrows. It'll so now if we go back to my own work, you will see that I just used a rectangle in it. But if you want to use the universe, go hit. That makes it fun here. If you don't want to use eyebrows, you can do that. Do you will see that it's effective for many other comics. I mean, if you look at adventure time, only have our beady eyes and pretty much no eyebrows lines for eyebrows. So if you could make that work for you, then all the better. Now let's try to do actual paradise. Based on the study, we just did later on, we'll see if we can combine everything together with the rest of the facial features we're going to be studying in the next videos. 6. Noses: So now we're going to study some of the noses that I like using. I've included, um, examples here from the various years I've been working so all of these air from different years and obviously like I mentioned before, they're from different styles. However, you'll see that they have a lot of things in common. Originally, I didn't think that they all looked the same. But generally speaking, the shapes that I use when I simplify and nose is pretty much consistent all throughout the body of my work, so you'll see that it's either I use, so you'll see that either use a less Santana Greater Sign R V. It's pretty much just that. And if you go even further, you'll also notice that all of them share a distinct line style. So let's say when I'm doing noses, I tend to make the lines thicker on the bottom. Since I'm doing a cartoony style in most of these examples, I can't really get to detailed like these two nostrils right here. I have Teoh convey depth in as few lines as possible, so what I usually do is combine like a thicker line with a thinner with a thinner, like with a thinner, curved line. Teoh denote the bridge of the nose so you can do this in many different ways, as you can see here. So another thing I'm trying to teach you here is when you're looking at comics and cartoons as references, you're going to notice very geometric or very simple shapes that come out. Make. For example, With Archie, you have inverted triangle or with Bill Waterson, you have that undersea or the letter and then living at this, do they focus A lot more on the small moss trails and a small bridge lion are the tip of the nose. 7. Mouthing Off: now the last part of a reference she'd involves the mouth. A lot of comics decided to use just simple shapes like circles lines or, you know, even just like dashes to indicate expressions. Personally, I like doing a thin upper lip and the hint of a bottom lift. I think this comes from my early days of studying Disney and Archie as bases for how to draw. I actually used to draw the Archie lips like this, like just too salted lines. And the teeth is just like one white space until until I got more comfortable in exploring showing the teeth a little bit more. You know, just add a little bit more expression. You see the arrows here, though, where I decided to deviate from my original like desire to do Archie and disease Talibs. You'll see that I added a little bit of a dip on the upper lip that is a little bit more reflective of my own face. So when you're doing your references and you're trying to discover your own cell, it's I think it's a good idea to inject a little bit of your own your own self into your cartoons. It doesn't even have to be something so obvious because the more reference studies you do, the more you subconsciously absorb all of these different styles and influences, and you end up making it your own. Anyway, this is just a template and a technique for you to use to look at things in case you find yourself not knowing what exactly you're looking at or how exactly you're going to take from what your study. 8. How to Start Your Project: uh