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How to draw a prrie dog without a reference image in Adobe Illustrator?
I'm teaching myself illustrator and am having trouble drawing a prrie dog. The problem is I don't know how to draw animals without any reference images. I don't know the names of the body parts, so I'm totally lost.
Is there any tips or tricks that can help me? I looked up some websites for reference, but they were completely unintelligible and very complicated for my current level of skill.
The first thing you will want to do is draw some general guidelines for what the animal looks like.
For instance, take a look at these images:
Notice the eyes are in the right place and there is a nose there.
Then when you sketch the head, start with the eyes. The other stuff (ears, mouth) will follow.
You can sketch the head like this:
or the ears like this:
You will have to keep going until the head and ears are finished. The head can be pretty detled, while the ears will be much simpler.
Some examples are here, here and here.
The body is usually much simpler, while the head may have a slightly more complex shape (the tl should also be added after the ears).
Once you have a rough outline, the next step is to start filling the lines with some color. Notice how the nose and mouth are different colors, and the eyes are similar, but not quite the same color. The nose and mouth can be a lot more complex and detled, while the eyes can be simple.
Once you have some basic color done, start sketching some detls. Notice how some lines are still visible (i.e. the ears).
Once the detls are done, you can start building up some shading (notice how the color is changing from light to dark). You can also change the thickness of the lines, which gives some more variety.
You can also use lighten and darker colors to create contrast.
The color can be a lot more complex, depending on the complexity of the character you are drawing. Here are some examples.
You will have to keep going until you are happy with the overall look. Notice how each individual part should have a unique look, but the overall character should have a cohesive look.
Notice how the nose and mouth are more complex than the eyes.
At this point you will have to decide which part of the drawing you are going to use. There is no right or wrong way of making this decision, so it depends on the character you are drawing.
You can also do more or less complex character designs, where some parts of the character are more complex and detled than others. Some parts are almost as simple as a single line (like the ears), while some parts are even more detled (the hr, the eyes).
The important thing to remember is that every part of the character should be uniquely different and have its own unique look. The more detled the parts are, the more unique they should be.
You can make a character like this from scratch using no pre-made or predefined images, but firstly I have some questions:
What are you trying to express?
Is it a cartoon or realistic figure?
Are you trying to create a human being?
A little note, I have done some experiments with this method to create a simple character. (I do not suggest that you use this as an actual character, but just as a demonstration of how I would draw a character from scratch.)
The first and most important question is: What are you trying to
express? And as you may have guessed I am not sure of the answer,
because I am not sure I am trying to express anything. So I would
suggest to consider to yourself:
How much detl are you trying to achieve?
Are you trying to draw a human being?
Are you trying to draw something more like a
Are you trying to draw something more like a comic or a fantasy
Then my second question:
What is your goal?
Do you want to make it as expressive as possible?
Or more like, would you like to have fun with the character you draw and
make it looks cute?
Do you want to draw something with realistic expressions or
something more like a human?
As I am not sure what you want to create (or express) I
would like to focus a little bit more on the actual character
design. But before I can help you you should try to make a
character yourself and really understand it.
Then there is the answer to your question about how to make a character
from scratch with no pre-made images. In my tests I used 2 methods.
Creating a 2D model.
Creating a 3D model and make some
adjustments to the 2D model in Sketchup.
The only way I found to draw a
3D model is to use sketchup. It is a very good free 3D modeling
tool. You can use it for free if you are a student, an artist or
an architect. But you also have to pay if you want to use it on a
For the 2nd way:
You should start with a 2D model that shows the general idea.
And now that you have the idea, you should go to the sketchup
modeling tool and start to create a 3D model. You should only do
some simple adjustments to the 2D model. (You could do this by
freehand, by creating a template in sketchup to make the
modifications easier, or you could use a reference. In the last
case, make sure you have good references. And you should always use
When you are done with the adjustments, you should have a very good
understanding of your character from a mechanical point of view.
Now you could create another 2D model that looks good and fits the
first 2D model that you created. I would suggest to make use of
sketchup tools to make it look a bit more professional.
Now you have a 2D and 3D model that you can add to a game