How to Draw a Cartoon Frog (in 18 Easy Steps!)

In this tutorial, we’ll be drawing some frogs!

 So how do you draw a cartoon frog? As long as it has a big mouth, big, round eyes and long limbs, then you should have something that looks at least remotely froggy!

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog TopHow To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Top

We’ll be kicking off this lesson by drawing an anthropomorphic frog. Anthropomorphic cartoons are animals that have human characteristics. For example, animals walking like humans, wearing clothes or talking! Our first frog character will be wearing glasses, suspenders and super duper high pants!

The anthropomorphic design is a bit tricky, but we’ll follow this up with a simple, easy to draw frog (see above). This time with no weird clothes, I promise!

Before we begin, let’s just quickly go over the important traits of our frog design.

Body: Frogs usually have their limbs very close to their body, so they look pretty stout and blobby, but if you see a frog jumping, their legs are ridiculously long! For our anthropomorphic frog, I have designed him with long and thin arms and legs. This is to create a juxtaposition with his thick head and torso.

Head: Frogs have big mouths and poppy-outie eyes. They can come in all sorts of colours, but our frogs will have green above their mouths and peach below their mouths. But please feel free to colour yours blue, pink, whatever you fancy.

Drawing Materials:

The frogs in these tutorials were created in Adobe Photoshop on a Wacom tablet, but if you’re more partial to traditional media, go ahead and use whatever materials you enjoy using. When I’m using pens and paper to draw cartoons, I like to just use these materials:

  • Paper (Sketchbook or printer paper)
  • Pencil (HB or #2)
  • Eraser
  • Thick Black Pen (I used a Posca PC-3M)
  • Thin Black Pen (I used a UNI Pin Fine Line 04mm)
  • Coloured Pencils. You can use the very popular and affordable Crayola pencils, or if you’re feeling a bit fancy, you could get some Faber Castell Albrecht Duhrer Watercolour pencils or Prismacolors. For these frogs, I used light green and peach for their skin and purple for shading. For our first frog’s clothes I used light blue for his shirt, dark blue for his pants and suspenders, a touch of yellow for his suspender clips and red for his tie

Okay, shall we ‘jump’ into it?! No? Okay, let’s … uh… just ‘get’ into it instead! First up is the Anthropomorphic Frog.

 

Character 1: Anthropomorphic Frog

Our first tutorial is broken up into three parts:

  • the Pencil Sketch – laying down the foundation of our frog using basic shapes – this stage is very important because our character has quite a lot of features that overlap other features (for example, his tie that overlaps his upper and lower body, or his fist that overlaps his legs)
  • the Inking Stage – Once we’ve drawn in our frog and his clothes, we can then draw in our the main features and detail with a black pen – again, lots of overlaps but I’ve designed the order of these steps so that it’ll be easy to get the overlaps right
  • the Colouring Stage – Once the inking is done, we will then bring our frog to life with some colour – we’ll be using light green and peach for his skin and red, yellow, light blue and dark blue for his clothes. For the shading, we’ll be using purple

Alrighty, time for some basic shapes!

 

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 1: The Pencil Sketch

 

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 1 - 3

 Step 1: Start by drawing a trapezium, this will be the foundation for the upper head. Then draw a semi oval stuck to the base of the trapezium. This will become the frog’s lower face (his chin and jaw)

Step 2: For his torso, draw a second trapezium sticking out from below his head. Draw a horizontal line to separate his pants and his shirt

Step 3: Now let’s give him some limbs – draw two tiny little toothpick triangles for his legs. For his arms, give him some short sleeves with some skinny arms sticking out. So stylish!

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 4 - 6

Step 4: Time for some hands. For his hand on the left – just draw a large triangle for his fist and a small triangle for his thumb. We will refine this a lot more in the inking stage. For his waving hand, draw a circle for his palm and block in his fingers and thumb

Step 5: Draw an eye on each of the trapezium’s top corners

Step 6: Now add in some super big glasses – just a couple of wonky squares, joined together with some curved lines. Add two slits for his nostrils

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 7 - 9

Step 7: Let’s start giving him some accessories! Draw in a collar and put a circle in the middle – this will become his tie knot.

