Stick Figures With Style | Ray Hofstedt | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.

      Stick Figures With Style Introduction


    • 2.

      Getting Started - Materials and Workspace


    • 3.

      Draw Basic Shapes


    • 4.

      Your First Stick Figures with Style


    • 5.

      Backgrounds and Text


    • 6.

      Ink and Water Brush


    • 7.

      Class Project Fun with a Pencil


    • 8.

      Digitize Your Doodles


    • 9.

      Where to Post - Goodbye Jam


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About This Class

In this class, we’ll go over some fast and easy techniques for drawing quick cartoons that add an element of fun to your daily communications. People tend to remember the content of a message if it has some kind of personalized image associated with it.

We can’t forget about using our quick sketch methods for journal writing and bullet lists.

Even if you think you can’t draw a straight line, this class will help you get comfortable with some basic drawing skills to create your own Stick Figures With Style.

Links to Art Supplies

The above are Amazon links. Skillshare is not included in Amazon's affiliate program. The links can help you find art supplies that I find helpful for my art studio.

Don't forget to download the PDF practice sheets to get started.

Hit me here with any questions or comments.

Let's draw some cartoons :)

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Ray Hofstedt

Keep That Pencil Moving


I think there's an artist and adventurer inside each one of us. Everything starts with an idea. Nurturing your quick drawing skills can help visualize those ideas and share with the people (and pets) that matter to you. 

Now a bit of my Story

Love to draw cartoons and caricatures. My dad "Huf" drew caricatures, portraits and cut silhouettes at Disneyland when I was a kid. I learned the art of cartooning from him and the artists he worked with. A great big thanks to Dad's good friend, the late Lee Harvin who gave me my first break at the Knott's Berry Farm Cartoon Wagon.

I drew caricatures for years at theme parks in California. Met my wife Stella at Magic Mountain 30 years ago.

