Cartoon Sketching: Combining animal and human into anthropomorphic characters
Because this type of cartooning really rests on your imagination more than your current drawing level skills, anyone can do it, young and old.
I was introduced to the subject by Carla Sonheim and her book, Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals, which taught how to see imaginary characters by identifying eyeballs in surfaces like cement, tree bark, and rusty metal, then imaginating the related body. I spent a year doodling these, then branched off into creating humanized animals (or animalized humans). These are fun to create and entertain others.
To stimulate your imagination and start drawing, look through photos to find an animal and person in a pose of interest.
To find two photo references, I visited Pixelbay.com.
Next, I placed the dog’s head on the woman’s body. This can be done manually on paper via “cut-and-paste,” or through a computer art program, which is what I used.
While my finished cartoon character didn’t faithfully reproduce the references, those references stimulated my imagination to produce the following image–a dog-like figure who is stuck on a boring phone call.
The secret to creating humorous cartoons is in conveying emotions through the eyes and eyebrows. Experiment by making a single cartoon figure, but without eyeballs and eyebrows, copy it, and then draw the eyeballs in each copy, but in different positions.
- Photo Resource: The photos are from Pixelbay.com, home of stunning, royalty-free images. The dog was contributed to Pixelbay by Marten Bjork, and the woman, Lenin Estrada.
- The appeal of graphic novels about anthropomorphized animals. By Christine Ro, April 2018. This article provides an excellent analysis about the use of anthropomorphized animals, plus examples of where they have been used.
- Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals. By Carla Sonheim. I recommend buying the soft-bound copy.
- Cartoon Sketching: Identifying emotions. By Karen Little. Littleviews.com
- Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. By Austin Kleon. This book can change your life! I highly recommend it and other works by Austin Kleon.
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This article was written by Karen Little as part of an ongoing series of blogs on Cartoon Sketching. Published on Littleviews.com. February 10, 2020.
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