Cartoon illustration styles and drawing techniques

cartooning techniquesCartooning techniques vary. This is what makes the art form so interesting. At least to me. From my perspective, cartooning techniques make up the genre as a whole.

I feel these techniques are what define the art itself and those cartoonists who have developed their own drawing style make this such an interesting field.

Cartooning styles include the basic line art technique, the “wash” technique, crosshatch technique and in the world of gag cartooning there is the “bigfoot” technique.

Not necessarily a cartoon that depicts a sasquatch but rather a cartoon drawn or illustrated in the bigfoot style….those characters with big noses and beady eyes, hunched over and very odd looking in appearance.

Cartooning techniques impress the editors and ultimately the readers

Guys like Gallagher were notorious for creating these kinds of cartoon characters. Then again, I can’t forget the inimitable Ted Trogdon who dominated the market when many magazines were being published in an era I call “B.C.” or “before computers”!

Studying other drawing styles if of great importance in developing a solid cartoon style and definitive look to your cartoons

Other well known magazine cartoonists had a very basic line art style who impressed upon my the importance of simplicity and cartoonist Malcolm Hancock was a great example, not to mention his cartoons had made an impression on me after seeing so much of his work in various magazines (probably “30 b.c.” lol).

More impressive cartoonists like Robert Crumb cartoons I’d see in many of the underground comic books where he dominated the market for that genre. Many of the top editorial and political cartoonists are also worth studying if a cartoonist wants to learn cartooning techniques.

The political cartoons can sometimes offer so much for studying and learning in the way of developing a drawing style and learning cartooning techniques. Many employ detailed charcoal shading or use digital shading applications using special software to bring out the best look for their cartoons.