Drawing a Crab

I’ll be drawing a crab in Adobe Illustrator CS6 with my trusty Wacom tablet. As usual, when drawing something that already exists, I’m going to need reference material. Here’s a crab.



Actually, now that I look at that picture, I believe that’s the back of a crab. What do they look like from the front?



How on earth am I going to make that cute? By leaving out most of the detail, of course!

Alright. Here we go on our hopeless task of cuteness.

First, our crab needs a body. I drew one half of a body, which is a sort of half of a lumpy ellipse…

Picture 3It doesn’t look like much, does it? This is the meager beginning of our crab, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Now we have a basic crab body to shove appendages onto.

How do exoskeletons work? I have no idea how crabs are put together. As is typically the case when I have no idea what I’m doing, I will now shove the legs behind the body. Let’s just assume there’s some complicated exoskeleton magic going on where the legs meet the body.

Picture 2

I looked it up and they have ten legs, but two of them are claws. Four regular legs on each side for symmetry. Now, to copy/paste/flip half a crab and make him whole.

Picture 3

He’s starting to look a little crabby. What now? Oh, right, those big pincer things. I have one on my shelf. Let’s add a couple of those things. Big, pincer claws coming up.

Picture 4

I suppose, if you want to be technical about it, they should be attached to his body somehow.

Picture 5

I gave him little crab arms with my extensive knowledge of crab anatomy, or as we in the biz like to call it, crabnatomy.

Now, I suppose he needs some sort of face, which means more research.



Is that a face? Crabs of the world, where is your face? I’m just going to assume there’s a mouth and eyes there somewhere, but I’m not sure if they have ears or a nose or other typical face appendages.

I guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Picture 6

Now, that’s a face. He needs a little protection on his eyeballs so they’re not just hanging out in the nothing.

Picture 7

Better. And now for some shading.

Picture 8

And a background. Blue for water.


And now, the final step, putting him up for sale on Redbubble

Picture 9

Have we achieved cute? I think we have.

Thanks for reading,