It’s hard not to love ducks, as they are birds that have a lot of personalities. Because of this, ducks have been featured in films or as cartoon characters for many years, and some of the most iconic characters are based on this bird.
If you love ducks as well, you may have found yourself wondering if there’s a way to learn how to draw a duck, and we’re here to say that you’re in the right place!
In this guide, we will take you through 6 steps on how to create your very own cartoon duck. The drawing we will be working on may look complicated, but we will show you how fun and easy it can be when you break it down.
When you have finished the drawing, we will also cover a few ways that you can color and add to your artwork, allowing you to make your very own unique artworks featuring this character.
So without any further delay, let’s dive in and begin with the first step of the guide to get you started on this drawing journey!
How to Draw A Cartoon Duck – Let’s get Started!
In this first step of the guide, we will focus on the outline for the beak and the eyes of this cartoon duck drawing.
Before you begin, you can prepare the drawing by creating some rough shapes with a light pencil.
Using the final image example as a reference, you can draw two oval shapes connected to each other.
While they don’t have to match the shape of the final head, they should be roughly the same size.
The oval for the head will be a bit flatter, whereas the body will be thinner. It may seem like an unnecessary step to do, but it can be very helpful in keeping the proportions accurate and consistent.
Then, we will draw the outline of the beak, and this can be a bit tricky. Try to follow the reference image closely as you draw, and maybe use a pencil for this at first as well.
The finer details will be added in the following steps, so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like much at this moment. As you will see in the example, it’s shaped a little like a spinning top.
Before we move on, we will add the eyes of the duck as well. These should be fairly easy to draw, as all you need to do is add two ovals to the top outline of the beak.
That’s all there is to it for now, and we can proceed to the second step.
Step 2: Draw the head outline
Next, we will be adding the head outline to your drawing. This will connect to the beak that you drew in the first step, and you will probably find this much easier if you drew a pencil circle first.
First, draw a slightly curved line connecting the lower left side of the beak, as shown in our example. Then, add another similarly slightly curved line on the lower right side, close to but not quite touching the beak itself.
This second line will be a sort of mirror image of the curved line that went on the left side. Next, we will draw a curved line above each eye.
These curved lines will go quite high above the eyes, just under the top outline of the head.
Then, you can draw more curved lines for the sides of the head, each of which will end when they touch the lines drawn above the eyes.
If it sounds a bit confusing, make sure you closely follow the reference image we provided. Finally, we will add two pointy shapes at the top center part of the head for some feathers poking up.
These will be the final details for the head outline, and if you did it right then the only gap should be a small one at the bottom right-hand side of the head.
If you need a break at this point, this would be a good time to take it, as we have a lot to add in the next step. We will guide you through it all, so don’t worry!
Let’s head to that step when you’re ready.
Step 3: Draw the body of your cartoon duck
As mentioned in the previous step, we will be adding quite a lot to your drawing of a cartoon duck in this step. We will break it down into small chunks, so just follow along and you’ll be fine!
We will start by drawing the wings of the duck, although they look a little more like arms in this case.
The top outline of each arm will be drawn as a slightly wavy line, and you could position them differently if you please.
Then, each hand will have three ‘fingers’ and a ‘thumb’ (which are probably technically feathers.) These can be drawn with some simple pointy shapes.
Next, draw a short curved line coming down from the left arm. A longer curved line can come down from the right arm, and this will curve to the left to make the base of the duck’s body.
Using some curved lines, you can then draw the thin legs of the duck coming down. The one on the left will start inside the body outline, and the one on the right will extend down from the base outline.
Finish off each leg with a webbed foot, which can each be drawn using some more curved lines with three rounded toes on each foot. There will then be a gap on the lower left side of the duck.
This gap can be filled with some curved lines that make up the duck’s tail. That was a lot to take on, but the hardest parts are over now!
In the next few steps, we will add some more facial details and final touches to finish up.
Step 4: Now add some more facial details
The fourth step of this guide will focus on adding some facial details for this cartoon duck. Let’s start with the easiest part: the eyes.
First, add a medium-sized oval shape inside of each eye. In our example, we have the eyes looking forward, but they could be looking in different directions if you prefer.
Regardless, once the irises have been drawn we can then draw the pupils. Each pupil will be a black oval inside each iris, but there will be a small rounded section taken out the upper right side, as if someone took a bite out of each pupil.
This will show that there is a spot of light reflected in each eye. The next step will involve drawing the mouth inside of the beak outline.
Start this by drawing a horizontal wavy line across the mid-point of the beak outline. You can then draw two vertical curved lines coming down from that line.
Each one will curve outwards, so that the base is narrower than the top. Fill in the gap at the base of this open mouth with another horizontal curved line.
You can then draw the tongue inside the open mouth by drawing two small curved lines connecting to one another. Then, the interior of the mouth and beak should be complete!
At this point, you can go ahead and erase any pencil lines you drew to plan out the drawing, as you won’t need them anymore.
Step 5: Draw the final details
It’s almost time to have some fun coloring in your artwork, but first we will add some final details. We will show you a few final details you can add, but this is a step where you can also get creative and add your own details and ideas.
For now, we will stick to the reference image and focus on the details we planned out. You can start by coloring the interior of the open mouth black.
This would naturally not include the tongue, which will stay white, at least for now. Then, we added some very small lines and dots to various points of the drawing to add a little more personality.
These are the details that we wanted to add, but now you can add some of your own! There are some simple ways to do this, such as changing the facial expression or pose of the duck, for example.
Now that you have mastered drawing this duck, maybe you could take what you learned and add some duck friends for it to hang out with.
These could be drawn in a similar way to this one, but with a few small differences. If you’re feeling very ambitious, then you could draw cartoon versions of other animals and even add a background.
These are a few ways to personalize the drawing, but there are many others, such as adding a hat or clothing to the duck. What else could you add to the drawing?
Bonus: Add Some Clothing And Props For This Cartoon Duck
We’re about to take on the final step of this guide, where we will add some color to your duck drawing. Before that, we wanted to explore some bonus ideas for how you can customize this drawing.
In cartoon history, there are many famous cartoon ducks that we have enjoyed watching. A famous example would be Donald Duck, who famously wears a sailor suit.
You could dress this cartoon duck in any outfit or clothing that you like! Maybe you want to reference Donald Duck and dress him like a sailor as well.
Or you could go for something unique and cool. For one example, you could make him a spy duck by drawing him in a tuxedo.
Another idea would be to dress the duck up for a day at the beach, with some swim shorts and sunglasses to finish the effect. One of the best ways to decide on a look for the character would be to think of a background setting.
If you can think of a background setting, then the clothing could match the setting. There are so many possibilities for a drawing such as this!
The clothing and background details you add could completely change the mood and feeling of this image, so try to think of something you think is cool.
If you have too many ideas, then you could make several variations of this drawing that explores all of your ideas. You could even change up the posing and add text effects for some extra fun.
As you can see, there is a lot that you can do before you start adding colors. When you do color in your design, it will really finish it off nicely.
Do you have some outfit ideas before we proceed?
Step 6: Now, finish off with some color
It’s always fun to kick back with some coloring fun, and that’s how we will close off this cartoon duck drawing! In our reference image, you will see that we kept things deceptively basic.
We say deceptively, as essentially we kept the colors to yellow, orange, red and blue. That would be yellow for the feathers, red for the tongue, blue for the eyes and then orange for the beak and legs.
While these are the basic colors, we used small variations of each to make the colors look more dynamic.
For instance, adding a really dark shade of yellow at the base of the body creates some shading.
You can play around not only with different colors and highlights, but also the art tools and mediums you use for the colors.
For instance, you could use acrylic paints to achieve similar color tones to the ones we used.
Or, you could go for much brighter colors by using colored markers or pens. These are just a few examples, but you should certainly use any of your favorite art tools in your collection.
You also don’t have to stick to just one art medium, as you could mix a few of your favorites to shake things up and create some interesting color combinations.
Now it’s up to you to have some fun and show off what you can do as you add some colors to your wonderful artwork!
Your Cartoon Duck Drawing is Complete!
That brings us to the end of this guide on how to draw a cartoon duck! This drawing was actually a bit of a challenge to draw, so you should be proud of your artwork.
No matter how tricky a drawing may be, you can make it much easier by breaking it down into smaller chunks, as we tried to do in this guide.
As long as you follow the steps and the images, you will be able to draw this cute duck with ease!
Completing the guide is just the beginning, however. Now you can take it further by making your own variations and changes to the drawing while also experimenting with colors.
If you’re feeling very creative, then you can try to add more characters and background details to make it look even cooler. We gave you a few ideas to start with, but now you can take over and show off what you can do!
When you have completed your artwork, be sure to show off how it turned out by sharing it on our Facebook and Pinterest pages.