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How to Draw Cartoon Animals


Many children enjoy drawing some fancy fantastic animals that can't be met in the real life. Cartoon animals attract many people with their innocence and freedom as well as their grace and kindness. Moreover the pictures drawn by children are usually kept for a long time by their parents and serve as priceless artifact from their family chronicles. It may be difficult to draw realistic objects for children so drawing cartoon characters will suit them perfectly. Take into consideration the fact that you will still need to watch real animals while drawing them. To get the best result it is recommended to make sketches using some model and after that customize the images.



Start with simple sketches

As a rule it is more complicated to draw or sketch animals as they won't stay still even if we ask them. But it is possible to learn how to sketch animals even if you don't have any experience. It is better to pay special attention to peculiarities of their body. Cartoon animals are often characterized by exaggerated eyes, ears or altered body proportions. You may analyze natural body shape and then try to underline some outstanding features. For example it is a commonly known fact that snakes have a long body. Try to make it even longer. An elephant has large ears and a long trunk. Try to turn your character in a Dumbo. Extend his ears and draw big wide-open eyes.


Search for simple shapes and look for simple models

If you want to draw a cartoon cat or tiger take into consideration that these animals have much in common. You may use your pet as a model if you want to draw a tiger.


Choose the right animals to draw

  • Some animals are easier to be turned into the cartoon ones. For example panda or hedgehog can be customized without any troubles. A giraffe, a horse or a jellyfish are more complicated objects.
  • Animals whose body remains the one of a human can be drawn easier. For example a monkey requires only a funny smiling face to look like a cartoon character.

Draw black smooth outline

Take into consideration the fact that to make any image look like a cartoon the only thing you need is to draw a thin black contour. Try to do that using a photo of a horse for instance. With black lines the horse will look like they draw it in the cartoons.


Simple is better

Simplify the images. If your animal has fur you may use plain colors without any gradients. If your animal has a sophisticated body shape omit some details.


Add human-like details

Make your animals look more like a human beings. That creates the instant effect. If you draw a cartoon cat make it stand on its back paws. Use the accessories typical of human beings. Let your snake wear glasses, draw a hat on your bear's head, draw a tiger reading a book.


  • Don't forget to draw smooth outline for each object.
  • Don't start with the most complicated details. It is better to start with some simple geometric figures. A cat's face may fit a triangle and a dog is an oval, four rectangles and a circle.
  • Don't try to use the natural colors. Use fancy bright ones. Purple bear or yellow fish will look great if you want to draw the cartoon objects.



Not only children but adult people enjoy drawing cartoon animals as well. You may draw your pets, horses, exotic animals that you have seen in a zoo together with your children turning them into friendly cartoon characters. Of course drawing of an animal won't retain all the minimal details but it is generally more expressive and emotional than a photo. If you can't draw some part of an animal fit it into the simplest geometric shapes. That will help you to understand the form better.

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