This twelve step tutorial shows how to draw a girl in a cartoon style. It includes detailed illustrated examples along with proportions and drawing instructions.
Drawing people (even in a simplified cartoon style) can be a bit of a challenge. To make things easier this tutorial breaks up the drawing into 12 stages that show how to draw and place the different parts of the head and face.
As the character in the examples has quite a bit of details this tutorial is longer and more detailed than most other ones here on EasyLineDrawing. It should still however be fairly easy to follow and understand even for beginners.
If drawing on paper you should definitely start with a pencil as you will need to erase certain parts of the character in between the different steps. To make erasing easier you should also make fairly light lines. The lines in the examples dark just so that they are easier to see. You can darken your lines when you are almost done with the drawing.
Step 1 – Draw the Top of the Head
Before drawing any parts of the head or face it can be helpful to draw a straight vertical line through the middle of your page/drawing area. This line can act as a guide to help you see if both sides of the head/face are even in width. It can also help you center the drawing on page.
Towards the upper end of the line draw a circle that will represent the top of the head. Be careful not to draw it too high up though as you will need to leave some room for the hair.
Step 2 – Draw the Bottom of the Face
Going down from the circle that represents the top of the head draw the bottom of the face similar to what is shown in the example. As this is a stylized cartoon character this part of the face will be drawn smaller than in real people with a pointier chin.
Erase the bottom part of the circle after you are done so that the head looks like the example in the next step.
Step 3 – Draw the Neck/Shoulders
While this tutorial focuses on drawing the head/face it’s a good idea to add some of the body or else your drawing will just look odd.
Going down from the bottom of the head add the neck and a bit of the shoulders. Again, as this is a stylized character make the neck fairly thin in comparison to the head. You can make the shoulders fairly small in relation to the head as well (when compared to the proportions of real people).
Step 4 – Draw the Ears
To place the ears draw them with their tops close the the horizontal halfway point of the head and their bottoms halfway between that and the chin as shown in the example above.
You don’t have to draw all of the guide lines but it’s a good idea to add the line that divides the face in half horizontally (you can estimate the rest). You also don’t need to draw any of the inner details of the ears (at this stage) as most of them will be covered by the hair (added in later steps).
Step 5 – Draw the Eyes
Draw the eyes below the horizontal halfway point of the head similar to the ears. As this is a cartoon character where you draw the bottom of the eyes can depend on how large you want them to be.
Angle the eyes slightly downwards towards the middle of the head.
Draw the irises with their tops slightly covered by the upper eyelids otherwise the eyes will look like they area staring.
Step 6 – Draw the Eyebrows
Draw the eyebrows a little way up from the eyes. Make them thicker towards the middle of the face and narrower towards the ears. You can also position them slightly closer to the middle of the face as well.
Step 7 – Draw the Nose
To draw the nose position it with it’s bottom halfway between the top of the eyes and the bottom of the chin.
You can show the tip/bottom of the nose with just one wavy line. Next draw each of the sides with just one small curve.
Finally draw just a hint of the bridge of the nose with one long curve going from it’s bottom portion up towards the eyebrows.
Don’t draw the other side of the bridge or the nose will look odd.
Step 8 – Draw the Mouth
To finish placing the facial features draw the mouth. Position the mouth with the bottom lip between the bottom of the nose and the bottom of the chin.
In this case the mouth will be drawn with a light smile so it will be slightly wider than it would be in it’s natural state. It’s entire shape will also be curved slightly upwards.
Draw the bottom lip as pretty much one big curve and the upper lip shaped like a flattened letter “M”. Draw the mouth (area between them) as a curve as well.
After finishing this step you can erase any of the guide lines you used for placing the facial features.
Step 9 – Draw the Hair
When drawing this particular hair style you can think of it as split into two parts. The front/sides (shown in red) and the back (shown in green).
Draw the front section first and then add the back section afterwards.
When you are done outlining the hair you can erase the parts of the face that are covered by it.
In case you are wondering why you had to draw the parts of the head covered by the hair it’s to help avoid making mistakes. It’s much easier to estimate the volume of the hair and to place the ears if you can see the entire head.
Step 10 – Finished Line Drawing
At this stage go over your drawing with darker lines and add the smaller details of the facial features as well as a hint of clothing.
For the details of the eyes do the following:
- Draw the basic shape of the eyes and irises (should already be done from earlier step)
- Add the pupils
- Draw the highlights (light reflections in the eyes) overlapping parts of the pupil and erase the parts they overlap (make the outlines of these barely visible so that they later blend into the color)
- Add a hint of the eyelids
- Fill in the pupils with black (or shade them in with a pencil) and add a dark/black area above them as shown in the example
- Add some eyelashes
For the other details add:
- A hint of the inner details of the ears
- The clothing (just a bit of the shirt in this case)
Step 11 – Color the Drawing
While the drawing in the example is colored digitally an easy way to color a drawing like this one on paper is with colored pencils. Markers may be too bright and paints can smudge when trying to fill in the smaller details of the face.
You can pretty much use any combination of colors that you like but in the example it’s done as follows:
- Brown hair
- Green eyes
- Pink lips
- Blue/pink shirt
You will also notice there are some highlights in her hair. You can add these by simply coloring around them and then lightly shading over them with the same color as the hair (so that they are not too bright).
There is also a tiny highlight on the lips that you can add by coloring around it as well.
Step 12 – Add Some Shadows & Finish the Girl Drawing
To make the drawing look a little less “flat” you can add some very basic shading by darkening some areas of the drawing. You can either do this by going over parts of the colored areas with a regular pencil or by using a darker shade of whatever color you chose.
Generally the way shadows appear on anything is based on the lighting. To keep things simple the face of this girl will be shaded as though she is either outside on a sunny day or indoors in a well lit room.
Add the shading in the following places:
- Small shadows around the eyelid areas
- Shadow in the inner parts of of the ears (barely visible)
- Tiny shadow below the nose
- Shadow on the entire upper lip (make the whole thing darker)
- Large shadow on the neck (case by the head) shaped similar to the chin
- Big shadow on the hair in the area between the sideburns hair and the neck
Drawing people (even in a cartoon style) can be fairly difficult. You can however simplify the process by using the right drawing approach. This means starting with the larger parts of the head/face and working down to the smaller details. It’s also a good idea to use at least some basic guide lines (such as the vertical line in step 1) and to keep in mind the proportions of the character you are drawing. By doing so you can minimize your mistakes and make the drawing process more manageable and easier to understand.
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