Illustrator tutorial: Teddy bear

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teddy bear vector

By: Bao Nguyen

In this tutorial we will learn how to create a cute Teddy Bear with soft yellow bow in Adobe Illustrator. We’ll be using various tools and functions along with some simple effects, so you don’t need a graphic tablet or advanced drawing skills for making up such character. Let’s get started!

Create a New document

  1. Launch Illustrator and then press (Ctrl + N) to create a New Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 740 in the width box and 600 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB, Screen (72ppi) and make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid box is unchecked before you click OK.

Create the Head of the Bear.

2. Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a 102 by 190px black rectangle. Next pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a red curved path like you see in the second and third image. Once your path is drawn, reselect it, pick the Reflect Tool (O), then hold down Alt and click on the right side of the black rectangle. In the Reflect dialog box, check the Vertical and click Copy. Now select two red curved paths created in this step, right click on the artboard and then select the Join section from the drop-down menu. Next right click on the artboard again, then select the Join section. Keep the resulting object, remove its stroke and then fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the last image. 3. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a soft orange shape (# e5a459) like you see in the first and the second image. Still having the newly created shape selected and go to the Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur… Enter a 7px Radius and click OK. Now select the strong orange shape created in the step 2 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the shape with blur effect applied in this step. Right click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

4. Select the strong orange shape created in the step 2 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this copy selected and replace the existing fill color with new radial gradient as shown in the first image. Still having the resulting shape selected and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow… Follow the data like you see in the second image and click OK. Make sure that the resulting shape is sill selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Feather… Enter a 6px Radius and click OK. Next change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 80%. 5. It’s time to draw the eyes. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create an ellipse, then place it to the position like you see in the first image. Remove the stroke of the newly created ellipse and then fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the second image. Reselect the newly created ellipse and go to the Ellipse > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown in the third image and click OK. Next with the help of the Ellipse Tool (L) and the Gradient Tool (G), create an ellipse like you see in the last two images. 6. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a soft orange shape like you see in the first and the second images. Next apply a 5px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created shape. Continue create an ellipse as shown in the fourth and the fifth images. Then apply a 4px Feather effect for the newly created ellipse. Now reselect the two objects created in this step and then hide them behind the shape with Diffuse Glow effect applied in the step 4. 7. Select all objects created from beginning step 5 to this time and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the second image. Don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging.

8. We will continue with the nose and the mouth. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second images. Make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of the newly created shape and then replace the existing fill color of the copy with new radial gradient as shown in the third image. Finally apply a 6px Feather effect for the resulting shape.

9. Select the shape with Feather effect applied in the step 8 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Keep the copy selected and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow… Follow the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Next change the Blending Mode of the resulting shape to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 90%. Now select the first shape created in the step 8 and make a copy of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Make sure that the copy is still selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the third image and click OK. Next select the shape with Diffuse Glow effect applied in the step 4 and make a copy of it, then bring the copy to front. Still having the copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the shape with Drop Shadow Then right-click on the artboard and select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. Finally hide the clipping set behind the first shape created in the step 8.

10. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second images. Reselect the newly created shape and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data as shown in the third image and click OK. Continue using the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create two shapes like you see in the four next-to-last images. Next reselect the last shape created in this step and apply a 2px Feather effect for it. Finally hide the resulting shape behind the first shape created in this step.

11. We are going to create the ears. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create two objects like you see in the first and the second images. Once your objects are drawn, reselect the bigger object, remove its stroke and fill this object with soft orange (# e8a966). Next select the remaining object, remove its stroke and fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the fourth image. Finally apply a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape.

12. Select the bigger shape created in the step 11 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Next replace the existing fill color of this copy with orange (# ca8f4b). Keep the resulting shape selected and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow… Follow the data as shown in the second image and click OK. Apply a 2px Feather effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 80%. Now reselect three shapes created from beginning step 11 to this time and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the next to last image. Finally select all shapes of the two ears and send them to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). The head of the bear is ready and looks like in the last image.

Create the Body

13. Next comes the body of the bear. Pick the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a 194 by 194px blue ellipse, then place it to the position as shown in the first image. Next with the help of the Direct Selection Tool (A) and the Shift, extend the handles of the top and the bottom anchor point of the newly created ellipse. After you are done adjusting the shape of the blue ellipse, remove its stroke and then fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the last image. 14. Select the shape created in the step 13 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then replace the existing fill color of the copy with new radial gradient. Keep the resulting shape selected and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow… Follow the data as shown in the second image and click OK. Apply a 6px Feather effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 80%. Finally reselect the two shapes of the body of the bear and then send them to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

Create the Arms and the Legs

15. First of all, we’ll create the arms. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a strong orange shape like you see in the first and the second images. Reselect the newly created shape and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Keep the copy selected and go to the Effect > Distort > Diffuse Glow… Follow the data as shown in the third image and click OK. Apply a 4px Feather effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to 80%.

16. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a blue object like you see in the first image. Once your object is drawn, make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it and then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with red. Focus on the second image, select the two anchor points highlighted with black and click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the red object becomes two paths. Select and remove the lower path. Now reselect the blue object created in this step, remove its stroke and fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the fourth image. Then apply a 2px Feather effect for the resulting shape. Continue select the red path, replace the existing stroke color with slightly orange (# d2ad6c) and change the stroke weight to 4px. Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path. Make sure that this path is still selected and open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dashed Line box, then enter 1px in the dash box and 2px in the gap box.

17. Select all objects of the left arm and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the second image. Don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging. Finally select all objects of the two arms and then send them to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket).

