In this lesson, you’ll learn how to draw a generic cartoon house, one that you can customize anyway you like!
When it comes to any ‘boxy’ sort of drawing, whether it be a house, a TV or a birthday gift – knowing how to draw a simple 3D box is really helpful. And yes, you’ll be drawing one very shortly.
Keep in mind, there are an infinite number of ways of which a house may be drawn. My goal is to simply show you ‘one way’ to draw it – one that works and will help you to create a unique house of your own.
Looking to your right, you can see that yes – this house in particular is indeed pretty darn simple-looking. There are no stairs… no chimney… nope – not even a walkway! And that’s OK. It leaves room for imagination so that you can add the features that you like as you progress.
Well, there’s no place like home – so let’s draw one!
First Step – Drawing a 3D Box, a Framework for Your Cartoon House
In other lessons here on the site, I encourage that you use a framework – a simple arrangement of basic shapes, in order to help maintain proportion (and symmetry too) so that you can spend more time on details and being creative. And well, I encourage you to do the same here!
When it comes to boxy three dimensional objects like houses, a simple 3D box like the one below is perfect for keeping everything in line. With it, you can give your house depth while at the same time, maintaining the position and lengths of the lines that compose it.
Alright, get out a ruler and a pencil, and ever-so-lightly, sketch a nice-looking 3D box to work with like this…
In overlapping the first square/rectangle with the second… don’t be too worried about where the two squares (or rectangles) overlap. Why? Well, as you can see in the next example – with four simple lines connecting at equal and opposite corners – you’ve got a nice 3D box — exactly what you wanted!
The gray lines above indicate the portion of the 3D box that can’t be seen. I did this to ensure that you have a clearer perspective.
Now, before we continue onward — can you imagine some other things that you could draw using this box – other than a cartoon house? How about a microwave? A set of speakers? A Rubik’s cube perhaps? Sure! You can draw all of things things and any other ‘boxy’ looking thing you can think of. Food for thought for some other lessons down the road!
OK. You’ve got your box. Now – let’s build a house!
Second Step – Position the ‘Peak’ of Your Cartoon House
Most western-looking homes have a triangular peak at the top. So depending on the look of your ideal house, you can either add one or leave it out.
Before drawing the peak of the house, it helps to map out its position – just as I’ve done below…
It’s at this point in the lesson where it makes sense to give the parts of your box different names… front, middle and back. The middle part of course is part ‘going back’ giving your drawing depth.
So then, with respect to drawing the peak – start off with a centered vertical line located at the top of the front part of the box. Do this, and then draw a second line of the same length extending from the top center of the back part. Ensure they’re the same height – how high is up to you! When you’re done, connect the tops with a line.
So how’s it looking now? Great! Let’s get going then with the actual drawing of the house!
Third Step – Draw a Roof for Your Cartoon House
Alright, time to lay down some permanent lines – ones that will take the form of the roof of your cartoon house. In the same way that I’ve done below, go ahead and draw a roof. Don’t be concerned with drawing your lines exactly like mine. Feel free to make your roof wider, longer, steeper, etc.
It’s at this point where you can really start to appreciate the use of your 3D box. It keeps everything ‘in line’ – allowing you to ensure that each new line that you draw, keeps with the original framework. The front and back parts of your cartoon house align with the front and back parts of the box, while the sides of your house align with the middle of the box.
Now with the roof in place, move on down to the core part of your house…
Fourth Step – A Little Planning…
In other lessons – animals, dragons, etc. I’ve encouraged mapping out a face of whatever it is you’re drawing, by using a simple cross.
In doing so, it really helps to keep symmetry as you draw the eyes and mouth – the nose of course falling somewhere in the center. And well, mapping out the doors, and windows of your cartoon house is actually quite similar…
In orange, you can see how by focusing on the front of the 3D box – it helps to draw a cross so that drawing the door, windows, etc. of your cartoon house is both easy and more accurate-looking. I say ‘accurate-looking’ because NO – even though it’s a boxy-looking house, you don’t have to ensure that everything is perfectly symmetrical. Get things in about the right position and when looking at your final drawing people will stay say – ‘yep, definitely looks like a house!‘ 🙂
And so, how about drawing some doors and windows then?…
Fifth Step – Doors and Windows for Your Cartoon House
Much like a centered nose that you’d draw on the face of a cartoon animal, begin by drawing a door for your cartoon house – centered using the cross, and flush with the bottom of the front part of your 3D box…
Once your door’s in place… it helps to sketch in a few guidelines, just as I’ve done in green to mark the position of the two windows. And just as the orange line wraps around the side of the house, do the same with the green lines — they’ll help to position any windows, doors, etc. that you’d like to add to the side of your house (the side that’s visible of course!).
OK – how are things looking? Just remember, the examples above are just that — EXAMPLES. The orange and green lines are merely guides, helping you keep everything in order as you map out and draw your house. In my case, they helped map out and draw a door and three windows. In your case… who knows! Two doors and six windows? Whichever it is, your guidelines (orange, green, etc.) will appear at different heights according to the position of the things that you wish to draw.
Now with that said, I’d say you’re in a pretty good position to wrap things up. Your cartoon house is just about finished now…
Final Step – Some Final Details to Complete Your Cartoon House
Well, you’re at the end of the lesson now – your cartoon house is just about finished. Here I’d like to take things a step further by adding some ‘extras’ to the house.
Extras in the form of shrubs…
Just as you did with the windows earlier, a few simple guidelines make mapping out the position of each shrub (or bush) a pretty simple task.
With the bushes in place, feel free to continue with the extras as you wish. After all, this is your cartoon house and so, I’m sure you’ll want to draw anything and everything possible to make it feel all the more like home!
In my case, I added a few more details, enough to better bring out the door and windows. Do the same… let go… get creative… and of course – have fun in the process! 🙂
Well, that about wraps up this drawing lesson. From a simple 3D box, you’ve come up with pretty neat-looking cartoon house – one that’s suitable to truly call ‘home’.
I hope you enjoyed this drawing lesson and I encourage you to venture on back real soon for another!