40+ Cartoon Character Illustration Tutorials


Everybody likes cartoon characters. They make us happy and keep our mind tension-free. We present here beautiful and mind-blowing Cartoon Illustration Tutorials for you. This article contains a mixture of Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials. Some are intermediate level and some are advanced tutorials that include coloring processing, character sketching, pen tool tricks for tracing line art sketches, shapes processing, vector conversions and much more.

We are sure all of the tutorials in this post will be a great help to you. We have made sure to include illustrations that will guide you step by step to easily learn how to create cool and interesting cartoon characters in Illustrator and Photoshop. You will also learn the basic skills required to create your own interesting and attractive characters. We also feature some powerful tips, tricks, tools and other resources that may help you make a variety of cartoon character illustrations.

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:

Cartoon Illustration Tutorials

Draw figures in an anime style5
Melissa Somerville uses drawing and inking techniques in Photoshop to create an enchanting anime-style fairy.


Color your fantasy figures7
Refine your Photoshop tool skills to color your characters and situate them in magical fantasy environments.


How to illustrate a cute Emo kid9
In this tutorial, the artist takes you through the process of drawing these cuties. The concept is based on the popularity of Emo, and you are taken through all the steps, from sketch to full-color vector using Illustrator CS3, to pen, paper, scanner and Wacom tablet.


Digital manga illustration11
Just as Harajuku Girls mix fashion styles, Joanna Zhou combines several drawing techniques to create a new twist on manga art.


Primitive art man cartoon13
This Photoshop tutorial takes you from scan to finished line art composition, step by step. It has great pointers for lighting and coloring your work. If you want to draw your own cartoon, check out this great tutorial.


How to create a killer chainsaw bunny character15
This tutorial shows you how to build a Bucket o’ Thought character and add a dynamic background effect. This process can be applied to any sketch you are vectorizing.


Create a vector pirate cartoon character from a hand-drawn sketch17
In this tutorial, you will learn how to trace a scanned image in Illustrator using the pen tool and color it. You’ll find it a very valuable tutorial.


How to create a cartoon character with expressive lines19
Cartoon-character drawing involves a lot of techniques and styles, whether it is for one-tone characters or colorful multi-layered ones. In this tutorial, you’ll see the necessary steps for creating a multi-colored cartoon character with shading.


Create a super-happy octopus character21
With Illustrator, it’s really easy to create fun characters just with simple shapes and the Pathfinder panel. Use these techniques and elements to create whatever character you want!.


How to turn a sketch into a fat cat vector illustration23
This tutorial guides you from sketchbook to screen: a “fat cat” doodled with biro and translated into a neat vector caricature. Intermediate knowledge of Adobe Illustrator is recommended.


Draw vector-looking cat illustration using Photoshop25
This tutorial aims to put in the clearest light the process of creating this cat image. Step by step, the artist shows the whole process and clarifies every stage with the help of his notes.


Build your character’s back story27
Danilo Brandão reveals a simple yet effective way to breathe life into your characters by developing personality and creating their environment.


This painting tutorial was done using Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos 2 (6×8) tablet.


Create the first page of a fairy-tale storybook, with a hint of kitsch31
Once upon a time, there was a tutorial, a tutorial that told of magical and enchanting ways to create fairy-tale pages in Adobe Illustrator. Are you sitting comfortably?


Drunken monkey Photoshop tutorial33
In this tutorial, the artist explains step by step how he designed this attractive character. He reviews the entire design process, from first sketches and drafts to final touches with Adobe Photoshop.


Creating vector characters in Illustrator35
Characters can add a recognizable element to your work. But how do you go from a sketch to finished product? Peskimo walks you through the process.


How to create a cute bunny vector character37
In this Illustrator tutorial, the artist shows you how to create a cute bunny character. This tutorial makes use of simple shapes and gradients that are easy to apply to illustrations of other characters. The great thing is that you don’t have to be an amazing artist to do it!


How to create your own vector cartoon character39
Follow this tutorial to create your own vector character, Freddy the Fish.


A lovely cartoon character41
In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw shapes with the pen tool, perform a shading trick with the burn and dodge tools and create a perfect lighting effect.


