Centre for Continuing Education

Cartooning for Beginners Course

Drawing. Draw out your inner artist.

Learn to draw the smart way with Drawing courses at the University of Sydney.

Cartooning is not only fun, but it is a way to visually communicate stories and ideas – a vital skill in today’s world. Cartooning is a highly sought after skill in the fields of entertainment, advertising, design and education. Skills in cartooning are used in the production of comics, animation, illustration, storyboards, web content, user interface design, graphic design and more.


This course aims to show participants how they can communicate visually using the art of cartooning, to begin expressing their own ideas and stories.


Upon successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Draw a wide range of cartoon faces.
  2. Understand the underlying structure of cartoon faces and figures.
  3. Break down existing characters to their basic elements.
  4. Understand what makes cartoons ‘cartoony’.
  5. Use the first principle of animation- squash & stretch- in their drawings.
  6. Draw cartoon heads in 3D and at various angles.
  7. Draw a cartoon figure starting from the Stick Figure.
  8. Incorporate a sense of movement and life into cartoon characters.
  9. Identify cartoon characters compared to other styles of art.
  10. Draw cartoon animals.


This course covers the following topics:

  • Drawing the cartoon face from basics and beyond
  • Understanding the basic elements of cartoon drawing- shapes & symbols
  • Analysis of the construction of iconic characters
  • Cartoon style- squash & stretch
  • Drawing cartoon heads at various angles- Playdoh exercise
  • Expression – understanding the 6 key expressions of the face and how to draw them
  • The cartoon figure- starting with the stick figure
  • Cartoon movement
  • Comparison of cartoon styles and discussion of what makes cartoons 'cartoony'
  • Classic cartoons- drawing cartoon animals.

Intended Audience

This course is intended for anyone – from the absolute beginner to professionals – in the fields of design, advertising, entertainment and education; who need to develop their abilities in visual communication. Also a great course for hobbyist cartoonists who want to create stories and jokes in short form comic strips, or aspiring professionals who want to know where to start.

Delivery Style


Recommended Reading

  • Preston Blair Cartoon Animation
  • Scott McCloud Understanding Comics, Making Comics
  • Jack Hamm Cartooning the Head & Figure
  • Andrew Loomis Fun with a Pencil


Participants will be required to bring to class:

  • A 2B pencil/s
  • A white eraser
  • A pencil sharpener
  • An A3 sketchbook


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Great class, I could really see the improvement in my cartooning abilities just from one day! The tutor was great and I now feel I have a very solid understanding of the fundamentals of figure drawing facial expressions. I enjoyed all of the extra tips and information provided. Recommend this course to everyone!
  • Great course! It starts from zero and goes through a lot of material without leaving anyone behind. I thought I couldn’t draw, but the course taught me otherwise. I really enjoyed it.