Let's Draw a Guitar Toad

Let's Draw a Guitar Toad

In the third episode of Let's Draw featuring ToadyCo we're making a storybook-style guitar playing toad! We think you'll have lots of fun creating this whimsical illustration.

Grab your tablet or sketchbook and let's get started!

Products Used

  • Standard Pencils. Matthew uses the Standard Pencil #3 from this pack for his sketches. Get loose, find your shapes, and focus on layout and proportion.
  • Standard Pens. This illustration uses the Felt Tip Brush pen which will give you a natural, painterly look perfect for this storybook-style illustration.
  • Mid-Century Brush Pack. Use the Perfect Gouache brush to block out flat areas of color to form the foundation of your artwork.
  • Gouache Shader. 68 lush, detailed brushes modeled after real gouache and optimized for use with Apple Pencil.
  • Phantom Paper. High-resolution, seamless paper textures that are seperated into layers of texture and highlight so you can get the look of your work actually being printed on paper.

You can complete the tutorial without the products — your results may just look different from ours.

Let's walk through the steps Matt goes through to create this illustration. It might seem complicated when you see the final results, but breaking things down will show how easy it actually is to make.

Loose Sketch

To block out his idea, Matt keeps things loose and refines as he goes along. Don't try to be perfect in these early stages. You can redraw things as many times as you need to while sketching to get your shapes and proportions the way you want them to look.

Two sketches split down the middle of a toad playing guitar.


For this children's book inspired illustration, Matt is using the Felt Tip Brush Pen from Standard Pens to ink his work. He says, "It's responsive to pressure, so you can get line weight variation and tapering. And it has a really nice, subtle, organic texture that seems appropriate for what I'm trying to make here."

Because we're trying to go for a painted look, choose colors for your lines that are going to match the colors of each object. Green for the toad, brown for the guitar, red for the mushroom, etc.

A line art illustration of a toad playing guitar under a toadstool.

Flat Colors

Before going into the details, Matt puts down flat colors for each object using the Perfect Gouache brush found in the Mid-Century Brush Pack. This brush can lay down smooth fills of color with interesting edge texture, particularly when used when your Apple Pencil is tilted.

Flat colors will provide a foundation for your texture which we'll tackle in the next step.

A flat colored illustration of a toad playing guitar under a mushroom.

Adding Texture

The final steps for our illustration are all about texture! Matt is using Gouache Shader brushes to add speckled shading to the different elements in the illustration. These brushes can vary in size and opacity so you have lots of control.

Once you're done with your illustration, finish it off with a paper texture. Matt chose our Cold Press texture from Phantom Paper Vol. 1.

Digital illustration of a toad playing guitar under a toadstool modeled after a gouache painting.

Wrapping Up

We hope you've enjoyed this episode of Let's Draw. Stay tuned for more episodes that we'll be releasing in the coming weeks.

Remember that the only way to get better is to practice, so don't just watch the video, follow along. Then post it on Instagram with the hashtag #RSCOLetsDraw. We'll be looking out for folks tagging us so we can share our favorites.

About the Artist

Matthew Shultz grew up in Michigan obsessed with comics, cartoons, role playing games, and fantasy movies.

His favorite things to draw are still creatures and characters that wouldn’t look out of place in a television advertisement for action figures from 1986.

He lives in Seattle with his spouse, children, and several excellent animals. He hopes you enjoy his artwork, and he would be glad to make some for you.

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