Drawing a character’s face in Illustrator43
Creating a cartoon- or human-like caricature in Illustrator is a fun and rewarding project. If you’re pretty good with the pen tool, it doesn’t take very long either. In this tutorial, the artist helps you create an elf.


Drawing cute anime kids45


Inking and coloring the comic strip “The Brads”47
Follow tips by cartoonist Brad Colbow to create your own comic strip.


Create a cute panda bear face icon49
In this easy-to-follow tutorial, the artist shows you how to create a cute panda bear face icon, all from ellipses (well, and one rectangle for the background). The great thing is that you can easily apply these techniques to your other projects.


How to add fur to vector animal illustrations51
In this tutorial, you learn how to add fur to a vector animal illustration very professionally.


Digital art tutorial53
This is an old tutorial but very worthwhile and interesting.


Making of a Clown55
In this tutorial, the artist explains the making of his “Balance Attack” creation. This picture took him about six hours to complete; take your time with it and be patient.


Create a robotic angel using line art and textures57
Create a robotic angel using textures and line art in Photoshop.


Creating a character59
In this tutorial, the artist teaches you how to create a funny futuristic character. You’ll see the basic principles of drawing, designing and coloring.


Tips And Tricks

From sketch to vector illustration61
A very informative tutorial. Follow the steps here to produce high-impact digital creations from hand-drawn sketches.


Re-color artwork using Illustrator’s Live Color63


Draw a realistic eye for cartoon character65
In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a realistic eye for your cartoon character. The tutorial also explains the theory behind creating eyes and how to match colors for different parts of the eye. Of course, you can choose your own favorite color for your eye.


How to create super-malleable effects with colorful lines67
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create these fantastic colorful effects using only Photoshop. They fit in anywhere and can look really awesome.


138 tips for drawing hands69


Takumy vector tutorial: eyes71
Use Adobe Illustrator CS2 to color CG with no outlines.


7 more things you didn’t know Adobe Illustrator could do73


Fun with Illustrator’s lesser-known yet powerful tools75


Coloring pencil drawings with Photoshop77


Photoshop’s pen tool: The comprehensive guide79
The pen tool appears across Adobe’s almost entire product range. Its function and behavior vary depending on the application, but by mastering it, you’ll find you work more quickly and smoothly and with better results. This guide gives you a comprehensive basis for working with the pen tool in Photoshop.


A comprehensive introduction to Photoshop selection techniques81
Have you ever had difficulty making selections and thought there was a better way? Here, you’ll review two quick solutions and details of the techniques for making selections.


Cartoon Character Resources

Here at the end, we have listed some of the most fun and beautiful websites to help you create a cartoon character and represent yourself in online profiles and avatars in a very interesting, cartoony way. You can use your avatar for your blog profile, Facebook, Orkut, Hi5, MySpace, Friendster or just for fun. They are very simple to do.

Cartoon Me83
Have a photo of yourself or a friend cartooned! Enter your details in the space provided and submit your photo.


Portrait Illustration Maker85
Portrait Illustration Maker provides character icons completely free of charge! Use them for your blog or social network service.


Make your own cartoon strip online87
Strip Generator is a project that was created to embrace the Internet blogging and strip-creation culture, helping people with no drawing ability (yeah, I’m one of them, too) express their opinion via strips for free.


Simpsonize Me89
Turn yourself into a Simpsons character.


South Park Studio91
Create your own South Park alter-ego or make one of a family member or friend! When you’re done, save it to your computer and use it on your website or print it out.


Build and animate your own 3-D avatar. It’s free.


