Cartoon character designers exaggerate facial features and twist the proportions of the characters' bodies, creating humorous creatures that parody the human form. Often, facial features such as eyes, ears or noses will be shrunk or enlarged, creating such a gross caricature of a human face that an entirely new character is born.
Above: Greg "Craola" Simkins has based this cartoon painting on real-time puppet and animated characters from the popular kids TV show The Muppets.
Above: A cartoon painting by Brandt Peters. The main subject of the image is a female cartoon character whose face is a humorous caricature boasting a flattened head, no chin and a tiny, shrunken nose. Even the proportions of her body have been exaggerated or shrunk to complete the character's design.
Above: Photoshop artist Tiago Hoisel is a master of caricature, emphasizing not only the facial features of his characters but their emotions and attitudes too.
Art as a Cartoon
Traditional animated cartoons and comic books feature characters that have heavy outlines and solid areas of color. With the advent of 3D animation software, these strong outlines have begun to fall away in favor of semi-realistic, 3-dimensional characters. These characters are most often reflected in the work of digital artists.
Above: Philip Bosman's painting style is influenced by graffiti, an art form that often incorporates cartoon characters into street art murals. In this painting, we can see the influence of traditional animation and comics in the dark outlines and three tone shading.
Above: A cartoon painting by Mark Fredrickson of a cow with butterfly wings, flitting about like some kind of a bovine fairy. Fredrickson produces his art in Photoshop, mimicking the subtle shadows and highlights found in 3D animation.