Drawing a cartoon pumpkin filled with great effects, scary eyes and a large smile is always a fun experience (whether it's Halloween night or not). In this lesson, you will learn how to sketch a simple pumpkin and how to add fun digital effects like shadows and highlights to end up with a realistic result (for a cartoon illustration, of course). Are you ready to draw? Cool! Let's proceed with the first step now ...
The first thing we need to do is sketch the object using long curved lines. We need to use irregular lines that are pointed on both ends. Notice the particular shape of the eyes, the nose and the mouth. I really like adding only three teeth inside the mouth to create the proper effect and make sure the illustration remains easy to read.
Next, we can draw a few more lines to create bumps, depth and basic textures. Notice how adding a single line inside the eyes, the nose and the mouth can improve the volume of the object. You can draw more lines and textures inside this cartoon pumpkin if you want, but it's definitely not necessary for now.
So far the drawing did not feature any colors and all lines were black. The next thing we can do is color the pumpkin in orange. The stem can be filled with a dark brown color. This new color can also be used inside the eyes, the nose and the mouth. A lighter color is needed to fill in the depth found inside all these parts. Finally, you can change the color of all strokes and outlines and use a dark brown color. It will be visually more appealing than keeping all lines black.
If you are using a vector application, then adding color gradients inside all shapes is an easy task to accomplish. Our goal is to make sure all shapes are darker on the bottom and brighter on top. This single modification is enough to create more volume inside this image, but we can definitely do better.
It's now time to convert this simple cartoon illustration into a more complex and appealing one. To do so, we need to draw more shadows inside the object. Let's begin by sketching shapes inside the eyes and the mouth. Remember that all new shadows must be darker and partially transparent so that we can end up with a subtle and realistic result.
These new shapes can be seen below (with the blue and pink outlines). Use simple logic to place these new shapes in appropriated areas. Shadows are formed in places that are not affected by the light source. Use the same logic inside your drawing. :)
We can also draw shadows inside the main area of the pumpkin as shown in the image below. These new shapes are created on the stem, around the eyes, the nose and the mouth as well as on both sides of the head. Don't forget to play with the opacity of these shapes to enjoy a satisfying result. :)
Adding a few brighter areas is also a good idea if your goal is to create a realistic cartoon illustration. These new shapes must also be transparent (in fact, they should be extremely subtle) and are mostly located on top of the cartoon pumpkin. A few highlights are also drawn around the eyes and the nose to make the object creepier than ever!
Once you look at the final version below, you can see all the details and efforts that were put into the character to create a realistic image. Fortunately, it was an easy task to achieve using all seven basic steps available on this page. You can use all tips learn here to create more appealing objects, characters and animals. The choice is yours! Just be creative and have fun drawing! :)