You might wonder what it takes to create cowboy drawings that are interesting and fun to look at. Don't worry, the recipe is quite simple. I'll show you how to illustrate this fun cartoon character using only a few basic tips and the right clothing. You don't need to draw too many details to get it right. Just follow the nine steps below and you'll see that drawing a cowboy can be fun and easy.
First, we need to draw (or sketch) the character. You can either use a pencil or a software to achieve your goal. I like to start with the eyes and the head of the cowboy. Then, you can sketch the hat, the ears and the body.
Simply use triangles to illustrate the arms and a small rectangle to create the legs.
Then, you can continue working on your illustration by adding details like the pupils, the nose, the mouth and the moustache. You can also draw a large stripe on the hat, a little bit of hair on both sides of the head and the hands.
Finally, draw the feet, the belt and the gun attached to it. Now that the character is drawn, let's add some colors.
Since you probably used a single layer to draw the outlines, create a new layer that will be used to draw the plain shapes filled with colors.
Then, draw shapes (behind the outlines) and add the appropriated colors. Cowboy drawings are often depicted with brown hats and clothing. Good! The cartoon character looks great, but we can add a few basic shadows and effects to create something visually more attractive.
All modern vector applications are gifted with a tool that can create a second color on a solid shape: the gradient tool.
This is a very simple effect to create, but results are spectacular. Adding a second color (usually the same one, but darker) can give more volume to the image. Simply select all shapes one-by-one and add a second color to create shadows. Only the pupils and the feet are left black.
Nice! The illustration is already more interesting. Unfortunately, lighting can also create darker shadows on areas not affected by the light source.
These new shadows must be created manually. Add shapes on the left side of the head, around the eyes, below the moustache and on the hat. In fact, any place that is logically hidden from the light source must be filled with a darker shape. Now the illustration has more volume.
These new shapes could be perfect if cowboy drawings were placed directly under a strong spotlight. Since it's not the case, we need to use a little bit of transparency to make these shapes softer.
Once again, you can find a tool to partially hide the shapes created earlier. Make them as subtle as possible, but still visible enough to keep the effect enjoyable.
Don't worry, we are almost done! The light source is also responsible for bright areas on the cartoon character. Unlike shadows, these areas are usually close to the light source. You can end up with this effect using a simple basic technique.
Duplicate all shapes of the character. Then, change the color to white. You can also scale these shapes to 90% of their original sizes.
Once again, you can use transparency to partially hide these white elements. Make sure that the bright areas are located on top of each shape. Can you see the difference on our cowboy drawings? The illustration seems more alive, more realistic.
Working with both dark and bright areas is the most effective technique to turn a flat character into a genuine one!
One last change you can make is change the outline's colors. Simple select a shape, choose a color slightly darker then the one on it and use it to color the outline.
Repeat this step on all shapes except the pupils and the feet. Good! Don't hesitate to create more cowboy drawings like this one. Practicing is the only key to being successful! Enjoy!