How to draw simple animal cartoon illustrations

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In this section of the site, I will show you how to draw animal cartoon illustrations filled with simple details and patterns. All animals created here are mostly made from short irregular lines and filled with plain colors that can easily be created by beginners.

Even if all illustrations were created with a digital application, these drawing lessons were purposely created to be imperfect and sketchy. My goal was to end up with a bunch of images that are visually warm and appealing.

the basics

All tutorials start with the creation of a guideline made from basic shapes (usually created with orange outlines). These guidelines are quite important because they are the foundation of all cartoon animals created here. These templates will help you sketch accurate proportions and postures.

Then, once a guideline is drawn, you will have the opportunity to draw the animal using several small pointed lines. These lines don't need to be perfect and they are used to create shapes that are visually interesting and varied. Once these lines are added, you will be asked to erase the orange shapes created for the guideline.

You can now enter the most exciting part: adding details. This is the most interesting exercise because the character is slowly appearing in front of our eyes. Of course, since our goal is to end up with simple cartoon characters, the level of details needed is pretty basic.

The animal is almost completed by now. To make this one slightly more appealing, why not add some shadows and textures inside the character. You will do so by sketching additional shapes and lines filled with basic colors. 


Enough talking! Let's draw!

As you can see above, the whole process is rather simple. No need to add complex digital effects to end up with something visually interesting. You can find all tutorials currently available in this section below. Most cartoon characters are completed within nine easy steps (except a few exceptions) and all animals are filled with simple shapes, lines and colors. Perfect for beginners!

Have fun!


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