In this tutorial, you will learn how to draw a yak cartoon character using an adorable template mostly made from curved lines and filled with basic effects like shadows and highlights. Using a vector application, you will have the opportunity to turn a basic sketch into a beautiful 2D illustration that looks appealing and realistic (for a cartoon character that is ...). Ready to work on this fun picture? Great! Let's start this fun tutorial now!
Before proceeding with the step-by-step version of this tutorial, you can try to draw this fun cartoon yak using the simple video found below. It should help you get more familiar with the character before learning how to add effects like shadows and highlights to it.
The written version of this lesson starts with the creation of the body of the yak using long curved lines. In fact, two outlines are needed for the back and the top of the body. The bottom of the character is done using several small curved lines. Fur can be seen on top of the head. Two long horns are added (made from sharp pointed lines) and the area around the mouth is created using a round shape.
Inside the head of this yak cartoon animal, let's draw the eyes and the pupils using perfect circles. The nose is made from broken lines and the mouth is represented by a simple (and short) curved line. The tail is done using one long curved line and several smaller ones on the bottom. All four legs and hooves are also made using short pointed lines. That's it for creating the character. Let's add colors!
Needless to say that this adorable animal is mostly filled with bright and dark brown colors. The horns and the area around the mouth are filled with a light brown color. The body is slightly darker while the legs and the hooves are almost black. I usually like to change the color of all strokes and lines, but since the animal will be pretty dark, I prefer to keep all lines black for this one.
Adding two colors inside the same shape is a great technique to create more depth and volume. In this case, all shapes from this illustration are darker on the bottom and brighter on top. See how the fur on top of the head is now more visible and how horns are visually more interesting. Only the legs and hooves are now affected by this new addition.
To create a more realistic yak, it can be a good idea to draw a few shadows manually. These new shapes can be placed in areas that are usually not affected by the light source. In this case, shadows were added below the left horn, below the fur on top of the head, near the mouth, on both horns, on the back of the animal, on the bottom of the tail and below the chin.
You can see all new shapes below (with a bright blue outline). Of course, this blue line is temporary and it is only used to make these new shapes easier to read.
Shadows are great to create more volume inside an illustration, but it's even better when highlights and reflections are also used to make the character more realistic. All these new shapes are bright and filled with a white color. Once again, the blue lines are temporary and will be removed in the next step to show you the final result.
Once all shapes and digital effects are added, you should end up with a gorgeous yak as seen below. Don't hesitate to try new postures, new facial expressions or even try new colors. Also, remember that all tips available in this drawing tutorial can be applied to any cartoon animal or character you can think of. Be creative, practice as often as possible and have fun! :)