In this section of the site, I will show you how drawing animals from simple shapes and lines can be a fun experience. Two collections are available and each of them is filled with interesting tips and techniques. The first one is filled with characters that are mostly made from the same body and head. These characters are definitely easy to illustrate!
The second collection is slightly different. All animals are drawn using a side view and shapes used to create the various heads and bodies can differ. Both collections are offering fun challenges that can help you improve your drawing abilities. Let's start with the first collection ...
First, you can learn how to draw a cute cartoon pig made from simple curved lines. You can begin this tutorial by drawing the head and the body using curved lines. Eyes are made from small dots. The nose is done using an oval shapes and more small dots. Complete this lesson by adding a mouth, four legs and a cute tiny tail.
Next, we can continue our journey on drawing animals with this adorable cartoon bee. You can start by drawing the head and the body using a similar technique as the one used previously. Wings are made from large oval shapes. Then, you can draw the mouth and antennas using small curved lines. More lines are needed to create the legs and the stripes on the chest of the cartoon bee.
Drawing animals that are visually appealing can be challenging when the subject is ugly or worse, frightening! Fortunately, it's not the case here. The main difference with both previous lessons is the body. Indeed, this one is made from several short curved lines. The nose is also unique since this one is now made from a simple broken line. Draw four nice legs and you are done!
Yes, this is the last character from this collection depicted on this page (although more lessons are available just below the illustration). This cartoon snail is also pretty easy to create. Once again, the body and the head are made using the same a similar pattern. The tail is made from a long triangle and a few lines are added inside the shell.
Did you have fun drawing animals made from simple shapes, lines and colors? Great! Below you can find the complete list available in this collection. All pages below are filled with three of four fun lessons to help you learn a maximum of cartoon animals quickly and easily.
All tutorials created for this second collection are using a similar pattern. Once you are aware of how these cute animals are drawn, then you will be able to sketch more animals not found here using the same tips and techniques. Using a vector application is not mandatory, but it can help! :)
1. Irregular outlines and strokes
As you can see in the example above, the line surrounding the head is wider on top and almost invisible near the top-left of the image. Using lines with pointed ends that don't have the same width in the middle compared to both ends is a good technique to create more dynamic characters.
2. Animals are filled with few details
Our little cartoon turtle is only filled with patches on the shell. You won't find dark shadows, highlights, textures or any other complex digital effects. That's a good example that you don't need to add several details to end up with an illustration that is visually stunning and easily recognizable.
3. Only plain colors are used
One simple tip to create some depth inside an illustration is to use color gradients. It's not the case here. All cartoon animals are filled with solid plain colors. Most colors are bright and saturated. Once again, simplicity rules!
4. Basic shapes and simple lines ... that's all we need!
The head, the shell and the feet are all drawn using basic shapes. Sure, these elements are drawn using round corners, but this simple twist is quite easy to achieve. Lines are also pretty straightforward and you won't find complex irregular lines that are hard to read.
5. Using colors to create a little bit of depth
Both legs drawn behind the character as well as the tiny tail located behind the shell are filled with a dark green color. This simple technique is great to add a little bit of perspective and depth into an illustration. It's really not that complicated, but it's highly effective!
6. Facial features are also pretty basic
Two small oval shapes and a long curved line. That's all we need to represent the face of this cartoon turtle. Drawing animals that are visually appealing can be done with just a few basic elements. You can go one step further and add more facial elements (like a nose or eyebrows) if you want to! :)
Before proceeding with the written versions of these drawing lessons, let's work on a simple cartoon rabbit using the video found below. You can try more videos featuring cartoon characters and animals on my Youtube channel.
Below you can see a few examples featuring a few of these animals that you can try to get started. All lessons can be found on the bottom of this page. First, you can try to illustrate a simple cartoon lion filled with a bright yellow color. Notice how all outlines are also filled with simple colors instead of being black. The mane is definitely a little bit more complex, but just make sure that all curved lines are carefully placed all around the head to end up with a satisfying result.
If you want something slightly more challenging, then this cute cartoon pig is what you are looking for. It's not a complex character to represent, but it's certainly one of the most difficult one to create from this collection.
Just like the previous example, eyes are done using small oval shapes and lines have an irregular width. Notice how legs that are located behind the character are slightly darker. Don't forget to draw a huge nose, a small curly tail and a large mouth.
Another animal that represents a particular challenge is the snake. Drawing animals with four legs is a pretty standard approach and that's why snakes are so interesting to sketch since they don't offer the same concept to work with.
Of course, this version is pretty basic. You can have a lot of fun with the body of a snake if you want to. You can twist the body is various positions and enjoy a wide variety of postures. In this case, the character is shaped like a "U" and filled with small (and dark) patches all over the body.
Another fun animal to illustrate is the owl. This cute cartoon bird is unique in every aspects. Compare to other birds, owls have large eyes, a small pointed beak and eyebrows (or at least that's how it looks like) that are long, thin and pointed. These creatures are also round and gifted with strong wings.
As you can see below, drawing animals using just a few simple shapes can easily be done. This owl is built with just a few rectangles, three triangles and two large oval shapes. Don't forget to draw a basic patch on the chest of the character to complete this lesson!
I hope you had fun drawing animals from this second collection. Don't forget to use simple shapes, plain colors and long curved lines with pointed ends. Be creative and just don't forget to practice as often as possible. That's the key to success!
Here are all tutorials available in this second collection: