Giraffe Drawing (Sketching + Vector)

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No need to follow a long tutorial to draw a giraffe drawing. Just draw a long neck! Of all animals I have drawn over the years for this site, the giraffe is without a doubt the most challenging one. 

With its long neck and thin legs, it is quite important to keep proportions accurate and use colors wisely. If you have trouble drawing this cute animal, maybe you should begin with an easier tutorial. But if you want to go a little bit further, than enjoy this drawing lesson! :)

Step 1

Giraffe drawing

Start working on your character by creating a simple sketch. I like to keep a cartoonish look, so the head is obviously bigger than it should be.

Step 2

Giraffe drawing

Once you sketch is done, it's time to convert your illustration into a digital file. You can take a picture of it (not recommended), scan it or keep it as a template and draw your digital version with no guidelines.

Step 3

Giraffe drawing

Next, create new basic shapes and apply plain colors. I like to create the outlines and the solid shapes separately so that I can insert shadows and reflections between these layers for a more polished result. 

Step 4

Giraffe drawing

Grab your gradient tool (all vector applications have one) and create shadows on plain shapes created previously. These shadows are subtle and very simple.

Step 5

Giraffe drawing

To create stronger shadows, we need to add new shapes. Like you can see above, I have created more shapes on the head, the neck, the legs and the body and color these new shapes with a dark tone of brown. Don't add shapes in irrelevant places. Everything must be logical and realistic.

Step 6

Giraffe drawing

Once you are finished, select the transparency tool and partially hide the shapes created in the previous step. For a better result, you must hide the top part of each shape.

Step 7

Giraffe drawing

Now that shadows are done, let's create reflections. To do so, you will need to create new white shapes on areas that are fully exposed to the light source. The two pink shapes are colored like that to make them easier to read. They must be white too.

Step 8

Giraffe drawing

Repeat the same technique using the transparency tool, only this time you must hide the bottom part of each shape. 

Step 9

Giraffe drawing

Finally, to make your giraffe drawing even more interesting, you can modify the color of the outlines and use a darker tone of brown. The difference may be subtle, but the result is definitely more professional. Enjoy! :)

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