How to Draw Cartoon Art

Cartoon art based on the famous painting of Mona Lisa, created by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Ok, so let’s draw some cartoon art.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa – also know as ‘La Giocanda’… is one of – if not THE – most famous works of art on the planet. Painted in the Italian Renaissance period, during the early 16th Century – it is believed to have taken da Vinci almost 16 years to complete!

Here in this lesson, I’ve put together some steps to help you brainstorm and create a unique homage to this wonderful painting – of your own!

To the canvas!

First Step – A Study of Shapes which Compose the Mona Lisa

Just like how you might plan out a real oil painting – with a grid, shapes, lines, etc… BEFORE you actually lay down the paint… here we’re doing something similar. These lines and shapes should help to give you a better understanding of how the various parts of the painting come together – or in our case… cartoon art.

The first phase then, beginning with a picture frame…

Picture frame of the Mona Lisa.
Cornered picture frame for the Mona Lisa.
Framework divisions for the Mona Lisa.
Shapes for drawing the Mona Lisa.
Additional shapes for drawing the Mona Lisa.
Final framework for drawing the Mona Lisa.

While this looks rather strange at first – this arrangement of shapes and lines can really help to cement the form that your pen/pencil strokes should be working around. Notice how the green circle marks off here face – turned slightly to HER right.

Also, notice the positioning of her right hand – just adjacent to the centerline. And the orange arc… marking off – to some degree – where her hair can be drawn.

Really – you can use a pattern of your own if you like. Whichever works best for you!

Second Step – How to Draw Cartoon Art, The Mona Lisa

Beginning with the face of The Mona Lisa, use these steps to guide you – as you slowly move forward, bringing into view a drawing (painting!)… ART !!! of your own.

Keep in mind – this is a simple cartoon representation. It’s by no means an ‘extremely close’ likeness to the real thing. It does however depict those parts of the painting (most of them anyway) – that makes it easy to recognize as such.

Oh – one more thing. I added eyebrows in my version – but in the real version, there aren’t any. In the final colored images, I made sure to leave them out.

Let’s begin!

Drawing the face of the Mona Lisa.
Drawing the hair of the Mona Lisa.
Completing the head of the Mona Lisa.
Drawing the hand of the Mona Lisa.
Drawing the arms of the Mona Lisa.
Drawing the clothes of the Mona Lisa.
Continuing with the clothes of the Mona Lisa.
Completing the main part of the Mona Lisa.
Mona Lisa cartoon drawing.
A picture of cartoon art, showing a simplified colorful version of Leonardo's Mona Lisa painting.

When all is said and drawn – the final product – colored and all… really makes it all worth the while. You’ll notice I added some color variations that don’t exactly show up in the real thing. The water in behind for example… not really sure it this is water – but I thought it would look neat.

All and all – a cartoon art likeness to the real thing!

I hope you enjoyed the lesson. 🙂