Learn how to draw an amusing cartoon cow using this simple step-by-step tutorial accessible to anyone familiar with vector drawing. I will show you how to use simple shapes to create this animal and then add cool effects to create more depth and volume to this simple illustration. You can see the result below.
This lesson is dedicated to people who are already comfortable using a vector application. If you are not using a vector software, then this lesson can also be followed if you are drawing with a pencil or markers. The result should be different, but certainly as interesting as the vector version. :)
Before proceeding to the written version of this tutorial, you can try the video lesson found below. It will help you get familiar with the cartoon character before learning how to add basic special effects to the illustration.
First, let's draw the cow using basic shapes and lines. The body is made from several long curved lines. The head and the mouth area are also made from simple rectangles with round corners. The eyes and pupils are made from circular shapes while the nose is done using oval shapes. Finally, the horns, the ears and the tail are done with small triangles.
Next, you can add plain shapes filled with colors behind the outlines. Keeping the outlines and solid shapes separated is a good idea if you want to add a few special effects later in this tutorial. In this case, the patches are black, the pupils are blue and the mouth is filled with a bright skin color.
In this step, you can add a second color on most shapes to create a few shadows on the cow. For instance, the bottom of the pupils are darker while the top of these shapes are brighter. This is the first step to give more volume to the animal. Repeat the same technique on all solid shapes.
In this fourth step, you can draw new elements to create darker areas. These new shapes must be slightly darker and transparent to create a subtle effect. You can draw these new elements on the horns, below the eyes, on the mouth, around the head, on the legs and on the tail.
In this final step, you can create more shapes that are used to create highlights. Dark areas like the pupils, the patches and the mouth can be filled with solid white shapes that are almost transparent. Once again, the goal is to create a subtle effect.
This is the result once all effects are applied to this cartoon cow. As you can see, most of these effects are quite easy to achieved. In fact, you can use these techniques on any other character or illustration to create something visually appealing. Enjoy! :)