Octopus Cartoon Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

It may look hard at first, but an octopus cartoon drawing is simple to draw. Able to fit in small spaces, an octopus can change its form at will to give artists a lot of flexibility on shape. On top of that, the ability to create multiple colors with its skin for camouflage means there's no shortage of colors or patterns to use.

Although not the prettiest animal to draw in from a realism standpoint, it's worth noting that the cartoon style can flip such an awkwardly shaped ocean creature into a cute and lovable caricature. The trick is to emphasize the head and the eyes.

There is still some technical knowledge required like knowing its simple anatomy. However, as long as the man parts, being the large round head and the eight arms, are followed, it's pretty hard to mistake the cartoon octopus for anything else.

Additional details like the suckers found on the tentacles can be a challenge to figure out, but that's an optional feature. Still, the guide here will draw the cartoon octopus that balances between the simplicity of a cartoon with an accurate depiction to cover our bases.

Sketching the octopus cartoon drawing

Starting form the beginning, click on a new layer to initialize the simple gesture sketch. There will be essentially two or three skeleton frames to consider: the frames of the legs, the frame of the suckers, and the overall silhouette.

Begin with drawing a large round circle or oval that will form the head. It doesn't have to be a perfect circle. In fact, even distorted circles are perfectly fine. This will be the frame for the head that will start off the silhouette.

octopus cartoon drawing step 1 from cgattic.ca

The legs are the second frame. Instead of drawing each leg, start with just a rough curve line flowing out of the head area. As each line curves out from the central root of the head, spread it out. Also, make sure there are only eight lights.

The last frame will be the suckers. On the tentacles, draw a small grid outlining the direction of the suckers in proportion to how the arm curves inwards. After that, connect everything with a rough silhouette of the arms and the head.

Cleaning up the octopus cartoon drawing

This next step is very meticulous but is needed to create the stylized cartoon effect. In short, we are going to build an outline using the gesture skeleton. First, start by tracing the contour of the head all the way down the base.

Then, trace the tentacles. The challenge is to divide the tentacles into the top part and the bottom part where the suckers are located. A line will be used to indicate the separation. Just make sure that this line curves naturally along with the tentacles.

octopus cartoon drawing step 2 from cgattic.ca

Depending on the perspective, drawing the suckers can be a bit tricky. Try to imaging two rows of circles. Align it to the small little perspective skeleton in the gesture sketch to indicate direction. Draw two circles on each horizontal line.

Any suckers that aren't directly facing up can be drawn using a series of jagged squares to indicate the general sideway shape. Beyond that, enlarge the eyes to give it that cute appearance while connecting the arms to the rest of the head.

Filling in the octopus cartoon drawing

As mentioned before, there is a lot of freedom with the overall shape of the octopus. If the drawing doesn't look exactly like the example, it's still OK so long as the basic form of a round head and eight arms are followed.

This leads very well into the process of coloring. Again, flexibility in its pattern and color is another strong point of this animal. Interested in having a rainbow of colors? That's 100% possible with this animal! Even a pink tone will work!

octopus cartoon drawing step 3 from cgattic.ca

In setting up the color, just fill in line drawing, on a separate layer, in the shape of the octopus. The only rule of thumb to follow is to arrange colors in manageable layers that work for the artist. Some may like having a color on separate layers while others will put it all on the same layer.

Regardless of the preferences, a series of base colors is essential to finish off the cartoon or for setting up the tone for the next step of further color refinement. When ready to proceed, lock down the layer to begin the process of adding light and shading.

Coloring the octopus cartoon drawing

Even though it's a cartoon, some shading can help make the octopus feel more alive. How much shading required and to what extent is of the color range of shading is up to the artist. There will be two types of brushes that are helpful.

The first brush is the chalk brush. Shading can be done just by blocking in areas where the light is. The main areas are the tentacles. Just by blocking in a lighter color, strong thick arms are created out from the body.

octopus cartoon drawing step 4 from cgattic.ca

For the head, second type of brush is used, which is a very large round brush with. The feathery effect of sing a soft round brush will create a transition of color from dark to light that really brings out the head almost like a balloon.

If there is no pressure sensitivity options turned on, then simple hard colors is another form of shading forms where shadows are only indicated by a darker version of the skin color. These shadowed areas are found in between each arm.

Anyway, when done with shading, create a small rim light surrounding the cartoon octopus. For the most part, the octopus cartoon drawing is done. However, there is an optional step of adding a pattern to it. Photoshop has a unique feature called the 'pattern overlay' layer style.

With it, anyone can add in a pattern to the octopus. The only downside is that it's very uniform and unnatural. Scaling the pattern up can alleviate this a bit, but for the best effect, always manually paint one in, as that way, the artist has full control of the contours of the pattern. This concludes this lesson on how to create an octopus cartoon drawing. I hope you had fun following along!