Cartoon Bull Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

Whether to represent competitiveness, anger, or danger, a cartoon bull drawing is a popular animal motif found in media used to represent these ideas. This guide is a list of steps for artists looking to make a cartoon bull drawing of their very own.

Bulls have been with humans before history is even recorded and are more than just symbols representing sports team. In some cultures, there are festive related themes such as bull riding, running with the bulls, and bull fighting.

These animals are muscular, strong, and known to be aggressive, whereby they are usually associated with connotations of masculinity and its behaviors. Due to all the muscle mass found everywhere on the animal, it's not an easy animal to draw.

Still, clever use of curves and circles will make it manageable. This is especially true for the limiting style of cartoons. It's all about taking maximizing the few lines given in a cartoon to bring out the right muscle mass and strong stance.

Sketching the cartoon bull drawing

There are many ways to start drawing a cartoon bull. As the size of the head in relation to the body will dictate the proportions, draw the head using a pear shaped oval that matches the proportions that you are aiming for. For example, this guide will have the head to body ratio of 1:1.

For the main torso, a large rectangle will do nicely. To connect it to the head, use a similarly large rectangle. The important part is to emphasis the strong thick neck and the equally thick upper back. The limbs will have most of the thickness on the upper end. Draw large ovals to suggest this.

Cartoon bull drawing step 1 from cgattic.ca

Once these are in place, the face will require two curved horns and ears. Depending on the cartoon style, it can be hard to see the ears. Nevertheless, draw a rough leaf shape just underneath the horns to signify the ears' position.

Continuing on with the sketch, round out the form a bit more and start to highlight the main appendages, the head, the tail, and the belly. Any rough lines made with the initial shapes should be erased. This is to form a cartoon line drawing.

Cleaning up the cartoon bull drawing

The sketch is just there to pave the way for a clean line art. Therefore, create a new layer on top of the sketch and start to trace over it to build clean lines. It is also a chance to introduce better curves to suggest muscles.

In starting with the head, separate the snout from the rest of the long face. Since a bull is known to be aggressive, slant the eyes to make an optional angry look. For the upper part of the head, clean up the curvatures on the horn and ears.

 

Cartoon bull drawing step 2 from cgattic.ca

Moving on to the body, don't just draw a straight back. Use multiple bumps that signify the thick neck connecting to the upper back. The lower body will contain a bump on the front to suggest a powerful chest area.

Use the same method (creating wavy curves to show muscle growth) to clean up the curves of the shoulders on the front limbs and the thighs on the hind legs. Finally, finish the tail with irregular curvature. It can be curved upwards or downwards.

Filling in the cartoon bull drawing

The coloring part of a cartoon bull drawing is relatively easy due to the limited palette found on the animal. Generally speaking, a bull is mostly either dark brown or dark grey. Have this coloring done on a different layer to preserve the line art.

In order to fill it in all at once quickly, go back to the line art and use the magic wand tool found in Photoshop to select the bull's shape. Once the selected area has been set, return back to the new layer and go to Edit > Fill to automatically fill in the bull shape.

Cartoon bull drawing step 3 from cgattic.ca

Smaller areas that will need to be filled are the horns, hooves, the small white area in the eyes, and the snout. Use various flat colors for each of the mentioned areas. When all these colors are filled, lock the layer down.

Using a small brush, start to create a small rim light around the bull to simulate simple light. Think of it as a light outline beside the line art to give it a bit more depth. This method can also be done with the 'inner glow' layer style. However, it is not always accurate.

Coloring the cartoon bull drawing

Even though the flat colors will create a completed cartoon bull drawing, some additional optional textures may also be helpful to create a powerful stance. In other words, this step is an opportunity to block in some muscle tone.

Starting with the head and using a chalk brush with a light brown, detail out the brow region. Within the same area, the nose bridge will have some muscle tones as it connects the eyes to the snout. When that is done, block in the bump in the forehead as it connects to the horns.

Cartoon bull drawing step 4 from cgattic.ca

On the subject of the horns, look for the natural curvature and how light will reflect off a round surface area. Any painting of the surface will require following the horn's natural curvature. Lastly, add in some simple shading for the ears.

Moving towards the body, most of the muscle mass is found on the area linking the limbs to the main torso. Some general knowledge of muscles is an asset. Start with blocking in the shoulders and upper back. Then, move along the back to block in the muscles on the thighs.

When all the muscles are suggested, unify the colors by using a simple gradient. The manual method would be to paint it in using a large soft round brush. However, to quickly fill in a gradient, use the 'gradient overlay' layer style found in Photoshop.

If the latter method is used, set this gradient blend mode to 'soft light' or 'overlay' to further enhance the colors. Photoshop really does make it easy for quick color editing! So with that done, this is one of many different ways to draw a cartoon bull. Try it on your own and see how it will look like!