I worked as an effects artist at Disney for nine years. Pencil a... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Stick Figures With Style Introduction: all right. Little are dude, Let's do this. Hello. My name is Ray and I'm an animator, designer and illustrator. My specialty is quick sketch cartooning and stick figures with style. Do you ever wish you could draw something fast? You were saying yourself. I can't even draw a straight line. You ever thought of adding some cartoons to your articles, art projects or social media posts? But dont know where to start. I've earned tons of pencil mileage over the years and developed a fun and fast cartooning style that I'd love to share with the skill sharing community. So let's get started. Come on with take a look. Video one is getting started. Sharpen your pencil, grab some paper and we'll cover some ideas for setting up your workspace. Video to draw basic shapes. Practice sketching lines, circles, squares, triangles and elliptical shapes. Video. Three. Your first stick figure with style. Quick action poses adding volume and weight. A quick lesson on stick figure action poses in cartooning the human form Siple shading and determining light sources and adding shadows. Video four. Adding background and text elements. I'll share some of my hand drawn lettering, styles and alphabets in order to add some depth, cartoons recover quick lesson in perspective. Joy Video five Eek watercolor pencils and water brush techniques. One of my favorite during styles is using a wet brush and ink techniques. While we're at it off Demonstrate, adding some color with water colored pencils. Video six. Digitize your doodles to wrap it all up will go over some quick tips on how to digitize your stick Figures with style Video seven. Class project Run with a pencil. Draw your quick sketch cartoon doing your favorite sport. Hobby your occupation. Upload drawings to share with class video. Eight. Where to post your cartoons? Tips on places, Poster messages. I'll tell you my favorite places to leave Stick figures. Style for family and friends to joy. Let's get started in the next video with gathering drawing materials and setting up our workspace. 2. Getting Started - Materials and Workspace: Oh, we go. He's got a hold this in this world. We'll get those later. Thanks for watching getting started. This is our first video in the lesson. I ran a little bit longer than I anticipated. So stick with it. There's gonna be info on pencils, paper pens, Erasers aren't just set up and a quick look at my journal, one of my old journals at the end. So it's worth sticking around for running about 10 minutes almost, and I hope you like it. Let me know what you think and let's get going. I think I'll take these back before you fall over. Lesson one. Getting started. Sharpen your pencil and grab some paper work space set up. Yes, they still make these these kind of sharp interests. I just have this attached to my work. Bench sharpened our pencil just plain old, like number two wooden pencil. Or you could have an electric sharpener. That's what I keep at my desk. Then here's the forget her hand sharpener. Pop it in there and give it a twist. Shaves off the end, gives you a good sharp point. I usually do it over the rubbish can. Here's another type of sharpener that catches the crumbs so you can keep it at your desk if you're not. If you're not nearby, the electric sharpener or the hand crank er one on your workbench. There it is. I want to show you some of the drawing materials that work for me. You don't need a lot of fancy art supplies to draw stick figures with style. Okay, so I just use a regular pencil you can use, you know, like a number two school pencil. Any old lead pencil will do. Ah, ballpoint pen. There's always nice for good, fine line, and I have a variety of felt tip markers, too. On this faras paper goes, you know I love doing little quick cartoons on post its. Here's my little note running to the store. Be right back. There's some paper from another note pad that's good for quick notes. Were you just cut up? Your own printer paper is excellent for sketching on, and I found you can get pads. You know that. Have the little gum ending so you can peel them off. And that's what I'll be working mostly with in this class. Here's a few Lord driving materials. I forgot to mention Eraser. There's a kneaded eraser. You know it's a referee racer in you. You soften it up by meeting it on squeezing and tearing it up on re squeezing the man. It cleans it up really, really easy, and it doesn't leave a lot of chrome's. So this is good for when you want. No, we do a sketch with pencil and then you want to do you clean up line and drive for a sec. You could rub out Pencil gives a good, clean ink drawing that I have this one. We have no projet in another block eraser, and this one is kind of cool. It's a long, skinny pencil eraser. We use these in animation, so you could be really precise with racing pencil marks and some additional during tools that are useful for cartooning. Plastic ruler appear. I have this rolling ruler that's good for drawing parallel lines when it comes to drawing straight lines, and then you roll it back and can draw another parallel line. And what I have watercolor pencils and I have this water brush. You feel that you feel the tube with water and give it a squeeze and it'll gives it some water. And then you could work in some paint effects off of your color pencil washing. We'll go over that later lesson and they use Penny for