Learning how to draw a python filled with cool effects is not that difficult once you are aware of a few basic tips. In this lesson, I will show you some techniques that can easily be implement in your characters to easily create depth and volume. Of course, using a vector application can simplify the process, but it doesn't mean that you can't achieve these tips manually. Ready? Let's see how we can draw a cute cartoon python in minutes starting with the first step below ...
First, I like to use a few basic shapes to create a template that can help us sketch accurate proportions. In this case, I mostly used a few oval shapes to form the head and body of the creature. Only the area near the mouth is represented by a square. Now that we have something tangible to work with, let's proceed with the next step.
For this lesson, you can use simple straight lines created with pointed ends. We can draw the head, body, the visible eye and a tooth. A simple line is also used to form the nose. Once the main shape of the creature is done, you can erase all gray lines created earlier.
Most snakes are filled with simple or complex patterns on the body. It's important to keep all proportions accurate (patterns near the end of the tail must be smaller) and add some subtle variations using straight or curved lines.
For this example, all patterns are created using short triangles. Inside all triangles, another shorter triangle is added. Notice that a narrow stripe is also added near the bottom of the body. This patch will be filled with a different color within the next step.
It's now time to add plain colors inside this cartoon snake and bring this one to life. The character is filled with a brown / green color (except for stripes that are almost yellow). Patches on the body are darker. For the pupil, you can add a bright yellow color and a red one as shown below.
The easiest technique to add depth inside a drawing is to use gradient colors. All you need to do is add a second color inside each shape to create more volume. See how the patches and the stripes are now darker near the bottom of the illustration?
Drawing additional shadows to increase the level of realism is also a good option. In this case, new dark shapes are added in strategic areas to create more contrast. All these new shapes must be partially transparent so that we can end up with a subtle effect ... not something visually too distracting.
Dark areas are nice, but brighter ones are also great! This time, all new shapes are colored in white and are also partially transparent. See in the picture below how the top of the head seems shiny. You can also add these shapes inside the pupils and on all three stripes.
Congratulations! Below you can see the final result once all digital effects are added. This scary creature from the wild is now completed! Notice how all shadows, gradient fills and highlights are now contributing to adding realism inside this illustration.
Below you can see all eight steps required to come up with a snake like the one displayed in this lesson. I hope you had fun learning how to draw a python. It's now time to draw another version of this amazing creature on your own. Don't hesitate to play with the posture, the patterns, the size and the colors of this character. Have fun drawing and don't forget to practice as often as possible. :)