Hi! Sorry it took a while for me to reply, I just… forget to reply after I read them, most of the time ;v; It took me a moment to think of how I could give any tips on how to draw cute, because… drawing cute animals means you understand the concept how to make anything cute, and what makes a thing cute!
**Also, please note these are based on my own experience, and so how I would go about teaching this. It doesn’t mean it’s the absolute truth, nor that it’s the only way to draw cute! Just my own way.**
Simple shapes are very attracting to the eye because they’re easy to understand and linear. While detail can hold your attention and eye longer, it’s not necessarily for the best reasons; it’s really easy, as an artist, to get lost in detail, and it’s really easy, as a viewer, to get confused by superfluous detail. That being said, cute things are usually made of very simple shapes! it makes cute things relaxing to look at. When it starts being creepy is when you assume that cute = big eyes. A lot of people do it, a lot of companies do it, while putting extra detail in them or in the rest of the body—this is when it gets weird for some people.
That’s also why certain people don’t think pugs are cute: they have a round head(simple shape) and a stocky (simple shape) body, but their face is extra wrinkly (detail). It makes is visually weird for a lot of people, and they usually slap “ugly” on it for lack of better term.
Save your detail-hungry hand for bigger projects, and work on smaller scale to help you if you’re prone to putting too much detail on pictures!
We often associate squishy things with cute (plushies are soft and huggable, and if something we can’t touch seems squeezable and soft, we’ll most likely want to touch it). So work that gravity, work it good.
Since we’re working with simple shapes first, the gravity thing is easier—we have more chances of knowing what a squished down ball looks like than we do of a squished cat, right? (I hope so, eek) So exaggerate it, stretch it, make it work the way you want it to work!
The eyes, muzzle, ears, fur, are purely arbitrary. When you know how to apply the basics of anatomy and the basics of how to stylize fur, it comes more naturally to you! I couldn’t possibly explain where to put those or how to draw those without making two separate tutorials about each (and there are plenty of those on the web if you want to look!)
I hope this helped a bit!♥