How To Draw a Cartoon Portrait of Your Pet In Procreate | Allyson Johnson | Skillshare

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How To Draw a Cartoon Portrait of Your Pet In Procreate

teacher avatar Allyson Johnson, Illustration Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

6 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Sketching the portrait part 1

    • 3. Sketching the portrait part 2

    • 4. Drawing the portrait

    • 5. Coloring in the portrait

    • 6. Outro

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About This Class

Have you always wanted to learn how to create a cartoon version of your pet? If so, then this class is for you!

In this class we will cover:

1. Sketching the portrait

2. Drawing the line art for the portrait

3. Adding in color for the portrait

This is the same 3 step process I follow for every single portrait I create. It's a fun way to get creative while also creating a super cute portrait of your pet (or your friends pets! Pet portraits make for perfect gifts.)

Here's what you'll need for this class:

You will need an iPad, the Apple Pencil and the Procreate app.

I hope you enjoy this class and I hope you have fun creating portrait after portrait. They really are super fun to create!

- Allyson

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Allyson Johnson

Illustration Artist


Hi! I'm Allyson Johnson, and I'm a digital illustration artist with a heart for creating fun and whimsical artwork designed to help make life happier. Though I've always loved art from a young age, I have been working full time as an artist for 10+ years now. It's a super fun journey!

Over the years, I have sold my artwork on various products ranging from apparel to home decor on Society6 + DENYdesigns, but my most recent passion over the years has been my printable art and pet portrait brand, Shop Happies.

In addition to Shop Happies, I started building a graphic illustrations shop on Etsy in 2020, selling my work as clipart for other creatives to use in their own projects.

