Use your favorite vector application to create a nice dog cartoon filled with nice shadows and great colors! Indeed, I will show you how to create a nice illustration in no time using all the basic tools that you can find in any vector software available today!
The cartoon animal created for this tutorial is basic and not very detailed. Still, it is important to create colorful shadows at the right places to come up with something interesting and fun to look at. Of course, you can also create your own character and apply similar shadows on it if you prefer.
Important note: For each step available below, the first image represents the operation you must perform for this particular step. All changes are surrounded by a red outline.
On the second image, you will have the opportunity to see the result of this particular step.
As you can see on your left, the dog chosen if very simple. Shapes are basics and this character can be drawn in a few minutes only. Let's try to enhance it a little! First, apply some colors on each part of the animal. The back leg might look strange, but it doesn't matter for now.
Once you are finished with the basic colors, it's time to move on with the gradient tool. Select the entire body (including the tail and the front ear) and apply a gradient effect on it. The bottom part of the character should be darker than the top part. You can also select the front leg and apply a gradient effect on it too.
For this third step, create a circular gradient fill inside each eye. The inside of your fill must be white and the outside should be grey. Select the ear on the bottom and add a gradient effect to it. The shape must be darker than the rest of the body.
Work on each eye by adding two circular shapes inside each of them. The first circle must be inside the pupil. The second one will be placed inside the eye of your dog cartoon. These simple shapes are necessary to add a nice reflection effect on your character's eyes.
It's now time to add shadows on the body of your dog. The first one that can be added is the one near the nose. Make sure that this new shape is perfectly aligned with the bottom part of the nose.
I also added a large circle under the left eye to make this one more visible. Notice how the top of this new shape is almost aligned with the top of the eye.
Move on with the addition of a light shadow on the front ear. This new shadow must be fading on the bottom. Another shadow is placed all around the face. Just use a color slightly darker than the color of the skin.
Under the mouth, add another shadow that should also be a little bit darker. Finally, add a long dark shadow on the tail of your dog cartoon.
For this last step, add another shadow on the front ear. However, this one must be darker this time. Create a light shadow for the front leg and another one for the back one. All these new shadows must blend with the color of the skin as shown above. Great! I think we are done by now!
Pretty simple, isn't it?