Last week at Cartoon Club Online art classes for kids we drew “Guess who’s coming to Lunch?!“. Who would you invite? What would you serve? How about a happy crocodile, a mouse delivering pizza and a panda sipping bamboo tea?! 

In this YouTube video tutorial  I show you how I doodle my favourite character this week’s art class: a cartoon giraffe. 

Each week there is a new topic to doodle and ponder. I try to give us something that will not only be fun to draw but also challenge us to come up with new and creative ways of telling a story. What I enjoyed about this week’s Cartoon Club topic was the fact that not only could I imagine who I’d invite to lunch but what I’d serve. Icecream… pizza… bees bringing honey… yum!

The children had fun ideas for who would come which I never thought about: a kangeroo, guinea pig, jaguar, even a snow leopard. And of course there were cartoon doodles of macaroni & cheese, oreo cookies and broccoli (that’s for the bunnies naturally!).

Here’s what you will need:

  • Pencil (I use my friend the 4B Faber-Castell Jumbo here)
  • Paper
  • Black marker or fine-liner (I’m using a Uni Super Ink fine marker here)
  • Eraser or rubber (it just for erasing AFTER you have inked)
  • 4 Colours (My favourite are Faber-Castell polychromes or Prismacolor but whatever you have will do just fine)

How do I draw a Cartoon Giraffe?

Good question! Head on over to my YouTube channel and you can watch the tutorial where I step you through How to Draw a Cartoon Giraffe from my online art class with the kids. But before you begin….get your creative thinking cap on…

How can I think more Creatively? This week let’s focus on COMPLEMENTS

Before you start the video, I recommend you keep in mind the idea of complements. There are several ways that complements come into play in this character. Take for example the colours I used to colour her. While you may naturally reach for the yellow and brown for a giraffe, how about adding in a few more unusual colours? Here I pick up a purple and a pink. In the case of the purple, that is the complemtary colour to yellow, so that’s a good place to start. It helps to balance out the large area of yellow that naturally shows in this character. Now what about the pink? The pink is not a complementary colour in this case, but it does complement the picture in a different way, it adds warmth to my yellow when I blend it in, and plays off the strong purple by subtly reinforcing that part of the colour wheel. This way I re-inforce the yellow-to-purple complementary colours, and add a second warm colour along with my brown. There are lots of ways to use complements: think about how large shapes and small shapes play off eachother. You can see that in the sizes of my giraffe’s spots. Alright, you’re getting the idea of being creative with complements.

This art class video shows you how I draw just this one giraffe cartoon. What I want you to experience is the process I go through. One way I bring my cartoon to life this week is with complements. Listen to how I think through the drawing and how I make decisions. You will come up with a different character than me and make different decisions along the way. That’s great. It will be your unique character.

Step 1 – Start by drawing lightly 

I begin this drawing with my most important shape that is going to be my giraffe’s head. Circles for her head, muzzle, eyes. Remember: draw lots! This is rough sketcy thinking time. Have fun with it!

Next I lightly sketch in the other features using the same process…thinking as I go. This is my chance to play around and see how the giraffe cartoon will evolve. I’m making decisions as I go.

Step 2 – Capture your cartoon’s expression

Now I grab my pen. I start with the most important feature – what will give my cartoon her character.  Here it’s her eyes.

Step 3 – Inking your cartoon giraffe

With my pen, I continue to outline the rest of my character. The body, the ears, the little tail etc. Here you see me using my idea of complements by making big and small spots on her body, roundness in her face versus the little squares of her hooves. These shapes will complement eachother.

Step 4 – Let’s Colour your cartoon Giraffe

I used four pencil crayons this time. I usually stick to three on a character this small but I wanted to have the complementary colour of purple AND use a pink to warm that up and add some emphasis in a subtle way.

Top Cartoon Colouring Tip! – COMPLEMENTS

My purple is the complement to yellow and I use it in several ways. I emphasise her key feature, her eyes, with strong purple. I blend the purple into her brown mane. I subtly add purple to her forelock and a few touches on her back hooves. You can do as you like with the purple, or whatever new fun colour you have chosen. Play around and get creative!

Please share your cartoons

Please share your doodles when you are done. I LOVE seeing everyone’s work. It’s so inspiring! If you are on Instagram please tag @sjvickery and hashtag #cartoonclub or find me on Facebook @sarahjanevickeryart 

Grab a FREE PDF or watch another art class tutorial

I also have lots of Free Worksheets and Colouring Pages for anyone who wants to get creative. To see all my videos and tutorials head on over to my YouTube channel.

Join Cartoon Club – Online art classes for Kids who love to doodle

Is your child always doodling? Do they love to create cartoons? This is for them! At Cartoon Club we are a small, friendly group that works together in our online platform offering art classes for kids who love to doodle and draw. We’re open to children who like to sit, doodle and dream up cartoons. Cartoon Club was set up by me, artist and Creativity Coach Sarah Jane Vickery, with the aim of building art classes for kids to share their love of cartoons – and ultimately, have fun while building creative confidence.