Using basic elements, learn to create a dolphin icon that is visually fun and easy to illustrate. Indeed, this lesson will help you create an icon version of this adorable animal (instead of a cartoon illustration like it's usually the case here! ;)
Dolphins are intelligent animals that are a little bit tricky to draw. They have a long mouth and sharp fins as seen in the illustration below. Let's see how we can sketch this animal in just four easy steps and then I'll show you how to enhance this icon without turning it into a cartoon illustration.
First, let's sketch the head and body of the character. As seen below, you'll need a bunch of curved lines to complete this step properly. You can begin by drawing the mouth area and the top of the head with short lines. The back (on the right) can be made from a long curved line. Finally, circular lines are needed to form the back fin.
Inside the head, draw the eyes using small circles. The pupils are made from even smaller dots. You can also draw a long curved line to represent the mouth of the cartoon character. Great! This dolphin icon already has some personality.
Using small triangles made from curved lines, create a fin on top of the head of the dolphin and two additional ones on each side. Then, draw a large patch on the stomach of the character using more curved lines. That's it for the drawing part of this tutorial! Time to bring this image to life!
Dolphins are often filled with a blue color that is subtle and visually quite relaxing. You can apply a brighter color on the patch found on the stomach and a darker version on all fins as well as inside the pupils.
As you can see below, the dolphin was created without any outlines or strokes. That doesn't mean that we can't add one to make the illustration visually more interesting. Simply make sure that this line is not visible around every single shape, but rather around the character itself.
Adding outlines around all shapes would turn our icon into a cartoon image as you can see in the example below. Only the patch on the stomach is not surrounded with lines. The character looks good, but it's not an icon anymore ...
If you want to make the icon visually more appealing, then you can always create a thick bevel around the illustration as shown below. Our dolphin still looks like an icon, but this version has more personality.
These are all four steps needed to end up with a beautiful dolphin icon. I like this posture because the character feels dynamic and happier. Feel free to try more postures or simply draw another version with more details, textures and various colors. :)