Related posts

You may want to take a look at the following related posts:



  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  3. 3 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/05/illustrator-tutorials-best-of/
  4. 4 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/10/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-best-of/
  5. 5 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/premium_content/2d__and__photoshop/draw_figures_in_an_anime_style
  6. 6 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/premium_content/2d__and__photoshop/draw_figures_in_an_anime_style
  7. 7 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/premium_content/2d__and__photoshop/colour_your_fantasy_figures
  8. 8 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/premium_content/2d__and__photoshop/colour_your_fantasy_figures
  9. 9 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-illustrate-a-cute-emo-kid/
  10. 10 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-illustrate-a-cute-emo-kid/
  11. 11 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/digital_manga_illustration
  12. 12 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/digital_manga_illustration
  13. 13 http://www.eyesontutorials.com/articles/32/1/Primitive-Art-Man-Cartoon/Page1.html
  14. 14 http://www.eyesontutorials.com/articles/32/1/Primitive-Art-Man-Cartoon/Page1.html
  15. 15 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-killer-chainsaw-bunny-character/
  16. 16 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-killer-chainsaw-bunny-character/
  17. 17 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/uncategorized/create-a-vector-pirate-cartoon-character-from-a-hand-drawn-sketch
  18. 18 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/uncategorized/create-a-vector-pirate-cartoon-character-from-a-hand-drawn-sketch
  19. 19 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cartoon-character-with-expressive-lines/
  20. 20 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cartoon-character-with-expressive-lines/
  21. 21 http://vector.tutsplus.com/illustration/create-a-super-happy-octopus-character/
  22. 22 http://vector.tutsplus.com/illustration/create-a-super-happy-octopus-character/
  23. 23 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-turn-a-sketch-into-a-fat-cat-vector-illustration/
  24. 24 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-turn-a-sketch-into-a-fat-cat-vector-illustration/
  25. 25 http://www.tutorialpark.com/drawing-vector-looking-cat-illustration-using-photoshop/
  26. 26 http://www.tutorialpark.com/drawing-vector-looking-cat-illustration-using-photoshop/
  27. 27 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/build_your_characters_back_story
  28. 28 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/build_your_characters_back_story
  29. 29 http://www.studioqube.com/tutorials/painting/index.html
  30. 30 http://www.studioqube.com/tutorials/painting/index.html
  31. 31 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/designing/create-the-first-page-of-a-fairy-tale-story-book-with-a-hint-of-kitsch/
  32. 32 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/designing/create-the-first-page-of-a-fairy-tale-story-book-with-a-hint-of-kitsch/
  33. 33 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/13/drunken-monkey-photoshop-tutorial/
  34. 34 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/13/drunken-monkey-photoshop-tutorial/
  35. 35 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/creating_vector_characters_in_illustrator
  36. 36 http://www.computerarts.co.uk/tutorials/2d__and__photoshop/creating_vector_characters_in_illustrator
  37. 37 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cute-bunny-vector-character/
  38. 38 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-a-cute-bunny-vector-character/
  39. 39 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-create-your-own-cartoon-character
  40. 40 http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-create-your-own-cartoon-character
  41. 41 http://tu-torial.com/view_tut.php?id=183
  42. 42 http://tu-torial.com/view_tut.php?id=183
  43. 43 http://pinkzap.com/tutorial/drawing-a-characters-face-in-illustrator/
  44. 44 http://pinkzap.com/tutorial/drawing-a-characters-face-in-illustrator/
  45. 45 http://tu-torial.com/view_tut.php?id=224
  46. 46 http://tu-torial.com/view_tut.php?id=224
