The Nose Knows: 8 Ways to Draw Cartoon Noses

Sniff, sniff! Learning how to draw a good cartoon nose will serve you and your illustrated characters well. A cartoon noses can help depict emotion and expression — like stopping to smell the roses or be tempted by delicious aromas — which can further the story you are telling with your art.

8 Easy Ways to Draw a Cartoon Nose

Learn 8 easy ways to draw cartoon noses!

Artwork via CakeSpy

Read on to learn eight different approaches to drawing a cartoon nose!

Whether you're looking for a simple method or a way to simplify a realistic nose shape, there's an option for every type of cartoonist here.Try them all and let us know which one is your favorite!

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1. No nose

Draw a cartoon character without a nose

The easiest approach to drawing a cartoon nose? Don't do it at all. Cartoon characters aren't necessarily meant to be realistic; they are more like vehicles for personality and expression. Depending on the style of your drawing and how you see your character interacting with others and the world, you might not even need to draw a nose. 

2. Double dots

Double dot nose

This style of nose is extremely simple to draw. If you can draw a colon symbol, you can draw a double-dot nose.

This style is ideal if you know that you want your character to have a nose, but want to keep it very simple and very minimal. The double dot nose gives the suggestion of nostrils without cluttering the character's face with a bulbous sniffer.

3. J nose

J nose

For a more assertive nose that is easy to draw, consider what I call the J nose. All you have to do is draw a capital, sans serif letter J (or reverse J, depending on which way your character is looking) in the center of your character's face.

From this simple method, you can take thousands of variations: You could put the J at a slight angle to imply a 3/4 view of your character's face. You could add a little curlicue at the end to suggest a nostril. You can play with the height and width of the nose until you find the size and shape that works perfectly with your character. 

4. Upside-down 7 nose

7 Nose

This type of nose is similar to the above method, but instead of drawing a "J" shape, you draw an upside-down number 7. This gives your character's nose a sharper, more assertive look.

Like the above method, you can make infinite variations to an upside-down 7 nose to create the look that you crave on your cartoon character, using different heights and widths and accenting with curlicue nostrils.

5. Nubby nose 

Nubby nose

If you love the French character Tintin, you'll probably be drawn to this simple style of drawing noses. All you have to do is draw a small half circle, roughly the letter C (or reverse C, depending on which way your character is looking) in the center of your character's face. This easy nose is perfect for childish or young characters, and is cute on anthropomorphic or non-human characters, too. 

6. Pug nose

Pug nose

A pug nose is an extremely stylized way of drawing an upturned nose. It won't work for every character, but it can be extremely effective in drawing fanciful or caricature-style characters. Animals, elves and babies are all well-suited to this type of nose!

To make a pug nose, draw a circle that's slightly incomplete on the bottom, and draw two dots within the circular space. The gap on the bottom keeps this nose is what differentiates it slightly from a cartoon pig's snout! 

7. Handlebar nose 

Handlebar nose

This stylized nose might look like some sort of decorative type element on its own, but when superimposed on a character's face, it creates a surprisingly refined-looking nose.

To draw a handlebar-style nose, all you have to do is draw a handlebar shape in the center of your character's face, and then put two parentheses-shaped lines on either side of it. Adjust the height, width and placement to personalize your character to your liking. 

8. Lightbulb nose 

Lightbulb nose

If you can draw a lightbulb shape, you can draw this style of nose! This is one of the more literal and realistically-inspired methods of drawing a nose.

To draw this style of nose, draw and upside-down lightbulb shape on your character's face. From there, you can adjust the width of the "bulb" part depending on what suits your character. You can also add nostrils to make it even more realistic looking. 

Want more? Check out our companion guide, featuring 8 Ways to Draw Cartoon Eyes!

Illustration Basics for Beginners

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Learn illustration basics to take your art to publish-worthy levels.Get My FREE Guide »

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