This cute crab cartoon is very easy to draw and color using a vector software! Once you are able to use the transparency and gradient tool efficiently, all you need to do is follow all the steps below carefully to create a cool cartoon animal like this one.
Don't hesitate to study each step carefully so that you'll understand exactly what needs to be done as you are progressing.
The design of this cartoon character is pretty basic and all parts are created with basic shapes. The goal is to color and add some simple shadows on your illustration so that it will look alive and more realistic than a simple 2D character.
Important note: For each step available below, the first image represents the operation you must perform for this particular step. All changes are surrounded by a red outline.
On the second image, you will have the opportunity to see the result of this particular step.
First, draw the crab cartoon using the design above as a reference. Once you are done, you can add colors on your cartoon animal. It doesn't really matter if colors are not accurate for now.
Next, use the gradient tool to create simple shadows. Usually, the bottom of each part should be darker while the top will be lighter. The (imaginary) light is placed on the top right of the illustration. Only the eyes are created with a circular fill. All the other shapes are done with a linear one.
For this third step, create circles on the eyes, the pupils and around the eyes. Circles on the pupils and the eyes should be white with the bottom slightly hidden with the transparency tool. If you are using Illustrator, you can achieve the same effect with the gradient tool (one side white, the other side blank).
It's now time to add a little bit of reflections on the legs. Duplicate each shape of the legs and scale them a little bit smaller than the original shapes. From there, make the bottom part darker and the top part hidden using the transparency tool or the gradient one.
Repeat the same process for this step, only this time make the top part of each shape lighter and the bottom invisible.
Once again, repeat the same process using dark shapes for all the parts that were not involved in the previous steps...
... and repeat once again using brighter shapes.
Complete your crab cartoon by adding a few shadows on parts that may be hidden by other shapes. Make sure that all shadows are still relevant with the position of the (virtual) light. Nicely done! Your illustration is now finished!