Learn how to draw a cartoon game controller that looks realistic and mostly made from simple shapes and basic elements. Although this device is purely fictional, it contains most of the features found on a real controller. From the directional pad to the various colored buttons, this object could be functional (although yes, some elements like thumbsticks are not available). Let's see how we can draw this very popular object in just a few steps.
First, you can draw the controller using beautiful shapes made from perfect curved lines, circles and small squares. Don't forget to draw both triggers on top of the picture and create a guide button in the middle of the main area. When you are finished, you can proceed with the next step.
Now that all shapes are drawn, you can add plain colors inside the device as shown below. Both handles are filled with a light grey color. The guide button is white and all four buttons located on the right are filled with various colors. All other buttons are black. You can also make the center of the object darker than both handles.
If you are using a vector application (which is a good idea if you want to apply all these effects more easily), make sure all shapes are filled with color gradients. Basically, your goal is to create shadows on areas like the bottom of the handles or the left sides of all buttons using a darker color.
So far we have created a basic cartoon game controller that looks cool, but could be much better. Adding more shadows (drawn manually) is a good technique to reach a higher level of realism. In this step, you can draw more dark shapes on places that are not affected by the light source. For instance, the bottom of all four buttons on the right can be filled with subtle shadows.
You can see all these new shapes below (surrounded by a temporary pink outline). It's also a good idea to add transparency (or simply play with the opacity of all new shapes) so that we can end up with a very subtle result. Not doing so will result in shadows that are much too dark and distracting.
More shadows can also be drawn around all buttons. These new shapes are needed to create the illusion of depth behind all buttons. Two subtle shadows are also drawn on the handles. Once again, don't forget to play with the opacity of these new shapes!
It's also a good idea to draw additional shapes colored in white to create brighter areas on the object. Most of these new shapes should be brighter on top and almost invisible on the bottom. The goal is to create highlights (or reflections) so that we can increase the level of realism of this illustration.
You can also create large white shapes on the handles and in the middle of the cartoon game controller as shown in the illustration below. Simply make sure that all new elements are slightly smaller than the shapes they are placed into.
Once all shapes are added, you should end up with a result similar to the one found below. Now that all pink outlines are removed, you can see how adding shadows and highlights can improve the illustration quickly and easily. These new shapes are easy to draw, but are quite important to the success of this tutorial.
All these tips can be used to draw more objects that are similar to the cartoon game controller found in this drawing lesson. Of course, you can also try to draw more controllers that are drawn with different shapes, colors and textures.
Just be creative and make sure to use all these tips effectively. Adding too much shadows or highlights is not always a good idea. Enjoy! :)
External resources: How to draw a game controller