18. Next come the legs. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a strong orange shape like you see in the first and the second images. Focus on the third image, draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 4px dark orange stroke (# 8d3200) for the moment. Then apply the Width Profile 1 and a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created path. Now reselect the first shape created in this step and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Still having this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the path with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

19. Next come the legs. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a strong orange shape like you see in the first and the second images. Focus on the third image, draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 4px dark orange stroke (# 8d3200) for the moment. Then apply the Width Profile 1 and a 3px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created path. Now reselect the first shape created in this step and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Still having this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the path with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

20. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a blue object like you see in the first image. Once your object is drawn, make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it and then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with red. Focus on the second image, select the two anchor points highlighted with black and click on the “Cut path at selected anchor points” icon from the Properties This make the red object becomes two paths. Select and remove the left path. Now reselect the blue object created in this step, remove its stroke and fill this object with the radial gradient as shown in the fourth image. Continue select the red path, replace the existing stroke color with slightly orange (# d2ad6c) and change the stroke weight to 4px. Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path. Make sure that this path is still selected and open the Stroke panel (Window > Stroke). Check the Dashed Line box, then enter 1px in the dash box and 2px in the gap box.

21. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create four dark orange shapes (# 9c5f1b) like you see in the first image. Now select all objects of the left leg and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the third image. Don’t forget to hold the Shift key on the keyboard for straight dragging.

22. To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding some shadows on some key places. Select the shape created in the step 2 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it. Keep the copy selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Now select three shapes with Diffuse Glow effects of the body and the arms, then make a copy of them. Still having these copies selected, open the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder) and click on the Unite Then bring the resulting shape to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Keep this shape selected, hold down the Shift and click on the shape with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. Finally hide the clipping set behind the head of the bear.

23. Select the two main shapes of the two legs and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of them, then bring the copies to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Focus on the second and the third images and apply the Shadow effects for the two newly created shapes. Now with the Selection Tool (V), select the two shapes with shadow effects applied in this step and press (Ctrl +X) to cut them. Keep working with the Selection Tool (V), double-click on the clipping set created in the step 22 and then press (Ctrl +F) to paste the shapes were cut in this step. Finally, double-click on the anywhere outside of the clipping set.

Create a Soft Yellow Bow

24.We’re done with the teddy bear. It’s time for the bow. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a black object like you see in the first and the second images. Once your object is drawn, reselect it and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of this object, then replace the existing stroke color of the copy with red. With the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the lower handle of the bottom-left anchor point of the red object, hold mouse, then drag it to the left and up. Keep working with the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift +C), click on the lower handle of the bottom-right anchor point, hold mouse, then drag it to the left and down. Now reselect the black object created in this step, remove its stroke and fill this object with linear gradient as shown in the next to last image. Continue select the red object and remove its stroke, then fill this object with the radial gradient like you see in the last image.

25. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create two curved paths like you see in the first and the second images. Once your paths are drawn, reselect the blue path and replace the existing stroke color with the radial gradient within stroke as shown in the third image. Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path. Continue select the red path and replace the existing stroke color with the radial gradient within stroke as shown in the last image. Finally apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting path.

26. We are going to start making highlights and shadows on the bow to give it more of a 3D look. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second images. Once your shape is drawn, apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for it. Now select the last shape created in the step 24 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Still having this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the shape with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. Continue with the Pen Tool (P), create a slightly shape (# d5b56c) and two very soft orange shapes (# ebe1a6) as shown in the last four images. Once your shapes are drawn, apply a 2px Gaussian Blur effect for them. 27. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a red object like you see in the first image. Reselect the red object, remove its stroke and fill this object with the linear gradient as shown in the second image. Next with the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create four shapes like you see in the images below. Once your shapes are drawn, apply a 1px Gaussian Blur effect for them. Now select the first shape created in this step and make a copy of it, then bring the copy to front. Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the four shapes with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and then select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu.

28. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create three curved paths like you see in the first image. Once your paths are drawn, reselect them and replace the existing stroke colors with radial gradient within stroke as shown in the second image. Then apply the Width Profile 1 for the resulting paths. Now select all objects created from beginning step 27 to this time and send them to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). 29. Select the first shape created in the step 24 and make a copy (Ctrl +C, Ctrl +F) of it, then bring the copy to front (Ctrl +Shift +Right Square Bracket). Still having this copy selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the first image and click OK. Now select the first shape created in the step 27 and make a copy of it, then bring the copy to front. Keep this copy selected, hold down the Shift and click on the shape with blur effect applied in this step. Right-click on the artboard and select the Make Clipping Mask section from the drop-down menu. Then hide the clipping set behind the first shape created in the step 24. Now select all objects of the left part of the bow and go to the Object > Transform > Reflect… Check the Vertical and click Copy. Then drag these copies to the right and place them as shown in the last image.

30. With the help of the Pen Tool (P) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a shape like you see in the first and the second images. Continue create a very soft orange shape (# f5e9ae) using the Pen Tool (P) as shown in the third image. Then apply a 1px Gaussian Blur effect for the newly created shape. Now select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 24 to this time. Keep the newly created group selected and go to the Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow… Follow the data like you see in the next to last image. Finally place the bow to the position as shown in the last image.

31. Before you continue, select and group (Ctrl +G) all objects created from beginning step 2 to this time. The teddy bear with soft yellow bow is done! To give a more realistic look I’m going to be adding shadow for the bear. Pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a blue object like you see in the first image. Once your object is drawn, remove its stroke and fill this object with black (# 281700). Apply a 4px Gaussian Blur effect for the resulting shape, then change the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce its Opacity to 90%. Finally hide the resulting shape behind the bear. 32. We’re done with the teddy bear and the bow. It’s time for the background now. With the help of the Rectangle Tool (M) and the Gradient Tool (G), create a 738 by 600px light grayish orange rectangle. Then send this rectangle to back (Ctrl +Shift +Left Square Bracket). The last thing to do is place the bear into the newly created background.

Here is what the completed design looks like.

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