How to Draw a Cartoon Pirate

Cartoon pirate drawing

Creating this cartoon pirate drawing lesson, was a blast. I love drawing character’s like this – especially when there are SO many different ways they can look. Hats, clothing, weapons, accessories…

It’s never ending!

Here in this example though – I’ve gone ahead, and created a version, that actually resembles the character in the top banner, on the right.

Subtle changes though, I’ve again – gone for another unique take – and this exactly what I encourage you to do, when working through the many lessons on this site.

OK, let’s get to it!

Cartoon Pirate Drawing Lesson

In the beginning…

I wanted to make sure – that the stance of the character, was fully understood, before I started laying down the lines.

To make this easier – I drew a simple framework of basic shapes. Notice how the orange line curves around with the figure?

This "line of action" – helps to cement ahead of time…

What sort of position, this cartoon pirate will be in.

Framework for drawing a cartoon pirate

Something else I wanted to add though – are a few extra colored indicators…

Markings which signify key, unique physical features in the drawing – those that will again, give you a much better understanding, for how this lesson will play out.

Of course – there on the page (or screen) in front of you…

Feel free to either sketch out a simple framework like mine, using light pencil strokes (or low opacity). Or, if you like…

Simply visualize what’s going on – keep a mental note, and allow this initial structure to work as a reminder, for how the shape and form in your character’s stance could play out.

Below, you can see green and purple. Green marks off the pirate’s sword, hat and hook. And purple – marks off the general area, where I’d like to draw the head, of the pirate’s pet parrot.

Here it is…

Drawing key features on the cartoon pirate framework

OK. Ready to begin? Great!

Begin by sketching in some simple features of the face – those like an eye patch, and his big nose – sort of like this…

Drawing the nose and patch of the cartoon pirate

Working our way out now – from what we’ve just drawing, go ahead and bring out some more of the features, those like the eye – part of the skull on his hat (if you choose to add this), and the mouth area.

I say "if you choose" of course – because I really think it would be even cooler, if you spun this lesson, adding your own unique take as you progress.

Drawing the face of the cartoon pirate

Further still – and next, it’s out to the beard, and the ear – just a few simple lines, gradually bringing the head of our cartoon pirate in view.

Like so…

Drawing the beard of the cartoon pirate

Here in this part of the lesson – I’m beginning to visualize how the character will take shape, and in doing so – am marking off key features, based on the approximate distances I had already established, with a framework.

Here’s how the pirate looks at this stage…

Drawing the skull, hand and buckle of the cartoon pirate

More lines and details – you can see, that as we’re progressing, the lines that we’ve previously drawn…

Keep fading out to grey. I hope this helps to clarify – those things we’ve already drawn, so you can focus on the newest steps in the lesson.

Below, check out the long swooping line, bringing forth the inside of the cartoon pirate’s coat.

Can you visualize this coming into being, overlapping the framework?

Drawing the coat of the cartoon pirate

Keep right on going – and at this point, I’d even recommend you change up the shape of his hat.

Why not give him a totally different-looking version. There are all sorts to choose from. Get creative!

Hat, belt, sword – keep right on drawing…

Drawing the pirate's hat, sword handle, and belt

Out to the sword now, and also – in behind the hand, to bring out the cuff and more of his coat…

It can be easier to tackle a drawing – when you first take into account, which things appear closest to the observer.

Drawing these things first, can really help to achieve clarity – and save time too, as you progress.

What do you think?

Drawing the pirate's sword, coat and sock bows

Ah yes – a few extra additions along the way – things that really are quite "piratish" :-)…

Next, go ahead and draw the head of his pet parrot (see an image of a macaw, if this helps), and also – the beginning of a telescope, hanging from his left side.

Drawing the parrot's head

And now complete, both the parrot – and the telescope.

Drawing the pirate's pet parrot and telescope

And now – finally, we can push even further back in the drawing – and go at his left arm, raising up, back and away from his body…

As well as that side of his coat.

Oh, and let’s begin the feet, too!

Completing the pirate's coat

OK, now – leading right up the the green circle – where the hook will go, think about how you can change this part…

Maybe have some other sort of weapon, instead of a hook.

Get creative! 🙂

Beginning the pirate's hook hand and feet

Hook and feet drawn…

Drawing the pirate's hook and shoes

And alas…

We can now take a look at our finished cartoon pirate, minus all the "help" lines below.

Black and white drawing of a cartoon pirate

And then a little more energy and creativity – selecting a neat-looking color palette…

Cartoon drawing of a pirate

And our cartoon pirate, is complete.

So, what did you think of this lesson? What was your favorite part? Ready for another one, soon?

Me too! 🙂