Step 8: Now add in the rest of his tie and some suspenders to keep those high pants high!

Step 9: Alrighty, last step for the sketch stage. This froggy needs suction cups! Draw some circles at the end of his feet and his waving hand.

Using simple shapes, we have now created a pretty complicated image – let’s now move onto the next stage, where we add some ink!

 

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 2: The Inking Stage

As mentioned earlier, there are a lot of overlapping layers to this frog. His eyeballs are in front of his head. His head is in front of his clothes. His clothes are in front of his body, etcetera. So make sure you follow the order of steps below, and you’ll be sorted!

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 10 - 12

Step 10: Let’s start with his eyeballs. Once you’ve drawn two circles, draw in the rest of his head. In our sketch, his mouth was just a horizontal line, but in this stage let’s make it wavey so it looks more organic.

Step 11: Now start inking in his clothes – the collar, tie and suspenders are the next elements that are closest to the viewer (which all disappear somewhere behind the frog’s head!)

Step 12: Keep working on the clothes – draw in his sleeves and ink in his hands. For his fist, follow the overall form of your sketch, but put in some zigzags for his knuckles. For his waving hand, simply draw along the outline of the shape that we created in the sketch phase – our foundation sketch of circles and fingers has now merged into one form – a neat little froggy hand! How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 13 - 15

Step 13: Okay we inked in his tie in Step 11 and his fist in Step 12, so next we can move on to the elements in the background – let’s now ink in his trousers and feet.

Step 14: Now add in his glasses – I mentioned earlier that we should start inking his eyeballs first because they are the closest element to the audience, but technically his glasses are overlapping in front of his eyeballs. The reason we can add them in at this later stage is because we have drawn them in just with solid thick lines and so they automatically look like they’re in front of his eyes and face, without ruining any of our design underneath. Oh, and ink in those nostrils too

Step 15: Let’s put in some shadows – just add in some thick areas of black to create some depth, interest and contrast to our character. Notice the shadow under his head and under his sleeves – these areas of black make our frog look way more interesting!

Step 16: For our final stage of inking, we are going to add in some tiiiny details here and there to give our frog maximum impact! If you have a thin black pen, this is the time to get it out! In this step we have added:

A whole lot of stripes: Stripes on his tie, his suspenders and one on each sleeve.

Details to his glasses: Hinges, stripes along the bridge (To indicate his glasses are broken, a thin square on each lens that is following the pattern of his frames)

Spots: all over his face and his hands. We have also added in a thin line for his lower lip – with some tiny vertical lines going along his lip for a bit of texture.

 

Okayyyy that’s the inking done! Let’s do some colouring now.

 

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 3: The Colouring Stage

 

How To Draw A Cartoon Frog Steps 16 - 18

 Step 17: Time to add our colour – light green for his skin, with a bit of peach for his chin and jaw area. Dark blue for his suspenders and pants, yellow for his suspender clips, red for his tie and light blue for his shirt and glasses. We could stop at this step, but we are going to take things a bit further and add a layer of shading to give him a more three dimensional appearance

Step 18: Our last step! I made this character using Adobe Photoshop. For this step I created a new layer above the cartoon and blocked in the shadows with a dark purple. I then lowered the opacity of the layer to make the purples transparent. If you’re using coloured pencils, get out your purple and get shading! Just copy what I have done in the image above. Pay close attention to shading in his spots, every second stripe on his tie and the shadow on his face created by his glasses above.

Okay we have completed our first frog – it is a bit of a complicated design, so let’s now move onto a more simplified frog.