I hope you enjoy the classes here and are able to get your creative j... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi everyone. I'm Alison Johnson and I'm an artist and an Illustrator. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to create a cartoon pet portrait using Procreate on the iPad Pro. This class is perfect for you if you love to draw animals. Whether you want to learn how to create a portrait for yourself or for a friend. This is a great way to flex your creative muscles and to create something new. This class has a three-step process and is perfect for all skill levels. We will go through sketching, linework, and coloring the portrait together. I'm so excited you are here and I hope you have fun with this class. I will see you in the first section. 2. Sketching the portrait part 1: Okay everyone, welcome to the first section of this pet portrait class. In this class, I am going to teach you how to create a cartoon portrait of your very own pet in procreate with the iPad Pro and the Apple pencil. So in this section we're focusing just on the sketching process. The sketching process. It's an important process. And the fun part about sketching is you don't have to be perfect. You can be as rough with your sketching as you want to be. This is just to get your general idea of how your portrait is going to look like when it's done. So we're going to just dive right in. This is a photo of Gibson. He's my friends, adorable Corey. And I thought he would be perfect to show you guys how I create a portrait core. Gays are one of my favorite dog breeds to draw portraits because they're just so happy. Like Look at him, he's adorable. So we're just going to dive right in. I'm loaded in a photo. I'm working on a 7 thousand by 8 thousand Canvas, but you don't have to work on the canvas that big. I just do that for printing quality. But you you can work smaller if you need to. So we have his photo on his own layer. And what we're gonna do is we want to tap the layer and we're going to turn the opacity down a little bit to whatever looks best because we're going to use this photo as the reference for the portrait and the sketch. So I think that looks good. And then we're going to add a new layer. This will be our sketching layer. And I'm using the 6 B pencil brush in the brush library. This is preloaded with procreate, so you should be able to find it. I've always used the 6 B pencil. I don't know why. I just have always been drawn to this one in particular for sketching. It just works so well. So I just, I've kept using it. I haven't even used these other ones. So this is what we're going to use, but you can use any sketching brush that you prefer. That this is the one we're going to use today. And we're gonna get started. So when I'm sketching, I like to zoom in on one section at a time. And you might prefer to do it completely zoomed out or zoomed in, whichever's comfortable for you. That's how you're going to create your best piece. Do what works for you. And do what feels good. Because if you're trying to create in a position that's weird or in a way that's too fast or too slow, it might not feel good. Do what feels good for you when working with the iPad and sketching and drawing. So I like to zoom in, so zoom in on the nose area first for your sketch. I always start with a little line down the middle of their nose for their mouth and their nose area. And I'm gonna give him a heart-shaped nose today for his portrait. I like to do that sometimes for my cartoon portraits because it just makes a little more fun and whimsical. So we're just going to rough sketch a heart, just go rocky already kinda has a heart-shaped nose anyway. So I'm just going to roll with it. Just rough sketch. Follow along the photo lines that way. And we're going to add a little line right here. That's why we use the photo as the background here. So you can kind of get the overall shape. But by the end of it isn't, it won't look like the photo is going to look like a cartoon portrait. So that's what makes it so fun. So now we've got the nose drawn. We're going to continue on with the mouth area. So just follow along the lines of the mouth. So we're going to do here with him, a race that way. And I always zoom in, zoom out a lot just to find what feels good when creating. So we're just going to give him this nose shape and you can kinda look at the shadows and where the lines are on the photo. So pick a photo that is clear. It doesn't have to be a perfect photo, but one, just pick one that's clear that you can see lines and details and color for later. And just sketch along those lines. And now we're going to add bottom part of his mouth. And it doesn't have to be exactly lined out when the photo just do what looks good and play around with it. So we're going to take the opacity level up a little sewing see, markings a little better. And we're going to add him. He's got this white on his face. And we'll talk more about markings in the color section later. But for now, I just like to do the lines for the main marking. So we did the white around his nose are going to do this in a minute. But when I create a cartoon portrait, I don't do every single marking on the pet. I just focus on the main ones that. 3. Sketching the portrait part 2: And you can see and that are their main features like this is his main feature, this white and this little shape here it will be shape. So we're going to add that in a second, but just focus on the main markings that are noticeable on the pet, rather than worrying about every detail. And that's the fun part about being it, being a cartoon portrait. It doesn't have to be completely exact. You can have fun with it and make it your own. So now we're going to turn the opacity back down a little on the photo layer. And it looks good. So now we're going to add the eyes for my portraits. I always do these ovals. Like half ovals. You more like a U-shape, not oval, U-shape, upside down U-shape for the eyes. And we're going to copy this one with the selection tool. Select it, hit Copy, and then Paste, and then do flip horizontal and move it to the other side. That way you don't want to draw one. Just move it where it looks good to you. And then that's on its own layer now. So we'll merge that with the rest of the sketch layer. And there we go. So now we're going to continue on sketching with ear over here. So just follow along the lines of your photo and Just have fun with it. We erase something by accident. Sometimes that happens on here, but that's okay. And then he's got some for right here. So look for like shadow and for lines that you can add lines when your sketch. And then we'll add line work later for the portrait. We're going to continue on its face right here and his neck. He's got this marking here. And we're just going to connect that there. And we're not going to worry about the back side of this photo here. We're just gonna do the front part. So we're going to continue on here. Make it a little fluffy, will add the linework layer to make that more detail. But this is just to give you an idea. And some Berliners will end later. So now we're gonna go