This lesson is featuring a cool astronaut drawing made from simple shapes and drawn in nine easy steps. Unlike other cartoon characters from the same series, this particular one does offer a few challenges that are different and more difficult to achieve.
Using a vector application, I will show you how to create the perfect astronaut using simple techniques that are easy to implement with great results. Just open your software and follow me into step number one! :)
The first thing you need to do is draw the character itself. Start by sketching the head, the helmet, the body and the legs. For now, outlines can be thick and colored in black.
Make sure that all shapes are ordered properly (for example, the head must be drawn below the helmet). The gloves can be created with only the thumbs being visible. Once this is done, you can start working on smaller details.
Draw the eyes, the pupils, the nose, the mouth and the ears. You can also draw a small line below the mouth to illustrate the chin.
Create and sketch a few patches and pockets on the costume of the astronaut drawing. Finally, adding a small line on the legs will create the separation of both legs.
Now that all outlines are created, it's time to add a little bit of colors on the cartoon character. Fortunately, you don't have to choose between various colors to create the illustration.
An astronaut's suit is usually white with some darker areas colored in grey. Use a skin tone to color the face and make sure that the pupils and the inside of the helmet are colored in black.
Time to add some cool effects! Select the gradient tool in your application and add a second color (dark grey) on all areas of the helmet and the suit.
Then, add a darker version of the skin color on the face. Make sure that all new (darker) colors are added on the bottom of each shape. The pupils are the only body part that don't need the addition of a second color. The illustration looks nice, but we can do more to represent depth and volume on the astronaut drawing.
Create a new layer between the one used for the outlines and the one used for the plain shapes. Draw darker areas to illustrate softer (but still stronger) shadows that are not affected by the light source.
You can add shadows on the head, below the nose, on the suit and the gloves. These new additions are perfect, but slightly too dark to be effective.
Every vector application can create some sort of transparency effect. Select all shapes created in the previous step (one-by-one) and partially hide the top part of each shape.
The goal is to create subtle shadows that are not too distracting. Great! The astronaut drawing looks awesome! But once again, we can add another nice effect to enhance our cartoon character.
Duplicate all shapes from the character and color these new elements in white. For the pupils, instead of simply duplicating the shapes, simply draw an oval shape on the top of each pupil.
Wonder why we are doing this? Because we want to illustrate what reflection looks like. Adding white areas will simulate the fact that lighting can hit a surface and create reflection (giving more volume to the subject).
Using the transparency tool, partially hide the white shapes created in the last step. Your goal is to keep only the top part of each shape. The bottom part must be invisible.
As you can see on the pupils, reflection can add more than just volume. The astronaut drawing looks more intense, more realistic!
Huge step here. We need to do three more things! First, all outlines must be colored with a grey tone of color. Then, since changing the outline's color also modifies how shadows are perceived, I decided to soften all shadows using the transparency tool.
Finally, you can add a glass effect on the helmet. Just add a blue shape over the head (but below the helmet) and add a little bit of transparency. Then, add two white stripes that are also partially hidden! Great! I think we have a cool astronaut drawing now! :)
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