Illustrating cute dinosaur drawings can be challenging. The fact that no one ever saw a real dinosaur is not helping! Since our goal is to draw a cute and cartoonish character, no need to study the dinosaur's anatomy for hours! :)
That's the beauty when creating a fictional character! All you need to do is use your imagination and inspiration from the real thing and you are all set to draw!
First, sketch the general shape of the character. The goal of this tutorial is to learn how to achieved cool lighting effects, so the drawing process will be simplified.
Just draw the head, the body and the tail of the dinosaur using a black outline. You can use basic shapes to guide you if needed.
Then, you can add more details on your character like the eyes, the pupils, the mouth and the teeth. You can also sketch the hands and the feet. Now that the cartoon character is completely sketched, create a new layer that will be used to add some colors.
Dinosaur drawings can be filled with many colors. Some dinosaurs were probably orange, brown or even yellow. In this case, I prefer to use a green tone to fill the character. To help you speed up the process, you can also color the hand and the feet on the far side with a darker tone of green.
That's great! Now to create a 3D look, you can start by adding a second color on the body of the dinosaur using the gradient tool.
Of course, since the top of the shape is closer to the light source, this part must be lighter. On the opposite, the bottom of each shape must be colored with a darker tone of green.
You can also add new shadows by drawing new solid shapes. As you can see above, the goal is to make lighting alive and relevant. Portions of the character that are hidden (like the right hand) must be filled with a new solid shape. Make sure that all new shapes are necessary and added to the appropriated areas.
The previous version was nice, but I felt like the dinosaur was in an interrogation room! We need softer shadows, so pick up the tool used to play with the opacity of objects. Then, partially hide the dark shapes drawn earlier to end up with a nice and soft result as seen above.
Darkness is great, but adding brightness on dinosaur drawings is also recommended. Lighting also creates bright areas that give more volume to the illustration we are working on right now.
Draw white shapes on selected areas (the ones that are exposed to lighting). The pink shape must be white to, but was colored in pink just to make sure that you could see it properly.
Once again, use transparency to hide these white shapes. See how lighting is affecting the cartoon character now? We are almost done. We can perform one last change to make the illustration even more interesting.
Select the outline and change the color from black to a dark version of the green color used earlier to fill our dinosaur drawings. That's it! The illustration is now finished! Don't hesitate to use the same recipe on any cartoon characters of yours and have fun! :)