Peanuts Characters Series – Charlie Brown


Whenever I feel really alone, I just sit and stare into the night sky. I’ve always thought hat one of those stars was my star, and at moments like this, I know that my star will always be there for me. Like a comforting voice saying, “Don’t give up, kid.”

To say that “Good ol’ Charlie Brown” holds a unique position in pop culture would be an understatement. He has the illustrious distinction of being the only Peanuts character to appear in both the first comic strip on October 2, 1950 and the last strip on February 13, 2000. Despite his less-than-stellar track record as a baseball manager, his inability to fly a kite or kick a football, through it all Charlie Brown never gives up. His eternal optimism gives us hope and that has made him undeniably relatable to readers all over the world.

“Everybody’s got a little piece of Charlie Brown in them,” observes Martino. “What’s great about him is that he operates on such an extreme level, which always makes you feel better about your and we’ve all had failures. He teaches us a wonderful thing in that in the midst of all that, you can pick yourself up and try again, so it was very important for us to capture that spirit in his expressions.”

As the team began the process of refining details for each of the characters’ looks, they turned their attention to one of Charlie Brown’s most defining features: his hair. Or lack thereof.

So just what exactly is the curlicue, loop-de-loop swirl that rests just above Charlie Brown’s forehead called? “I just call it his hair,” says Martino with a smile. “But what little hair he has in that loop is full or personality,” continues the director. “ The way Schulz drew his hair would echo Charlie Brown’s emotions. It would move and reinforce his own expressions.”

According to Charlie Brown’s stylist – aka fur supervisor – Jon Campbell, 219 strands of hair were created for his iconic swirl/loop/curl.

“All of his hairs are wound up into a bundle,” explains Campbell. “We knew we could not just give Charlie Brown a single hair. No matter how the hair is rendered, it would only be a pixel wide, so that is why bundled a large number of hairs that we squeezed, straightened and relaxed just right to basically reproduce the ebb and flow of Schulz’s pen line.”

Because Schulz drew the hair loop differently each time, Campbell knew he needed to provide the animators with enough flexibility to achieve the desired results. “If we were to take a hair and groom it into a curve, it will basically be stuck in that position,” he explains. “So instead of grooming his hair into a loop-de-loop, we groomed it straight out, like a unicorn, and rigged it, allowing the animators to control it.” Campbell compares Charlie Brown’s hair rig to that of a spring coil: “You have no idea how long a spring actually is until you uncoil it,” he says. “Proportionally, when uncoiled, Charlie Brown’s hair is nearly two feet long!”

In a nod to the spring coil reference, Martino cites a very subtle Easter egg (an oblique reference or in-joke) in the film: “The wire sculpture that Charlie Brown makes by mistake looks exactly like his hair loop.”

Buy Charlie Brown at

Charlie Brown’s Legacy

“I always thought of my dad as the great observer,” reminisces Craig Schulz, the son of Charles M. Schulz and one of Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie’s writers and producers. “No matter where he was or what he was doing, he would find a comic strip in the moment. Whether it was a tennis match, a game of golf or just ordinary life, he never missed an opportunity to tell a story.”

On October 2, 1950, Charles M. Schulz began a 50-year journey of sharing those observations with the world. Through a comic strip that made its debut in just seven newspapers across the country, he introduced readers to the characters of Shermy, Patty and Good ol’ Charlie Brown. Over time, Schulz would introduce the rest of the characters that are now staples in pop culture.

By the end of the 1960s, Peanuts had reached millions more fans through publishing, licensing and marketing partnerships. Although the first licensed Peanuts products were paperback books published in 1951, it was a 1960 comic strip featuring the now-iconic motto “Happiness is a Warm Puppy” that launched the characters into the stratosphere of the licensing industry. The “Happiness is…” phrase had caught the attention of Connie Boucher, founder of Determined Productions, who approached Schulz with the idea of publishing a book based around it. Schulz was initially reluctant, but agreed, penning additional “Happiness is…” sayings. The book spent forty-five weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list.. An industry was born.

Today, the Peanuts characters are an ongoing merchandising and marketing force with long-standing relationships with top brands still in place. For example, 2015 marks the 55th anniversary of the brand’s relationship with Hallmark, the characters have been featured in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade since 1968 and MetLife celebrates 30 years with Snoopy and the gang as spokes-characters. The Schulz family has stayed involved with the creative direction and positioning of all things Peanuts related, still working out of offices in Santa Rosa, California, where Charles Schulz’s art studio was located.

