Let’s Begin with Drawing basics

Drawing Table

For many artists and illustrators, drawing is instinctive, which means that illustrators can pick up a pencil and can easily draw very impressive sketches. I know many reading this are like that and if so, you already have a firm grasp on the drawing basics so quite possibly this article may be simple for you. 

However, if you do not have natural drawing ability but you enjoy doodling or wanted to better develop your drawing skills, then this article is for you. Even if you do not have an ounce of artistic talent, you can greatly improve your ability to draw cartoons and comics by trying your hand at these nice and simple techniques. For those with advanced artistic skills, you may still want to review some of these techniques before jumping into sketching cartoons. Keep in mind that illustrations and cartooning are an undertaking with much space for personal growth, experimentation and interpretation. Have fun with drawing because if you do not then spending time illustrating will not be worth your time.

Let’s begin with penciling

There are many of you out there that have been drawing since you could first hold a pencil. But even if you have been drawing for years, putting pencil to paper for the first time in a specific manner can be some what scary and nerve racking. Your goal is to get to the point where drawing cartoons comes naturally for you. So natural that you do not have to think about what you are drawing.

What type of pencil and paper to use.

 Choosing a pencil and paper is a matter of personal preference. Visit your local art store and ask the sales person for some assistance, try buying a few types and experiment until you find out what feels the most comfortable to you. I would try out many different types to see what works, which is exactly what I did and still try to do depending on the project I am currently working on.

For basic sketches, you should use a pencil that will allow you to lightly draw your cartoon so that you will be able to do the inking over the light sketch with either a pen or brush and ink. I suggest you use a pencil that isn’t too dark when applied to the paper and that you can easily erase after you’ve inked your line art.

Likewise, the paper you choose should feel good to you when you’re drawing on it. The paper should provide the right surface for the tools you’re using and help you achieve the type of line quality and performance you desire.

Drawing lines and shapes

Lines & Shapes

Lines & Shapes

Drawing is not brain surgery. You do not need and advanced certifications or degrees to be able to sketch interesting and compelling characters and drawings. You just need to know how to start with some simple shapes, circles, squares, stars and lines and then build on them. These shapes translates into basic cartoon designs and forms like heads bodies, and buildings when you put them together. Everything you draw is based on simple shapes.

After you master simple shapes and the different ways they can be put together, you’ll be better able to understand more complex things like perspective. Get a feel for drawing shapes so you can draw and manipulate them easily and have fun doing it.

Bear Square - drawing

Bear Square – drawing

After you feel comfortable drawing basic shapes, you can start to turn them into more complex objects and give them dimension. In real life, when you look at an object, you see it in three dimensions, meaning you can see some part of the front, side and top, all at the same time. We do live, after all, in a three dimensional world where we measure length, width and height.

3D Cube - Square

3D Cube – Square

Begin your drawing with lines and shapes. As you do this, try and add a little creativity as shown above. In my next post, I will delve into a little more detail. I hope you are enjoying these lessons.

Also please note that I am giving away some nice simple lessons that go along well with my articles. You can get them for free by joining my e-mailing list. I will never give away your email address.

Until next time

Keep drawing.

Lewis Delgado Illustrator.




  1. Nice article Lewis. I plan to try some of the methods you are teaching here.

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