Cartoon Style-A Technique Study


Cartoon Style-A Technique Study

SEX on the first date, sure…but FACEBOOK? No way.”

Today’s cartoon is a personal study of sorts. As a professional illustrator I am most often allowed to sketch a client’s needs in whichever style i understand to be most pertinent to the message. But other times, the client sees a style,somewhere, or asks specifically for a style. The challenge here is vocabulary. What does “ya, know…cartoony” mean?

During the course of my first sketch, my brain has decided on a “style” that suits the medium and circumstances. This post is a reference to certain styles I use every day, and strive to perfect. Of course, you can browse my library of almost 1,000 other illustrations here on Cartoon A Day. com .

SKETCHY: Simple, Elegant, Fast, Monotone. A sketch is usually the first step in any illustration, and sometimes, even the final step. MAny cartoon purists believe using the fewest number of pen and brush strokes to render an image means more. I sometimes agree. Go no further with your cartoon, when a sketch will do.


CROSSHATCH: Complicated, Subtle, 1-color. Crosshatching began in art more as a result in the limitations of reproduction, rather than its beauty. Still, hatching is in my top 5 preferred illustration methods. It can turn an ordinary toon into something slightly more respectable. Hatching conveys a sense of newsworthiness. THIS particular toon is a bit overdone, but it simply illustrates the technique rather than the perfect use.


TOONY-GLOSSY: Direct, Light, Speedy. This isn’t exactly my favorite toon method, but it can be effective when time is against you. Simply colored with simple hi-lites give it dimension and punch on a budget. Line variation is kept to a minimum. This cartoon technique is also most commonly used in silk-screen printing where solid colors are preferred. sex-first-date-facebook-toony

TOONY-DETAILED: Shaded, Intricate, quality. This is the cartoon method I most often use. Line variation is much more varied. Fill colors are then shaded with both light and dark variations of complimentary color. This type of style really benefits from a limited number of gimmick brushes, (one or two at most) to provide a texture.


TOONY-DETAILED: Shaded, Intricate, quality. Version 2. This is the SAME image as above, with punched up vivid color. This specific cartoon felt like it needed a touch more richness.


TOONY-SKETCH: Light Line, Detailed, Soft. Another of my favorite techniques, similar to TOONEY-DETAILED, but uses a softer and sketchier line. Multiple strokes with a fine line create body, but removes the heaviness of other versions. The colors here are also softer, while the gradients and shading done with less deliberate strokes. This version is most closely related to a watercolor wash than the others. A textured paper background could really add to a watercolor effect.


I have many other “STYLES” as you can browse for yourself. I’ll post more of these studies in the future, because I like them. Enjoy!

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Inspiration: A cartoon study of cartoon styles. Each style is unique but the message is the same.

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