Yet through all the boos, apparel and toys, it was always all about story and character for Charles M. Schulz. With a knack for social commentary, Schulz would introduce the characters and storylines with wit, sarcasm, humour and heart. In the mid-1960s, he introduced the character Peppermint Patty. A tomboy at heart, she excelled in the sports and served as the manager of a rival baseball team. While that may seem benign to most now, the introduction of girls playing sports on the same team as boys was nearly a decade ahead of its time. By today’s standards, it is incomprehensible to think of a character;s introduction to a comic strip as “controversial,” yet that is exactly what occurred in 1968 when Schulz introduced Franklin to the cast, the 1st African American character featured in the strip. Encouraged by schoolteacher Harriet Glickman, Schulz introduced the character of Franklin on a beach to a vacationing Charlie Brown and later incorporated him into the strip as a classmate of Peppermint Patty and Marcie. Schulz received letters of opposition, which he ignored. Schulz was able to further expand his voice through the various personas of his alter-ego Snoopy, most notably Joe Cool, the World Famous Author and of course, the World War I Flying Ace.

Schulz possessed the natural ability to organically and seamlessly weave relevant topics into the panels his strips as if they were self-evident. “Through it all, my dad never took advantage of his position,” says Craig Schulz. “In 50 years, he never turned cynical about the world around him and that paid off. People genuinely care about these characters. I remember when Snoopy’s doghouse burned down,” he add. “People sent him money to help rebuild it!”

Bordering the top of a wall in the main conference room at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates at One Snoopy Place in Santa Rosa is a line-up of each of the major Peanuts characters: Shermy, Patty, Pigpen, Violet, Sally, Schroeder, Linus, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Marcie, Franklin, Rerun and Frieda. When seated at the table, it gives the impression that the characters are watching over all the activity in the room.

“We always say that each of the characters represents a piece of our dad,” says Craig Schulz. “Chalie Brown was his real self, while Snoopy is what he wanted to be. The reality is that each of us can find an identifiable character to relate to.”

The universal appeal of the characters, whether it is the crabbiness of Lucy, the heart of Linus, the introspection of Marcie, or one of the many personas of Snoopy, is without question why the strip and its characters have remained relevant as Peanuts nears its 70th anniversary.

By the time the strip completed its run in 2000, Peanuts had an estimated readership of over 350 million people, in 2,600 newspapers, representing 21 countries around the world. With a combined grand total of 17,897 strips (15,391 daily; 2506 Sunday), each one drawn, inked and lettered by Schulz, the comic continues in syndication, reaching new readers every day.

The list of accomplishments and accolades bestowed upon Peanuts is, in a word, impressive: 50 primetime network TV specials, 4 Emmy awards, an additional 32 nominations, 4 Peabody awards, 2 Grammy awards, 4 feature animated films, an Oscar nomination, a Broadway musical, 2 Tony awards and multiple magazine covers on Time, Newsweek, LIFE, Rolling Stone, TV Guide and People, etc. To say the strip and its characters have made an indelible impact from the mid-twentieth century to the present would be an understatement.

Last year, that legacy continued with the return of the Peanuts gang to the big screen after a 35 year absence, and for the first time ever in CG.

As loyal Charlie Brown and Snoopy fans, we all hope the legacy will last forever.

Learn to draw Charlie Brown in 22 steps

Wanna learn how to draw Snoopy in 15 simple steps? Just follow below step-by-step instruction. Enjoy drawing!

Step 1: Start with a circle near the top of the page. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just a guide for Charlie Brown’s head. Leave enough room at the bottom to draw his body.


Step 2: Next, draw two intersecting lines across the head shape, one vertical and one horizontal. Bend the lines a bit so that they contour to the shape of the head. These will be construction lines that will help you place Charlie Brown’s facial features later on.


Step 3: Draw a triangle-like shape under Charlie Brown’s head as a guide for the top part of the body. The top tip of the triangle should be hidden behind the head.


Step 4: Now draw a rectangular line under the triangle for the bottom part of the guide for Charlie Brown’s body. The bottom part of the triangle-like shape forms the top part of the rectangle.