some of my cartooning. Just a dip, pen and ink. What else do I have? Oh, yeah. You wanna have paper towels for you? If you do watercolor and sketchbooks and drawing journals, you know, I have an old journal with lots of drawings and paintings in it that I've done over the years, a trip to the Galleria. Then you sketch, although paintings that you see so stick figures with style is really a lifetime of doodle art and just scribbling everywhere you go and then you write some notes. Look, Dawg cartoons get your journals or any paper and pencil we'll get onto. So drawing some quick shapes have a little aren't figure model that we use for reference. It's it's articulated imposible so we can put together some poses and get some reference for drawing are stick figures with style. Do those one armed pushups and we're ready to go. So we're gonna set up our workspace. Let's say you don't have a drawing board or our desk. All you have is a little edge of a dining room table toe work with. I grabbed a few items here. You always need a place to put your drink place for coffee. So let's start with so some easily accessible items like a big art book. You know, coffee people, book of some kind in a couple of paperbacks. The book. You could lean them up. Many stack to I have a little please to sketch. You know your feet on the ground. Is it up close? You could have space to move your arms to start practiced in your shapes. You can also, if you want a bigger space to get a bigger book, that's pretty good. We have lots of these laying around VHS tapes these air if you want to go. If you don't want to use up your paper back Hardcover collection for that, just stacks of books up or some VHS tape, and this is a good angle for me. You know, 30 to 45 degrees. You could go higher if you want more stuff. If you want to go higher, if you want to go ahead and get a drawing board. You've seen these before, You know, it's a big, like Masonite board. This one has clips on it. Hold your reference material and I still do the same thing. I would stack some books so that I can lean on and on this. It's such a big board, you can leave it into your your torso and they have a a good space to be sketching with two lots of lots of room. So if you have a bigger arts project, this is good. Another kind of bored we have. I just got a process. Probably. Is this board this actually has a little stand on it and a little, uh, ledges to catch the end of the table. So you set that up and then you could go as far in as you want. If you want to hang over the edge of the table, get close to you. This one had a lot of miles Or use this a lot. Sometimes I'll take down material on here and sketch on it. You can find something like this. Have the art store last But not least, when all else fails trip good will you know, a couple of just tapes. Well, a little baking trade. This is a great surface to you. Have a little spot to set up. You figure they're gonna wonder. What would you do with a baking tray? That about wraps up our getting started section of lesson. Just remember, you don't need a lot of extra materials. Just a pencil or a pin. Well, our deed has a pencil for me aboard for book paper, and you could sit just about anywhere and do some stick figures of style. This drug alert you in the next section. We will. You're going on our basic shapes watching. 3. Draw Basic Shapes: miss section draw basic shapes. We're gonna talk about some light sketch practicing. I'll have these as downloadable. PdF Develop these shoots. Practice sheet. A scribble practice sheet for strictly lives occurred. Lines next up will practice sketching line circles, squares, triangles, an elliptical shapes. I'll be using a regular old pencil for me. I found that holding a pencil like this allows for greater control. Visibility. Hold the pencil easily in your hand. No need to grip it Super tight. Do you want to keep your fingers extended so you can see the mark? Your making? See how to draw street line something. My dad showed me the tip from master sign painters that he worked with. You can draw a straight line without using a ruler by sliding your little finger along this street edge of your desk or aren't bored Or, you know, for me, it's the note pad that I'm using. And let's say I want to just put a quick border around it. So I hold the pencil lightly, and then I used my fingers against the average and then anchor the pencil and then use Use the guide and then I could draw fairly straight line and just moved the pencil slightly, and you can get a little border going. Let's warm up on sketching some lines in any direction. Use your whole arm and quickly draw some broad strokes. Makesem, paraben lines and change direction to create a cross hatching effect. Sometimes you might want to hold it like this. Just use your whole hand. Makesem strokes. Just draw some quick strokes in any direction. I don't need to be perfect. We just want to get that pencil movie and put your mind on the end of the pencil. Notice how it feels as its gates around the paper surface, and then you can even start, you know, adding some curve to it. You both sides of paper so we don't waste. Hold the pencil loosely. Use your whole head a whole arm and to get some fun shapes going. Okay, now let's sketch some squares, rectangles, triangles at any geometric change was, we'll start off with some squares and you could be loose with it. Rectangles, drama and drama at different angles to you. So you get used to putting shapes and in different directions. But what Octagon