Using basic shapes only, let's draw a crab icon that is visually appealing and easy to illustrate. Remember that this lesson is not about creating a funny cartoon character, but rather a simple icon that must represent our crab as simply and effectively as possible.
First, you will learn how to create the character below in just five easy steps. Then, I will show you how to make sure your illustration follows all guidelines to make sure you end up with an icon, not a cartoon animal. :)
First, draw an oval shape to create the head and body of the crab. Make sure the top is narrower and the bottom is flat and large. That's it for step number one!
Inside this single shape created in the previous step, draw some eyes using small circles. Inside these circles, draw some dots as shown below. Finally, sketch a line to form the mouth of the crab.
Next, let's draw some arms using two small rectangular shapes made with round corners near the top of the head. Then, sketch some claws using triangles that are pointed and made from curved lines.
Below the body, draw some legs using long rectangles as shown below. Make sure the second shape is pointed and drawn using curved lines. We are done for the drawing aspect of this lesson. Let's add some colors!
Crabs are usually red when cooked. That's often how these characters are depicted in the wonderful world of cartoons, but it's far from reality. Crabs can be orange, green, white or even blue.
Adding gradient fills, shadows and reflections like shown below can be quite interesting, but this picture is now closer to a cartoon character or even an illustration than a simple icon. Remember that when it comes to icons, simplicity rules! :)
Once again, adding outlines to every single shapes is not necessarily a good idea. The character still looks like a cartoon crab and it's definitely not what we are looking for.
In this case, a single line was added all around the crab. Unlike the previous example, this like still keeps the illustration simple and closer to an icon (rather than a cartoon illustration).
Digital effects are fun, but you must use them carefully. Creating a 3D icon is cool, but is it really relevant and visually necessary? I don't think so ... the best version so far is ....
Yes! The original version is still the most interesting one. When creating a crab icon, simply keep in mind that every single line, shape, color or effect must have a purpose. Icons must be clean and visually appealing. Just keep it simple! Feel free to try more images here. :)