In our Techniques to Try section, Christopher Hart discusses how he utilizes line to bring his cartoons to life. Here, we show a step-by-step demonstration of how to sketch a cartoon character.
Step 1 Young characters always have oversized heads compared to their bodies. And unless they are bully-type characters, they typically have small or nonexistent shoulders.
Step 2 This classic "evil sister" character has the perfect posture, doesn't she (arms akimbo)? Naturally, she's going to torment her little brother. Is there anything else worth doing? Notice how the top of her pupil is cut off by her eyebrow.
Step 3 Here's where we get into costume. We go "against type” in order to get a laugh. We give this bad seed a great big bow on top of her head to show what a charming, sweet girl her parents think she is.
The Completed Sketch: Evil Sister by Christopher Hart, From Hart’s Cartooning series (Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, New York). The extra-thick outline gives this cartoon a very "retro" look. But keep the interior lines of the face thinner, or your character will end up looking clunky.