How To Draw A Crab

I wrote a post not too long ago about my astrological sign and realized that I haven’t drawn a crab yet. The horror! We’re going to correct that now. And you can help! Actually, I’m not quite sure how that will work. Well, you just sit back and relax I guess, and I’ll do all the work. Would you like a drink? Help yourself.

I’ll be drawing in Adobe Illustrator CS6. As usual, when drawing something that already exists, I’m going to need reference material. Here’s a crab.

Image from

They’re really kind of ugly. I don’t want to be that. Can’t I be something cute and fuzzy? No? Dammit. Fine. Actually, now that I look at that picture, I believe that’s the back of a crab. What do they look like from the front?

Image from

Gah! Kill it! Kill it with fire!! And douse it with melted butter.

That thing has a nightmare for a face! How on earth am I going to make that cute? By leaving out most of the detail, of course!

Alright. Here we go on our hopeless task of cuteness.

First, our crab needs a body. I drew one half of a body, which is a sort of half of a lumpy ellipse…

Picture 3It doesn’t look like much, does it? This is the meager beginning of our crab, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Now we have a basic crab body to shove appendages onto.

Wait, how do crab legs work?Β  I have no idea how crabs are put together. How do exoskeletons work? As is typically the case when I have no idea what I’m doing, I will now shove the legs behind the body. Let’s just assume there’s some complicated exoskeleton magic going on where the legs meet the body.

Picture 2

I looked it up and they have ten legs, but two of them are claws. Four regular legs on each side for symmetry. Now, to copy/paste/flip half a crab and make him whole.

Picture 3

He’s starting to look a little crabby. What now? Oh, right, those big pincer things they have. I have one on my shelf at home. Let’s add a couple of those things. Big pincer claw thingies comin’ up.

Picture 4

I suppose, if you want to be all technical about it, they should be attached to his body somehow.

Picture 5

There. I gave him little crab arms with my extensive knowledge of crab anatomy, or as we in the biz like to call it, crabnatomy.

Now, I suppose he needs some sort of face, which means more research.

nightmare from

GAH! Where the hell is its face? Is that a face? What the eff? Crabs of the world, where is your face? I’m just going to assume there’s a mouth and eyes there somewhere, but I’m not sure if they have ears or a nose or other typical facey appendages.

I guess I’ll just have to wing it.

Picture 6

Now, that’s a face. He needs a little protection on his eyeballs so they’re not just hanging out in the nothing.

Picture 7

Better. And now for some shading.

Picture 8

And a background. Blue for water. Crabs like that shit.


And now, the final step, putting him up for sale on Redbubble

Picture 9

Have we achieved cute? I think we have. OK, now you can help by buying him or any of the other little creatures for sale. Thanks!