In today's article, I'm going to show you 40 pieces of inspiring vector art animal illustrations. See how a variety of artists render things from fur to feathers, scales to horns, and more. I'll also share with you links to tutorials here on Vectortuts+ so you can gain insight into how animal illustrations and effects can be created.
In 2012, it's a personal goal to illustrate more animals... not a hard task to ask of myself since I absolutely adore animals! Part of the research into illustrating animals, I decided to look at how other vector artists rendered creatures in their own style, as well as looking at how they have incorporated their critters into their compositions, and how they give them a unique character. So let's get into it!
Domestic animals are those which have previously been wild but are now tamed and living alongside humans. These can be anything from your cute cat to the farmyard animal.
As we live side-by-side with these animals, as artists we're much more likely to be able to attach emotions and character to our companions. As a pet owner of two cats and a dog, I can definitely say no two domestic animals share the same personality, and this is true with the range of characters displayed here.
Domestic Animal Tutorials
Animals of flight include not only our feathered friends, but also insects such as butterflies. Looking specifically at how the wings are created. Are the feathers constructed individually or are we given an impression of the overall wing?
Flight Animal Tutorials
Wild animals are the untamable, roaming beasts and beauties beyond our doorstep. Whether you think of the dominant, dignified African lion or maybe that cheeky squirrel, which seems to play havoc with your washing line, the majority are of the furry kind.
Wild Animal Tutorials
Water animals aren't just restricted to fish, but also creatures such as turtles, dolphins, whales and sharks! Again we look at whether to render the scales of fish individually or would you just give the impression of scales by adding a highlight here and there?
Water Animal Tutorials
Finally, for the mythical beasts that are portrayed in stories we're told as children, lessons we're taught in history and movies we watch as adults. As there isn't an abundance of stock images out there for your standard dragon or unicorn, the way they are rendered and illustrated are completely left to the imagination of the artist.
Mythical Animal Tutorials
I hope today's article has inspired you to look more into each one of these artists further to compare how their body of work is to their animal illustrations and to maybe try out some animal illustration yourself.
If you'd like more creature inspiration, why not check out previous articles here on Vectortuts+ on animals, such as: 70 Cute and Cheeky Vector Animal Characters and 50 Vector Illustrations, Furry Critters and Fuzzy Creatures.