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Design and Draw a Mascot for Team Awesome

This post is part of a series called Branding Team Awesome.
Team Awesome: From Hand-Lettered Logotype to Vector in Adobe Illustrator
How to Vector the Team Awesome Mascot in Adobe Illustrator
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

When browsing the tutorials here in the Design & Illustration section, you'll find a huge base of educational content written by many authors from all over the world. Some of the names, though, tend to appear more often than others. We are Team Awesome—we support the site wholeheartedly, providing tutorials and articles on a regular basis.

We decided to step out of the shadows and tell the world about us by promoting the brand of Team Awesome. And, to mark the occasion, we're also teaching you a few things about how it's done!

Today I'm going to show you the process behind creating a mascot for Team Awesome. You'll see how we've eliminated some of the ideas, and you'll learn how to draw the final version step by step. Later on, you can use the sketch to follow the tutorial of the amazing Asher Benson in order to create a beautiful vector version!

A Sneak Peek Into the Elimination Process

Although mascots are usually not very complicated artworks, they're not that easy to create. The idea behind a mascot is as important as the execution, and it's the concept that takes the most time and effort in this process. Let's see the process behind the creation of the mascot we're going to draw today.

Version 1

My first idea was quite elusive. All I knew was I wanted a cat-dragon hybrid. Team Awesome loves cats, and I love dragons, so that would be a nice mix. That little creature was supposed to have colored pencils as horns, and the Pen Tool at the tip of its tail. I was also going to use a lot of colors for it, to refer to a huge and varied base of tutorials you can find on our site.

However, it turned out to be too complicated for this kind of illustration. It was more of a painting than a simple design of a mascot.

design draw mascot too complicated

Version 2

I went back to the drawing board and rethought the idea. I made the whole body less realistic, more cartoon-like, to stress its symbolic form.

design draw mascot too cute

I also limited it to only a few colors to make it more coherent.

design draw mascot too cute color

I also prepared more versions of the design to have more options to choose from. It looked quite nice, but another problem emerged. Because we've already got a logotype for Team Awesome, it was obvious that the mascot couldn't be that different from it. And while the logo was "sharp" and energetic, my design looked more soft and cute.

design draw mascot soft cute colorful

Version 3

Once again I modified the body of my mascot. I changed the rounded shape of the wings, and added keen eyes, a more dynamic pose, and a tail referring to the logo. I removed the spots, leaving only one on the face, referring to our editor, Sharon Milne, who loves putting moles in her artworks.

Alas, it was still too soft, too furry and not as simple as could be.

design draw mascot clever fast energy

Version 4

I decided to remove all redundant elements—the hair tuft, the wing detail, the fur around the eyes. Even the nose got simplified, and I also experimented with the ears.

A bad side of this design was that it was turning out to be too aggressive, not very helpful. And that's not how we are!

design draw mascot hard clever lighting furless

Version 5

Here's how it's looking after another round of simplification. The eyes have been opened again, and I've changed the legs to very symbolic ones. Finally, I found the right direction!

design draw mascot helpful cute smiling

Version 6

I've decided to make the pose more dynamic, while keeping it simple.

design draw mascot sketches pose

I've also removed the white around the eyes, giving up on realism completely and embracing the cartoon look.

design draw mascot versions

Final Version 

Our last decision was to remove one of the bolts, as there were two of them in the design. So, this is how that little guy was born! Now let me show you how this particular drawing can be created step by step.

design draw mascot final version

1. Sketch Your Idea

Step 1

Sketch the idea. Do it on a very small scale—just add a few blobs and lines, and try to see some shape in them. Then work in that direction to see some more. You can sketch a lot of these, because they don't take too much time (and if they do, you're doing it wrong!). 

