Polygonal portraits of a lion, a girl, a scarecrow, and a tin woodman.

Drawing The Wizard of Oz characters in CSS

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of the books I have read recently. So I decided to draw the story’s main characters in a minimalist/vectorial way, just using 8 colors, HTML, and CSS.

Here’s a demo on Codepen:

I tried to keep the drawing simple and to the minimum, so each character only has four sections:

  • Cowardly Lion: mane, face, ears, and nose.
  • Dorothy: face, hair, dress, and hair bows.
  • Scarecrow: hat, face, necktie, and straw.
  • Tin Woodman: hat, face, jaw, and bowtie.

The drawings are done with clip-path, using the function. So the process was a little bit like carving from a square to the desired shape... which was a small challenge considering I didn't use any editing software to generate them — all by hand (watch the video below).

/* Cowardly Lion's mane */
.lion .mane {
background: var(--orange);
clip-path: polygon(
50% 5%, 73% 8%, 87% 40%, 85% 80%, 70% 95%,
65% 93%, 60% 98%, 55% 95%, 50% 100%, 45% 95%,
40% 98%, 35% 93%, 30% 95%, 15% 80%, 13% 40%, 27% 8%

A small animation completes the drawing: moving the mouse over each character will display what they want to ask the wizard: courage (a star medal), going home (a house), a brain, and a heart, respectively.

The result looks nice. Although I must admit that Dorothy resembles the girl from Wendy’s and the Scarecrow, a rocket taking off…

Later, I changed the drawing to make it a little more interactive by replacing the container with links to each of the actors who played the character. You can see that version here.

Overall, the whole drawing process took around an hour and a half. Here’s a video of how it went:

Originally published at https://alvaromontoro.com on April 9, 2021.

Full-Stack Software Engineer, Mobile Developer, Web technologies enthusiast. CSS aficionado. Twitter: @alvaro_montoro