Sheep Cartoon Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

A sheep cartoon drawing has several meanings attached to it. For one, It could mean that people are easily led. Conversely, if the sheep is black, it means the person unique or an oddity in the group. What do you wish to portray for your cartoon sheep?

The first reference comes from sheep being bunched up in herds. Being the docile livestock animal that prefers to be in flocks, it's easy to see why people are referred to as sheep when everyone follows everyone else!

A 'black sheep' would be related to a recessive trait that caused the animal to be born with black skin and wool. These are often seen as undesirable for farmers. Consequently, it became a term to define someone that is unwanted.

Another popular meaning is the term 'counting sheep.' The action of counting a herd of sheep is used to aid in sleeping. Whatever the reason, this guide will help you draw a cartoon sheep to bring these meanings out through art!

Sketching out the sheep cartoon drawing

The form of the sheep is simple. From the head, upper limbs, and the torso, everything on the body is drawn with simple ovals. This is made possible by the fleece, which hides the true form of the animal.

The major areas that require shapes other than a circle are the lower limbs leading to the hooves, the triangular ears, and the thick neck. The neck is filled in with a large square while the lower limbs are simply curved rectangles.

sheep cartoon drawing step 1 from cgattic.ca

When drawing the eyes, one important thing to note is the pupil shape. Rather than the standard circle, the pupil is a horizontal rectangle. As for the nose, this is filled with a 'V' shape to denote the openings.

Moving on to the body, fleece is covering almost everything except for the lower legs and the head. Draw simple jagged lines around the large circle to emphasize a large fluffy body, tail, and hairpiece on the head.

Cleaning up the sheep cartoon drawing

Working on the sketch is just a prequel to a finished line drawing of the sheep cartoon drawing. The refinement can be redrawn on a separate layer or editing the sketch itself with the airbrush and eraser tool.

The main objective is to develop zones that have smooth lines versus zones that have jagged lines to show the fleece. The transition between these two different types of line is found on the top of the head and underneath the chin as that is where the face is generally exposed the most.

sheep cartoon drawing step 2 from cgattic.ca

This also applies to the area just above the major joints in the legs. Here, we can see a clear separation of the upper limbs being covered in fur while the rest is bare for the lower limbs leading down to the hooves.

For the hooves, there are generally two separations for both the front and hind legs. However, there is also an extra digit, called the dewclaw, which does not make contact with the ground. It can be drawn in to add some extra detail.

Coloring the sheep cartoon drawing

It won't be as interesting if the drawing is left as it is without some color. The simplest way to color the sheep would be to focus on the skin and not worry about the fleece. Yet, leaving it alone isn't ideal either.

Even though the fleece on a sheep is depicted as white in most descriptions, the color that is more representative would be a faded yellow or beige. In coloring the base layer of the sheep cartoon drawing, pick this color along with three others: a very light grey, a dark grey, and a dark brown.sheep cartoon drawing step 3 from cgattic.ca

The dark brown will be used for the eyes, the light grey will be used for the skin, and the dark grey will be used to color in the hooves. Use the wand tool to lasso a large area of the line drawing and then fill in the color of that zone on a separate layer.

Repeat this process as necessary to fill in all the zones with the right colors. Some artists like to do it all on one layer while others prefer to have individual colors assigned to different layers.

Texturing fleece on the sheep cartoon drawing

The advantage of having a color on a separate layer is felt immediately on areas like the eyes. In locking down the layer to preserve the eyeball shape, a gradient can easily be painted in using a soft round brush that does not interfere with the rest of the drawing.

On larger areas like the skin, locking this layer can allow the artist to block in simple muscle tones using a chalk brush. Again, there is no bleeding of color to other parts of the sheep since the grey is on another layer.

sheep cartoon drawing step 4 from cgattic.ca

The fleece is the most complicated part of the sheep where having the faded beige on another layer yields the most benefit. This is because small bursts and strokes are required to create the thick fur.

With so many strokes, it's easy to bleed colors out of the boundaries by accident. Despite all of the advantages, there's a disadvantage of being a slow. Switching between layers can be cumbersome sometimes.

The rule of thumb: only use multiple layers for separate colors if the composition is simple color wise. If there are too many different colors, try to combine it to only a few layers to limit the amount of switching necessary.

The last bit would be to draw in a quick rim light to show an outline of the sheep. Use the 'inner glow' layer style for this and fill in the rim light manually on areas that the layer style cannot render properly. All that is left is to fine tune the sheep cartoon drawing brightness and contrast to your liking!