Dolphin Drawing
(Sketching + Vector)

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Learn how to draw a cute dolphin drawing featuring a funny character with very large pupils! Dolphins are fun to draw! Unlike other animals, you don't have to worry about legs, weird shapes or funny colors. A simple dolphin can be made of a few curved lines ... that's it!

Of course, the character created for this drawing lesson is a little bit more complex. Your goal will be to end up with a cool 2D character made of simple shapes, but also with a 3D aspect. It's not impossible to achieve, but it's a great challenge!

Step 1

Dolphin drawing

First, sketch the character's eyes, mouth and body. Try to draw a large smile and don't hesitate to make your dolphin very expressive. The body should look like a big "S". 

Step 2

Dolphin drawing

Next, complete the drawing of your character with a pencil. You can add the pupils, the tongue, the fins and the stripe on the stomach.

Step 3

Dolphin drawing

Great! Now open your vector application and scan the illustration so that you can work on it using your computer. First, draw some black outlines using lines that have irregular width.

Step 4

Dolphin drawing

Draw additional shapes that you can place behind the lines. These shapes will be used to create plain colors. Our dolphin drawing looks good, but we can do better!

Step 5

Dolphin drawing

Every vector software comes with a gradient tool. Use this tool to add a few basic shadows on the stomach, the body and the tongue. Make sure that the bottom part of each shape is darker.

Step 6

Dolphin drawing

Create new (darker) shapes to create additional shadows on your dolphin. Most of these new shapes should be located on the bottom and/or left of the elements they are applied on. 

Step 7

Dolphin drawing

Grab your transparency tool and partially hide the top section of each shape created in the previous step. These new shadows must be visible, but still subtle enough to keep the illustration readable.

Step 8

Dolphin drawing

Time to work on reflection. Create new shapes on areas that are exposed to the (virtual) sun. These new shapes must be colored in white. 

Step 9

Dolphin drawing

Once again, select the transparency tool to hide the bottom part of each shape created previously. The light must enhance your character and bring it to life!

Step 10

Dolphin drawing

If you don't notice the difference between this picture and the previous one, it's perfectly normal. The modification is very subtle. I have colored all outlines with a color that matches the shape(s) inside. Dark outlines are nice, but lines colored with a tone similar to the color used to create the character is even better! Nice dolphin drawing! ;)

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