Let's create a simple illustration of a mouse and then let me show you how to create various strokes and outlines for this adorable cartoon animal. I love drawing mice. These animals are visually amazing and are offering simple challenges that are fun to deal with. Chances are that you probably already had the opportunity to sketch this cute animal.
Before proceeding with this lesson, let's take a look at the illustration above to learn a little bit more about this character. Drawing a rat instead of a mouse is something that can happen to all of us. Let's prevent that from happening! ;)
Good! Now that we are more familiar with this illustration of a mouse, let's proceed to the tutorial using a few basic shapes and several amazing curved lines.
It's always a good idea to draw basic shapes to end up with accurate proportions right from the start. First, sketch a large circle to form the head. Add a large oval shape below the first one to represent the cheeks. Large circles are used to illustrate the ears. The body is made from two more circles while the arms and hands are created from long and thin rectangles.
Using mostly long and short curved lines, you can now create our illustration of a mouse while following all shapes created earlier. Pay attention to areas like the ears, the chin, the cheeks, the hands, the feet and the bottom of the body. Once you are done, you can erase all basic shapes created in the first step.
Both feet are made from broken lines (or like three triangles placed side-by-side). Legs are not visible since they are probably hidden behind the fur of the cartoon mouse.
You can also sketch the tail of the character using long curved lines. Make sure the tail is large, but narrower and sharper near the end.
You can now draw the eyes using large circular shapes. Pupils are made from smaller circles (or simply large dots). Then, you can draw the nose using a triangle as a guideline and sketch the mouth and teeth using multiple straight lines. Notice the large distance separating the eyes and the nose of the mouse.
Inside the ears, draw a long curved line to create patches. More curved lines are added above the cheeks of the animal. Finally, you can complete this character by drawing a long curved line on t he stomach to create the final patch. That's it! This cartoon animal is now completed!
For this example, our illustration of a mouse is filled with a light grey color. Patches found around the mouth and on the stomach a filled with a brighter version of this same color. The nose is colored in pink while patches located inside the ears as well as the tail are filled with a light pink color. Finally, you can make both feet slightly darker than the body.
We are not done yet! Of course, we spent a few minutes drawing a wonderful mouse like the one found below, but can we make this character even better? Yes we can! In this second part of the tutorial, let me show you how to draw various strokes and outlines using the same character. You will see that drawing new lines can help you create a whole new character.
The first obvious modification that can be made is adding colors inside these lines. See how the character feels different? Black outlines are fine, but switching to colors can make the difference between a boring character and one that is visually more stimulating.
In this second attempt, strokes are all the same except for their sizes. Indeed, all outlines are now thick and larger. What's the purpose of making all lines bigger? Well, an illustration like this one can be more appropriated for younger children or for images targeting younger people.
Did you noticed that all outlines so far were drawn with pointed ends? Simply watch the previous example with thick strokes to see what I mean. In the version found below, all lines are regular in width. Neither options is better than the other one. It's just a matter of taste!
In this final example, lines are drawn using a sketchy pattern similar to the one created using a basic pencil. Lines are still black, but they feel softer and lighter because of the nature of the stroke. That's a nice alternative if you want to create a character that is closer to reality.
I hope you had fun working with this illustration of a mouse. It's your turn now to experiment with various outlines and strokes to create something that will become original and unique. These were just a few basic examples of what can be done, but you can find more possibilities using different patterns, colors, width, textures and sizes. :)