Drawing a Walrus

Today, we’re going to draw a walrus. I’ll be drawing in Adobe Illustrator with my trusty Wacom tablet.

The first step in drawing something that already exists is collecting reference material.

Check out this chill dude:

Yo. Sup? (animals.nationalgeographic.com)


We also need a full-body walrus to draw from:



Alright, here we go on our walrus adventure. We start with the largest segment, which is usually the body. My animal bodies invariably start off looking like a deformed bean:

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.45.06 AM
Next, add a flipper…
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.46.24 AM
..or two.
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 9.48.57 AM
And he needs a tail.
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.10.21 AM

Now comes the hard part: a head. The head is always the most difficult part because that’s generally where the personality lives.

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.48.29 AM That looks vaguely walrusy. Let’s add a mouth…
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.48.40 AM
And a nose…
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.48.56 AM
And some eyes. Well, one eye. We’ll assume the other one is on the other side of his face.
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.49.06 AM
I’m going to let you in on a little digital artist’s secret: cannibalism. I’m not sure why it’s called cannibalism since we’re not actually eating anything. In any event, graphic design cannibalism means to take bits from your own already-created work and reuse it in other things. It’s actually more like recycling.

Instead of drawing some iconic walrus teeth, I will now cannibalize some previously-drawn gazelle horns.
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.22.24 AM
So, basically, walrus teeth are just upside down gazelle horns. How about that?
Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 10.49.17 AM
And we have a walrus!

We need to add some color to our walrus. I’m not quite sure what color a walrus is supposed to be, so I’m just going to make him gray like the elephant of the sea…

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 11.00.02 AM

I copied my previously-drawn elephant head into the walrus file and eye-droppered him gray. Again, why reinvent the wheel when you can just cannibalize it?

He needs a background color. Blue for water and ice.

walrus.smAnd now to put him up for sale on Redbubble

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 11.36.51 AM

Thanks for reading,