 

 Character 2: Another Frog! (Simplified)

Our second tutorial is has the same structure at the first:

  • the Pencil Sketch – This design is super duper simple, there’ll be no overlaps here except for our frog’s arms (or are they front legs? Let me know)
  • the Inking Stage – The order of how we ink this character isn’t too important, as long as you make sure his arms and hands are overlapping with his body
  • the Colouring Stage – Same procedure with our first frog. We will add in our main colours and then shade him in with purple. All we need here is light green, peach and purple – thank goodness this froggy is wearing no clothes!

Okayyy let’s get sketching!

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 1: The Pencil Sketch

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 1 - 3

Step 1: Draw a head – it kinda looks like a… what’s this called again… A circle! Or maybe it’s a really smoothed out square with no angles…

Step 2: Now draw in two small circles on top for our frog’s poppy eyes! Don’t forget the pupils

Step 3: Time for his face – draw in a curvy mouth, similar to our first character (it kinda looks like a really smooth W). And if you’re good at drawing dots – chuck in some nostrils above his mouth

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 4 - 6

Step 4: Draw a rectangle popping out from under his head

Step 5: For his arms, just draw in some vertical lines

Step 6: Our first frog had some pretty fancy hands with suction cups, but this frog will just have some flippers! Give him some triangles for his feet. For his arms, give him some lettle trapeziums connecting to his arms

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 7 - 9

Step 7: Let’s now draw some resting hind legs, just some cut-off ellipses popping out from each side of his torso

Step 8: Draw in some curves starting at his head, going behind his arms and exiting at his legs. These lines will separate his colours later on

Step 9: For our last step in the sketch stage, draw a line on each leg to show that his legs are bent

 

Get out yo pens. It’s time to move to the next stage!

 

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 2: The Inking Stage

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 10 - 12

Step 10: Let’s start at the top. For his pupils, I’ve replaced the dots here with tiiiiny circles. It’s hardly noticeable but I think it looks cool. For his head, leave a gap at the bottom

Step 11: Now finish his head with a smile and some nostrils

Step 12: Ink in his arms and hands. Each limb here is made up of two shapes, but now we want to draw an outline around them making one shape. Don’t forget to put in some waves to make his hands look webbed!

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 13 - 15

Step 13: Ink in his body – make sure that his arms overlap it. His skin pattern isn’t a dominant feature, so ink this in with your thin pen

Step 14: Draw in his legs and feet. Make sure the feet have some waves as well

Step 15: Here’s the fun part – details! Draw in some shadows on his legs. Similar to our first froggy, with your thin pen, draw in some thin lips and some spots. Finally, draw some thin lines on his webbed hands and feet

That’s our inking done, let’s now add some colour in the next stage!

How to Draw a Cartoon Frog Part 3: The Colouring Stage

How To Draw A Simple Cartoon Frog Steps 16 - 17

Step 16: Colour the area from below his mouth peach. For the rest of him, just add green (leaving his eyes white)

Step 17: WOOOO FINAL STEP! Whether you’re doing this digitally or on paper, get out your purple and add in some shadows. Pay close attention to:

  • the shadows on the bottom of his eyeballs
  • the shadow on his lower body (making his arms stand out more)
  • the shadows on his spots and on his webbed feet

Aaaaand we are done!

 

Conclusion!

We have just drawn a couple of cartoon frogs in two different styles. Which one did you prefer? If you would like to take things a bit further, take what you’ve learnt here and try designing some more frogs. Maybe give your character some different clothes, a bigger head, different colours, anything you like.

There are so many different kinds of frogs in existence, so jump onto Google images and try and find some photos which might give you some inspiration for some new designs.

Remember that practice is the key to improvement.. If you had to choose between drawing three hours on a Saturday or half an hour every day, I recommend you draw for half an hour every day. A little bit of practice every day is better than a lot of practice now and then.

I hope you enjoyed drawing along with me and learnt a thing or two, if you are ready to take your cartooning to the next level, feel free to check out some of my online courses here: https://www.discovercartooning.com/courses/

Happy Drawing!

Malcolm Monteith

Melbourne, Australia

 

 



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