How To Draw Cartoons

How To Draw Cartoons

New Yorker cartoonist Jason Adam Katzenstein taught you how to draw what you see. Then he taught you how to draw faces. In the new video above, he shows how he turns all these principles into caricatures for his cartoons.

Jason shows how to distill facial features into cartoons and caricatures. It’s still about looking closely at real life — as we imply in the video, it’s as if Jason is doing all the sketching that he would do with a more traditional portrait, but doing it in his mind.

But cartooning is also about using the language of visual shorthand. “Stink lines,” or even just dots for eyes, are ways to translate reality into something friendlier or funnier. But they work best when you know the nuances of what each symbol means.

One way to learn those nuances is to study the masters. Off-camera, Jason named some of his cartoonist influences:

  • Cartoonist Kate Beaton: “She makes me laugh with five lines.”
  • Minimalist New Yorker cartoonist Saul Steinberg 
  • Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, the best-known modern analysis of the art forms of cartoons and comics
  • New Yorker cartoonist Liana Finck: “There’s so much love in the lines.”

That’s the last of our videos with Jason! I had a great time learning how to draw, and you will too if you follow Jason’s three principles:

  • Pay close attention to the thing you’re drawing.
  • Don’t be afraid to put a line down.
  • Draw often.

This article has been updated since its original publication.


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