The creators of Star Wars did a really great job creating an appealing creature that will make your heart melt once you see it. As you may have guessed, we’re talking about porgs! Those fluffy little cat-bird-like creatures with huge sparkling eyes and naive expressions just can’t leave you indifferent.
Let’s draw one of them! We’ll be using various tools and functions of Affinity Designer to make the process fun and easy.
1. How to Draw the Porg’s Eyes
Let’s create a New Document of 600 x 800 px and use the Place Image Tool to place the sketch onto the canvas. We’ll be using the Draw Persona of Affinity Designer, which is enabled by default, meaning that all our shapes will be vector, scalable to any size, and easy to recolor and modify.
Position the image in the center and lower its Opacity to 20% in the Layers panel. Set its Blend Mode to Multiply and Lock the sketch layer. This way, all the lines will remain visible when we start creating the shapes.
Create a new layer by clicking the Add Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Place it beneath the sketch layer, and let’s start drawing!
We’ll start with an eye. Take the Ellipse Tool (M) and draw a 65 x 70 px shape. You can adjust the size in the Transform panel.
Rotate the shape 15 degrees to make it fit the eye on the sketch.
Take the Fill Tool (G) and drag across the shape to create a gradient fill. Head to the control panel on top and change the Type to Radial. From here, you can also change the colors of the gradient parts. Click the swatch rectangle to open the Gradient panel and adjust the colors of the gradient sliders by clicking them and selecting the appropriate color from the color wheel.
Once you’re happy with the colors, move the central tip of the gradient slider up to darken the top part of the eye.
Duplicate (Command-J) the eye and make the copy smaller. Fill it with radial gradient from blue to black and change the Blend Mode to Screen in the Layers panel, making the black part transparent.
Move the blue side of the gradient up, creating a bright overtone.
Use the Ellipse Tool (M) to create a couple of white spots for the highlights. Lower the Opacity of the spots to 75%, making them semi-transparent.
Group (Command-G) all the elements of the eye and duplicate (Command-J) the group. Use the Flip Horizontal function in the control panel on top to mirror the copy and move it to the opposite side of the face. Adjust its size and angle to make it fit the sketch. Don’t forget to flip the white highlights back as they should remain on the same side because of the light source.
Now let’s move on to the body!
2. How to Create the Porg’s Body
Take the Ellipse Tool (M) and let’s make a 340 x 405 px beige oval for the body. Click the Convert to Curves button in the control panel on top and use the Node Tool (A) to move the side nodes, making an egg-like shape to fit the sketch.
Let’s create another oval for the head. If you’re struggling with positioning the shapes, disable the Snapping by removing the tick from the Enable snapping box.
Convert to Curves and move the nodes around to fit the sketch. Then select both shapes and use the Add function from the Geometry panel on top to merge both shapes together. Now we have a silhouette of the body!
Create a 75 x 184 px brown oval for the wing. Convert to Curves and make its tip pointed.
Duplicate the wing and move it to the opposite side of the body. Move to Back (Shift-Command-[), placing the second wing behind the body.
Let’s go back to the eyes and add more details. Duplicate the eyeball shape and make the bottom copy slightly larger. Fill it with dark-brown color to add depth. Make another copy beneath and increase its size.
Fill it with Linear gradient from brown to white and switch the Blend Mode to Multiply, making the white part semi-transparent.
Let’s take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw the nostrils. We can adjust the Width and other parameters of the tool in the control panel on top. For more precision, let’s enable the Stabilizer option and set the Length to about 10-15. Check the Use Fill box to create colored shapes.
Draw the nostril, following the lines of the sketch. Now let’s fill the nostril with a gradient to add some depth there. To do this faster, let’s Copy (Command-C) the brown-black eyeball shape, and then select the nostril and Edit > Paste Style. This way we can apply any gradients and color effects, picking the appearance from one element and applying it to another, speeding up the process.
Draw the second nostril and Paste Style.
Keep using the Pencil Tool (N) to draw the mouth shape. Try to keep your lines clean and smooth by adjusting the position of the nodes with the help of the Node Tool (A). You can delete the unneeded nodes by selecting them and pressing Backspace (on Mac). Adjust the position and angle of the node handles and press the Alt key while rotating them if you want to move the handles separately from each other.
Edit > Paste Style to apply the same black-brown gradient to the mouth as well.
Let’s add some volume to the mouth shape. Use the Pencil Tool (N) to draw a triangular shape over the lower jaw. Press Command-[ to Move Back One.
Apply the same white-beige linear gradient as we have around the eyes and set its Blend Mode to Multiply.
Draw another shape on the bottom lip, as shown in the image below. Fill it with linear gradient from yellow to black and switch the Blend Mode to Screen, making a highlight.