look eat cited. Stop science sheet, you know, sketching your apparel line and I say, Don't stop, Keep drawing. Let's end this practice session with quick sketches of circles and ellipses, I learned from senior animators at Disney that drawing from the shoulder helps with keeping your rough sketches flowing, sort of a dance on paper. So I will start. You know, that pencil kind of loosely. For me, counterclockwise seems to be a good shape for good direction. You can go in the other direction, whatever is more comfortable for you. And I just dropped different sizes. Big Bingo Biggs medium and small when we're effects artists that Disney, we would always keep that in mind. When you're drawing organic shapes to make things look more natural, go big mediums and small and also your distances between are also big, medium and small to get like randomize design going that looks more natural. So we talk about circles, and whatever direction is comfortable for you trying not to leave him open like when you don't draw fast. Don't make little tomatoes Well. One of my supervisors at Disney also said, Yeah, don't make tomatoes. When we were working on bubbles for Fantasia, so we just be careful Enclosure shapes. And if you're left handed, you might be more comfortable going going clockwise. I'm not that comfortable because I'm not left handed. Let's flip this over and look on. Look at the lips. Is so I got this lid off of, Ah, off a dog again. It's a nice circle. In fact, I was washing. First, make sure you watch it. You can use that as your circle guy. I brought this along so we can get an idea of how to visualized the elliptical shape. Because when you turn it, the circle flattens out was basically a line like that. Then we turn it slightly. And this is something that for quick sketching practice, drawing ellipses at different angles is good. You know, you make sure you keep in mind the axis of Yuri lips like here's the axis, the X and the Why, If you want to keep that in mind, you're flattened circle. You can split up your your access. So every every wedge, every little slice of pie there is the same on your access that we can get a good the lips . Now we're gonna talk about when you want to make some more three D type shapes like a cylinder. You know, a cylinder is just a it's got two caps and a too great is your capped one, your top, your bottom and your tube. So now I'm gonna use my elliptical for my top. My bottom just dropped loosely. Then connect the science for my tube. Tonight we'll need that back shape, and then we could shade in on the inside of the tube. When you start thinking in a little more dimensional drawing, we'll cover that little more with added weight and volume the same thing with with a cone. I'll draw my base lightly. And then here's my the tip of the triangle and you connect those. No, I got a code. My light direction is from from this direction. So this party's lit on this part is could be shaded in. So if you if you take in some drawing classes, I'm sure you going over some of this stuff with shadows and and like for Mitt for making some dimensional shapes. We'll cover that later, too. But for now, let's review draw a straight line you use the guy use, uh, is your ruler. Practice practice. Lloyd's across hedging squares, triangles, another geometry, circles and ellipses. My favorite things to do with cartoon circle remains of Saturday. A couple of moves in different sizes. Man, you could do. A cone will shape for the cockpit. Shapes for the wings. Streetlights, squiggles. Now we got a rocket or being Saturday, so it's a lot of fun on. Uh, just keep going. Put some music on. Warm up the drawing hand, Philip. A few practice sheets. I have some PdF downloads you guys can use for to get you started in the next lesson. Your first stick figures with style tips on cartooning, the human form and action poses. All right, thanks. 4. Your First Stick Figures with Style: So let's let's look at some other stick figures. We'll just do spraying old stick figures. Oh, stuff that. I'm just gonna go with the stuff that I like. I like basketball. He was a guy. Get ready to shoot a free throw, you know, just use a little circles for hands and then put a put basketball in his hand. Then we could put the free throw line on their remember we're using using their lips. You know, the free throw line is kind of just a circle on the ground with the line across. It indicate the little basketball lines crosshatch for the net. Hopefully, you can see that we can see it and then, uh, he's ready to shoot a free throw and then we can get the other guys waiting around, you know, they're there sort of hands on their knees. We were waiting for it to happen. So just for stick figures with style, you want to get sort of the bare bones skeleton looking in. You know, we can put the ref back here. You could be he could be pointing. Since he's a stick figure, we can t indicate he's the ref by putting a whistle on his neck and maybe even the ref has to wear glasses. And I like guitar drug guitar player. So Circle rock star jumping oppose his arms out because swinging his other, I was gonna hold the top of the neck guitars back. He's He's jumping little circles for hands. Is this feat jumping? No, but some sunglasses on him, I guess. Lines for the guitar neck. Little squiggles for guitar body uh, dots for the tuners. Lines with threats. You know, just a quick little indication to tell the story. And now here's the edge of the stage. He's jumping and then tiny hands of screaming fans. This