  47. 47 http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/inking-and-coloring-the-comic-strip-the-brads--vector-540
  48. 48 http://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/inking-and-coloring-the-comic-strip-the-brads--vector-540
  49. 49 http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-a-cute-panda-bear-face-icon/
  50. 50 http://vectips.com/tutorials/create-a-cute-panda-bear-face-icon/
  51. 51 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-add-fur-to-vector-animal-illustrations/
  52. 52 http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-add-fur-to-vector-animal-illustrations/
  53. 53 http://spiritwolf77.deviantart.com/art/Digital-Art-Tutorial-25660523
  54. 54 http://spiritwolf77.deviantart.com/art/Digital-Art-Tutorial-25660523
  55. 55 http://www.photoshoptalent.com/photoshop-tutorials/pst/968/Making-of-a-Clown.html
  56. 56 http://www.photoshoptalent.com/photoshop-tutorials/pst/968/Making-of-a-Clown.html
  57. 57 http://www.simplypsd.com/effects/create-a-robotic-angel-using-lineart-and-textures/
  58. 58 http://www.simplypsd.com/effects/create-a-robotic-angel-using-lineart-and-textures/
  59. 59 http://www.eyesontutorials.com/articles/273/1/Creating-a-character/Page1.html
  60. 60 http://www.eyesontutorials.com/articles/273/1/Creating-a-character/Page1.html
  61. 61 http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/from-sketch-to-vector-illustration/
  62. 62 http://www.gomediazine.com/tutorials/from-sketch-to-vector-illustration/
  63. 63 http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/recolor_artwork_using_illustrators_livecolor/
  64. 64 http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/recolor_artwork_using_illustrators_livecolor/
  65. 65 http://yuumei.deviantart.com/art/Semirealistic-Eye-Tutorial-103658891
  66. 66 http://yuumei.deviantart.com/art/Semirealistic-Eye-Tutorial-103658891
  67. 67 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tutorials-effects/how-to-create-super-malleable-effects-with-colorful-lines/
  68. 68 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tutorials-effects/how-to-create-super-malleable-effects-with-colorful-lines/
  69. 69 http://www.ratemydrawings.com/tutorials/drawing/138-Tips_for_drawing_hands.html
  70. 70 http://www.ratemydrawings.com/tutorials/drawing/138-Tips_for_drawing_hands.html
  71. 71 http://takumy.deviantart.com/art/Takumy-Vector-Tutorial-eyes-116142012
  72. 72 http://takumy.deviantart.com/art/Takumy-Vector-Tutorial-eyes-116142012
  73. 73 http://www.attitudedesign.co.uk/7-more-things-you-didnt-know-adobe-illustrator-could-do/
  74. 74 http://www.attitudedesign.co.uk/7-more-things-you-didnt-know-adobe-illustrator-could-do/
  75. 75 http://www.bittbox.com/illustrator/fun-with-illustrators-lesser-known-yet-powerful-tools/
  76. 76 http://www.bittbox.com/illustrator/fun-with-illustrators-lesser-known-yet-powerful-tools/
  77. 77 http://www.elfwood.com/farp/colorps/pcolorps.html
  78. 78 http://www.elfwood.com/farp/colorps/pcolorps.html
  79. 79 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-tips/photoshops-pen-tool-the-comprehensive-guide/
  80. 80 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-tips/photoshops-pen-tool-the-comprehensive-guide/
  81. 81 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-tips/a-comprehensive-introduction-to-photoshop-selection-techniques/
  82. 82 http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tools-tips/a-comprehensive-introduction-to-photoshop-selection-techniques/
  83. 83 http://www.cartoonme.com/en/
  84. 84 http://www.cartoonme.com/en/
  85. 85 http://illustmaker.abi-station.com/index_en.shtml
  86. 86 http://illustmaker.abi-station.com/index_en.shtml
  87. 87 http://stripgenerator.com/
  88. 88 http://stripgenerator.com/
  89. 89 http://simpsonizeme.com/
  90. 90 http://simpsonizeme.com/
  91. 91 http://www.sp-studio.de/index.htm
  92. 92 http://www.sp-studio.de/index.htm
  93. 93 http://www.meez.com/
  94. 94 http://www.meez.com/
  95. 95 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/12/07/50-excellent-digital-photography-photoshop-tutorials/
  96. 96 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/10/14/30-beautiful-vintageretro-photoshop-tutorials/
  97. 97 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/05/illustrator-tutorials-best-of/
  98. 98 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/01/10/adobe-photoshop-tutorials-best-of/

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Aquil Akhter is a web graphic designer and has been working in this field for 8 years. He also runs the blog webdesigncore.com, which focuses on free web resources and inspiration for designers and developers.

  1. 1

    Here’s a shout-out for Creaza, another strip-generator:


    You’ll need to sign-in to be able to use it, but we are working around this issue now (yes, I am a minor part of the development team).

  2. 2

    cool……… really like this,

  3. 3

    this is awesome!!!
    thanks for this great post

  4. 4

    Oh My God
    Really useful articles and many new tuts.
    Thank You SM

  5. 5

    awesome i impressed

  6. 6

    Great this is a beautiful selection, i like anime style tuts and cat character, thanks a lot for those useful Tutorials

  7. 7

    I recommend the John K blog. It’s a fantastic resource. John Kricfalusi is the Ren and Stimpy creator and is a prolific blogger.


  8. 8

    Very good stuff

  9. 9

    Great thanks..
    this is really what I want to learn..

  10. 10

    Very helpful, thanks ;)

  11. 11

    Oh, awesome post. Just started getting my hands dirty with Illustrator and this will help a lot. Thanks!

  12. 12

    I would love to see some tutorials on making photographs cartoonish… I found a few, but they’re not that great…

    These articles are great though…Its a shame I can’t draw 8(

  13. 13

    Truly g r e a t

  14. 14

    Two Socks - Graphic design and print

    April 16, 2009 5:41 am

    Some good tuts there, nice job!

  15. 15

    Great collection! I think this is my favorite one so far

  16. 16

    Emo is a really popular character.

  17. 17

    You read my mind, I was looking for something like that this morning :D

  18. 18

    It is really very HUGE and Beautiful collection i have ever seen, Smashing Magazine you guys are really rock!

  19. 19

    What an amazing inspiration!!!

    I love this post! I might take it to bed with me tonight!

    Thanks for the hard work

  20. 20

    Wow, this is great. Thanks a lot! =)

  21. 21

    Awesome post! Good job SM.

  22. 22

    I’ll add my 5 cents as well – http://blackmoondev.com/flash-cartoon-tutorial/ Cheers

  23. 23

    A great selection in an underated area. Thanks for the post, I enjoyed it. :)

  24. 24

    My advice get a Wacom Tablet and Practice.

    Thanks SM…cheers!

  25. 25

    Right On this s way cool! SHAZAM!

  26. 26

    captain black spoon wears a knife… oO

  27. 27

    Thanks for these awsome resources!

  28. 28

    This is awesome!…………………………………………………………….
    C O O L ………………………………………………………………………..

  29. 29

    pretty awesome stuff.

    The cartoonize yourself stuff are really cool, I am getting addicted to your blog site.

  30. 30
  31. 31

    Nobian Princess

    April 18, 2009 1:01 am

    Soooo Coooool as usual, I started to learn illustrator and this will definitely help. thanks Aquil and thanks Smashing

  32. 32

    many of them few years old.. but still ok. =) still, a need for something FRESH guys.. refreshingmagazine.com ? ;)

  33. 33

    I just came across this, definitely gonna have to check it out! Looks rad.

  34. 34

    It is an awesome tutorial, thanks for it.

  35. 35

    Waooo, this is great. Thanks a lot

  36. 36

    thank you very much for sharing so valuable experience. God bless you.

  37. 37

    this is a awsome thingy

  38. 38

    Hi i luv 2 darwl XD it fun

  39. 39

    looks everything nice……..

  40. 40

    Great List !

  41. 41

    wow! greaat collection forever…

  42. 42

    respected aquil Akhter . i want to talk to you through e-mail. i didnl;t got you i had search you a lot in orkut . how could i get your email sir

  43. 43
  44. 44

    hmm Great Post !
    Sound good to me ..

  45. 45

    very good!

  46. 46

    well that’s easy to make yourseft cartoon u can do it in photoshop and iknow some softwear that u can download and then take any picture of you or anyone and then play with the tools.

    i give you the link:

  47. 47


  48. 48

    LOVE lonely cartoon!

  49. 49

    Thank you so much for all these resources! This is really awesome. You have no idea how thankful I am! =]

  50. 50

    superb awesome works..

  51. 51

    ……….i like it very much…awesome

  52. 52

    nishorger nondita

    December 7, 2011 9:17 pm

    just love it….!!

  53. 53

    I LOVE ALL OF IT!!!:)it’s so awesome cool!?!

  54. 54

    wow, this is incredible. Just love it. <3

  55. 55

    all of them looks great. Hope I
    could draw same work as yours.

  56. 56

    this is wonderful, really helpful!


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