Draw a nose shape around the nostrils, following the lines of the sketch. Adjust the gradient, making the shapes blend nicely.
Place a gentle shadow under the lower jaw. We can toggle the visibility of the sketch in the Layers panel to check how it looks without the outlines.
Now let’s draw a large shape over the parts that will be brown, leaving the muzzle area and the tummy untouched.
Don’t worry about the piece that crosses the edges of the body—we can easily hide it inside the body shape! To do this, select the brown shape in the Layers panel and then drag and drop it onto the body shape, as shown in the screenshot below. You will still see the outline of the whole shape if you select it, but now it will be placed inside the body, as if inside a Clipping Mask. It will now be displayed as a group or a drop-down list in the Layers panel.
Use the Node Tool (A) to edit the shape, fixing its nodes.
Draw a feathered shape around the eye and fill it with orange color.
Keep the shapes clean and neat by working with the nodes and getting rid of all the unneeded ones.
Once you’re happy with the shape, drag and drop it onto the body shape in the Layers panel.
Duplicate the shape and Flip Horizontal to place the shape on the opposite side of the head. Squash the shape slightly to fit the perspective.
This time, drag and drop it onto the brown shape so that it doesn’t cross the white area of the muzzle.
Move all the elements of the eyes on top of the layer and group them.
Finish the muzzle by adding a feathered shape to its top.
Great! Let’s move on to the feet!
3. How to Draw the Porg’s Feet
Let’s use the Pencil Tool (N) to trace the leg and the foot of our porg.
Draw two arched shapes for the web between the fingers. Drag and drop the web shapes onto the leg shape in the Layers panel to hide the unneeded pieces. Use the Fill Tool (G) to add shadows to the web.
Use the Ellipse Tool (M) to make an oval claw and Paste Style from the brown-black shape of the nostril. Add a small highlight on top, switching it to Screen Mode.
Use a linear gradient fill to make the top of the leg darker.
Duplicate the claw and its highlight to add the remaining claws.
Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw an arched shape across the leg. Fill it with brown-black gradient and switch it to Screen Mode, creating a semi-transparent overtone. Drag and drop the shape onto the leg, placing it inside the edges of the leg shape.
Duplicate the arched shape and drag the copy down. Press Command-J a few times to repeat the last action, creating more copies.
Add notches to the rest of the fingers. Group all the elements of the leg and duplicate the group. Flip Horizontal and make the copy slightly smaller and narrower to fit the perspective.
There we have it—the legs are ready! Let’s add some more details to our porg!
4. How to Add Final Details to the Porg
Let’s make the body more three-dimensional. Select the beige body shape; grab the Fill Tool (G) and drag to fill the shape with a gradient. The program selects a matching darker color for the gradient automatically, but you can edit it from the Gradient tab if needed, as we did previously. Switch the Type to Radial to make the body spherical.
Add a darker color to the orange shapes as well, using the Fill Tool (G).
Let’s add some feathers to the tummy of the porg. Take the Pencil Tool (N) and draw a feathered shape. Fill it with linear gradient from beige to black and switch to Screen Mode, making it semi-transparent.
Draw another shape and place it beneath the first one (Command-[).
Continue adding feathered shapes. You can duplicate the previous shapes and alternate them, using the Flip Horizontal function.
Now our porg looks fluffy!
Let’s add some feathers to the wing as well, this time using a beige-white color combination for the gradient and switching it to Multiply Mode to make the feathers darker.
Add more feathers to other areas of our character: to the orange parts around the eyes, forehead, and the side of the body.
Looking good so far! Let’s finish up by adding a simple background.
5. How to Add a Simple Background
Let’s add a few final touches to our illustration to make it look balanced and complete. Add a New Layer for the background and place it beneath the other layers.
Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 600 x 800 px rectangle. Use the Alignment menu in the control panel on top to center the rectangle horizontally and vertically.
Fill it with a radial gradient from yellow in the center to orange at the edges, adding depth to our image.
Let’s add a shadow to the ground beneath our porg. Create an oval using the Ellipse Tool (M) and fill it with a gradient from orange to white. Set the Type to Elliptical, which will make the gradient fit the oval shape perfectly.
Set the Blend Mode to Multiply, making it semi-transparent.
We can actually duplicate the shadow and place an ellipse beneath each foot of the porg.
Congratulations! Our Porg Is Finished!
Awesome job! Our porg looks cute and fluffy enough to call it done! Now you can File > Export it in any size and format to your liking.
I hope you’ve enjoyed following this tutorial and discovered some useful tips and tricks that will help you with your future illustrations.
May the Force Be With You!
If you’re interested in learning how to draw characters in Affinity Designer, be sure to check these tutorials: