Introduction: How to Draw the Iblesnuts Gang for Halloween

Good grief!  What would Halloween be like without Instructables?  It's the great Robot, Charlie Brown.

Whenever you think of Halloween, I always think back to the classic Peanuts "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."  So what happens when we have Robot and some of our favorite ibles staffers transformed into Peanuts characters and bring us the true message of Halloween?

Observe the process that you can replicate and improve upon.  I would have tried to draw the entire thing in SketchBook Pro (trial) directly but I lent out my old drawing tablet to one of Caitlin's friends to work out on her art school portfolio.  A mouse is not the ideal input device when trying to do freehand drawing. Also, I am not allowed to use her ipad.

You can call it sketching, doodling, drawing, inking in, coloring, etc. but the end product here is a drawing that falls into something that looks more cartoon-like than fine arts -like.  By the way, I happen to have this instructable on instructable comics that you can check out.

Step 1: Oh, It's Gang Similar Style...

One of the fun things when you try to draw is to copy someone's style.  Whether it ends up a parody or pays homage to the greats, it is not to plagiarize the work of others but to modify it creatively and to build upon your own technique.

I wanted to copy the style of Charles Shulz  and his cartoons Peanuts.  My twist is to see if I could incorporate an instructables staffer theme into the Peanuts Halloween theme.  Similarly, you could try this variation on any other theme - Pokemon, Transformers, Super Mario, or any comic.

So I will describe some basics in this ible.  It should be enough to get you started on developing your own characters.  You really can't set anything on fire mess up anything so give it a shot and practice. Good luck.

The pen is mightier than the sword....

You just need something to write with and something to write on with the something you have to write with.

I will break down the steps by taking a snapshot of the work in progress.

I will outline or sketch the basic scene or layout.

I will ink the pencil lines and then erase the pencil markings.

I will scan the image on to the computer to generate a digital image to work with.

I will use SketchBook  Pro to color in and enhance the drawing.  It's actually cool that it replicates the COPIC line of professional markers for professional illustration. You can download a trial version good for 15 days after installation.

Having a lightbox might be handy if you need to trace anything.

Having printed or onscreen images for reference may be handy.

CAUTION:  You shouldn't get lead poisoning from using too much pencil lead, it's really graphite.  Eraser crumbs are not edible and may not taste good. Sketching and driving at the same time might not be a good idea.

Step 2: Head and Shoulders...

I made my drawings look more artsier than they ought to be.

If you are starting out to sketch, all objects can be brokeded down into less complex shapes. 

I never really had any figure drawing classes but I can wing it here.

You have to develop your sense of proportion and learn the rules of perspective if you want to be good.


Draw a circle.  It should be round.  You can adjust the ovalness to match a specific character.

You can even draw a smaller circle on top of another bigger one to emphasize the cheeks and mouth.

The use of light guidelines can help you place the pertinent details and features.

Just draw lines to bisect or cut in half vertically and horizontally.

Ears are place on the sides of the head.

A neck is drawn below.

Where the lines cross you can place the nose and eyes.

Note that light pencil does not really scan well and doesn't take pictures well either.

From there, develop the rest of the features like hair and any details like crease lines for the mouth.

Step 3: More Is Less...

Extend your guide lines and add a cone shape for the body.

Extend the legs and draw some football shaped ovals for shoes.

You can then figure out the placement of the arms and hands.

Add in additional details and features.

We want to keep everything in a relative proportion so we have that stubby Peanuts style thing going on.

Step 4: Get Ink'ed...

Use a pen, marker, whatever you have to make the drawing permanent.

Go over the drawing to ink it in.

Erase the pencil sketch lines.

This step is really to prep it to be scanned in since the scanner likes dark solid lines.  I used a regular ballpoint pen which were too thin for the scanner to pick up a solid line, maybe I needed to boost the contrast and resolution when scanning.

You could of course, ink it in with the drawing tools in your image editing software.

Step 5: Energize...

Scan in your images to your image processing software.

I used GIMP which had the drivers installed for my scanner.

Once you get the images scanned in, you have to prep them so you can color them in.

Regions must be bounded by solid lines in order for the color fill tool to work correctly.

Retrace any lines that may be broken and connect any gaps that may be present.

When the image is enlarged, you can see that there may be gaps or missing pixels that it did not pick up.

Step 6: Colour My Wourld...

I did the blocking in of colors in SketchBook Pro.

In order to use the color picker tool to match the correct color of the Robot or Kiteman's bowtie, you need to add a layer and import the image there.  Hide and unhide the reference layer.

I experimented with using the Copic brand marker color selections.

I used the markers and brushes to simulate the sketching of the hair.

So this was my first try at developing some Peanuts style characters in Sketchbook.

Next step is to combine all of the images into one scene in Pixlr.

Have fun.