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How to Draw a Cartoon Character

with Maria Lia Malandrino
4.7 (66)
See how Maria, an illustrator and story artist, breaks down in easy steps, the process of drawing a "cartoony" portrait starting from a reference picture.
English English [Auto]
1+
hours
6
lessons
intermediate
level
Maria Lia Malandrino

Your Instructor

Maria is an illustrator and story artist from Turin, Italy. She has a BA degree in Magazine Publishing from the University of the Arts London, has studied Traditional Animation at the International School of Comics in Turin and attended a masterclass in Storyboarding at the online school CGMA.

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1+
hours
6
lessons
intermediate
level
English English [Auto]

Requirements

  • Some knowledge of drawing is required.
  • A digital drawing software, like Photoshop (any version), the Procreate app for iPad (used in this tutorial) or any other similar software is required.
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Description

Have you ever dreamed of drawing amazing cartoon characters? In this course the talented artist and illustrator Maria Malandrino will go through the process of drawing a cartoon portrait starting from a reference picture. She will guide you through the entire workflow, covering all stages of the creative process: sketching, colouring, shading and refining your artwork.

You will see Maria using her favourite app Procreate, and an iPad but all you need for this tutorial is a digital drawing software (like Photoshop or any other suitable alternative that you like) and a graphic tablet to be able to follow her through the colouring process.

Maria’s tips and tricks will help you develop and improve your own drawing style and you will be amazed at the final result!

At the end of this course you will have created a beautiful cartoon character of your choice!

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What you’ll learn

  • Learn to draw a cartoon character from start to finish
  • Learn how to get references to fuel your creativity
  • Learn to easily convert realistic shapes & proportions into "cartoony" ones
  • Plan ahead your colour palette & experiment with layers & brushes
  • How to achieve the effect of a line art free artwork
  • How to use line art & multiply blending in Photoshop CC to blend a cartoon line art into the artwork
  • Add the final touches & imperfections that make a cartoon character look more real
  • Use lighting & shading to make your artwork pop out of the page (or the screen)!
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This course includes

  • 1 hour of on-demand videos
  • Full lifetime access
  • 5 work-in-process Images (JPG)
  • 1 final image (PNG)
  • 6 downloadable resources

Lesson Plan

with Maria Lia Malandrino
Expand all sections
01

Introduction

01:04

Meet Maria Malandrino, a talented Italian illustrator and animator, who will show you how to draw a cartoon character from start to finish!

Using her iPad and the Procreate app, Maria will give you great tips on how to get references and approach the stages of sketching, colouring and final rendering!

02

Rough Sketch

09:03

In Lesson 2 you will understand the importance of drawing inspiration from different sources in order to feed your imagination and creativity and to give your figures realistic posing and anatomy.

Maria will show you how to create a canvas, draw a mannequin and use sketching to convert realistic shapes and proportions into “cartoony” ones, without losing real anatomy details.

03

Clean-up

10:30

See how drawing exercises can help you improve your hand-eye coordination and retain the freshness of the sketch in the clean drawing!

Drawing hairstyles, jewellery, clothes and shoes can be challenging, as you need to convey tridimensionality, realistic visual strength and add details that flesh your character out.

04

Colour

20:08

Before moving to the colouring stage you first need to create your own palette! In this lesson Maria will show you how to work more efficiently using a restricted number of colours. She will then teach you how to pick the right colour scheme to obtain the desired effects, and will explore a colouring technique that makes it easier to add tone variations, additional details, dynamic elements and special effects.

05

Shading & Lighting

13:42

Did you know that shading and lighting is very much about refining and erasing rather than painting?

In this lesson you will learn to create the illusion of shade using the available settings of your design software!

Maria will share her tips about adding shadows according to the source of light on your canvas, adding reflected light effects and experimenting with various lighting settings until you are happy with the overall result. 

06

Wrap-up

05:32

This is a time-lapse of the full illustration process, in which Maria recaps her take-home messages and adds some useful tips and final considerations.

   5 work-in-process Images (JPG) included

   1 final image (PNG) included

Student Feedback

66 customer reviews & ratings

4.7

Course rating

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5 star
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4 star
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Best Suited for
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The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

(Based on 66 reviews)

Most Liked
Clarity of Instruction 23
Helpful Examples 22
Great step-by-step process 21
Showing 10 reviews of 66 reviews & ratings
NG
Nicola Gramlich

6 days ago

Verified Purchase
It was very inspiring and I learned a lot
I recommend it for Beginner
AW
Anusorn Wongpunya

1 week ago

Verified Purchase
Great
I recommend it for Beginner
EN
Elisa Nocent

3 weeks ago

Verified Purchase
Amazing course, really easy to follow!
I recommend it for Beginner
C
Cassi

1 month ago

Verified Purchase
I love all of memo's courses, they're always put together so thoughtfully and intentionally in a clear and logical flow and always include some great personal tips and tricks. This one in particular is really easy to follow and draw along with. Without question my favourite instructor. I also fou
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nd the Lighting + Shading course was a great follow-up to this one!
I recommend it for Beginner
M
Maïlys

2 months ago

Verified Purchase
Really great!!
I recommend it for Beginner
GF
Gustavo Forster

3 months ago

Verified Purchase
Really nice, easy-going teaching style, and the end result is great. It's worth mentioning that this is NOT a how to draw course. You need to have at least the basics of drawing the figure and face in order to do an art similar to what is been taught.
I recommend it for Beginner
N
Nathalie

3 months ago

Verified Purchase
Excellent tutorial!
I recommend it for Intermediate
N
Natalia

3 months ago

Verified Purchase
Really good explanations! Recommend this course!
I recommend it for All levels
M
Manilyn

4 months ago

Verified Purchase
I recommend it for All levels
CP
Chris Perry

4 months ago

Verified Purchase
I recommend it for Intermediate
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About the Instructor

Maria Lia Malandrino
Character Designer, Story Designer & Illustrator 5 courses

Maria is an illustrator and story artist from Turin, Italy. She has a BA degree in Magazine Publishing from the University of the Arts London, has studied Traditional Animation at the International School of Comics in Turin and attended a masterclass in Storyboarding at the online school CGMA.

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21 Draw is an online learning community where students of all skill levels can learn how to be a better artist. Our contributing artists and instructors are the best in the world.

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Each class includes 10-20 video lessons that are 7 minutes long on average. Most classes include exercise sheets, assignments, and layered PSD or PNG files.

Some classes include the ability to chat with the instructor in a public forum, e.g. if you want feedback on your artwork.

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Many lessons in our courses apply to both digital and traditional art. In a few tutorials, digital drawing software, e.g. Photoshop or Procreate for iPad is required. However, for the majority of lessons it is more about the underlying concepts and all that is needed is a pen and paper.

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