In this lesson, you will have the opportunity to draw a cartoon ostrich made with a vector application and filled with simple visual effects. Our goal is to draw a simple version of the animal and add shadows and highlights to create more depth and volume. Are you ready to draw? Let's proceed with the first step ...
Sketch the ostrich using simple pointed lines. The eyes and the pupils are done with circular shapes while the beak is made from triangles. Proportions don't have to be 100% accurate since we are creating a cartoon version of the animal.
Next, add shapes filled with plain colors behind the outlines. The eyes are filled in white while the pupils are blue. The beak is orange and the skin is colored with ... a skin color! Feathers are dark and the circular shape on the bottom of the neck is brighter.
You can also add some colors on the outlines. Black outlines are nice, but it's even more interesting when an outline is filled with a darker version of the color found on the nearest shape.
Pick the gradient fill tool and add a second color inside each shape. Your goal is to add some shadows on the illustration using a darker version of the color already found inside the selected shape. For instance, the bottom of the beak can be darker while the top is filled with a brighter version of the same color.
Remember when I said that outlines and solid shapes must be done separately? The reason is quite simple. I like to create additional shadows using new shapes as seen below. Therefore, these new elements are placed between the outlines and the solid shapes for a more effective integration.
These new shapes can be filled with a darker version of the color found on the plain shapes. Create new shadows around the eyes, below the beak, on the neck, the body and the legs.
To end up with a realistic illustration, make sure that these new shadows are partially hidden. Indeed, it's a good idea to play with the opacity of these new elements to create a more subtle result.
In this step, you can draw new shapes (all colored in white) to represent highlights on the cartoon ostrich. These new shapes must also be transparent and almost invisible. The effect must be subtle to be effective.
Nice work! This lesson on how to draw an ostrich is now over. I hope you had fun creating this cool cartoon character. Don't hesitate to draw more animals from the same series and have fun! :)