Illustrator vector tutorial: Bunny character

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By Mihaly Varga

Follow this tutorial and learn how to draw a cute bunny character in Adobe Illustrator. We will use simple shapes and with basic Pen Tool (P) skills you will be able to create this sweet bunny and other animal characters in this style in future projects. Let’s start!

Tutorial Details:
Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – 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
We will start with the head of the bunny. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a round shape but not a perfect circle. Color it with pink R=255, G=200, B=200; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown. This will add shading inside the edges of the head.
Also, apply a 3 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 2 from the Stroke panel. We will use these stroke settings for other parts of the bunny in order to maintain the same style throughout the entire illustration.
Step 3
We will continue with the eyes of the bunny. Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw an ellipse as the left eye followed by a smaller one inside. Rotate both of them to the left a little.
Next, take the Pen Tool (P) and draw a curved path over the two ellipses like in the image below. Copy and Paste in Front (Control-F) this path because we need two of them.
Select the bigger ellipse and the path and press Divide in the Pathfinder panel followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G). You will obtain two shapes and delete the one at the bottom because we don’t need it. Now, use the copy of the path along with the smaller ellipse and press Divide again followed by Ungroup (Shift-Control-G). From the two resulting shapes, delete the one at the bottom of the eye.
Step 4
Fill the shape of the eye with a white to light gray radial gradient. Also, apply a 2 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 2 in the Stroke panel as before.
Fill the pupil with black.

Step 5
Group (Control-G) the two shapes that make up the left eye and then go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to obtain the right eye. All you have to do is to move it into place.
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a small circle filled with white on each pupil as sparkles. At this point the eyes of the bunny are ready.
Step 6
Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shape like in the image below to define the mouth and nose area. Color it with pale pink R=254, G=244, B=247; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown. Also, select a 1 pt Stroke using dark brown and the Width Profile 2 in the Stroke panel.
Step 7
Continue to draw the shape of the nose and color it with pink R=239, G=115, B=158. Apply the Inner Glow effect to add shading inside the edges and don’t forget about the 1 pt Stroke using dark brown and the Width Profile 2.
To add a highlight on the nose, draw a smaller ellipse in the upper right side filled with white. Go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a Radius of 2.3 px to make it smoother.
Step 8
Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw two V-like paths that form the mouth. Give them a 1.5 pt and 2 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and use the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 9
Still using the Pen Tool (P) draw a heart shape in the upper right side of the head. Color it with pink and apply the same stroke settings as before. Continue to draw a few short paths along the edge of the heart as stitches. Give them a 0.75 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 10
Now, take the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse on the left cheek. Color it with pink and then apply a 4 px Gaussian Blur. Make a copy of this ellipse for the right cheek.
Step 11
Take the Pen Tool (P) again and draw a curved path between the eyes. Give it a 1 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 1.
Continue to draw two paths as the eyebrows. Give them a 2 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 1. Add two short paths on the left eyebrow as stitches as you did for the heart patch earlier.
Step 12
Let’s add a highlight on the bunny’s head. Draw a path in the upper left side of the head with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 7 pt Stroke using pale pink and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 13
We will continue with the ears. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the left ear like in the image below. Color it with light pink and then apply the Inner Glow effect using the settings shown. Don’t forget about the 2 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 2. This way the ears will have the same style as the head.
Step 14
Draw a similar but smaller shape inside the ear. Color it with a darker shade of pink and then apply the Inner Glow effect to add shading inside the edges.
Add a highlight by drawing a path on the ear and give it a 5 pt Stroke using pale pink R=252, G=227, B=236 and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 15
Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the left ear and then go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to obtain the right ear. Move it into place and the bunny’s ears are ready.
Step 16
We will continue with the bow. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw an oval shape at the base of the ears. Color it with pink and apply the Inner Glow effect to add shading. Use the same stroke settings as for the ear and head shapes to maintain the style.
Continue to draw the two bow shapes and apply the same appearances.
Step 17
Let’s add a few details on the bow. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a few short paths as folds. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and use the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Now, draw a bunch of white circles with the Ellipse Tool (L) and arrange them on the bow. Group (Control-G) all of them after you are done.
Step 18
We will continue with the body of the bunny. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like in the image below; then color it with light pink and apply the Inner Glow effect as you did before. Don’t forget about the stroke and apply the same settings.
Step 19
Use the Ellipse Tool (L) to draw a circle on the body as the belly. While the circle stays selected, go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen and apply the settings shown. This will distort the circle a little so the belly is not a perfect circle. Color it with pale pink R=252, G=227, B=236.
Next, grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a horizontal path from the left to the right side of the body followed by a vertical path through the middle of the belly. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using dark brown and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.
Step 20
It’s time to draw the arms of the bunny. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like in the image below as the left arm and send it behind the body in the Layers panel. Apply the same attributes like for the other parts of the bunny. After you are done, Reflect Vertical the arm in order to obtain the right one. All you have to do is to move it into place.
Step 21
We will continue with the bunny’s feet. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like in the image below as the left foot and apply the same attributes like for the other parts of the bunny.
Step 22
Reflect Vertical the foot in order to get the right one and then move it into place.
To add details on the feet, grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a few paths like in the image below. Give them a 1 pt Stroke using dark brown R=74, G=61, B=39 and the Width Profile 1.
Step 23
For the shadow under the bunny’s feet, draw an elongated ellipse with the Ellipse Tool (L). Fill it with the radial gradient shown and then set it to Blending Mode Multiply and 60% Opacity. Send this shape under the feet in the Layers panel.
Awesome work!
Here is the final image of the cute bunny character. Add the background of your choice to complete the illustration and you are done. Now you have the knowledge to create other cute animal characters in the same style.

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