Cartoons are funny depictions of people, animals, all kinds of objects, creatures, etc. The distinguishing features in most cartoons are the exaggerated body shapes, faces, expressions, etc which make the overall picture look funny and interesting. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to drawing cartoons, it is up to you to use your imagination and creativity to their fullest extent. To get you started, however, here are some basic tips on shapes and proportions.
Getting the right proportions. Some basic rules of proportion when drawing cartoons are as follows:
When drawing children keep similar proportions for both the head and the body. Draw two circles in the shape of the number 8. The top circle will be used as a reference for the head, while the lower circle provides a reference for the body.
If you are drawing an adult, the proportion to remember is that the body is twice the size of the head. Instead of a figure 8 with two circles, add an additional circle. While the topmost circle will be the head, the middle will form the body and the lowest will be used as a reference for the legs and feet.
Using simple shapes. As in step one, using different geometric or abstract shapes will help you in honing your cartooning talent. The basic idea is to think out-of-the-box. Rather than making realistic looking figures, you may want to saddle them with weird and funny shapes or facial expressions.
Learning the different techniques. Short of taking up a training course in cartooning, you might want to start at home with some basic stuff already on hand. Scan through the newspapers or your collection of comics and identify the different styles and techniques used in each cartoon. Next, try a couple of those styles yourself. Once you've become more comfortable with one style, move on to the next or using the style you've just learnt create your own story board and start drawing the characters in a similar style.
Search online. There are numerous websites on the internet which provide you with detailed instructions and pictorial illustrations on how to draw different types of cartoons. Browse through and learn to draw different types of people, animals, flowers or any other kind of objects.
Practice always makes perfect, so whatever you start with, keep at it until you've mastered that technique. Over time, you may find that you are developing a style of your own which may or may not be influenced by the various styles you've experimented with. The only thing left next is to use your imagination to come up with your own ideas!