How to Draw a Cartoon Dwarf

Cartoon dwarf drawing

In this lesson, let's tackle a cartoon dwarf - one of the most popular characters when it comes to fantasy genre books, movies, games, etc.

Take a look at the following example to get an idea of how your finished drawing might look...

Aside from a helmet and a long beard, it's the dwarf's axe that really makes this lesson extra-unique. Similar to Gutt's enormous sword in the Anime/Manga 'Berserk' series, dwarves are known to possess some pretty big and wild-looking axes... in many cases - almost unbelievable!

Here, you'll have the opportunity to create an extra-cool-looking dwarf axe of your very own.

On to the lesson!...


First Step - Map Out the Position of Your Cartoon Dwarf

Looking at the image above, you can see this dwarf is positioned in a standing-yet-guarded position, ready to defend or attack with his giant axe. To help get everything going, sketch out a simple arrangement of shapes to help maintain position of the various parts of your character.

Here's how I drew mine...

Drawing a circle and rectangle for a cartoon dwarf Mapping out the helmet and axe on the cartoon dwarf

As always, feel free to add or omit parts you feel necessary. And with the axe... go ahead and make it longer if you like - or change the shape of the head to something different. Actually - you may even want to go with another weapon altogether... a war hammer perhaps?

Alright then -- got everything ready? Good stuff! Now let's draw this dwarf...

Second Step - Slowly Develop the Face of Your Cartoon Dwarf

In drawing the face of your dwarf, it helps to begin with outermost parts like the helmet, first. This way, when it comes to the underlying obstructed parts - parts of the face for example... things are a whole lot easier, and there's little or no erasing needed.

In four phases, crafting the various parts of his helmet and face... here's how my dwarf's head takes shape...

Drawing the first part of the dwarf's helmet Drawing the face of the cartoon dwarf Drawing the face details of the cartoon dwarf Drawing the horns of the cartoon dwarf

You'll notice that on his left helmet horn (your right) - I left a small space where the orange triangle crosses over. Planning ahead, I know that the back of his axe will cross over and in front of the horn later on. Again - avoiding the need to erase later, the space makes things easier. Besides, you can manipulate the size and shape of the axe in any way you choose.

Next up, drawing 'the grip' - followed by the axe...

Third Step - Draw Your Dwarf's Hands so that He's Gripping His Axe

This part's pretty neat - as here, not only do you get to draw the axe... but you get to design it to look however you want. It may help to sketch a few examples off to side before you go ahead and finalize it.

But before you draw the axe, the first thing to do is sketch in the hands of your cartoon dwarf. And to help with this - I recommend you draw the knuckles first. Here's how things take shape...

Positioning the hands along the handle of the axe Drawing the hands of the dwarf Drawing the handle of the dwarf's axe Drawing the blade of the dwarf's axe

Mentioning the knuckles again, I got the inspiration for the circles from Eldest. This is the second book of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy, following the extremely popular first addition - Eragon. In Eldest, dwarves - due to their thick bones, are able to undergo a medical procedure where metal knuckles are magically imbedded into their bones.

Now regarding the axe - there really are tons of different ways to go about drawing it. In my case, you can see that I wasted zero imagination in coming up with a somewhat unbelievable yet cool-looking dwarf axe. In your case - see what you can come up with!

Once you're finished the Third Step, it's onto the Fourth...

Fourth Step - Draw the Arms and Beard of Your Cartoon Dwarf

Obstructed by his hands and axe, it makes sense to save the beard for after you draw them. And following this, his arms work in the same way, as they are obstructed by his beard. In this phase, draw both in this exact order.

Just like so...

Drawing the beard of the dwarf Drawing the upper body of the dwarf

Keep in mind, dwarves are known to wear lots of armor when going to battle. If you like, add some spikes, or any other additional features to make the armor appear larger, stronger... and well... more like armor!

Only one final part remains now... drawing his feet and adding the details...

Final Step - Draw His Boots, add the Details, and Your Dwarf is Done!

In drawing the legs/boots of your cartoon dwarf, the framework lines help to keep things in order. I went with simple brown boots with a couple of buckles... in your case - you might want to continue with some more armor. Greaves and sabatons perhaps?

Here's how the final part looks...

Drawing the shoes of the dwarf Drawing of a cartoon dwarf

When you're all done - there's lots of little details that can be added to really make your character unique. Patterns on his clothing, scratches on his axe, etc. - get creative and see what kinds of things you can come up with.

And other than that - you're done! Hope you enjoyed the lesson -- that's how to draw a cartoon dwarf!