here. So just turn your Canvas around, whatever is comfortable. So you can sketch well and have fun with it. Follow along the photo and it will not look like your photo when you're done. It's going to look like a cartoon portrait. This is the best way to get the pets markings and facial features a little bit. And then we'll make it personal by adding a color to him with a name tag. So you can see, Understand very rough sketching, just following along the lines. Doing what feels good here. And your shape. Later, we'll make that more exact. That side. I'll show you just kinda like I did with the eyes here. When we did the line work later. We'll copy the ear here and then move it over the, in the inner ear here. But that will be in the next section. I gotta focus on this one thing at a time. So we're going to say double-tap erases, triple brings it back. So maybe you accidentally erase something, just do that and then bring it right back. So just following along the lines here. It's markings. This section. I'm not liking something about this. I think it's this side. We need to do suddenly just going to erase. And we don't like something under sketch, just erase it and do it again. Make a little fluffy. He's got a little fluff to him. And then turn her photo oftentimes. So you can see what your sketch is turning out to be. To this. I'm not liking here. So we're going to, we're going to select it and then move it out of the canvas and add some fluff to him. And that looks okay. Well, I'll just make this a little fluffier too. There we go. I like that better. I'll turn this back on. And we're going to get this color here. He's got some dark here to get this little circle and the V-shape. Let's follow along member. It doesn't have to be exact because this is going to be a, a cartoon portrait. So let's see. That looks good. I like that. And now we're going to add a thermometer in his boat off again at a new layer. We're going to draw a sketch of a collar because we're going to add a color to him later. Just rough sketches but make the lines until it looks good to you. And then on the layer and the sketch we've already done, we're going to erase these lines. So you can see how the color would look on top of that. And I like that except I want to move this in a little soma selected and just move it in. This is a rough sketch, so I'm not worried about it looking perfect right now. So now we're going to end the name tag. We'll same color layer. Let's do an oval shape and then a circle. Here. This is a rough sketch. Just to remind us later, to add his name tag. We can't forget the name tag. So we have our sketch. And as you can see, photo was very helpful of getting the general line work and where his markings are and where the eyes are placed and ear shape. Basically everything. We're going to continue on and do the line work next in the next section. So we're going to turn this off. But this was the first section of sketching and this will be our base for our cartoon and Kogi portrait today. So in the next section we're going to do the line work. So I will see you over there. 4. Drawing the portrait: Okay everyone, This is the second section of this class. And in this section we're going to be doing the line work for the portrait. So we have our sketch done and ready to go. It's on its own layer. We're keeping the photo layer here, but we're keeping it turned off for this. So we're going to make a new layer for our line work. And on the sketch layer, turn the opacity down just so you can see the lines, but you don't want to be dark because we're scared. We're going to be drawing with black, black color today. So I'll just turn it down. We have our color selected. And this is a brush, is a basic line brush I have made and I have it for you in the resources section here on Skillshare, available for free for you to download and use for this project. So it's just a basic line brush. Perfect for this project we're doing. So we're going to start at the nose area, again, just like with the sketching process, except this is going to be the clean lines for the final portrait because we're almost done. Yell, We're almost done. So we're going to start here in the middle. And we don't like it just double-tap to erase it. I'm going to zoom in like this here. Start in the middle and the nose line and follow along the mouth area. Go up. And this one we're going to go down and do. We're going to see how that looks. Just fine, what feels good and went like this and we're going to try it this way. You'll try it again. Just keep trying and get it the way you want to look. I like that pretty well. I like that. And then we'll go head and then the mouth. Now like that right there. And then red is cute, heart shaped nose. Do it how it feels good. And it does. Your lines don't have to be exact with your sketching lines. Because sometimes once you start drawing the lines, you're like, you might think, Oh, this looks better than the sketch and that's totally okay. You get this. Here is a little white elite that pretty well when k, So we got his nose and mouth area done and we're going to go to the eyes again. Upside down U shape. And we'll do the same thing that we did in the sketching section and draw the selection tool around it. Copy it, paste, flip horizontal, and put it over here. Just a little simple trick. I use this trick all the time. And then merge that layer together and continue on. And we're going to go up to the ear here. And then we're going to do the same thing I just did with the eyes when the ears. And that's another time saver. So just follow along your sketch. And inner ear details. Loafer. Now we're gonna, we're gonna do the same. Sometimes things happen and I don't know why that happened. We're going to take the selection tool and we're going to do the same thing like we did with the eyes. I'm going to copy it, paste it, or flip it horizontally, and move it over here. Just put it where it looks best to you. I think that'll be okay. And then we're going to merge all of those. Will draw a line to connect. The ears were ahead. And unlike in that pretty well. So now we're gonna continue on over here and go all the way here to this marking line. And I will look like the mat. Let's run it again. Looks good. And now we'll add the line to finish the neck area. I like them. I get a little fluffy login. I like to call that as fluffy. I don't like my portraits to be super perfect because I like it to have that hand-drawn customer feel. But if you want to make sure your lines are completely smooth, go for it. I've done that before as well. And it works both ways. Here. This line. Again, little shorts are going to finish that. And I like that. I like that one. Okay. Continue. Then I'm like an ill. So now we're going to add this detail here. I like to make my lines a little wobbly. I might be weird to do in that, but it just feels like it hasn't hand-drawn feel when I do that. So that's why I like to do it. And a little nose detail. Here we get to end this. There and there's the lines. So now we're going to add the color. We do this on a separate layer because we're going to need to erase on the