Looking for tutorials on how to draw cartoon animals made from simple shapes? Good news! You can now learn how to draw all the farm animals, wild animals, insects and sea animals you love using all drawing tutorials available on this page.
All cartoon animals are drawn with large eyes and pupils. If you can draw a circle, then you can draw all facial expressions of these simple designs. The mouth is created using a large curved line. This is the most simple technique you can find! :)
Some characters might be more challenging to illustrate. For example, the wings of the bat are made from pointed oval shapes. They can be done using a mix of two or three basic shapes, but you can also use your creativity to end up with something slightly different. It's up to you!
A few designs are also drawn with a similar posture. Once you can draw the dog, illustrating the cat, the dachshund, the chihuahua, the fox and even the frog should be quite easy. Others like the gorilla and the monkey might look similar at first, but if you look closely you will see that there are a few differences.
It is important to draw all the features of a character without forgetting a single detail. The cheetah and the tiger are quite similar. If you don't draw the patches correctly, the result can be confusing and hard to recognize.
Before taking a look at a few examples, let's take a minute or two to learn more about these cute cartoon animals using a cute pig illustration. All characters in this series are drawn using a specific recipe that I will try to explain below ...
1. Large circular eyes located in the middle of the head
All animals from this collection are drawn with big beautiful eyes made from perfect circles. Pupils are also huge to increase the level of cuteness found in these characters. Notice how eyes are almost touching each other near the middle of the head.
2. The head is made from a circle that is not quite perfect
Indeed, it's hard to tell whether the head is made from a circle that is slightly rectangular or a rectangle that is not quite circular. Once thing is sure, study this shape carefully is you want to create cute animals that are similar to the ones found in these tutorials.
3. A simple addition to add more personality to the drawing
Inside the pupils, feel free to draw two small oval shapes to form reflection. It's a simple step that can give a lot more personality to these cartoon characters.
4. A large body filled with plain colors
The shape of the body is also visually interesting. Just like the head, it's hard to associate this part of the character with a basic shape like a circle or a rectangle. Don't forget that all elements are filled with plain (and saturated) colors.
5. Adding depth using a simple effect
Using a darker color for elements that are located behind the character is a simple tip that you can use to create some depth. This technique is simple and reliable.
6. Sometimes shadows are needed
These illustrations are not filled with shadows, highlights and complex digital effects. However, you might have to draw simple shadows on a few occasions. For instance, the shadow located between the head and the body of this pig is needed to separate both shapes. Otherwise, the illustration would be confusing and hard to read.
This cute cartoon penguin is available as a video tutorial. It's a good opportunity to see how these cute cartoon animals are drawn. You can also have access to more characters and animals (from different sections of my site) on my Youtube channel.
Ready to draw some basic shapes? Excellent! The first animal we can draw is this cute puppy. We can draw cartoon animals using complex lines, or create fun characters just by assembling a few basic shapes. Let's go for the latter! The head is made from a large oval shape and the body from a tiny rectangle.
Eyes, pupils, the nose and even the ears are mostly made from circles and oval shapes. The mouth is drawn using a large curved line and the tail from a tiny triangle. You can clearly see the best tips to draw the most adorable character possible: just draw large eyes, a large head and a tiny body. That's it! :)
The sitting puppy we saw earlier is a pretty common posture in this series. For this example on how to draw cartoon animals, let's work with a turtle drawn in a different position. As you can see in the first step, the head is lower than the body (not much, but still quite lower). Eyes are round and made from huge circles. All four legs are easy to read on both sides of the animal
Of course, it's also important to draw simple and beautiful patches on the shell to make sure that this cartoon turtle remains easily recognizable. Use a bright green color on the skin and a darker one for the shell and the large patches. You can also try to illustrate this turtle from a side view if you are looking for a simple (but still quite rewarding) challenge.
This time, why not work on a basic crab using only circles and triangles? Once again, this is a pretty simple cartoon animal. This is a good example to help you realize that you can draw cartoon animals that are easy to read (and to recognize) only by adding a few basic shapes. Although the creature is not filled with details and textures, this one is definitely loaded with a strong personality.
It's pretty amazing how adding just a few basic shapes can still end up with a result that is unique, enjoyable and visually appealing. Of course, adding a bright red color also helps into turning these solid shapes into a cute cartoon crab.
Don't search for triangles, squares or rectangles here ... only circles are needed! Yes, it is possible to represent a simple insect like a caterpillar by using only a few circular shapes. All you need to add are a few lines to form the mouth, create the legs and sketch the antennas. A slight perspective is even created by playing with the orientation of the body.
Unfortunately, this is probably the exception. You can draw cartoon animals using a few basis shapes, but creating a fun and lovable character with just squares can become problematic (it's feasible, but will it be adorable and appealing? Not always!).
So far we tried a dog that was in a sitting position, a turtle crawling on its chest, a crab with six legs and a caterpillar capable of wearing tons of shoes. This time, let's play with a standard animal walking on its four legs. This horse is slightly more challenging because the shape of the body is pretty irregular. As you can see below, the size of the head is almost the same as the size of the body.
A simple perspective effect is created with the color of all legs. Indeed, the ones in front are brighter while legs located on the back of the animal are darker. If you feel like it, you can also add a few shadows below the head (as shown in the colored version).
I really like to draw cartoon animals that should look terrifying into simple and adorable versions that everyone will love. This is definitely the case with this cartoon shark. All the features you are looking for can be found here ... sharp teeth, a menacing fin and a strong body are all elements that should be scary or at least visually intimidating.
The opposite can also be true. You could turn a cute little bunny into the most terrifying character of all time. That's the beauty of working with cartoon images ... anything can happen! ;)
Some characters like the shark are pretty easy to recognize. They have so many unique features to sketch that even if you miss a couple of them, you can end up with a realistic character (by the way, did you see the gills inside our friendly shark above?). Other animals are not that simple. If you don't draw one particular body part correctly, you are done!
This is the case with the duck. If you don't sketch the perfect beak, then this animal could look like a chicken or a simple unknown bird. Sure, the color and the shape of the feet are also easily recognizable, but since we are working with basic characters, then simple mistakes can be fatal.
We can draw cartoon animals using rectangles, squares and circles ... but triangles? Well, we are not talking about perfect triangles here, but rather curved lines that are assembled like triangles! That's the beauty of working with this adorable hedgehog. Not only is it a simple animal to draw, but you also get the opportunity to try various shapes not found in most characters from this series.
The rest of the lesson is pretty standard. A few oval shapes are needed to form the head, the body, the nose and the eyes. A single line is used to illustrate the mouth of the creature. The back legs are mostly made from curved lines.
So far you have learned how to draw cartoon animals that were fun and easy to sketch. The good news is that even more characters are available for you to enjoy! Indeed, lots of tutorials featuring all the farm animals, wild animals, sea animals and insects you love can be found below.
Don't hesitate to go one step further and draw shadows, highlights or create nice textures inside these illustrations. Another interesting exercise would be to create more animals (not found here) using a similar style. Possibilities are endless!
Here are all animals from this series ...