Create a simple cartoon crow that is proud and ready for some action! This simple tutorial is all you need to learn how to create this great bird filled with dark colors and made from simple lines and shapes.
I will show you how to create this character using simple lines and effects that are easier to achieved using a vector application. You can also use a pencil and a piece of paper if you prefer. Both techniques are great and recommended! Ready to draw? Let's start now! :)
First, you can draw the crow using outlines made from pointed ends. Irregular outlines are great to give more life to the illustration. Keeping the same width might look a little bit boring. Only the beak, the eye and the pupils are done using a constant line. Take your time and don't hesitate to study the image below carefully to create a nice illustration of a crow.
Next, you can add some plain colors to the crow using new shapes that are placed behind the outlines created in the first step. The beak can be filled with a light grey color while the body is done using a darker version of this color. The legs are also darker while the pupil must be black and the eye can be white.
If you are using a vector application, then you probably have access to the gradient fill tool (or something similar with a different name). This tool gives you the opportunity to add a second color to any shape and create simple shadows as shown below. For example, you can see that the beak is darker on the bottom and lighter on top. Repeat the same technique on all shapes.
Now that basic shadows were added, you can draw new shapes on the character to create stronger shadows. You can add these new shapes around the eye, above the beak, below the beak, below the wing, on the bottom of the tail and on the legs. You can also play with the opacity of these new shapes for a better result.
Adding shadows is great to give more volume to this illustration, but creating highlights is also a good idea. Draw white shapes on the pupil, the beak, the top of the head and the wing. Then, apply some transparency to make sure that these new shapes are subtle enough to represent how the light source might affect this character.
Below you can see the final illustration. Sure, these effects might look complex at first. With a little bit of practice, sketching and drawing a cartoon crow like this one is an accessible task for anyone.
I hope you had fun working on this image and don't hesitate to try more cartoon tutorials from the same series! Additional birds can also be found below. :)