Drawing a cartoon football might seem like an easy thing to achieve. After all, you just need to sketch a large oval shape and add some details to reach your goal. Right? Not exactly. If you want to create a realistic object, you need to go a little bit further in your drawing process. Adding shadows and gradients is a first step that you can try.
No doubt that football is the most popular sport in North America. And the Superbowl is probably the biggest event of the year. Ads can easily be sold for millions of dollars. So why not pay a tribute to all athletes practicing this sport by drawing a nice football using this six steps drawing lesson now. :)
The first step is the easiest one. Simply sketch a large oval shape to represent the silhouette of the object. However, just make sure to sketch this shape using the perfect thickness. We don't want a ball that is too thin nor too thick. It's important to keep a nice balance between both options. Study the shape below carefully is you need more help for proportions.
Now that the silhouette is drawn, you can sketch a long horizontal line in the middle of the football. This line can be slightly curved to give some depth to the subject. Once this new line is created, you can also draw two stripes (one on each side). You can see these new additions below (with a temporary red outline).
On top of the cartoon football, you can draw a long horizontal shape also made from curved lines. This new element must be thin and located between both stripes. Next, simply draw a few stitches on the new shape. Stitches are made from thick curved lines. Eight stitches were created for this lesson.
These stitches are important when holding a football. A specific technique is needed to hold and throw the ball accurately using these simple stitches. That's why it's important to draw this part of the football with caution.
It can also be a good idea to polish the silhouette of the object to make both ends slightly narrower. As you can see below, both ends of the football (aligned with the horizontal line) are now more precise and made from small bumps. This shape is definitely more accurate than the simple oval shape drawn earlier. Great work! We are now done drawing our subject. It's time to add colors and effects to our illustration.
Inside the object, you can add plain colors (mostly a bright brown color). Don't use a color that is too bright nor too dark. Adding shadows in the next step can modify a little bit the brightness of the object. Also, please note that all strokes and outlines located around the stitches and the stripes were removed in this step. Only the white color is visible. You don't necessarily need to remove these lines, but doing so will improve the level of realism of your work.
We are now moving on with the fun stuff. First, you can create subtle shadows below all stitches and the horizontal stripe in the middle of the object. These shadows are darker and also partially transparent to create a more realistic effect.
Once you are done working with shadows, you can use gradients to create more volume. As you can see below, the bottom part of the cartoon football is now darker than the top. The same effect was applied inside both white stripes. Indeed, the bottom is gray while the top is white. This lesson is now completed!
If you need more help creating this object, then you can look at the picture below. This one contains all six steps needed to sketch and draw this football accurately. Once you are familiar with all steps, don't hesitate to create more fun balls using these tips. You can change the angle of the object, add textures or even play with colors.
Congratulations! You've just created a cool football. I hope you had fun drawing this object and don't forget to practice as often as possible. More fun illustrations related to sports can be found below. Each of these tutorials is filled with various challenges that can help you learn to draw a wide variety of subjects. Enjoy! :)
External resources: How to draw a Football