Confession. I’m addicted to drawing people and animals…and the more zany and funny they are, the better! These days I’ve been focusing on creating my illustrations with the barest minimum of lines. I’ve also gone back to building my forms from basic shapes – such as the circle, cone, square, rectangle and triangle. I know that I’m heading in the right direction when adding just a few touches of color to the character design makes it jump off the page.

Character Design by Joana Miranda

In the spirit of baring my soul (well, not really), here’s another tidbit of information. I feel lucky – very lucky – that my quarantine “buddy” has been my husband of 16 years. He’s thoughtful, kind, intelligent (definitely my better half!) and he keeps me amused and entertained. Oh, and did I mention that he’s become quite a virtuoso at card magic over the past few years? Of course, he does have his quirks, too. And those give ample creative “fuel” for my artistic imagination.

These character designs were inspired by him. They were drawn freehand in ink with love (and my Noodler’s Ahab fountain pen.)

Photo of my Ace of Hearts character design in my Moleskine notebook

(Take a closer look…)

Character design - Ace of Hearts illustration by Joana Miranda


After you create a character illustration, the next step is to add color. To that end, here’s a short, fun video I posted yesterday on my YouTube channel. In the video, I demonstrate how I color a cartoon illustration using watercolor pencils:


I post my Art Bag video series every Monday and Friday. If you subscribe to my channel and toggle on the little bell, you’ll get a notification every time I’ve put up a new video!


  1. Mm says:

    Wow, great video. I love the music and the maestro cartoons are the best! ESP the bug duty… I like the bye at the end😊and I like you, too🥰

    • Joana says:

      Ooh, so glad you like my maestro cartoons. You might be next…

      xox – J

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