Drawing a Monkey Cartoon: Making an Easy Cartoon Monkey to be Used Anywhere!

Everything is more fun when there is a monkey cartoon hanging around. Whether it is a document or a book, there's something about animal that we can relate to when we see it being used around the office or home. Follow along to draw your own cartoon monkey.

There are so many positive things associated with a monkey. Aside from their intelligence, the majority of the time, the monkey is a playful animal. It's no wonder popular phrases like 'monkeying around' is often used to indicate leisure time.

Thus, seeing a cartoon monkey anywhere is a great way to remind ourselves to have some fun once in a while after a productive task. Of course, don't play too much! Life is all about balance and making good use of time.

This is just as important in art. Whether it's drawing for fun or for a living, it's a good idea to strive for being efficient as well as being creative. So what are the best practices for making a cartoon monkey that is quick and easy? It all starts with managing a simple sketch.

Sketching out the monkey cartoon

To bring out the character of a monkey, always start with just a quick rough sketch. However, start with research first. Which species speak out the most? There's always a connection to be made because these are popular animals that have been with us throughout our lives.

The drawing process is fairly straightforward: draw circles, division lines for the face, cylinders for the limbs, and a curvy tail. How creative can this sketch be? A cartoon can be made from any type of deformity so long as the main features are kept.

monkey cartoon step 1 from cgattic.ca

For example, enlarging the head will not change how a monkey will look. However, it will make it a lot more cute and cartoonish! It's the same for the rest of the body. How many ways can the silhouette be altered while still retain the monkey's form?

It's easy when certain features are kept like the large ears, 10 digits, large oval eyes, and an adorable smile. The rest is making a pose that works with the idea that the artist has in mind. Play with a few different compositions to find one most suitable.

Drawing the monkey cartoon outline

One of the most noticeable thing with deformation and resizing is that the lines can become pixelated or uneven. This is most noticeable when scaling the head to make it larger than the rest of the body by a significant amount. It's a cute style that works.

Regardless, a cleanup is always necessary. Aside from the thickness, lines may be too light or too dark. To even out the lines, duplicate the layer multiple times and then merge it all together. This 'stacking' effect will normalize line thickness and transparency.

monkey cartoon step 2 from cgattic.ca

Even then, there are extra lines that need to be cleaned up. First, enlarge the drawing to the right size. Then, using an eraser tool, carefully go over each individual line to try and even it out. Any previous unwanted shapes used to get the proportions down should also be erased.

After that, refine the monkey a bit more. Even though it's a cartoon, there is no reason to add a bit of details every now and then. Simple stuff like the earlobes, nostrils, or even the correct amount of digits found on the hands and toes can only add to the drawing.

Coloring the cartoon monkey's body

So far, so good! How does the cartoon monkey look? Are the lines nice and even? Does it capture the playful or curious nature of the animal? Either way, when the line drawing is considered done, the next step would be to add some color.

Hopefully, the division lines for the fur were also done in the line drawing. Even then, it's not really necessary. Rather, it's just a nice addition to help create a boundary on where to add the colors. Since it is dependent on the specie, make sure the color matches properly.

monkey cartoon step 3 from cgattic.ca

On this particular monkey cartoon, the areas around the chest and the face are lighter than the rest of the body. It's completely possible to color in the entire drawing with just two tones: a lighter brown tone and darker brown tone.

The colors are best filled in on a separate layer underneath the line drawing. That is, in case of mistakes, the line drawing will not be affected. Go ahead and fill in the color, but make sure that it well contained in the boundaries set by the line drawing.

Use contrast bring out the monkey cartoon

The great thing about cartooning is that the simplistic nature of coloring means that the drawing, technically, is already done in the previous step. How much more detail or depth of coloring left will be completely up to the artist.

Since adding a bit of realism is something that is always welcomed, it can be added to this cartoon monkey with relative ease. This can be done directly on the layer containing the flat colors or it can be done on a separate layer.

First, draw in the shadows around the animal. There will be some shading underneath the neck and bits of the underbelly. The limbs directly in the background should also be a darker tone of brown.  Other shaded areas will be the mid-section in between the arms and the legs.

monkey cartoon step 4 from cgattic.ca

After the shading is done, create a global contrast effect either through an adjustment layer or going to the brightness/contrast options. The former method is a non-destructive editing method while the latter directly edits the pixels. Either method is fine.

Last, but not least, add in some extras like a banana! This is a common trope seen with monkeys and a great way to finish off the monkey cartoon. How did your cartoon drawing come out? What were your own unique challenges and how was it solved?

What's next? Since the cartoon is digital, it can be used to create physical products like stickers to brighten up the office. If not for you, the next step would be to share it with people so they also have a fun little monkey cartoon to remind them to have fun!

Enjoying the content? There are a lot of drawing tutorials available. A part of making it easy is to let the it come in naturally so the rest of your day to day life is uninterrupted. Subscribe to this site below to get notified of updates to do just that!

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