Tiger drawings. That's the subject of this not too difficult (still not very easy) step-by-step tutorial! Although they are quite different, tigers and lions have many feature in common. That's why this drawing lesson is slightly based on the one made for the lion.
The goal is not to duplicate the cartoon character and just change a few things, but it's nice to know that both characters are created with a similar style and design. That's a good tip if you need to create many cartoon characters for a particular series.
First, you need to draw the cartoon character using a simple pencil and piece of paper. Once your sketch is done, convert your illustration into a digital file. Then, simply open your vector software and import the picture.
Create a new layer and add black outlines using the template as a guideline. As you can see on the picture above, I did not follow the template carefully. Sometimes, you can cheat a little bit and change a few things. I decided that the head was not placed properly on my original illustration so I moved it a little. Also, I decided not to draw the whiskers.
Great! Now add a new layer and draw plain shapes behind the outlines. It doesn't really matter if the color is too bright for now. Everything will be modified in the next step. I'm also glad I moved the head previously. Everything looks better now.
Using the gradient tool, add a second tone of color on each shape. The result is good, but it can be even better. Many areas are too bright and shadows are not convincing enough so far.
Let's add more shadows on our tiger drawings. To do so, simply draw more shapes (using orange again, but very darker this time) on areas that are not covered by light. Of course, these new shadows are too dark, so we need to use another tool to proceed with the next step.
Most vector application are able to create some sort of transparency. It can either be through the gradient tool or simply by using a tool made especially for this. Use transparency to partially hide the top part of each shadow created in the previous step.
Now why is the tiger suddenly all white? Because we need to add reflection to complete the tutorial! Once all white shapes are created on the cartoon character, make sure that the edges are not touching the outlines. It's even better if a small space between the two is visible.
Once again, use transparency to partially hide the bottom part of each shape. White areas must be placed near the light source, which is located on top of the tiger (and slightly on the right of the illustration). You can stop here or add one last effect for a more enjoyable result ...
If you've been following this series carefully, you know that I like to change the color of the outlines to give more personality to my cartoon characters. Somehow I feel like the drawing looks more polished with colored outlines. Good job!
Feel free to create more tiger drawings until you are 100% comfortable with this character. :)