is one of my favorite jokes with them drawing characters, rock stars, what else way? Like bicycle writers. So imagine somebody sitting on the bike. Just draw the center line legs in the pedaling position and then arms sticking out, holding the handlebars, hair flying in the wind. And then you build the bike from the you know, start with the seat. A couple a couple of lines for the frame, basically a triangle. It's two triangles together for a bicycle. The front part of the frame in the back part of the frame circle where the pedals go. Another tube for the with handle bars go in the front wheel. Make circle froth. Best squiggles. Three. There's so go ahead and give us another sheet. Some of your favorite hobbies and sports like using this wooden figure for reference. There are also tons of images online you could find for figure drawing reference. Use the PDF download to refer to for this lesson. Figure is generally seven heads high. 1234567 and, uh, with arms straight out. The measurement from fingertip to fingertip is approximately the same as our height from head to toe. Let's look at that. So fingertip to fingertip. Yeah, lets you have a ruler. Prue somewhere, you know, use about a foot and it's actually believe it or not. It's about the same height as we are from head to toe. Okay, so we'll talk about adding a little volume and weight with the watercolor pencil and brush water brush. I'm going to use this. Uh, this is a Derwent watercolor pencil. When you're drawing cartoon figures really are no rules. You could stretch, shrink and distort the figure to tell your story, loosely sketched the lines of action, Then start drawing in the basic forms. Start adding detail with unique. Try to keep it simple. Just out enough detail to tell your story. Okay, I grabbed my little brush. Squeeze water into the tip. We start adding a little bit of more texture to the painting underneath the arm. This is where you, you know, I like that kind of loose style. Or you could use the pit Aneke style. I have some of this dark brown ink. You dip it a bit. No, we could start adding more detail to this drawings. Just keep it simple. You don't really need the labor over every little shape. You just want to tell the story of person holding a pencil art pad, his fingers coming over the side from the little stick. Figure with style. Let's put this down for a splash it soup of the day. Put the lid back on your ink. This'll wraps up our stick figure lesson next, adding background in text elements. Thanks for watching 5. Backgrounds and Text: in this lesson will talk about background and text elements. A quick lesson in perspective. Joy. Some of my lettering styles, right? Let's take a look part of this. We'll go through my three lettering styles and use the most first, my all capital pranking style that I use when I'm drawing caricatures. So next is my block letters, and I do. Actually, I do actually put them inside a block. So it's a good to start out with some uniform boxes to give you an idea, and then we fill them in, just like the old wood box weeds, to use the minimum basic handwriting style. Also known this curse it just like we did in school. - A one point perspective lesson. Well, just draw a horizon line, but hopefully don't put a single point. That's my single point perspective. So what? This means I'm going to any any third dimension that I want to add to mice shapes. The line will vanish to that point. If you stand on the middle of the sidewalk and you look down the longest sidewalk you ever saw, you noticed they they go often to a single point from your point of view. What? So you're standing here in the back, the back of your your head or the back of my head, That point of view. Now, here's a box somebody left behind, and I'm gonna point the edges of the box lightly towards that single point Grab the corner pointed towards that point. Got the other corner, pointed towards the point how far back you want the box to go. I'm just gonna cut it off here. My light is coming from this direction. So casting, light making, making that side of the box dark likes it here. So that's a little one point perspective. 6. Ink and Water Brush: My favorite styles of drawing and painting is the EQ and water brush technique. We'll go over. Come on, they say quick, a lot. Don't Inc and Water Brush Techniques. This is one of my favorite styles. Drawing. We'll go over some of the pens I use and just a quick lesson. Quick. Just a quick lesson. Just a fast lesson on water brush painting. Let's make it fast that quick, Speedy. There's a plastic water brush. The barrel comes off, has a little cap, and you fill it with water. This group back in cap comes off and you give it a squeeze. The water comes out, so this is good for watercolor pencils. Have a few few colors you can also use. This is called in IK Tense blocks. There's a little blocks of color, kind of like pastels. Let's do a little sample, not on the football field. Let's see him with some of this later, but you can pick up some of this some of these colors with your little water brush. Or you can just grab, do some drawing on your peace. The moon with the brush to get some watercolor techniques going. He's a pre goal, actually haven't used these too much. So you're working with me. Brand new on this, And then you might still want to keep up a couple water to rinse this out with. Of course, you got regular water color you can put on the palate and used with using today. But the stuff that we do use if you're watercolor class coming