Crab Drawing
(Sketching + Vector)

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In this drawing lesson, let's learn how to draw a crab drawing made of simple shapes and bright colors! I can't really explain why, but this is without a doubt one of my favorite animals to draw. Maybe because it's made of many circular shapes ... maybe it's because a crab is so cute ... I can't really explain!

I usually filled this animal with an orange tone of color. Today, I am trying something new, using red as the primary color.

Step 1

Crab drawing

Let's move on with the creation of the sketch. I have created an oval body and some large claws. Large eyes and pupils are also important to make the character even more friendly. I could draw an open mouth, but I decided to go with just a subtle smile. 

Step 2

Crab drawing

Next, you need to import your illustration into a vector application. You can either scan the drawing, take a picture of it or simply forget about the old-school technique and use a tablet to create the sketch directly into the software. 

Personally, I still prefer to use a pencil and a piece of paper. Once your illustration is converted into a digital file, create a new layer and add outlines like shown above. To save time, I like to copy the parts that are similar (like the legs and the claws) and paste them for a perfect mirror effect.

Step 3

Crab drawing

Once you are done with the outlines, create a second layer and draw plain shapes filled with a single color (in this case, red except for the eyes and the pupils). Make sure that all outlines are above the red shapes.

Step 4

Crab drawing

Great! Now we need to add some depth to the crab drawing. Select the gradient tool and add a second color on shapes created previously. This second color must be a darker tone of red. Once again, no need to apply this effect on the eyes and pupils. 

Also, it's important to make sure that these darker areas are on the bottom of your cartoon character. We are presuming that the light source is located on top of the character (maybe on the right too). 

Step 5

Crab drawing

These new shadows are perfect, but we can do more to enhance this crab drawing. Create a third layer and make sure that it is located between the plain shapes and the outlines.  Add darker areas like shown above. Once again, these new shadows must be located far from the light source. 

Step 6

Crab drawing

Select the transparency tool and partially hide the shapes created in the last step. The goal is to end up with subtle shadows.

Step 7

Crab drawing

To give even more volume to the cartoon character, you can also add reflection. You can do this simply by adding bright areas on places directly exposed to light. Start by adding white shapes on most parts of the cartoon crab. Notice the white reflections on the eyes too.

Step 8

Crab drawing

Once again, select the transparency tool and partially hide the white shapes created in the previous step. Just a subtle white line must be visible on each part of the character.

Step 9

Crab drawing

Finally, you can change the color of the outlines using a dark red color. Only the lines of the eyes and the pupils must be kept black. Good job! Your crab drawing is now finished. Don't hesitate to try more cartoon characters and hopefully, you can also create your own illustrations!

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