If you already know how to draw a nice butterfly cartoon, then maybe you would like to learn how to apply some nice colors on it to create a superb illustration with a 3D looks to it. If you own a vector software and know how to achieve some basic operations with it, then this drawing lesson is for you!
I will show you how to use the gradient tool to create some nice shadows and how to play with the transparency tool to create cool reflections. Don't worry! This tutorial might seem difficult at first, but trust me, it can be done quite easily!
Important note: For each step available below, the first image represents the operation you must perform for this particular step. All changes are surrounded by a red outline.
On the second image, you will have the opportunity to see the result of this particular step.
First, draw the butterfly cartoon using some dark outlines. Once this is done, fill you cartoon character with basic colors. Don't worry if it looks strange by now. We will work on colors and shadows in the following steps.
This second step is very easy! All you need to do is select the back of each wing and apply a gradient fill on each shape. The back must remain dark, so the bottom can be black and the top colored with a darker tone of brown.
The third step is more complex. You must select each and every pattern on both wings and apply a gradient effect on each of them. Since the light is coming from the top right part of the illustration, make sure that colors are brighter on the top right part of each shape.
Next, select the gradient tool once again and work on the head, the antennas and the body. Notice how the antenna on the left is darker than the one on the right.
The fifth step is devoted to the creation of circles that must be applied on the eyes. Each circle should be white and transparent on the bottom. You can also add a small eyebrow over the left eye.
Now work on the head and add a few shapes around the left eye and on the left side of the head. Each circle around the eye must be dark on the bottom and transparent on top. Use the same pattern to create the reflection on the left part of the head.
It's now time to add reflections on each pattern of both wings. Duplicate each shape, add a light brown color to each of them and make the left bottom part transparent.
Repeat the same process for the head and the body (Duplicate each shape, add a light brown color to each of them and make the left bottom part transparent). Once you are done, your butterfly cartoon should be similar to the one above. You might have to start over a couple of times before getting it right, but in the end, I'm sure you can do it. More fun lessons are available below. Enjoy! :)
External resources: How to draw a butterfly