It’s easy to like cartoons. It’s hard to draw them (at least something better than stick figures). Sometimes the best cartoons are drawn out of basic shapes and lines that look easy to draw by anyone, and yet it takes genius to draw like that. And genius is the word I use to describe the author’s drawings and teachings in this classic book.
From the most basic drawings to more intricate examples, the author progresses through the book adding elements on a soft learning curve that even the least apt drawer can follow. The first chapter covers the basics, while the rest are centered on themes, like how to draw babies and kids, figures in standing, walking and other positions, caricatures, sports cartoons, and an overview on styles and techniques.
The coolest thing about the book is the catalogue of hundreds of cartoon noses, eyes, mouths, ears, hair, hats and other body parts that you can use to build your own cartoon character. The next coolest thing is the “Alphabetized Catalog of Emotions and Expressions” that depicts 150 faces expressing a wide range of emotions. Those are great for reference and as a source of ideas. The author uses very little text in the book, conveying most of his instruction with drawings and illustrated examples that intuitively fill the pages. – Alessandro Nicoli de Mattos
See additional images from Cartooning the Head & Figure
A light box is an excellent tool for illustrators. It allows you to place a sheet of paper with a sketch on it, then place another piece of paper on top of it, and trace the original drawing. A lot of artists do a pencil sketch on a sheet of paper, then use a nicer […]
I bought How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way by Stan Lee and John Buscema when it came out in 1978, and I think it might still be the best how-to-draw book I’ve used. It covers a lot of territory in 160 pages – perspective, figure drawing, action, foreshortening, heads and faces, and composition. I […]
Project Farm wanted to see if candle wax could be used as a penetrating lubricant to loosen rusty nuts, so he set up a rigorous test to find out. His conclusion – candle wax applied to a hot nut doesn’t help loosen it. It just won’t penetrate onto the bolt. He also tried special penetrating […]
Maybe you had a piano teacher as a kid that drove you off the instrument forever. Or maybe you always wished for some serious training, but never found the time. Whether you have dreams of tossing off a Beethoven or Chopin piece at the drop of a hat or you have visions of being the […]
When you see that curved arrow on the side of a cardboard box, you instantly know that box came from Amazon. The unfurled rainbow feathers of a peacock immediately scream NBC. And a partially eaten piece of fruit in the profile is a world-recognized symbol of tech titan Apple. Icons are powerful symbols, condensing volumes […]
Call it retro. Call it a throwback. Even call it kitsch. But the 80s are still a singular time in pop culture history. From Ghostbusters and Back to the Future to your neighborhood arcade and the Atari 2600, artifacts of that seminal decade still resonate, evoking audible excitement and sighs of pleasant yesteryear remembrance. But […]