Step 5: Draw a short line on the left side of the body with a small circle at the end. This will be a guide for Charlie Brown’s arm and waving hand on the left. Draw another small line and circle on the right side within the body for the other arm.


Step 6: Under the body, draw two more shapes as guides for Charlie Brown’s feet. Two very short lines make up the guides for the legs, and two long, flat oval-like shapes make up the guides for the feet.


Step 7: That’s it for the initial sketch! You have the basic shape of the Peanuts character Charlie Brown. Now go in and tighten your drawing. From this point on, press harder with your pencil in order to get darker lines and a more defined sketch.


Step 8: Draw a small curved line similar to a letter C right on above the horizontal construction line for Charlie Brown’s nose. The left edge of the nose should be where the vertical construction line is.


Step 9: On either side of the nose, draw a small dot for the eyes. Above each eye, draw a small line for Charlie Brown’s eyebrows.


Step 10: Under the nose, draw a long curved line for Charlie Brown’s mouth. This line should be closer to the bottom edge of the initial circle than it is to the horizontal construction line.


Step 11: Above the eyebrows, near the top of the head, draw line that loops for the tuft of hair on Charlie Brown’s forehead. The line is similar to a letter C with a curl on the bottom end.


Step 12: Use the initial circle as a guide to draw Charlie Brown’s head. Darken the line, but when you get to the right side, add an extra curved line similar to a backward letter C for the ear. Draw another curved line on the left side for Charlie Brown’s other ear.


Step 13: Draw two lines under the head for the neck. Use a series of angled lines under the neck to draw Charlie Brown’s shirt collar. The opening of the collar is similar to the letter M. The actual collar is similar to small rectangles.


Step 14: Use the side of the triangle-like shape, the initial line and circle as guides to draw Charlie Brown’s arm on the right. Draw the shirt’s sleeve by using the bottom part of the triangle-like shape as a guide. Follow the basic path of the line and make the arm thicker. Use a series of curved lines within the shape of the small circle to create Charlie Brown’s hand.


Step 15: Draw the outline of Charlie Brown’s shirt by using the initial shapes as guides. The bottom of the shirt should be near the middle of the initial rectangle shape. Within the shirt, draw two zigzag lines for the classic Charlie Brown shirt design.


Step 16: Use the line and circle on the left to draw Charlie Brown’s other hand. Make the arm thicker as you follow the path of the line. Then draw a few curved lines to outside of the circle for the fingers. Charlie Brown and the other children in the Peanuts gang are some of the few cartoon characters to have four fingers and a thumb. Most cartoon characters usually have three fingers and a thumb.


Step 17: Darken the bottom part of the rectangular shape to create Charlie Brown’s shorts.


Step 18: Use the line and flat oval-like shape to draw Charlie Brown’s foot on the right. Make the leg thicker as you follow the path of the line and add the sock. Darken the outline of the oval-like shape for the shoe and add three curved lines at the top for the laces.


Step 19: Use the other line and oval as guides to draw Charlie Brown’s other leg the same way. The leg on the left is behind the one on the right, so not all of it should be visible.


Step 20: That’s it! You now have a nice sketch of the Peanuts character Charlie Brown. You can stop at this quick drawing for a rough, sketchy look, or continue to the next step to go for a more finished look.


Step 21: For a more finished, inked look, carefully draw over the final sketch lines with a pen or marker. Wait for the ink to dry, and then erase all of the pencil marks. You now have a finished inked drawing of Charlie Brown! You can stop here or go to the final step to complete your Charlie Brown drawing in its entirety.


Step22: For a completely finished Charlie Brown drawing, you have to color it. You can use anything you want: markers, color pencils or even crayons! Color his skin peach. If you don’t have peach, improvise and use yellow-orange or light brown. The main part of Charlie Brown’s shirt and the socks are yellow. The shirt can sometimes be red. The zigzag stripe on the shirt and the shorts are black. The shoes are brown. That’s it! You now have a completed drawing of Charlie Brown form Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comic strip.


Step23(Final Step): Successfully drawn your 1st Charlie Brown? Share it with Snoopy Fans. Do you know you can create your own cartoon? No Previous Experience Or Artistic Talent required!
Click Here to find out.