2D Poetry Inspired Cartoon Marker Rendering

This is a Poetry Inspired Cartoon Drawing I Created Called…

                               “When I Think Of You”

  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Black Sharpie Pen thin
  • Marker Paper
  • Alcohol Markers (various colors and shades)
  • Light Table
  • Inspirational Poem Self Written or Lyrics from a Song


  1. Write a poem

  • Everyone has experiences that might be positive or negative in their lives, this is a great time to take a moment and reflect on these memorable times in our lives. When ever I have an experience that catches me off guard, for instance in this case the loss of my Aunt Lucille whom I considered to be a mother figure. I find it completely healthy to release these confused emotions on paper either by drawing or writing them down. It is an exceptional way to cleanse my thoughts and emotions.
  • Take a moment and reflect, it can be based on a personal experience or even from your imagination, be creative. If you are unable to put together a complete poem just writing down thoughts can help inspire you. There may be a poem or song that has touched you at one time that can be used as well. Make sure you write it down or have the words that will be used from outside resources in front of you to begin your creative cartoon inspirational drawing.

2. Find an artist to reference- 

Dance - Alphonse Maria Mucha - www.alfonsmucha.orgDance. From The Arts Series. 1898 - Alphonse Maria Mucha - www.alfonsmucha.org

  • Once my poem was written, I knew I wanted to draw a cartoon character with wings and I wanted her to be angelic, colorful, and soft. I have always had a hard time drawing from memory and being a graphic artist the last 20 years has taught me all great artists refer from other great artists and leave room for their very own style to create a collaboration of ideas, techniques, and visions.
  • I knew the look I was wanted to achieve so I narrowed my search to the Art Nouveau period and artist Alfons Muncha. His artwork I referenced is above but if you would like to learn more about the history of this artist or reference other artwork of his here is a link to do so. http://www.alfonsmucha.org/home-3-12-1-0.html
  • I have always been mesmerized by the well thought out composition of woman figures and nature used in his artwork. The detail, soft lines, flowing long hair, and fabric creates a graceful movement through out his work with movement. You do not have to use my artist find one that inspires you. You will have fun seeing your artist influences come alive in your very own cartoon character.
  • So I new this was look I wanted, but I knew I wanted my angel to have more of an avatar cartoon feeling. I chose a cartoon marker rendering for this project because it is something I have never done before and wanted to give it a whirl.

3. Find cartoon animations, or avatars to reference- 


  • The best advice I can give you is to keep your pencil marks light and erasing to a minimum. The more you erase the more the paper will wear away and the markers will tend to bleed later when applied.


  • If you feel you have really muddied up you paper and you want to start fresh I suggest using a light table and place a clean sheet of marker paper on top of your original drawing when using the fine tip black marker to fill in your lines and dark shadows on your final copy.
  • This is the time to decide on shadowing with thicker black strokes as well to make your cartoon really pop before applying the alcohol colored markers.
  • Make sure to erase all pencil lines before apply the color markers they will show up and create muddy colors.


  • This was harder then I thought to color in my angel. Using alcohol markers tend to lay down very light but leave streaks with each application. I suggest to use the thick flat side of the marker and use light colors first aligning each stroke in the same direction as close to each other as possible with out overlaying them.
  • If you want shadowing of a skin tone use a light peach color and fill in the space do not go over the same spot more than once, this will make the color darker.
  • Apply the colors more than once of the same color only to create shadows and depth to your character. Watch it come alive!
  • If this is not drastic enough you can find a shade darker of the same hue and just apply in those shadowed areas instead.
  • When finished coloring in your poem inspired cartoon character feel free to go over or add in any thicker black lines to make your rendering pop.

I am happy with my initial pencil drawing and contour drawing of my first cartoon character, but I do feel the need to practice or purchase higher quality alcohol markers with a larger variety of hue shade variations in the future. Hope you enjoyed this short tutorial and take some time to connect with your inner self when creating artwork in the future as well.

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