In this tutorial, I will show you how to draw a robber drawing featuring a fun cartoon character already used to illustrate a prisoner (so obviously, the criminal life of our little friend did not go as expected :)!
For this lesson, you will need a pencil, a piece of paper and a digital application (like a vector software) to draw a polished version of the cartoon character.
First, we need to add a few shapes and start illustrating the cartoon character. Draw a rectangle to represent the body. Then, add two more rectangles on each side of the body to form the arms. Make sure that the top of each shape is narrower.
Finally, draw the head using a square and add a few pointed areas to illustrate the jaw and the chin. Two circles can be used for the eyes.
It's now time to add more details on the illustration. On the face, you can draw the beard, the nose, the chin, the mouth and the mask. You can also add pupils and draw ears on each side of the head.
For the hands, two circles are enough to create the perfect result. Add another rectangle to illustrate the legs and draw two small triangles for the feet.
It's now time to add colors. Since this character doesn't want to be seen, black will be the main color used for clothing. You can also use black on the pupils and the mask of the robber drawing. Finally, color the beard in brown and select a skin color for the head, the ears and the hands.
To give more volume to the illustration, we need to add a second color on shapes that are not colored in black. So basically, we are talking about the skin and the beard. Add a darker color on each shape (but select a tone similar to the one already available on the selected shape). Make sure that the new color is located on the bottom of the shape and you are done.
The previous step was perfect to give more depth to the robber drawing, but we can do more to enhance our illustration. Draw darker shapes on the left side of the head, on the ears, on the hands, below the nose and below the chin. For better readability, shapes below the head and above the arms were colored in grey (but must be colored in black).
Play with the opacity of the new shapes and make sure that the effect is subtle and soft. Your goal is to create soft shadows that are clean and easy to read. These new shapes must create a simple effect and create more depth and volume.
Shadows that were colored in grey will be visible later on when lighter shapes will be drawn on the body and the arms of the cartoon character.
Now that darker shapes were added on the character, it's now time to draw lighter ones on all parts of the illustration. Duplicate most shapes drawn on the cartoon character and change the color. All new shapes must be colored in white.
Notice how shadows drawn below the head and arms are now visible. To create a more interesting effect, these new shapes must also be smaller than the original ones.
Finally, to create a similar effect to the one we created with darker shapes, play with the opacity of these shapes until they are almost invisible. In fact, only the right part of the shapes must be visible (and in most cases, we are talking about "slightly" visible). See how black areas are now easier to read and more interesting to look at?
One final modification can be done on the robber drawing to complete this tutorial. Select the outlines of shapes NOT colored in black and change the color for a similar tone (but darker).
For example, the outline of the hands can be darker than the color of the skin. That's it! The character is now finished! I hope you had fun and don't hesitate to create your own character! :)