In this complex step-by-step drawing lesson, I will show you how to draw a prisoner drawing featuring a character that doesn't want to be there.
Made from basic shapes, this character is also colored using various techniques to add more volume to the final illustration. Grab your pencil, open your vector application and let's draw a cute prisoner with a nice attitude. :)
First, you can draw the head using a basic square. Simply add a few variations to represent the chin and the jaw. For the body, you can use a long and thin rectangle. The arms are also illustrated with long rectangular shapes. Hands are simply made of basic circles.
Finally, you can illustrate both legs with a square and two tiny triangles to create the feet. Once you are finished, you can move on to the next step for the addition of more details.
You can draw the eyes using circles, but make sure that the top is flat. The goal is to give a "mean" attitude to the prisoner drawing. A small line to represent the beard can also be added. The nose, the mouth and the chin can also be drawn using small thin lines. On the body, you can add a few stripes.
For the stripes located on the arms, it can be a good idea to draw them slightly lower than the ones on the body so that the illustration can remain easier to read.
Time to add some colors! For the skin, simply select a color that fits the most with the result you wish to achieved. The beard needs to be colored with a similar tone, but slightly darker.
The shirt must be black and white as shown on your left. The eyes are colored in white while the pupils are black. Of course, the hands must be colored exactly like the skin color you selected previously for the head. Finally, the pants and the shoes must be colored in black. Once you are done, move on to the next step.
All vector application are able to use gradient tools to create simple color effects. In this case, your goal is to represent darker areas on the prisoner drawing using a second color that is similar (but darker) to the original color selected on the shape.
For example, you can add a grey tone of color to the white color already available. If the darkest color is placed on the bottom of the shirt, then the result should look like a shadow. Repeat this step for all shapes except the pupils and the eyes.
These new shadows created with darker colors are nice, but it's not enough to give all the volume and depth needed to make this illustration as interesting as it should be.
Therefore, you need to create new shapes that are darker and mostly placed on the left side of the character (assuming that the light source is placed on the right side of the cartoon character). You can also add a circular shape under the eyes to give a more dramatic look to your illustration.
Cool! These shapes are nice, but clearly too dark to give the desired effect. It can be effective if you are filming a dramatic movie loaded with suspense and thrills, but our goal is to create a funny cartoon image.
Use transparency to partially hide the top section of all shapes created in the previous step. Your goal should be to end up with smooth shadows like the ones available on the illustration on your left. Repeat the same step for dark shapes under the nose, the chin, the ears, the hands and the arms.
Great! Now that we worked on darker areas, it's time to repeat the same steps, but our goal will be to add lighter shapes to simulate how lighting is working on the body of the prisoner drawing.
Simply duplicate most solid shapes and make sure that the new shapes are white and slightly smaller than the original ones. You can also add two small oval shapes on the pupils. As you can see on your left, all new shapes are placed below the shadows added previously.
Cool! It's now time to work with transparency. These new white shapes are great, but too visible to be effective! Simply select the best tool to work with the opacity of solid objects and partially hide all white shapes.
In this case, you must hide the section of each shape that is further from the light source. The visible area should be different from the visible area added on your darker shadows previously.
One final adjustment that you could make is modify the colors of the outlines. Instead of using the usual black outlines, you can select a tone of color that is similar (but darker) to the one from the selected shape.
It's a good alternative and the result is usually more interesting and professional. That's it! I hope you had fun with this tutorial and don't hesitate to create a prisoner drawing until you are 100% comfortable with this character!
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