Flash cartoon illustration tutorial

Category: Illustrations, Tutorials


Here’s a little tutorial about how I do flash cartoons. I have to say that I didn’t go to any art school, flash school or whatever. I bet there’s a better way to do it – but I’m pretty happy with mine. (if you know how to do it better – I would love to hear that).
For this tutorial I’ll create Taimi – a little moose girl. Ok – so here we go:

Sketch it

I’ve started with old, good paper&pencil. I’ve made couple of sketches, and than chosen the one I liked the most and scan it with quite
high resolution (400 dpi). Scanned image was imported into Flash and placed on layer1. I’ve made second layer (which was given the very unique name “layer2″).



I’ve chosen the brush tool, made sure that the brush is sensible to tablet pressure (there are two icons under the brush tool box for that) and traced the sketch (when it was zoomed in to about 200 – 300%). I’ve used red color – so it had good contrast between the trace and the sketch.
Here’s what I get at the end of tracing.

trace 2

Base colors

I’ve chosen some strong, brown color for the outline, and fill the inside with appropriate colors.



Than I’ve started to draw the details with pen tool. I’ve made sure that each element has his shape pointed out (this can be done with shading and highlighting some parts of the object).


filled with color

details color

Details and colors finished

phase one

Gradient is good for you

For nose I eyes I’ve chosen to fill it with gradient color. If you choose the gradient carefully – the image will look much more realistic.
Also some highlight is needed.

Gradient 1

Nobody’s perfect

At this stage I realized that I can’t have the brown outline at all elements. I’ve grouped them with pen tool and color each outline separately.


Even more details

I needed more details – so I draw the second wave – with red pen tool again.

details 2

Gradient is really good for you

I’ve also used some light radial gradient for Taimi head and belly – so those elements got nice, blurred shadows.

gradient 2


And we are done – Taimi is completed.


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