Illustrator vector tutorial: Boy cartoon style

0
891
views

By Mihaly Varga

If you love character design, follow this tutorial and learn how to draw a cute boy character in Adobe Illustrator. Let’s start!

Tutorial Details
Program: Adobe Illustrator CS5 – CC 2017
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Step 1
Launch Illustrator and open a new document. Type a name for your file and set up the dimensions then select Pixels as Units and RGB as Color Mode. Next, go to Edit > Preferences > General and set the Keyboard Increment to 1 px and while there, also go to Units. These settings will help you throughout the drawing process.

Step 2
Let’s begin with the shape of the face. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape similar to the one below. Color it with beige R=240, G=208, B=170. Next, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply this effect twice using the settings shown. This will create shading around the edges of the face and a highlight in the center.

Step 3
We will continue with the hair. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the first piece of hair like in the next image. Color it with dark brown R=86, G=43, B=3; then apply the Inner Glow effect using the settings shown to add shading around the edges. Continue to draw the second piece of hair and apply the same settings. Send it under the first piece in the Layers panel. The third piece of hair is the smallest. Color it with the same shade of brown and this time, don’t apply the Inner Glow effect. Send it under the second piece in the Layers panel.

Step 4
Let’s add more shading on the hair. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path following the edge of the first piece of hair. Give it a 5 pt black Stroke and select the Width Profile 5 in the Stroke panel. Next, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 4 px.

Step 5
Now, let’s add some highlights in the hair. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw two paths on the first piece of hair like in the image below. For the short path, apply a 3 pt white Stroke using the Width Profile 4 in the Stroke panel. Also, apply a 4 px Gaussian Blur and then set the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
For the longer path, apply a 6 pt white Stroke using the Width Profile 4 in the Stroke panel. Apply a 8 px Gaussian Blur and then set the Blending Mode to Soft Light as well.

Step 6
Let’s clean up the edges with the help of a mask. Select the first piece of hair and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of everything. Set this copy to stroke-none and fill-none. Now, select the shading path and the two highlight paths along with the copy of the hair and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

Step 7
Use the technique explained in the previous steps to add shading and highlights on the other two pieces of hair and after you are done, clean up the edges with a mask as you did earlier.

Step 8
We will continue with the boy’s ears. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a rounded shape as the left ear. Color it with light beige R=240, G=208, B=170; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown. Draw a smaller shape in the center and fill it with the linear gradient shown.

Step 9
Group (Control-G) the two shapes that make up the ear and then go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to get the right ear. All you have to do is to move it into place.

Step 10
We will continue with the eyes. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an oval shape as the left eye. Rotate it slightly to the right and fill it with the linear gradient shown.
While the eye shape stays selected, go to the Effect menu and apply the Inner Glow, Drop Shadow and Outer Glow effects in order to add some dimension to the eye.

Here are the settings for the effects applied:
Step 11
Draw a tiny circle filled with black as the pupil and the left eye is complete.
Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the left eye and then go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to obtain the right eye of the boy. All you have to do is to move it into place.

Step 12
For the mouth, draw a slightly curved path with the Pen Tool (P). Give it a 2 pt black Stroke and select the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 13
We will continue with the blouse. Take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape like in the image below filled with the linear gradient shown. Send it under the boy’s head in the Layers panel.
After that, use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an ellipse at the top center of the blouse and send it between the blouse and the head. This shape has a fill and also a 5 pt Stroke applied using the gradients shown.
Step 14
Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw two curved paths at the base of the blouse as stripes. Give them a 10 pt Stroke using a light gray to white to light gray linear gradient.
Now, select the blouse shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of the stripes. Set this copy to stroke-none and fill-none. Keep this copy selected and also select the two stroked paths and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).
Step 15
Grab the Pen Tool (P) again and draw the shape of the left arm. Color it with R= 191, G=167, B=44. Draw a similar but smaller shape in the middle and color it with yellow R=254, G=222, B=59.
While both shapes stay selected, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options. Choose 15 Specified Steps and then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B).
Step 16
We will continue with the boy’s hand. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a circle at the end of the arm and send it under the arm in the Layers panel. Color it with light brown R=198, G=156, B=109. Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this circle but make it smaller. Change the fill color to beige R=240, G=208, B=170.
While both circles stay selected, go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and choose 15 Specified Steps again. Hit OK and then go back to Object > Blend > Make (Alt-Control-B).
Step 17
Group (Control-G) the arm and the hand; then go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy in order to get the right hand.
Step 18
We will continue with the pants. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw the shape of the left leg as in the image below. Color it with blue R=0, G=114, B=187. Next go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown. This will add shading around the edge.
Step 19
Still using the Pen Tool (P), draw two curved paths in the upper left side of the pants. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using orange R=255, G=147, B=30. In the Stroke panel, also check Dashed Line and enter 2 pt in the first field. This will create the look of stitches.
Next, draw a triangle-like shape filled with white on the pants; then go to Effect > Stylize > Feather and apply a Radius of 6 px. Also, go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 15 px. This will create a highlight on the pants.
Step 20
The last thing to add is the folded edge at the bottom. Draw a curved path with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 13 pt Stroke using the linear gradient shown.
Let’s create a mask now. Select the pants shape and then Copy and Paste in Place (Shift-Control-V) to make a copy of it in front of everything. Set it to stroke-none and fill-none. Now, select the two stitches, the triangle highlight and the folded edge and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).
Step 21
We will continue with the shoes. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like in the image below and color it with dark red R=206, G=68, B=10. Continue with a half circle in front and then a rectangle at the bottom. Both are filled with the linear gradient shown.
Step 22
Next, take the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw a thin shape filled with light gray as the shoe lace.
Step 23
The final thing is to add a shadow under the shoe. Use the Pen Tool (P) or the Line Segment Tool (\) to draw a straight path having the same length as the shoe. Give it a 1 pt black Stroke and use the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel. Also, apply a 2 px Gaussian Blur and then send this path behind the shoe. Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the shoe but without the shadow.
Step 24
Select the pants, the shoe and the shadow and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to get the same things in the right side.
Step 25
Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a curved path following the bottom edge of the blouse. Give it a 1 pt black Stroke and use the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel. Also, apply a 3 px Gaussian Blur. Send this path under the blouse but in front of the pants in the Layers panel. This will be the shadow.
Step 26
We will continue with the boy’s bag. Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw a square filled with the linear gradient shown. Send it behind the boy; then go to Effect > Stylize > Round Corners and apply a Radius of 15 px to get the rounded corners.
Step 27
Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the left strap and color it with the linear gradient shown at a -90 degrees Angle. Reflect this strap vertically to obtain the right one. You are done!
Awesome work!
Here is the final image of the cute boy character. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you learned new things today.

LEAVE A REPLY