Cartoon images are minimalist and often exaggerated images, designed to transmit a message, or to describe a character using a visual and humorous way. Although each cartoonist has unique style, cartoon images have common features and characteristics. If you want to learn how to draw cartoons, learn to use the visual language that characterizes cartoons and differentiate it from other forms of drawings.
Cartoon images are characterized by a flat, simplified and semi-realistic design and wide use in symbols. Symbols can be objects, signs or animals that symbolize an event or an emotion. A symbol can also be a line or a form can symbolize an object. For example, the smiley emoticon is a symbol of happiness, and the black dots are symbols of eyes.
Caricatures are cartoon images designed to emphasize a certain characteristic or feature of a person or an animal (a physical or symbolic one), by deliberately drawing certain features in an exaggerated manner, while simplifying or even flattening the rest. For example, when drawing anime and manga characters, the eyes are often enlarged and drawn in details, to symbolize the characters’ innocence.
Colors and Symbols in Cartoon Drawing
Another way to describe abstract ideas and emotions in drawings is by use of colors. Colors are often identified with certain situations or feelings. For example, black is identified with death, danger and generally dark feelings; green symbolizes nature and growth on one hand, and jealousy on the other hand, and so on.