Learning how to draw desert animals is a fun task if you must create a simple cartoon meerkat. These lovely animals are physically quite unique and interesting to sketch.
In this simple drawing lesson, I will show you how to draw a meerkat made from simple lines and filled with great digital effects. The result is a cute illustration filled with depth and volume like the one below.
Are you ready to draw? Great! Let's begin with the outlines. First, you can draw the eye and the pupil using circles. The nose is done using a small oval shape. Another circular shape can be added inside the ear.
As you can see on the image below, this character is mostly made from long curved lines. Other lines are used to illustrate the various bright and dark patches found on the animal's body.
In this second step, you can create additional shapes filled with colors behind the outlines created earlier. These new shapes must be filled with plain colors for now. The pupil must be black and the eye can be white.
The body is filled with a brownish/yellow/orange color. The hands, the feet, the ear and the top of the tail are filled with a darker brown color. The stomach and the area around the mouth are colored with a brighter version of the color found on the body.
In this third step, you can use the gradient fill tool to add shadows on various areas like below the eye, below the arm, on both legs and on the tail. These are not new shapes, just a second color added to the current shapes to create simple effects.
This time, we need to sketch additional shapes to create more shadows on the cartoon meerkat. As you can see below, more darker shapes were added around the eye, below the ear, below the arm, on the back leg and on the tail. All these shapes must be partially transparent to create something softer and more subtle.
Finally, you can create highlights on the character using white shapes that are also partially transparent. These new elements are added on the pupil, the nose, the top of the head, the arm and the leg.
Great work! Learning how to draw desert animals can be a fun challenge once you are familiar with the steps required to create a realistic and colorful animal like this cartoon meerkat. Feel free to try more cartoon animals from the same series and have fun! :)