Learn how to create a fun cartoon bird using this simple drawing tutorial. Made from basic shapes and filled with bright green colors, this cute little bird is relatively easy to illustrate if you are already familiar with a vector application. Of course, this drawing lesson can also be done using a pencil and some paper. Are you ready to sketch? Let's work on this bird now!
Before learning how to add great digital effects on this cartoon character, you can get familiar with this bird using the video lesson found below. Once you are comfortable sketching this cute animal, you can proceed with the written version of this tutorial. :)
First, you need to draw the bird itself using several pointed curved lines as shown in the illustration below. The beak can be made from a long triangular shape while the eyes are made with circles. I also added some on top of the head to create a more interesting cartoon character.
In this step, you can add plain colors to the character. I like to create new shapes behind the outlines to have more flexibility. In this case, the bird in filled with a green color, the pupils are also green and black while the beak and the legs are filled with a simple orange color.
When you are done adding new shapes filled with plain colors, you can select the gradient fill tool (or something similar) to add a second color to each shape. For instance, the beak is filled with a dark orange color on the bottom and a bright orange one on top. Repeat the same technique on all shapes.
Playing with the gradient fill tool can create some nice shadows, but it's also a good idea to draw even more dark elements on the bird to give more depth and volume to the illustration. In this case, you can draw shadows below the eyes, below the beak, on the body and on the legs of the bird.
This is the result so far once all darker shapes are added. The image is great, but we can make it even better by adding highlights on specific areas of the character.
Draw white shapes on the beak, the back of the head, the wing and the pupils of the bird. As you can see below, these shapes don't seem to be as white as they should simply because these new shapes are partially hidden. Indeed, the goal is to create a subtle effect. :)
Nice work! This is the final illustration once all effects are added.
I hope creating this simple bird was a fun experience. Don't hesitate to try as often as needed to end up with the desired result. Practicing is the key. More cute characters can be drawn below. Enjoy! :)
External resources: How to draw birds