There's two camps, or distinct styles, in animal character illustration. This first is naturalistic, like Beatrix Potter's. You may be aware that her first artistic efforts were in scientific illustration - her renderings of mushrooms, bugs, flowers, etc. are superb. When she began to illustrate her books, she never compromised her facility for naturalism. A frog may have been wearing a waistcoat, but he always remained an anatomically correct frog!
The second style is comic - usually line drawings, with flat colors; and exagerrated features with limited regard for anatomical accuracy. One of my favorite "comic" cute animal illustrators is Lang (Lansing) Campbell. I can't even look at his "Dinky Ducklings" without laughing! Are those guys too goofy or what? Here's two examples:
Lansing “Lang” Campbell was a 20th c. American illustrator and cartoonist best known for illustrating the Howard Garis cartoon series "Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures" (started 1910), later to become the basis for several dozen books featuring the beloved character. During the 1930's, Campbell also created a few strips and books of his own, including "Piggy Pigtail", "Paddy the Pup", "Dippy Doodlebug", "Bizzy Izzy Humbug", "The Dinky Ducklings", "Duck and Applesauce", "Dicky Bird’s Diary," "Merry Murphy" and more. After an active career in New York City, he retired to Boothbay Harbor, ME about 1950, where he spent the rest of his life. Exact dates of birth and death unkown.
My own animal character art? A cross between the two. A good deal of naturalism, especially in the botanical areas of the painting, but a bit of artistic license when it comes to rendering the animals - especially insects! I try not to stray too far...but they persist in coming out cute! See my painting "Best Buddies" below (take a close look at Fat Mr. Bee!)
To visit my online store featuring a large variety of great products, gifts, and collectibles featuring all my whimsical animal art, please go to Adele's Cute Animal Art Shop.