Let me show you how to create a wolf drawing that is simple, cute and quite effective! However, this tutorial is not for beginners. You need to be able to create your own cartoon character and use all the tools from a vector software to end up with the desired result.
You also need to be careful to make sure that your animal doesn't look like a dog. I'll show you a few tips along the way to help you avoid making these mistakes.
First, grab a pencil and a piece of paper and draw a sketch of your cartoon wolf. Of course, you don't have to create something that is exactly similar to the character I have created. As long as you use a similar posture and follow each step carefully, you will be alright. Once your drawing is finished, move on to the next step.
Import the illustration into your vector application. Create a new layer and draw outlines like shown above. Don't add colors yet. We need to create another layer for that!
Add a second layer and draw plain shapes under the outlines that will be filled with the appropriated colors. I have decided to make the wolf drawing in grey. Of course, you can choose a different color if you want to. Just make sure that it's relevant for a wolf.
Every vector software comes with a gradient tool. The nice thing about this tool is that it can create simple shadows almost instantly only by adding a second color to a particular shape. In our case, the wolf is mostly colored in grey, so we need to add a darker tone of grey to each shape created previously. For the nose, just add a darker tone of brown.
These shadows are great, but we can do better to give more depth to the illustration. Add a new layer between the one that contains the outlines and the one filled with the solid shapes. Draw new shapes on areas that are usually not affected by lighting. As you can see above, most shapes are added on the left side of the cartoon character.
Pick up the transparency tool (or any other tool that can achieve a similar effect) and partially hide the top (right) section of each shape drawn in the previous step. Shadows on our wolf drawing must be subtle. It's important otherwise the illustration might be hard to read.
To give more volume to the wolf drawing, we can also create some areas filled with reflection. I like to add white shapes to achieve this effect. Just follow the template above to see where these shapes must be created. Also notice that these new shapes are not in contact with the outlines. I like to keep a small space between the reflections and the outlines.
Once again, select the transparency tool to partially hide the white shapes. However, you must hide the bottom (right) section of each shape. After all, reflection is caused by the light source, so it is logical to keep the white areas closer to this light source.
One last modification you can do is change the color of the outlines. Instead of black, I have chosen grey as the main color for all lines on the cartoon character.
Good job! You now have a very attractive wolf made from simple shapes and basic effects. You might need a few attempts to create a similar character. Don't give up! Your determination will be rewarded and drawing is all about practicing! :)