Penguin Drawings (Sketching + Vector)

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Penguin drawings are not as easy to draw as you might think. It's true that the choice of color is limited, but you still need to create an appealing cartoon character! Hopefully this drawing lesson will help you achieve your goal.

I don't remember how many penguins I have drawn over the last five years, but one thing is sure, the answer is ... a lot! Still, I had no trouble coming up with a new design for this tutorial since this cute cartoon character is really inspiring.

Step 1

Penguin drawings

I wanted to sketch a character with a little bit of movement. As you can see, the penguin is not standing straight, but the head and the back of the character are slightly inclined. Of course, you can choose to draw something different if you want to.

Step 2

Penguin drawings

Open your vector software and import the illustration. The next step is to add a wide variety of outlines. Fortunately, this is a very simple character. You should not spend hours adding lines and details on your image.

Step 3

Penguin drawings

I like to create the solid shapes on a different layer. It will be easier to add shadows and reflections on the cartoon character without hiding some portions of the lines later on.

Step 4

Penguin drawings

Your vector software should include a gradient tool. Select it and add a subtle shadow on most solid shapes created in the previous step. Since the penguin is usually black, I prefer to use a darker tone of grey to color the character. It will be easier to add special effects on selected areas.

Step 5

Penguin drawings

Create new shapes over the colored shapes, but below the outlines. These new shapes must be dark and positioned on areas not affected by the light source. 

Step 6

Penguin drawings

Using transparency, you can now hide these shadows a little bit. Since the cartoon character is quite dark, we need to add reflection to enhance the 3D effect that we want to achieve. 

Step 7

Penguin drawings

To do so, simply create a bunch of white shapes on most part of the penguin. As you can see, these elements are not covering the whole illustration. Outlines are still visible. 

Step 8

Penguin drawings

Once again, we need to use transparency otherwise the penguin looks white and covered with snow! Areas close to the (virtual) light source must be slightly brighter. 

Step 9

Penguin drawings

I also like to change the color of the outlines using a lighter tone of color. In this case since penguin drawings are usually very dark, the effect will be even more subtle than usual. That's it! I hope you had fun creating this fun cartoon character and don't hesitate to draw your own character. :)

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