Spider Cartoon Drawing in 4 Steps With Photoshop

There's no wrong way to draw a spider cartoon drawing. Even the simplest form of having eight legs followed by two circles is enough for a cartoon spider to take shape. This guide will go a little bit beyond that and look at cartooning all the major features of a spider.

From black widows, wandering spiders, camel spider, daddy long-legs, funnel-web spiders, garden spiders, tarantulas, and wolf spiders, these are just the tip of iceberg from 40,000 possible types around the world.

Yet, these arachnids are easy to recognize. It goes without saying that as long as the right characteristics are drawn, there's no limit to how a spider can look in any drawing. It can be as cute, serious, or as spooky as the artists wants.

The spider cartoon drawing in this guide will focus on drawing a tarantula. This specie challenges the artist to look at the individual parts beyond the eight legs. Even then, it's also a cartoon that aims to be fun to draw.

Sketching the spider cartoon drawing

A spider cartoon drawing starts with a rough sketch. The major parts to draw are the eight legs, the feelers, the head, and the abdomen. Start with two circles: one for the head and one for the abdomen. Then, add in a eight squiggles on the first circle only.

Spiders will have two extra feelers at the front that may look like an extra pair of legs. Draw this in as well. When these are done, the only two parts worth sketching in are the eight eyes and the fangs. Depending on perspective, the fangs may not be seen..

spider cartoon drawing step 1 from cgattic.ca

Next, darken and detail these simple shapes together - specifically the legs by adding in segments to show joints. A spider's legs have two major joints followed by five segments. Sometimes, the joints are large enough that it seems like a segment. Be careful of that.

Continuing on, erase some of the excess lines a bit to clearly define the entire shape of the spider. Since it is a cartoon, enlarge the eyes more than normal. How the eight eyes are arranged and scale will be determined by the artist. There is a lot of freedom in cartooning.

Cleaning up the spider cartoon drawing

In case you need to check the seven segments of the legs, it goes from coxa, trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, and tarsus. The only ones to look out for are the trochanter and the patella, as these are near the 'joints' that allow the legs to bend.

That means you can start counting certain segments to know when the legs will start bending. For the feelers, there are only four segments to keep track of. Clean up the legs and feelers on the spider cartoon drawing with this knowledge in mind.

spider cartoon drawing step 2 from cgattic.ca

In most cartoons, large pear-like and round eyes are what gives the character its cute appearance. It may seem awkward seeing how a spider has eight eyes, but it is still possible. The key is to only enlarge two of the eight eyes and make it the primary focus.

All the other eyes are just markings or decorations that can be detailed in as well, or completely ignored altogether depending on how simple the rest of the cartoon is. In the example, since there is a lot of details going into th legs, why not follow it up with having all eight eyes?

Coloring the spider cartoon drawing

The next step will fill in the spider with a neutral background color to get it ready for coloring. Make this simple and put it on another layer. Also make sure the background color layer fits inside the line drawing.

The trick with filling out the cartoon is to take advantage of the areas outside of the line drawing. Use the magic wand to select this outside area. Then, go to Select > Inverse to to change the lasso area back into the spider shape. After that, just go to Edit > Fill.

spider cartoon drawing step 3 from cgattic.ca

Sometimes, the neutral color may not be the right color. When that happens, lock the layer down, select a new color, and then go to Edit > Fill again. Repeat this step until you have the right flat color that's perfect for the spider.

Aside from that, the only other background color would be the eyes in this demonstration. Since there are white areas of the eight eyes, another layer was used to fill it in. When all the flat colors are filled in, then the next step would be to detail it.

Shading the spider cartoon drawing

Coloring the rest of the tarantula will require several steps in that there is a specific order to make things easier. Using the chalk brush, lock the flat layer down and begin blocking in areas of fur following the directions of the legs.

When this is done, change the brush into a soft round brush. Around the joints, there are dark bands that are like small gradients from black to brown. Just use the soft round brush to glaze in the dark bands. Similarly, there is an orange band around one of the segments. Color that in as well.

spider cartoon drawing step 4 from cgattic.ca

The head and the body will also require this level of detail. Again, draw the fur first with the chalk brush, then apply a blackened area for the back followed by an orange color around it using the soft round brush. To blend the colors in better, go to Filter > Blur > Surface Blur.

In order to reflect lighting in the real world, there is usually a small rim light around any object. On a separate layer, draw a white outline just around the legs and bits of the body to show this particular effect.

To bring up the colors on a global scale, use the brightness/contrast adjustment layer in Photoshop. Changing the slider will let one experiment on the level of contrast to bring out. A more manual approach would be to use the dodge and burn tools to directly paint on the colors.

If everything is done, there will be a nice spider cartoon drawing ready to be used as decorations for Halloween, school projects, or any other visual related activities. I hope you enjoyed this guide on drawing a spider cartoon drawing and that the tips are useful for creating your own!