Sometimes you just wanna have a little fun with your drawing and cartoons are the way to go. Whether they are serious or comical, cartoons are a form of art and can be quite satisfying. So, what are some good cartoon things to draw?
Anime characters are fun, as they range from serious to comical and have a distinctive style that has made them famous. Chase scenes are also good, as they add a little action and give you a chance to get clever by incorporating elements to share the ‘urgency’ of the scene with your viewer. Finally, Rube Goldberg machines are a great way to develop and flex those ‘imagination muscles’.
Drawing anime characters is harder than it looks, but once you get some of the basics down it’s a style that people instantly recognize and respond to. One of the problems when you are learning how to draw is that people seem to hold a bit of disdain for cartoon depictions. This is silly, of course. A well-drawn caricature, for instance, captures instantly recognizable features of a target, even if it’s considered to be a little ‘campy’.
Anime gets probably the most respect of the various cartoon forms and this makes it excellent to practice and learn. As your skills grow, most of your friends will notice and you’ll get a lot of encouragement on growing the skill.
Tutorials abound online and so it’s easy to get started and I recommend learning to do it properly in black and white before you start bringing in colors, just so you can get used to all the shapes involved and the very distinctive styles. After that, start playing and see what you can come up with. Make anime versions of your pets, friends, or even targets like angry bosses or other figures of power that could do with an artistic dressing-down.
Just don’t get caught, of course!
By the way, if you are curious about drawing heads in cartoon comics, you can find a great 3rd party tutorial entitled “LEARN TO DRAW CARTOONS LESSON 1: THE COMIC HEAD” by clicking the included link. It’s got some tried and true teachings to help you learn how it’s done, so give it a peek when you get the chance.
Chase scenes are another fun form of cartooning that never seems to get old. As your skill in drawing cartoons grows, you can make recurring characters that are always chasing each other and contriving other ways to give each other a little comical cartoon grief.
The biggest part of the appeal is probably nostalgic value, as we’ve all grown up with the cat chasing the mouse, while the dog chases the cat, and the inevitable antics that follow. While it’s not the most serious of cartoon art, it’s undeniably one of the most fun and if you can draw these cartoons and make them feel fresh then you’ve really pulled off something skillfully.
Cartoons are flexible and some cartoonists like to stick strictly to the ‘graphic novel’ style, with ‘all work and no play’, but I really recommend taking a step back to stop taking yourself so seriously. There is nothing wrong with having a little fun every now and again and if you confident enough in your skills then there is absolutely no shame in it.
Especially if you can make someone smirk or laugh out loud. That’s a gift you’ve got and you owe it to the world and yourself to use it.
Rube Goldberg machines
Rube Goldberg machines are a guilty pleasure of mine and I hope that you get addicted too. If you aren’t familiar with the term, you’ll definitely remember the visuals that you grew up with as a child. A ‘Rube Goldberg machine’ is simply an overly complicated machine designed to do a simple task.
You probably remember it most in the example of Wile E. Coyote trying to always get the Roadrunner. For instance, let’s say that there is a plate full of birdseed placed upon a weighing platform, that slowly rises up as the seed is eaten. When it rises high enough, it pulls a string, which plucks a feather out of a hen, who clucks loudly and releases an egg, which then rolls down a half-pipe.
The egg lands on one pan of a balanced scale, unbalancing it to lift a candle to burn a thread, releasing a suspended pole with a big boot on it that is supposed to kick the Roadrunner in its behind.
The Coyote somehow always ends up getting the ‘kick’, but it’s the design that is the delight. If you want a fun way to spend an hour or so, take a large piece of paper and divide it up into comic-book panels and depict your Rube Goldberg machine and how it works.
Honestly, I couldn’t say why these cartoons are so much darned fun… I think it’s a combination of the sheer amount of imagination involved along with the silliness involved in making a simple task into a show worth seeing.
Whatever the case, try it and see if you can do it. If you CAN, I guarantee you are going to love the results.
Some closing comments
On the subject of cartoon things to draw, I heartily recommend anime characters, chase scenes, and Rube Goldberg machines. Anime can teach you style, while chase scenes can evoke comical urgency that people will feel with a simple glance at your work. Finally, Rube Goldberg machines take unsurpassed skill and imagination, so if you can draw a goofy machine that looks like it might actually work then you’ve really proven your imagination skills (in my opinion, at least!)
So, what are waiting for? Take a break from drawing literal reality and show yourself and the world the reality that you can capture in cartoons. No matter what anyone says, it’s art, and anyone that tells you otherwise is simply jealous.
If you are looking for more things to draw, be sure to check out my guide 100 Fun Things To Draw For Practice And Fun! It’s a great way to get some new things to practice or simply to inspire a work you are currently stuck on. Have fun!