up first, women use their kneaded eraser and we're about the pencil. Okay, we're gonna get this pin already. I'm going to test it with bank brush. So felt tip marker. Yeah, we could wash over that later. That's what I want. I want to be able to paint some shadows. Okay, let's clean up this guy his eyes towards where he's going, - tippy toeing kind of folds over laces with the shoe. It's a little shoe. It's all about the shoes. That's pretty good. And I'm gonna strengthen up some of the shadow areas with extra material because I'm gonna put some so light from this direction. So everything that's on the opposite light, I'm gonna add a little extra ink, and then I'll be able to pick up some of the ANC to make the shadow going through there on the backside. I'll grab one of these little art sticks that has color in it. Put that down for the grass. Yeah, here's my blue. Where's the helmet? I'm just gonna lightly do it, so we come have a wash on it. I'm also going to keep the shadow areas underneath for his uniform. Since he's lit, I believe, Leave any color out in there. So just the underneath part that's gonna be slightly in shadow. Maybe a little brown for the football. A little bit of a wash, and that's a good start. Now let's start messing around with their with the ink with water. We're just gonna wash this grass needs moment, rips it out a little. Let's move out the color for the for the uniform. And now we're gonna pick up some of this to give a little shadow a little tone for the rest . You know that underneath his eyes could be in shadow the ball to slightly dark meat, and the more water your ad like, the more it's gonna run and you kind of give you a cool in fact, and then I got some of that black. That was mixed in there. Way you some of the leftover peak Forsythe Motion lines. And there it is a little Lincoln water brush. 7. Class Project Fun with a Pencil: Okay, Class project. Every. Here we go. Favorite sport football head action. Close again are about. They're holding the football. I'm not going to go do a lot of details. Use my brush routine with the the leases on the football. Very good. They were Harbi. What's my favorite hobby? My favorite hobby. Ah, guitar building Bench. Move a week there. I think this my occupation. There's an artist sitting that the drawing board with my mind on the end of the pencil. Little chair. - Just a little circles for the for the chair. Six legs meals. Yeah, so you might as well have the okay Is the camera, you know, Square square, little circle Circle Stick stick. There we go. There's our stick figures with style class. Just keep building on that color depth of water Pencil. Thanks for watching Stick figures with style. It's a lot of fun doing this stuff. Let me know if you guys have any questions. Glad Dio fill you in on tips and tricks for drawing cartoons 8. Digitize Your Doodles: so digitize your doodles. I'm just putting down some white paper SLR camera. This is what I used mostly to film this class with. Take a picture of that one picture, this one that endless. Here we go can always just take pictures with your phone. I try to watch out for the shadows. Then we'll get these pictures into Photoshopped. We'll show you how a problem we're using the scanner slash printer. Most of these printers are very similar, so I hit the whole key. Set it up for scan pop in the U. S. B in the front. Could be on the side on your model. It's kids, and I use the default settings for mine, but you can crank it up toe higher resolution if you want, and I use a PdF output hit the color scan, and it saves it to the little USB. You could poppy another art. If you want to keep scaring, pull the USB. I take it to the PC. Let's get to crop in the images and photo shop. Here's how to crop and export your image in photo shop. I'm gonna go ahead and open the notes can. Pdf that we did on the scanner earlier, and that's assuming you know how to manage layers and can make selections in photo shop. We can put together another class for a beginner photo shop. If if that would be helpful, just let me know in the marquee tool with the draw a box around the selection so it would select that. It's also you see down here, says the letter M for a hot key, and I'll draw a box around the little guitar skin. Gonna adjust it so it so it selects. I'm gonna zoom a little more. You can just hit control plus on the PC so you can get closer. If you press the space bar, you get the little hand, and then you can drag it down to a better view. You've got that selected Goto image, Clint, and then it trims it down to the box size. And now to export it, you goto file export and I'm going with saved for Web. And here's the hockey all shift control s. It's quite a combination. I'm gonna save it as a high quality J peg and click save and you go to the folder you want to save it, too. I'm Stephen it and stick figures with style. Note. Skin upload and see her. Let's check to make sure it's over there. Notes can upload. There it is. And now we can drag and drop this into our skill share class for everyone to see. And that's it for digitizing your doodles. Thanks for watching. 9. Where to Post - Goodbye Jam: We're to post your stick. Figures with style coming up next. - Thanks for watching Stick style. Had some fun learning some new ideas about cartooning. If you have any questions, just let me know in the comments below. And don't forget the upload your drawings for the class project and see you next time in skill share classes. I really appreciate it. Thanks a lot.