In this lesson, you will learn how to create an illustration of a puppy. Then, I will show you how to create a few variation of the same character using new colors and patterns. Puppies are adorable animals fun to illustrate. Yes, these are basically just small dogs, but it's not just about shrinking all shapes to end up with a cute character. It's much more than just playing with sizes ...
Using the illustration found above, let me show you a few things you should know about puppies before proceeding with the actual step-by-step lesson. :)
Great! As you can see, there are a few important details you must be aware of before sketching this simple character. Let's begin with the first part of this lesson: creating our illustration of a puppy.
It's a good practice to sketch a few basic shapes in order to help us draw a nice cartoon puppy featuring accurate proportions. First, you can draw a large circle to form the head. Then, you can sketch the ears using small and large rectangles. The body is made from an oval shape while the legs and feet are done using more rectangles. Excellent!
You can now draw the animal using the shapes created previously. Some areas are more challenging to illustrate properly like the head, the ears, the body and the back legs. Remember that we are working on a puppy.
Therefore, don't hesitate to make all shapes large, bold and cute. Once you are done, all orange shapes drawn in step number one can now be erased.
To make this illustration of a puppy even cuter, you can sketch a fun facial expression using mostly circles and curved lines. Create the pupils and the eyes using short circular shapes. The nose is done using a small oval shape. The mouth, the tongue and the patch found on the bottom of the face are all made from curved lines.
On top of the head, sketch two or three lines to represent the hair. A large circle is added around the left eye to create a patch. The tail is made from a triangular shape and some lines are also added inside the feet as seen in the image below. It's now time to add colors!
A bright orange color is added inside the head, the body, the legs, the tail and the ears of the cartoon puppy. The patch around the eye and the nose are colored in brown. The second patch (the one around the mouth) is filled with a color that is slightly brighter than the color used for the body. Of course, the tongue can be red.
These are all five steps needed to illustrate this cartoon puppy properly. It's now time to proceed to the second part of this tutorial: adding new colors and patterns to this character. It's not about making this animal better or visually more appealing! It's just a simple exercise to see that other options are possible when it comes to select colors and create patterns.
In this first (new) version of our illustration of a puppy, the skin of the animal is now blue. It might not be very realistic, but in the wonderful world of cartoons, it's a good option. I removed the patch around the eye to show you how important this one is. Indeed, this character can now be seen as a puppy or a dog. Yes, the patch is extremely important!
For this simple alternative, the skin is now filled with a light brown color. A few oval shapes were drawn on the back of the animal to create a simple pattern. This color is a little bit more realistic and the texture found on the back of the animal is adding something visually different.
The final character is filled with a very dark brown color. More patches were added inside the ears and on the chest. Notice how the patch around the mouth is now larger and higher. These modifications are great, but we need to be careful. It's not the case here, but adding irrelevant patches could be a real problem. Indeed, the dog could look like a skunk or a squirrel if some patches are not added properly.
These are all versions that were drawn for this tutorial. Some are more convincing than others, but all of them are visually fun and adorable. It's now time for you to create even more puppies using different colors, patches, textures and patterns. Enjoy! :)