For a fun project, let's figure out how to draw a pig together. This should be a a straight forward lesson on creating a pig drawing because there are no special textures to worry about since the skin on this animal is very smooth.
Despite being not that cute to look at, a pig is a respectable domesticated animal that has helped humans survived for centuries. Despite its depicted obese nature, they have symbolic relationships in many cultures that are both positive and negative.
For example, the pig is part of the Chinese Zodiac in Chinese astrology that signify certain traits in people that were born in those years.
In terms of drawing, a pig is an animal with very little hair on the body. This translates to an easy sketch and a focus on using a smooth brush to draw in a constant color value. Therefore, it is a good animal to start learning and developing your drawing techniques.
Using just a simple round brush, choose a small brush size and on a new layer, start sketching out the general shape of the pig. It's all about getting the proportions right. If you are having troubles, spend some time looking at pictures of pigs so you can get an idea of the overall form.
Generally though, I would focus on the round body, pointy ears, and cylindrical snout. Using round shapes to form a pig is an exercise in practicing curves. Having said that, it is still a good idea to think about muscles.
Even though there are very little depictions in the way of muscles, the flow points connecting every part of the pig should be considered as you want to imagine the muscles underneath the fat. Doing so will help you create a natural transition of the body features.
Do not worry about cleaning up the gesture sketch just yet. There is an advantage to keeping these rough lines as it will be used to create additional textures in the next step. The trick is saving these lines to be smudged later.
Once you feel that your gesture sketch has all the necessary elements and proportions in place, the next step is to create the actual pig object. An object is a solid colored shape of the animal where you can start adding details on top of.To do that, create a new layer underneath the sketch and fill it with the background color of the pig. I strongly recommend using a brush with 100% as you want to make sure that it is a nice solid color to draw on.
From there, you will lock the layer. In doing so, it prevents you from painting outside of the boundaries. The advantage of this is that you don't have to worry about rogue brush strokes. Next, pick up the chalk brush and then gently block in form of where the shadows will be.
I would suggest blocking in shadow on the underside of the pig. At the same time, switch to a lighter color to block in the form of the limbs. So right now, you should have two layers: the layer containing the gesture sketch on top, and the background layer just underneath it.
Now that you've gone this far, the next step is to clean up the pig object. First, merge the sketch layer and the base color layer together. Then, with the eraser tool, clean up the outlines of the pig object. You may want to toggle between the brush tool and the eraser to clean up the outline.
Next, lock the layer once more and begin smudging in some details. I suggest the chalk brush shape to smudge the gesture lines to create simple muscles and skin. This is why it's not necessary to clean up the initial gesture sketch.
Once the smudging is complete, switch back to the paint brush to work on the facial details and the limbs. It's quite easy: the smaller your chalk brush is, the better details you can create. You can just dab in lighter areas to give an impression of joints and basic lighting.
After this, you will be ready for the final step of applying smooth shading on your pig object. For the next step, lock your pig object as it's important that all brush strokes are kept in the confines of the pig instead of spreading the brush strokes everywhere.
Creating shading will depend on what software you are using to draw the animal. If you're using Photoshop and you want to not harm the layer underneath, create a new layer to paint in the light and shadows and turn it into a clipping mask.
A clipping mask is a layer that is placed on top of the pig object but will confine it to the shape of the pig object layer underneath.
If you don't have Photoshop, then just duplicate the layer, make the necessary shading adjustments, adjust the transparency, and merge it back to the pig layer if you like. Otherwise, it is OK to keep these layer separate in case you want to make any future changes.
Of course, you can even draw right on the pig object if you're confident that you don't need to correct it anymore. There are plenty of options available.
Anyway, for the light source, pick a large round brush and glaze sections of light on top of the pig and shadows below the pig using one of the many techniques listed. Also, create a cast shadow underneath to suggest a simple ground for the pig to stand on.
I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial on how to draw a pig. As you can see, It is quite easy and fun just using the most basic tools available to you.
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