Learn how to transform a simple black and white illustration of a duck cartoon into a nice and colorful piece of artwork! Of course, you will need to use a vector application to follow this step-by-step drawing lesson. You can do everything with pencils, but it will be more challenging and difficult.
Don't be intimidated by the result. This tutorial is not as tough as it might seem. You just need to use the right tools (and use them properly!). Vector software are very powerful and it is now easier than ever to create superb illustration in no time!
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.
You can also start with the video below to get more familiar with the character first ...
First, you will need to sketch a vector version of the duck using only white outlines. It doesn't really matter if the drawing is not 100% similar to this one. You can use your own style! Then, apply some basic colors on each part of the cartoon animal.
The next step would be to use the gradient tool to apply fill effects on all shapes that are highlighted in red. Make sure that the bottom of each shape is darker since we presume that the source of light is coming from above. Also, notice how the leg on the back is darker than the leg on the front.
For the eyes, apply a circular gradient fill on the eyes. The middle of each shape must be white and the outside grey. Add a few circles on the pupils and the eyes to create some reflections.
It's now time to add some shadows on the head and the beak. Create circles that you will insert behind the eyes. The goal is to make the eyes easier to read.
Duplicate the beak and scale it so that the new shape will be slightly smaller than the original one. Color it with a bright orange tone and add some transparency on the bottom of the shape. Finally, create a shadow that you will place below the beak.
For this step, you will create a shape similar to the one of the head of your duck cartoon character. Color this shape with a bright yellow tone and make it smaller. Also, use transparency on the bottom of the shape. Create a large dark shadow that will enhance the bottom part of the body.
Finally, complete your illustration by adding two bright shadows near the top of the tail and on the head. Remember to always use transparency to blend these shapes with the ones on the back. That's it! Enjoy your new cartoon character! :)