How to draw a spider

Let's try to learn how to draw a spider that can be visually interesting and easy to read. Indeed, spiders can be tricky to illustrate especially if you are creating a black version of this feared insect. Fortunately, since this cartoon animal consists only of a head, a body and several legs, the challenge is not as great as creating a readable skunk for example.

In this lesson, I will show you how to illustrate this character as well as a few basic alternatives to make this one visually appealing and easy to read. If you don't like spiders, don't worry! This one is totally harmless. :)

How to draw a spider

Before proceeding with the step-by-step lesson, let's talk a little bit more about this insect. What makes a spider so special? What are the features to look for when working on this incredible character?

  1. Eight thin legs are needed.
  2. The tip of the body must be slightly pointed.
  3. The body is larger near the head.
  4. Make sure the head is round (but narrower near the mouth).
  5. Legs are sharp and pointed near the end.
  6. Small triangles are used for the jaw.
  7. Eyes are made from large circles, pupils from smaller ones.
  8. Don't forget to create a small neck!
  9. Each leg is illustrated from three thin rectangles.

Great! As you can see above, spiders are not really complicated insects to illustrate. Now that we are more familiar with this character, let's draw this one!

Step 1 - creating a frame to work with

Before drawing the character itself, it might be a good idea to sketch a few shapes and lines to help us create accurate proportions. First, draw the body and the head using circles. Then, you can draw lines as shown below to form the legs. Once you are finished, you can proceed to the next step and start creating the spider.

How to draw a spider

Step 2 - Let's create this spider!

Using the template created in the previous step, you can now draw the head, body and legs with more accurate shapes. Notice how the head and body are not made from a perfect circle, but rather from irregular lines. Once you are done, you can erase the orange shapes used as guidelines.

How to draw a spider

Step 3 - a few shapes to illustrate the head

Let's continue this lesson on how to draw a spider with a simple step! Inside the head, draw two large circular shapes to create the eyes. Pupils are represented by small dots. Finally, the mouth and/or jaw is done using small triangles. Excellent! The drawing aspect of this tutorial on how to draw a spider is now completed. Let's add some colors!

How to draw a spider

step 4 - all in black it is ...

This cool cartoon spider is filled with a very dark grey color that is almost black. Why not simply color the whole character in black? Because I felt like outlines should be visible and using black would not make this possible. That's why in this case, a dark grey color is more relevant.

How to draw a spider

the problem of Dealing with a character colored in black

The problem with this illustration is the fact that the whole character is colored in black. This one could be difficult to read and to be honest, the whole illustration feels a little bit boring. Instead of working with a cool cartoon image, I have the feeling that this picture is closer to an icon or a clipart image. That was not the purpose of this tutorial on how to draw a spider!

So how can we improve this cartoon spider and make it easier to read? That's the purpose of this section below filled with a few alternatives to help you create an awesome spider!

1. Simple solution ... let's make it brighter!

Ok ... we are clearly not addressing the issue here, but this solution is a valid one. The spider is easier to read and outlines are quite visible. However, this version is less impressive and the animal doesn't look as ferocious or scary as it did in the original version. 

How to draw a spider

2. why not remove all outlines?

That's another fun alternative that can be visually interesting. However, this illustration really looks like an icon now. The "cartoonish" side of it is gone and the image feels simpler than ever. Of course, you can use the same technique, but color this character in black if you want to!

How to draw a spider

3. Highlights to create depth and volume

Using a black version of the character created in step 2 (just above), I have now filled this cartoon spider with additional shapes colored in white. Using transparency, these new shapes are now subtle and are contributing to create more depth and volume inside the illustration. This technique is perfect if your goal is to create a more realistic cartoon spider.

How to draw a spider

4. Just use another color!

Another simple alternative is to use a different color. In this case, the spider is now colored in brown and outlines are (finally) easy to read. Of course, don't hesitate to be creative. Spiders can be blue, orange, red, green or whatever color you feel like using. :)

How to draw a spider

Good job learning how to draw a spider filled in black!

Do you prefer a cool black spider or do you feel like working with colors can be more interesting? One thing is sure, using only a dark black color can be tricky if you don't use a few basic effects to make the illustration easier to read. Using highlights can be a good idea if you want to end up with a professional character that is visually amazing.

I hope you had fun learning how to draw a spider filled with various colors and effects. Enjoy this lesson and don't hesitate to draw your own cool spiders!

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Drawing Toons > Learn How to Draw Insects > How to Draw a Spider