dog layer. So we're gonna do this here. Turn the sketch layer back on, and start on one side. You just connect it. It's like a circle, half circle kind of motion. And then we're going to go down here and follow and come up like that pretty well. So we're going to erase the dog layer here. So you don't see that in another color. And erase it here. And we'll turn off the sketch. And I'm like in that you'll like it. So now we're going to merge those two. And the only thing, see this line here. I kinda want to continue that up here because it looks like it just stops. So we're going to just eyeball it. Thus the eraser. Okay, so we're going to eyeball it. And just There we go. You can see that marking they're much better. Now. We're going to add the name tag. So I'll just start here at the color of the top. Come down. Like an oval. Left, looks good? Or is that together? And now for the color tag, make your circle shape. And when you get to the end of your circle, hold it. And you can edit the shape and shape it how you want more round or oval and move it around. That way you can have that perfectly around color tag. And then we'll do the same thing for the middle here, for the little circle. Like that as it is. So now we're going to erase this loop here. So it looks like it's going through the tag. And then now we'll merge those. The next layer, you're going to add the pet's name. So we're going to put Gibson's name on here. We're just going to do Gibbs for this one. Nickname. Zooming in definitely helps with lettering. So if you're not big on lettering, super small, just zoom in and it really helps. So we're going to move this over a little, merge that together. And now turn the sketch layer off. And there's the line work. I am super excited with how this is turning out. So now that's when the sketch under it, that's where we started. You can see here that's where we started with a sketch. And now the lines. So the sketching is super important. And now in the next section we're going to add the color and that's the final step. So it's a three-step process of creating a portrait. And now that we've got our lines done, we'll continue on in the next section, creating the color. So I will see you there. 5. Coloring in the portrait: Okay everyone, now that we have our line work done, we are now going to add in color, this is the fun part. The whole process is fun to me, but this is the part where it all comes to life. And you can finally see your design, your custom pet portrait of your own pet. So we have our line work done. And with the photo, I've resized down already. And I just put my reference photo up top so I can pick the color from the photo. And we're going to make a new layer. Drag that under your line work. And on the line work layer, tap it and tap reference. Then go back to your new layer for your color. This is how we're going to do the color fill and zoom in to your photo and tap this little square over here for your color picker. Then we're going do one section at a time. So we're going to start with this face, finding a color that matches. And you might have to play around with the color to get it accurate as you go along. But that is totally okay. So the little circle up here for the color, you're going to drag that one section at a time. And I want to make that a little more lighter. Let's drag that in there. And you see how it's on the it's on its own layer. That way you're not filling in your lines there. You could definitely fill in your lines to be ever want to change something later. This is a good way to do it. That way, your color is on its own layer and then your lines are on its own layer. So I'm going to keep playing with color here to see what works best for Gibson. Now like that pretty well. So now we're gonna go back to the photo. Do the same process again to get the darker part. La top of his head here. Make sure you're on the right layer. Drag it. We're going to lighten this one a little. I like that pretty well. So you're just going to keep repeating this process throughout the portrait and this, I wanted to be a little more free, Mayor. Sorry, just go ahead and pick that color. For the, the white here with a little too creamy. Just fine. Your colors that work best. To keep the shrine. There we go. We'll go with that. I think sometimes you just gotta fill at all indices, just keep filling in. We're going to go with a little wider. There we go. That works. Let's drag your color and zoom in on little areas like this under the color. Just zoom in to color fill. Remember, tag here. Zoom back out. Now for this section here, I'm looking at the photo and we're going to go with this same color because it matches up color fill. So we got that. Now we're going to do is no's. Do the color picker for their noses, for animals noses I go with like a darker gray because if I do all black, like the lines, it turned into a black blob and you lose the detail. So whenever I'm doing animals noses, I usually go with a dark gray. They have a darker news. And I like that pretty well. Maybe a little lighter. There we go. So now for his collar, I think we're going to go with a green that I already have picked out here in my color palette. We're just going to fill it in people, these little spots. Sometimes with portraits, I'll do a freestyle color in process. Instead of filling in, I'll draw around the portrait and it kind of gives it like a watercolor type of feel. I do that a lot, but I do like doing this as well. So that's what we're doing that day. Just keep filling in. Now for the name tag and I see a spot I missed. No, I got that. Sometimes I find spots I miss like Dad color there. I'll get it later. That's why it's beneficial to do it on its own layer. So now for the name tag, and we want it to be like a lightened, minty green to the same thing. And there we go. So now we're going to turn this reference layer off because I want to add some highlights in his ears. So make a new layer and want to pick from the face color. And we're just going to draw here to give it some interest in and do the same thing. Fill it in. And then I'm gonna adjust the opacity for this a little. Adjusts it to however, looks good. And there you have it. Gibson. Your portrait is done. So we're going to merge that together. And we're going to get rid of the photo. And there he is. I am so pleased with how this turned out. And I hope you've enjoyed this class and, um, learn some new tips and tricks and I hope you have fun creating your own portrait, ever your own pet. I would love to see it. So please make sure you share it with me in the project section here on Skillshare. I'm thankful that I've been able to create this class for you and I hope you have fun with it. 6. Outro: Thank you so much for watching this class. I hope you have enjoyed it, and I hope you have fun creating your very own portrait. Following the steps in this class, please share with me your class project, a pet portrait that you created. By following the steps in this class. I would love to see it. I can't wait to see it. And I hope you just have so much fun learning and trying new things in Procreate on the iPad. Pro