Creating a cute alien drawing can be done quite easily. You can choose to draw green characters with big antennas and large teeth. You can simply draw a monster and add a spaceship next to it.
But these creatures are also often depicted as being human like. They are colored in grey and made with large eyes. That's the kind of cartoon character we are going to create for this drawing lesson.
First, open your vector application and draw the head and the body of the character. Since the feet are attached to the body, make sure that this part is also added.
Notice how the head is similar to a human head. You can see the jaw, the chin and the top of the head being round and cute. The legs are small and narrow while the feet are tiny and pointed near the end. The body is not too large and almost made of a rectangle.
Next, you can start adding details on the face. Aliens are often depicted as having large black pupils. So it might be a good idea to draw large eyes and large pupils. You can also create the mouth using a single line. Another line added below the mouth can be used to enhance the chin. You can draw both arms and hands using a simple design.
A single line added near the top of the legs and below the stomach can give more volume to the character and create a small separation between these two parts of the body.
In this step, all you have to do is grab the fill tool and add a plain color to all shapes of the alien drawing. You can color the head, the arms and the body with a light grey color. No need to choose a darker color for now.
Effects added later on will provide all the dark areas needed to create volume on our illustration. Of course, the eyes and the pupils are colored in white and black respectively.
Since you are using a vector application to create the cartoon character (you are, right?), you should have access to a gradient tool. This particular tool is perfect for adding simple shadows on the illustration.
Just make sure that shadows are placed on the bottom of each part of the character. The light source is located above the alien, so it would not make sense to place darker areas on top of the illustration. Great! Now it's time to add more shadows and create a much efficient illustration.
Create a new layer between the outlines and the plain shapes. Draw new (and darker) shapes on areas like the side of the head, the bottom of the head, the top of the arms and between the legs.
You can also draw shapes below the chin and around the eyes. Remember to use plain colors to fill all new elements. Great! These shadows are perfect, but these new shapes are a little bit too dark to be effective. Time to grab another cool tool!
Select the transparency tool (or any other tool that can create a similar effect) and partially hide the top section of each shape created in the previous step. Your goal is to make these new shadows subtle and visible enough to add something positive to the illustration without being too distracting.
The illustration must have volume and depth, so adding additional shadows must bring something valuable. Great! Now it's time for a little bit of reflection!
This extra step is often ignored by amateur artists. To give a real 3D impression on the alien drawing, we need to create effects that are genuine and believable. Adding reflection is a simple (and natural) technique that you should use as often as possible.
To do so, simply duplicate all shapes from the cartoon character and color these new elements in white. Leaving a small space between the white shapes and the outlines is also a good idea!
Once again, transparency will be needed to complete the desired effect. This time, you must hide the bottom part of each shape and leave the top as white as possible.
After all, light is coming from above and we need to see this shiny illusion on each part of the alien drawing for this effect to be successful. It's important to make sure that light is following a normal and natural path on the cartoon character so that the whole thing looks credible.
Finally, I like to change the color of the outlines with something more subtle. I do this step last because it's hard to know from the beginning how the illustration will look like. Once everything is colored properly, simply change the outline's color for something lighter.
It's and easy change that can create something more interesting. Good job! Our alien drawing is now finished! Hopefully you had fun with this tutorial and don't hesitate to try more from the same series! :)