This week at Cartoon Club online art classes for kids we had a real challenge – to design a misleading treasure mpa. It was very involved and the children came up with some terrific obstacles, features and clues for us to include on our maps. We went over time in several of my online art classes with the kids as we couldn’t stop drawing and there were so many fun cartoons to doodle into our pictures.

Our Cartoon Club challenge of The Misleading Treasure Map lead to some great drawings by the kids. What would you imagine? What characters might mislead you? How about a sly sea serpent, a cuckoo cuckoo, haunted caves, or sinister sharks?! Great drawings came out of our online art class! We had fun creating clues and doodling the characters we’d meet.
I’ve just posted up a new how-to draw video on my YouTube channel showing you how to doodle one of the characters on my map, a dozing crocodile sleeping beside the treasure chest key of course just like we did in my online art class for the kids. I thought I’d share how I did one character, so if you missed our online art class, you can have a go and cartoon now.

There’s always a new topic to doodle on at Cartoon Club – something that will not only improve our drawing abilities, challenge us to come up with new and creative ways of solving problems. It was challenging to draw all the features on the map but this is a pretty fun character to doodle yourself so have a go and let me know what you think in the comments.

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)
  • 3 or 4 Colours (My favourite are Faber-Castell polychromes or Prismacolor but whatever you have will do just fine)

How do I draw a cartoon sleeping crocodile?

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

How can I think more Creatively?

Let’s focus on SHAPE

Before you start the video, I recommend you keep in mind the following: there are all kinds of creative ways to use the concept of shape in your drawing. 

What do I mean by shape? In this example from our online class with the kids, I’m talking about the underlying shapes that I use to build the basis of my character. This is the first step in almost all of my drawings. Get the shapes down!

I start by lightly sketching in shapes. I don’t have a predetermined idea of how my character should be shaped. This is my time to play around with shapes and get a feel for what will make the cartoon interesting and bring the drawing to life. A crocodile does not sleep in a little round ball, but when I drew the round circle I started to see how I could curve him around, rest his head, tuck in his legs, curve is tail and… hide the treasure key!

This video shows you how I draw this one cartoon. What I want you to experience is the creative process I go through and how I make him a fun, unique character even in this simple example. How else could I have used shape to change this cartoon? Play around with some different arrangements of the shapes. See what happens.

You will wind up drawing a different character than I did in our online art class and make different decisions along the way. That’s great. It will be your unique cartoon character. That’s the entire point – to draw like YOU. Ready… Let’s get creative!

Step 1 – Draw Lightly! Let it Flow

I begin with my biggest shape that is going to create the main feature of my cartoon. This one is a simple circle. But I don’t just draw one circle and leave it at that; I draw lots. I play around with the head shape, and shapes for the arms.

This light drawing time is key creative time – I get something down on the paper, warm up my right brain, and start to get a feel for how my character is going to orient on the page. This is my most important thinking time.

Step 2 – Experiment for Expression

Next I lightly sketch in the other features. I ask myself lots of questions and experiment with light sketchy lines. I try out various placement, size and orientation of the rest of the lines and smaller shapes that will form my character. This is my chance to play around and see how I can make this cartoon expressive.

Step 3 – Ink with your Instincts

Now I grab my pen. But of course you can outline darker in pencil. I almost always start with the eyes – not so in this case as those are not the key feature. Here it’s the shape of the face, jaw and eye sockets. This is going to give my character expression so this is where I begin. I have lots of sketchy lines on my page, but I use my instincts to commit to which will look best for my cartoon. Here I trust my taste.

With my pen, I continue to outline the rest of my character. The head, the body, the limbs and such. I exaggerate the lines that give the feeling I am looking to express.

Step 4 – Colour your Cartoon to Life

I usually colour a cartoon with just three or four pencil crayons. This is just enough variety of colour to give my character interest while still maintaining harmony. In some areas I blend and layer the colour while in others I apply it on it’s own. I like to use a combination of “realistic” colours and more unusual colours. This juxtaposition gives life to my cartoon – and well it’s fun! This is also why I use pencil crayons to colour – because I can add variety. I can make my pencial softer, I can use harder lines, I can make a gradient, I can blend, I can outline, I can colour a solid area. I add emphasis and contrast of colour at the end, according to my taste to liven up my cartoon. Voila!

Please share your cartoons

Please share your cartoons when you are done. I LOVE seeing everyone’s art work and drawings. 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.

Cartoon Club for Kids Online art class for kids to learn to draw

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 think creatively.

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.

We’re open to children who like to sit, doodle and dream up cartoons. There are 1 hour Cartoon Club online art classes for kids ages 8 – 12 as well as 30 minute Cartoon Junior classes for children ages 6 – 7.

Online art classes for Adults

Join me at Discover Your Inner Cartoonist – online art classes for adults who love to doodle! Take a break to sit, draw and think creatively. Each week you’ll enjoy a fun, new, narrative theme to cartoon in our 1 hour class.

“Very pleasantly relaxing and relaxed atmosphere. I found some creativity in myself which surprised me!”
– Alan C., Course Participant

online art drawing classes for adults