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haka cartoon


Senior Member
hi guys,
Im working on a project for a client who has asked me to produce 4 cartoon style illustrations showing various moves from the New Zealand Rugby Teams haka. The illustrations will be used in a publication for kids aged 5-11 so they have to be quite child friendly, bold and simple. I have done abit of illustration in my time, but i am by no means an expert so I would really appreciate peoples comments on how they think I can improve.

I have attached a sample showing what I am working on at the moment, I feel like he is abit flat and needs something extra, I just dont know what. Feel free to critique, all comments welcome!


Hi Dave...the drawing is fine.

Try to have different line weights and make the character not so symmetrical.
Add shading/highlights and tone to bring more form to the character...remember your light source.

However for a target reader of 5-11 it's not far off.

It's your style stick with it.


Staff member
hmm, hair colour is wrong in my opinion, should be black/dark brown as Māori are usually dark haired.

And as said by Typo, shading from a light source would help.


Senior Member
thanks guys, thats good advice. I think i struggle to make characters live off the page, alot of what I do looks flat and 2 dimensional. An additional problem with the pose attached is that they asked for the guy to have both his arms bent out like shown which makes him look symertrical and static. The additional poses I have just finished sketching include much more movement so do help the overall look. Ill post some updates as soon as I can. Cheers guys


Active Member
Hi Dave,

I'm no illustrator so could be wrong, but I'd look at your shading on the shirt/shorts to help lift it out from the page, think about the shapes you might get with creases, etc, something along these lines perhaps:

Hope that helps,


Senior Member
I like it mate, i'm no illustrator I might have a try sometime however! I've looked at some of Typo's work, and its pretty damn neat! I think he's given some good advice there. Ken Reynolds is also very good, he might spot this and give you some advice too...hopefully....maybe....


Senior Member
thanks for your comments guys, Ive developed the illustration since friday after the helpful comments from the DF'ers above. Ive also drawn the same guy in 3 other poses so Ill post the latest versions as soon as I get a chance, thanks again for all your help so far


Senior Member
Lovin the psycho clown typo! Heres my latest version of the haka illustration showing the 4 poses. The work actually specified that each player is seen by himself on an A4 sheet but I thought I would show them on here as a set to save posting 4 separate shots.
Thoughts anyone?



Senior Member
I draw them by hand, scan in the line drawing then trace over it in illustrator so I have paths to work with.then I normally copy it into Photoshop and do the colour there. How about you?
You don't really need to redraw in Illustrator if you are going to colour up in Photoshop.
Just draw up, scan, open in Photoshop...muck about with the levels. Change line art level to Multipy.
Make new level then colour up. I can email you some nice brushes if you like. PM me.

Only make Illustator line work if working up image as a vector.

There you go....give it a go.


Senior Member
I think you're on the right track, my only glaring issue I have is on the 2nd Character (in the one of all 4) his hands/arms look really weird
Sausage machine fingers indeed...cartoon hands...three fingers, one thumb.
Maybe they need some work.

Hows it going with your new way of working Dave? Speeding you up at all?


Senior Member
i havent had a chance to try it yet typo, been snowed under with other briefs (like this agency christmas card!) so ill let you know when I do. Thanks for the comments tho guys, i appreciate it, you both make excellent points and im well aware there is much room for improvement!