In this tutorial, you will learn that drawing a bee filled with simple digital effects can easily be done using this step-by-step lesson (or using a cool video tutorial). You will learn how to add basic shapes and long curved lines to create a character that is visually adorable and fun to work with.
Before selecting whether you want to draw this cartoon insect using the written or the video version, let's study this character more carefully.
Excellent! Now that we know a little bit more about this cute bee, it's time to proceed with the lesson on drawing a bee filled with simple digital effects. You can start with the video version below or scroll down a little bit to enjoy the written version!
Below you can see the original sketch used to illustrate this cartoon insect. You can see the posture of the bee (in a stationary mode) as well as the amusing facial expression and the shapes used to draw body parts like the wings, the legs, the head and the body.
Using this basic sketch, the first step for this lesson on drawing a bee is to add strokes and outlines to illustrate the entire character. Notice that all lines have pointed ends (on both sides) which is not the case for closed shapes (like the pupils, the eyes and the tip of the antennas).
A cool cartoon bee should be filled with yellow and black colors. Since we will add some effects inside the character later in this tutorial, we can select a dark grey color for now (instead of black). The wings and the pupils are colored in blue. The eyes and the mouth are simply white.
You can also use a different color for the outlines of the wings, the eyes, the pupils, the tip of the antennas and the arms.
Drawing a bee without color gradients is not recommended if you want to create something visually interesting and closer to reality. Indeed, this simple digital effects can be added almost instantly and results are often quite beautiful. Notice how the bottom of the head is darker than the portion found on top. You can learn more about this effect in the video version found near the top of this page.
Playing with color gradients is cool, but there is nothing like adding subtle shadows to add even more depth and volume to the illustration. In this case, we need to draw all these new shapes manually. You can draw more shadows below the antennas, on the side of the face, below the neck, on the wings, the body and above the arms.
This is how our cute little insect should look like now that these simple shadows are added. This lesson on drawing a bee is not over yet. There is one additional effect that we can add to make this beautiful illustration even more appealing. :)
Darker shapes are cool to create shadows, but how about creating nice reflections made from basic shapes colored in white? Using some transparency (once again, this technique is easier to understand in the video version found near the top of this page) these new elements will bring more depth to the character in just a few minutes.
Want to see how these new highlights are adding volume to the cartoon bee? Take a look below and notice how the wings are brighter, how the face has more reflection on the right and how stripes are shinning on some areas. Another simple technique that can make a huge difference!
I hope you enjoyed this simple lesson on how to draw a cartoon bee. You can see all steps required to illustrate this fun insect below. Don't forget to practice as often as needed. All the techniques learn here can be applied on any other illustration you can think of. Have fun! :)