fzm-Pencils.Markers.Pens_tn2By Tapan Sarkar

Draw­ing car­toons is not as sim­ple as it might sound. You want to be able to draw some­thing that kids and adults will find beau­ti­ful but they should be sim­ple enough that you can repli­cate the draw­ing in a short span of time. Any car­toon char­ac­ter from Mick­ey Mouse to Patrick Star can be done with the sim­plest pat­terns and lines. How­ev­er, the oth­er side to draw­ing them is to have the right supplies.

You might have the skill and tal­ent but with the wrong sup­plies your draw­ing could go to waste. With the wrong paper your art could smear or smudge. With the wrong pen­cils you might end up hav­ing a hard time see­ing your out­lines or you might make mis­takes that are hard to cor­rect. With that in mind, con­sid­er the fol­low­ing tips on how to get right sup­plies for car­toon drawing.

Get­ting the Right Paper

Your paper should be on the top of your list. You will want a type of paper that is not too smooth because smooth paper can lead to smears and faint lines. You will also want to avoid very rough paper because the lines could get thick, fuzzy, and hard to control.

Bris­tol paper and Vel­lum paper are some of the most pop­u­lar types used by pro­fes­sion­al car­toon­ists. Com­ic book artists tend to use Vel­lum because of the tex­ture — it is just smooth enough to avoid unnec­es­sary thick, fuzzy pen­cil lines but not too smooth to cause severe smears or smudges. Bris­tol has sev­er­al vari­ants so take some time to find which one works best for you. Some­times sim­ple Oslo or Office Print­ing Paper can do well and a lot of car­toon­ists use these papers for sketches.

Get­ting the Right Pencil

The pen­cil is going to be your bread and but­ter. Car­toon draw­ings tend to rely on two kinds of lines — one faint line and one thick line for bor­ders and empha­sis lines. How­ev­er, you need three, not two, types of pencils.

Go to any office sup­ply store and look at the pen­cils. You will notice they go from 6B to 6H. The H pen­cils use hard lead, with 6H being the hard­est. This means they do not wear off eas­i­ly but it also means you can only get very faint, soft lines. An HB or 2H is a good choice for doing sketch­es and outlines.

The B pen­cils are the exact oppo­site. They are soft lead and are much thick­er. They are used for fuzzy, dark, and thick lines. 6B is the thick­est. You’ll want to use 2B for final­iz­ing your draw­ing and then a 3B or 4B for dark empha­sis lines.

If you want to use a mechan­i­cal pen­cil you will notice they come in three widths. 0.7 is the nar­row­est lead point, 0.5 is the nor­mal pen­cil width, and 0.3 is the widest. In the long run it can be cheap­er to use mechan­i­cal pen­cils than reg­u­lar pen­cils that wear down and get shorter.

Get­ting the Right Eraser

A lot of novice car­toon­ists for­get the impor­tance of a good eras­er. You will make mis­takes — that is inevitable. Even expert car­toon­ists who work for com­ic books and ani­ma­tion stu­dios make mis­takes. And even if you rarely do, you still need a good eras­er to remove your faint out­lines and sketch­es as you do the final work on your car­toon drawing.

Avoid the usu­al type of eras­er. Rub­bing on your pen­cil work is not going to do you any good. It dam­ages the sur­face of the sheet. Instead, use gum erasers or knead­ed erasers. The prob­lem with gum erasers is that they crum­ble eas­i­ly. Knead­ed erasers can be pret­ty fun to play with. You just have to make sure you prac­tice putting pres­sure when you erase so you know how much pres­sure will remove a faint line and how much pres­sure will remove a dark­er, thick pen­cil line.

Check these draw­ing tuto­ri­als and Pop­u­lar Car­toon Draw­ing Course for more tips and tuto­ri­als on drawing.