How to Draw a Cartoon Elf

Cartoon elf drawing

Nope - not your 'fantasy-type' cartoon elf here. This lesson's all about one of Santa's dedicated little helpers.

Here, learn how to draw funny-looking Christmas elves, ones that you can customize to look in a number of different ways.

While drawing your elf, be sure to change things up as you progress.

Draw his or her eyes to be smaller, hat to be a different shape, ears to be longer and 'pointier', clothes to be different colors and patterns... ETC.

As I usually would encourage you -- get creative and see what you can come up with!

First Step - A Nice Little Guideline for Your Friendly Little Cartoon Elf

Before you draw anything, think for a second about the key components of an elf. If you saw Will Ferrell's movie - surely you've got a few ideas!

Small pointy hat, fancy frilly green coat, thick white cuffs, pointy ears, striped stalkings... and of course - spiral-tipped elf shoes! With these ideas in mind, go ahead and sketch yourself a simple framework to work from - just like this...

A circle and center line for a cartoon elf drawing Planning the body of a cartoon elf Drawing the arms and legs of a cartoon elf

In my case - I've paid particular attention to my elf's hat and shoes, marked off with a small triangle up top, and two opposite right angle shapes at the bottom. Feel free to sketch in more or less framework lines and shapes, depending on the look you're going for. Bigger ears may require a couple branching lines on either side of your elf's head.

Got a guideline to work from? Very nice... now let's get drawing this elf!

Second Step - Draw the Face and Head of Your Cartoon Elf

Alright, let's start off with his face. And yes - this part will either make or break the 'worked too many hours look'... if that's what you were going for. :-)

Take your time and have some fun as you develop a funny-looking, cute-looking, etc. elf face using the cross and framework to help guide you along...

Drawing the face of a cartoon elf Drawing the head and hair of a cartoon elf Drawing the hat and ears of a cartoon elf

Looking at the elf head that I came up with, any thoughts as to how you can make yours different?

Here's an idea... why not reverse the size of the core features of his face. Instead of large staring eyes, make yours smaller. Give him a bigger nose, ears and hat. Change the look of his mouth too... you may want to draw it with the tongue omitted giving him a nice big grin.

OK, let's keep going...

Third Step - Draw the Body of Your Cartoon Elf

Moving on, begin the lower half of your elf by drawing in his belt buckle and cuffs. After that, keep on going using the examples below to help you.

Here's how mine takes shape...

Drawing the cuffs and buckle of a cartoon elf Drawing the arms of a cartoon elf Drawing the coat of a cartoon elf

Don't be too concerned with the details of his coat at this point. And the same goes for his hat up top. Once you've sketched in the legs and shoes in the last part, then go back and add any remaining lines you feel necessary.

On to the final step!...

Drawing of a cartoon elf

Final Step - Finish Your Cartoon Elf

Finally, you're drawing is just about complete. Using the lower part of your framework to help, sketch in the legs and shoes of your elf.

For added effect, you may want to add some more buckles - one for each shoe. Have a look at the Leprechaun lesson after to see what I mean.

Alright! Now that you've got the body complete, it's time to sketch in the remaining details. And because elves are known to have such original (and sometimes funny-looking) costumes, it'll be fun coming up with your own unique elf wardrobe.

In my case, I added stripes for his stalkings, and a frilly lining on his coat and around his collar. In your case, how about a feather coming out of his hat? Or perhaps you can give his coat some buttons?

I know -- how about a backpack? All it takes are a couple diagonal lines for each strap, along with a big bulky shape in behind him. I think it would pretty neat!

Well, that's all there is to this lesson. I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you again real soon for another! :-)