Let me show you how you could draw a cute squirrel drawing using a simple pencil and a vector application! Of all the cartoon characters created for this series, this cute cartoon squirrel is probably the most "cartoonish" animal I have drawn so far.
Squirrels are hard to draw since they can easily be mistaken for other similar small animals (like the beaver). Adding a long tail, two small teeth and large cheeks can help create a realistic squirrel.
Let's move on with the first step that consists of sketching the cartoon animal. Don't hesitate to create a large mouth and big round eyes. A large tail and tiny feet are also recommended.
Now that the drawing part is over, we need to convert the illustration into a digital file so that it can be used in a vector software. Once this is done, you can start your digital journey with the addition of black outlines.
Our character needs more color. Draw solid shapes behind the outlines using a new layer. Parts like the stomach, the mouth, the inside of the ears and the right area of the tail must be filled with a light brown color.
The result so far is great, but somehow a little boring. Adding more shadows could make the illustration more interesting. Select the gradient tool and add basic shadows on most elements of the cartoon squirrel.
Once again, the result is good, but adding stronger shadows can improve the 3D aspect of the character even more. To do so, simply draw new shapes on areas that are slightly hidden behind the light source. See the illustration above if you need to see how these shapes must be positioned.
These new shapes are perfect, but certainly too dark to be effective. Pick up your transparency tool and partially hide the shapes created previously. Shadows must be subtle otherwise the illustration will be hard to read.
Light can create shadows, but it also creates reflection while hitting a surface. To represent this effect, add a new layer in your project and draw white shapes on almost all areas of the squirrel drawing. Make sure that these elements are slightly smaller than the ones below.
Once again, you will need to use the transparency tool to partially hide the shapes created in the previous step. As you can see, the illustration already looks more enjoyable and realistic (not because of the character itself, but because of shadows and lights).
The last thing you can do is modified the color of all outlines. Black lines are fine, but choosing a color closer to the one used in the drawing can create a better effect. Good job! Your illustration is now over and I invite you to try more animals from the same cartoon collection! :)