Designing and Illustrating Your Own Cartoon Character


Cartoon characters are as endearing to adults as they are to children. We often can relate to them in many ways. Although many cartoon characters familiar to us through television, movies, video games and advertising look simple, that simplicity usually comes from many hours of development. In today's lesson, we will be designing and painting our own cartoon characters.

What you need

  • pencils
  • sketch pad
  • black permanent markers
  • poster colours (gouache paint)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is your favorite animated cartoon on television? Why is it so much fun to watch?
  2. What do you feel when you see your favorite cartoon show?
  3. Who are some of your favorite cartoon characters? Why do you like them?
  4. What is the difference between a animated cartoon, comic book and computer animation?

What you do

  1. Make several small sketches of different character ideas. If you need some inspiration, think about some of your favorite cartoons . 
  2. Once you have singled out a character design that you like, draw your character on a large sheet of paper.  
  3. Be creative with their pose and costume. Include a background setting for your character.
  4. Ink your pencil lines with black permanent markers & pens. Erase any unwanted pencil lines.  
  5. Paint your character and background with gouache paint.