There are a few methods adopted by cartoonists in their work. In this section we examine some of the ways they use to enhance their work or to make their work more easily done. There are actually no right or wrong methods, but this section attempts to bring some tips and tricks of the trade.

Using the Tools  

As with any trade, the cartoonist needs to know how to use his tools well. Below are some of the ways to use the tools of a cartoonist:


The pencil is the most basic of all the tools for a cartoonist. Use it for loose, free flowing sketches and expressions. Use it to doodle, to get ideas flowing, as a warm up exercise. When you are ready to draw, use it to draw in the outlines and some details, but do not be afraid to erase any mistakes.

pencil and eraser

pencil and eraser


The pen is used to ink in your drawing so that you can get a really black line suitable for reproduction in books, magazines, or other publishing materials. Depending on the preferences of the cartoonist, the lines can be varied by changing nibs, or point sizes.

pen and nib

pen and nib


The brush is also for inking in your drawing as in the case of a pen. The most noteworthy difference is the effect of being freer in style. The point of the brush can be made sharp by slightly twisting the stem while drawing in the line.



Air Brush

Many cartoonists and illustrators use air brushing. However, special equipment is needed and can be beyond the budget of many.


The use of computer has been adopted by many cartoonists. Lettering, and cut and paste feature in computer software makes it easy to change the layout as often as necessary.

Correction Fluid

Correction fluid has been used to create stripes, and some other effects that differ from those created by pens and brushes.

Light Box

Light boxes have been used to make it easier to trace ink drawings from pencil sketches. It is good to sketch with pencil on tracing papers so that the light from the light box can shine through.