How to draw a cartoon image of a beaver

Learn how to create an adorable image of a beaver in just a few easy steps using mostly basic shapes, simple lines and a few more complex digital effects (of course, this step being optional). Beavers are easily recognizable with their long and large teeth, impressive tails and short round bodies. These hard-working animals are a treat for artists like us!

Before proceeding with the lesson, why not analyze this character a little more deeply so that you can know what to expect once the tutorial is started! :)

  1. Large and squared teeth are mandatory to draw a believable character.
  2. The nose should be triangular and filled with a dark brown color.
  3. Ears are round, short and filled with a brighter patch.
  4. Some hair can be found on top of the head.
  5. Eyes and pupils are made from large circular shapes.
  6. The tail is long, large and filled with a simple texture made from thin lines.
  7. Head is round and some hair can be seen on the cheeks.
  8. Both feet are long, pointed and also filled with dark shadows.
  9. The chest is brighter and larger.
  10. Both hands are on the chest of the animal. Is he hungry?

Great! Now that we are more familiar with the cartoon beaver that we are about to draw, let's begin this lesson by working on a few basic shapes to create a nice template.

step 1 - Circles, Rectangles and squares

Start by sketching the head using a large oval shape. Both ears are made from small circles as shown below. The body is made from a much larger circle and both feet are represented by medium oval shapes. The arms and hands are created from solid rectangles and the tail is made from a long and wide rectangle. Excellent! We can now proceed with the next step to create this image beaver.

step 2 - let's create this cartoon character now!

Using mostly long and short curved lines, you can now draw the character itself as shown below. Don't forget to add hair on top of the head, near the cheeks and on the elbows. 

The tail must be large and tall while the head and body are round and short. When you are done, you can erase all orange shapes drawn previously.

step 3 - working inside the head

Let's add a fun facial expression to the cartoon character. First, you can draw the eyes and the pupils using circular shapes. Then, you can draw the nose using a large triangle. Finally, you can sketch the mouth using a long curved line and add teeth using small squares. Excellent! This image of a beaver is definitely getting better and better!

step 4 - Lines, textures and patches

In this fourth step, it's time to work on other areas that are usually not as visible as the head. First, draw a few lines inside the tail to create some texture. Then, add small circles inside the ears to form patches. You can also draw a long curved line on the body to create a patch. Short small lines are added on the feet to complete this step.

step 5 - adding colors to bring this cartoon beaver to life!

Cartoon characters need colors, otherwise the whole point of sketching such images is almost useless. In this case, several brown colors are needed. The body is filled with a standard saturated version of this color. The eyes, the nose and the tail can be darker. Both patches found on the chest and inside the ears are brighter. Notice how most strokes are now colored in brown too (except around the eyes and the nose).

step 6 - gradient colors to create more depth

Inside each shape found on this character, you can also use gradient fills to create more volume. This technique is relatively easy to do when using a vector software and results are usually quite interesting. However, we can do a little bit more to enhance this impression of depth and volume on our cute cartoon beaver.

step 7 - adding shadows

In this other step, you can draw additional shapes to create new shadows to increase depth and make this illustration more realistic. You can draw these new shapes inside the nose, the teeth, the head, below the neck, on the arms and the feet. We also need to use transparency to make sure the result is nice, subtle and well-balanced.

step 8 - creating highlights

Dark shapes are perfect to create more volume inside this image beaver, but how about adding highlights to enhance even more this fun cartoon animal? You can draw bright shapes inside the tail, the head, on the patch found inside the chest and inside both feet. Once again, don't forget to use transparency to make sure the result is soft and gentle.

... and this is our cool image of a beaver!

Once all effects are added, our cute cartoon beaver should look like this. Sure, you can go a few steps further by adding more shadows, more highlights, more textures and more colors to end up with a more fascinating character. As usual, you are only limited by your imagination!

Don't forget to practice as often as possible!

You can see below all nine steps required to draw this beautiful cartoon beaver. Feel free to draw more versions using different shapes and colors while using your own style. It's time to be creative! You can also try more animals from the same series here and work on a wide variety of farm animals, wild animals, sea animals and even insects. Enjoy! :)

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