Nothing says summer fun like a ride on a roller coaster. Even if you’re still stuck inside, however, this cute and easy drawing can be a great way to bring some of that outdoors excitement to the great indoors!
For this drawing, all you’ll need is a clean sheet of paper and some basic drawing tools. If you like to sketch before outlining, keep a pencil and eraser close by. Otherwise, you’ll need a black marker, pen, or pencil and a set of colored markers or pencils, as well as a thicker-tipped black marker for outlining your design.
Start off with a single diagonal line in the bottom left hand corner of the page. This is where our whole roller coaster is going to start!
Draw a slightly curved diagonal line off of that first diagonal so that it intersects in a V shape and branches off in the opposite direction.
Draw a third line at a similar angle, but flipped around the X-axis. Your three lines should form what looks like a very flat arrow.
Curve this bottom line up at the end by adding yet another short diagonal line that points upwards and away from the bottom left page corner.
Add a space for the wheel by drawing a sharply curved line. The end result should be a half-circle shape that cuts into the cart’s outline.
Once that wheel well is out of the way, continue the trajectory of the lower diagonal line. Try to keep this line as straight as possible.
Fill in the other side of your roller coaster cart. This new line should almost or completely parallel the curvature of the second line you drew.
Connect the two lines with a single diagonal line in order to finish filling in what will become the front bumper of your roller coaster’s car.
Similarly, flesh out the side panel of the roller coaster car by drawing in a parallel line the connects to the closest corner of the bumper.
Close off the side panel by connecting the top and bottom lines so that you have a firm boundary for where your car breaks for separation.
Draw the head of the nearest roller coaster rider! Start with a half circle shape, and extend it slightly before capping it off with the ear.
Close off the head. The relatively flat top of the head will help to indicate the way the person is leaning back with the cart’s movement!
Draw in their face! Keep it relatively simple, but just add in two stylized eyes, eyebrows, and a wide, smiling mouth to round out the character!
Give them a body and one arm. Again, your roller coaster kid is leaning back from the momentum of the cart, so really exaggerate their lean!
Add the other arm. This second arm will appear much closer to their face to show the way that the body angles away from the viewer.
Give them some hair! Whatever hairstyle you prefer should work, but again, try to emphasize the movement of the cart through the hair’s line of flow.
Close off the cart on their sides and behind them. The line of the side panel may overlap slightly with their body, but not noticeably so.
Give the cart some wheels. Roller coasters tend to have multiple small wheels instead of one large wheel, so don’t worry about getting the perfect circle.
Give your roller coaster rider a seat partner! Repeat the same process of head first, body and arms second, to draw in the second thrill seeker.
Repeat the whole process up until this point to create a second cart of roller coaster riders behind the first, overlapping its lines at some parts.
Give the roller coaster a track. Two steeply curving lines should disappear beneath the front cart’s bumper in order to show where the carts are headed.
Add in the vertical ties. Roller coaster tracks look a lot like train tracks and function much the same way, so these ties are extremely important!
Draw the track that the roller coaster’s already covered. You can bend the track any way you like as long as it connects beneath the carts.
Draw in some more railroad-style ties for the other end of the track. These ties may bend slightly to show the perspective on the track overall.
Add a hill in the background. This will help give the viewers an idea of where the roller coaster has already been or where it’s headed.
Draw the exact same shape (or as close to it as you can get), but slightly higher and to the left to outline the previous track.
Add in some horizontal ties on the track in the background. Make sure you keep the slats confined to within the framework of the track rails.
Draw the horizontal supports. These lines should be evenly spaced out and extend from the underside of the track to the very bottom of the page.
Add some horizontal supports for the track in the foreground, too! These supports should be visibly thicker, but still extend all the way off the image.
It’s time to start coloring! You can use whatever colors you prefer, of course, but we’ve chosen to fill in the bumper with a bright red.
Whatever color you picked for the bumper of the front car, use that same color for the second car, as roller coasters tend to mostly match.
Outline the edges of the bumper in a thicker black line. We’re going to use this color to extend into the side panels of the carts.
Color in the side panels. Again, we’ve chosen to use black, but as long as your color matches the outline, choose whichever color you like best!
Give the people on the roller coasters a little bit of extra character by giving them some fun stripes or similarly simple patterns on their shirts.
Color in the closest character’s shirt. Be careful when using lighter colors, as black markers or black ink will usually tend to bleed into lighter areas.
Color in the second person’s shirt! If possible, it’s usually best to put dark and light-colored shirts right next to each other for added visual impact.
Now it’s time to move on to the back cart. It’s okay to repeat colors if you have to, but otherwise, pick another new shirt color.
Finally, color in the last individual’s shirt. Don’t worry about whether the colors clash or anything, just focus on setting each character apart from the others.
Outline the edges of the characters’ hair. This will help you get a feel for the color as well as providing a clear template to follow.
Color in the rest of the hair with a slightly darker color in order to show the way that the sun is glinting off the head.
Color in another head of hair. If you’re giving your character black hair, you don’t have to worry as much about trying to add in highlights.
Fill in the empty space in the roller coaster carts. Coloring them in completely black will save you from having to add a lot of detail.
If you haven’t done so already, outline the last character’s hair in whatever color you feel suits them best and get ready to fill it in.
As with before, use a slightly darker color to fill in the hairline. In our example, we’ve used an orange filler to get a blond appearance.
Use a skin-colored marker or markers to fill in the face and arms of the characters. Don’t be afraid to switch it up with different tones.
Use a red marker to color in the tongues. This will probably bleed slightly into the black outline, but that won’t hurt the picture’s final look.
Color in the rest of the mouths, but leave the teeth exposed. Don’t worry if it’s a little difficult to tell where the tongue’s outline ends.
Fill in the railroad tracks. You can just color the whole thing in with a black marker, or you can use brown for the individual ties.
Color in the support poles. These should probably be either black or silvery-gray, unless your roller coaster is made of a slightly less traditional building material!
Add in some glasses or other distinctive facial features to your roller coaster riders. Glasses, braces, freckles—the sky’s the limit when it comes to design!
Add a bright blue splash of color behind the group! Be careful when coloring close to the tracks or the outlines and watch out for bleeding.
Color in the rest of the background with a lighter blue. You may have to break out some colored pencils for this step, or else you can leave the background blank for a slightly cloudier day.
Glance over your finished design and make any last-minute changes that you feel are required. Clean up any stray lines and trace over any smudged coloring issues that you want to edit out.
Once you’re satisfied with your drawing, you’re done! In just a few simple steps, you’ll have completely mastered the art of whipping up a riotous roller coaster with nothing but your imagination, a few basic drawing tools, and the time needed to brighten up your surroundings and the rest of your day!