In my case, I already knew what pose I was going for, but you can experiment and create a lot of different ones.

design draw mascot pose sketch simple

Step 2

When you see the right shape emerging from the chaos, help it—add more defined lines, but still avoid details.

design draw mascot pose sketch details

Step 3

When you're sure you have what you wanted, it's time to prepare the sketch for working on a large scale. If you're working digitally, it's very easy, but if you're sketching it traditionally, you'll have to redraw the concept at a larger scale, keeping the proportions. If you have problems with it, try my tutorial for beginners about precision.

design draw mascot pose bigger
If you're sketching traditionally, keep that new sketch very subtle, nearly invisible. It's more a set of guide lines than a base for drawing

2. Plan the Body of the Mascot

Step 1

We want the torso to be smooth, with a very clear shape. Draw a line for the front and the back, and then connect them to create a bean-like shape.

design draw mascot torso bean

Step 2

The head will be very simple, too, so just draw two bowls.

design draw mascot head

Step 3

The legs can be created out of two simple curves:

design draw mascot legs cute cat

Step 4

The same applies to the arms:

design draw mascot arms cute cat

Let's add a shoulder blade for a more realistic shape:

design draw mascot shoulder cat

Step 5

The wings should be quite symbolic in shape, too. Start them with a simple, general shape, and then create the cuts.

design draw mascot wings angel simple
design draw mascot wings angel simple finish

Step 6

To add a proper tail, measure the rhythm of the body and make the tail follow it.

design draw mascot tail spine
design draw mascot tail bolt lighting

Step 7

The body is done!

design draw mascot sketch pose done

3. Plan the Head and Face

The face is the most important part of a mascot, so we need to pay attention to it!

Step 1

Cross the head with two lines that will define its perspective.

design draw mascot head perspective

Step 2

Add the snout following this perspective.

design draw mascot snout

Step 3

Draw the mouth.

design draw mascot mouth

Step 4

Use a gentle curve to create a space for the nose...

design draw mascot nose bridge

... then just put the nose in this spot.

design draw mascot nose
design draw mascot snout done

Step 5

Draw two curves to define the upper part of the eye sockets.

design draw mascot eye socket top

Step 6

Now the lower part.

design draw mascot eye socket bottom

Step 7

Add the eyes inside.

design draw mascot eye socket
design draw mascot eyeball

Step 8

The pupils should be very large.

design draw mascot pupils

Dots of light are very important in a simple design like this.

design draw mascot light dot
design draw mascot eyes done

Step 9

To draw the horns, draw two ellipses at their base. Then find the center and lead lines up.

design draw mascot horns base

Step 10

Use these lines to build a cone.

design draw mascot horns cone

Step 11

Cross the cone with a curve at the top to create the pencil tip.

design draw mascot horns detail
design draw mascot horns done

Step 12

The ears will be very simple, too. Draw two curves behind the horns.

design draw mascot ears base

Step 13

Close them with another pair.

design draw mascot ears back

Step 14

Now just go down from them.

design draw mascot ears whole
design draw mascot ears done

We're almost done!

design draw mascot sketch lines almost done

4. Finish the Picture

Step 1

We're going to add a patch on the mascot's belly to make it look more 3D. Let's set the perspective first.

design draw mascot belly perspective

Step 2

Now sketch the patch according to the perspective.

design draw mascot belly patch
design draw mascot colors patches

Step 3

Time to draw strong lines for the design.

design draw mascot lineart

Step 4

Use slightly thiner lines for the outlines of color patches.

design draw mascot colors lines

Step 5

You can also stress the main outline with a thicker line.

design draw mascot outline darker

Step 6

Finally, it's time to think of the color scheme. The colors of the Design & Illustration section are orange and white, and green is the color of the company behind our site, Envato. Even if you're a traditional artist, it's good to scan the picture and add colors in digital software. This way you'll be able to test many combinations with ease.

design draw mascot color scheme

That's All for Now!

But it's not the end! You can now continue with the tutorial of Asher Benson to learn how create a vector out of our drawing. If you'd like to see more beginner-oriented tutorials like this one, let me know in the comments!

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