How to draw cartoons is something that artsy kids often want to learn.  How to draw cartoon faces can be challenging even when broken down into a grid or segments.  Kids Activities Blog loves when a simple solution to answer kids’ questions is available {even if mom and dad aren’t great artists}!

Drawing cartoons looks like simple until you sit down and try to accomplish it.

how to draw cartoons

A cartoon is a line drawing that our brains can interpret as something more realistic.   Drawing a cartoon still requires proper scale and a recognizable amount of detail to make it familiar in its stripped-down format.

Kids are exposed to this simple art from the first day they sit down to a coloring page.

Coloring pages are simple art.

Until you try and make your own!

That is why I was very impressed when my 8 year old brought home this cartoon he drew of himself and his favorite stuffed dragon from art class at school:

cartoon drawn by child in art class

It looks just like him!

It looks just like his dragon.

How did you do this?

How to Draw Cartoons

We took a picture at school and then traced it on the window.


Can we do this at home too?


And so the planning began for his next cartoon.   Reid is into all things knight, so it was clear that this theme would continue into his next cartoon masterpiece.

I let him plan the photo.   He got dressed and the appropriate props and let me know when he was ready.   Here is the picture that he composed:

cartoon drawing photo

I let him choose the pose, but made sure it was on a plain background and as simple as possible.

It was really fun watching him get creative with this project.   If I had made all the decisions, I can promise that he wouldn’t have willingly participated to this level.

I then printed this photo out on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper on a low resolution setting on our home printer.

cartoon drawing at window

Reid held the paper up to the light of the window and drew the main lines on another piece of paper.

With smaller kids, taping both to the window would work the best.

And here is the final cartoon, Reid the Knight:

cartoon reid the knight

How to Draw Cartoon Faces

While tracing the important lines of the photo, a child is learning basic art concepts:

  • What ARE the main lines of the picture?
  • How much detail should be traced?
  • Reinforcement of scale
  • Introduction to basic shapes and lines – like eyes, nose, mouth, etc.

Once Reid finished this, the other boys started dreaming up cartoons they want to “draw”.

I have spent the afternoon as a cartoon photographer…it isn’t a bad gig.

More Fun from Kids Activities

How to draw cartoons and cartoon faces isn’t all the fun we have here at Kids Activities Blog!  We have tons of artsy projects that your kids can really get into:

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  1. Any of these lessons for older kids? This seems more like a “tracing” lesson to me? (But I’m not an artist! lol)

  2. Another easy way to do this is to use tracing paper to outline the photo. A light source isn’t usually needed for that. Then with a soft graphite pencil shade in the back of the tracing and place onto a sheet of paper and retrace the drawing. The pencil will transfer to the new sheet and your budding artist gets double the practice with the one picture. He can color in or shade the new picture any way he wants.

  3. I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This piece of writing posted at this website is truly pleasant.

  4. This is such an awesome idea!! We will definitely be trying this one. My oldest son doesn’t love anything artistic (definitely more of a numbers guy), but this just might do the trick! Thanks for sharing.