Illustrator vector tutorial: Scarecrow

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scarecrow-illustrator-tutorial

In this new tutorial you will learn how to create a scarecrow illustration in Adobe Illustrator.

If you love character design then this tutorial is for you. Follow along and learn how to draw a not so scary scarecrow character in Adobe Illustrator. A great occasion to practice your Pen Tool drawing skills because this guy has all the classic elements: a hat, straw hair, straw hands and feet, clothes with patches and a friendly face. Let’s start!

Tutorial Details

Program: Adobe Illustrator CS6 – CC 2017

Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: 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 scarecrow. Grab the Ellipse Tool (L) and draw an ellipse of about 107 x 99 px on your artboard. Color it with R=255, G=209, B=171; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown in order to create shading inside the edges.

Step 3

Still using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw two small 7 x 9 px ellipses filled with black as the eyes. Continue to draw two 3 x 3 px circles filled with white as the highlight in the eyes.

Step 4

For the nose, draw a circle of about 11 x 11 px and color it with the radial gradient shown.

Step 5

We will continue with the mouth of the scarecrow. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a curved path as a smile; then give it a 1 pt Stroke using black and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

Continue to draw a bunch of shorter paths across the smile as the stitches. Give them a 0.5 pt Stroke using black and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

Group (Control-G) all the paths that make up the mouth in order to keep things organized in the Layers panel.

Step 6

Let’s continue with the hat. For this, use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape like in the image below and then color it with a darker shade of red. While this shape stays selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown to add shading.

Step 7

Next, draw a triangle-like shape in the right and left side of the hat. Color them with R=48, G=10, B=11 and then send them behind everything in the Layers panel by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Control-[).

Step 8

Now, use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a stripe above the hat. Color it with blue and apply the Inner Glow effect as you did before.

Step 9

Above the blue stripe, draw a rectangle-like shape but a little distorted and with rounded corners. Color it with the same shade of red and apply the Inner Glow effect as well.

 Step 10

To add some details on the hat, draw three slightly curved paths of different lengths on the hat. Give them a 1.5 pt Stroke using black and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

 

Step 11

Drawing the straw hair is quite fun because you can do it randomly in any direction. Draw the first straw with the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 3 pt Stroke using not a flat color but the radial gradient shown. Make sure to press the Apply gradient across stroke option in the Gradient panel.

In the Appearance panel, press Add New Stroke in order to add a second stroke under the first. Increase the Stroke Weight to 4 pt and use the color shown.

Continue to draw as many straws as you want and apply the same appearances to all of them.

 

Step 12

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a path like in the image below on the front side of the hat. Color it with black; then go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply apply the settings shown. Send this shape behind the hat in the Layers panel and this will create a shadow on the scarecrow’s forehead.

 

Step 13

The neck of the scarecrow is actually the end of the burlap. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a random shape similar to the one below and fill it with the same color as the head. After that, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown.

 

Step 14

We will continue with the shirt. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the body first and create the wavy design at the bottom. Color it with orange R=247, G=147, B=30.

Next, draw the shape of the right arm and create the wavy design at the end as well. Keep this shape selected and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy in order to get an identical left arm. All you have to do is to move it into place.

Select the body shape along with the two arms and press Unite in the Pathfinder panel to merge them into a single shape, the shirt of the scarecrow.

 

Step 15

While the shape of the shirt stays selected, go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown to create shading inside the edges.

 

Step 16

Focus on the right arm and let’s draw a cord. First, draw a curved path using the Pen Tool (P) and give it a 3 pt Stroke. Make sure to press the Round Cap option in the Stroke panel to create the rounded ends.

Next, draw a small ellipse filled with black at the bottom end of this path as the knot. Continue with two straight paths and give them a 6 pt Stroke using black and the Width Profile 4 in the Stroke panel.

 

Step 17

Group (Control-G) all the paths that make up the cord and go to Object > Transform > Reflect. Check Vertical and hit Copy to obtain a second cord for the left arm. Move it into place.

 

Step 18

Do the same thing and create the cord on the waist. You can follow the step by step instructions in the close-ups.

 

Step 19

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the pocket in the left side of the shirt. Color it with dark red and also apply a 1 pt black Stroke.

Draw a smaller shape at the top of the pocket as a border. Color it with brown and also apply a 1 pt black Stroke.

 

Step 20

To create the button, first draw a circle of about 10 x 10 px. Color it with dark gray and also apply a 1 pt black Stroke. Continue to draw two crossed paths in the middle of the button. Apply a 0.5 pt black Stroke to them.

Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up the button and make a copy of it. Arrange the buttons on the shirt.

 

Step 21

Now, let’s add a patch on the scarecrow’s shirt. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the patch on the left arm. Color it with red or the color of your choice and also select a 1 pt black Stroke.

Still using the Pen Tool (Paste (Control-V)), draw a bunch of vertical and horizontal paths inside the patch to obtain the criss-cross look. Finally, draw shorter paths around the patch as the stitches. For all these paths apply a 1 pt Stroke using black and the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

 

Step 22

It’s time to add a few detail lines on the shirt. Focus on the wrists, the waist and underarms and add a few paths in these places as creases. Give them a 1 pt black Stroke using the Width Profile 1 in the Stroke panel.

 

Step 23

Focus on the ends of the arms and draw a half ellipse shape on each side. Color them with R=66, G=0. B=0 and then send them in back by going to Object > Arrange > Send to Back (Shift-Control-[).

 

Step 24

Use the technique explained for the hair to create the straw hands. Add as many straws as you want and apply the same appearances to the paths as before.

Group (Control-G) all the straws that make up one of the hands and send the group behind the shirt in the Layers panel but in front of the end pieces that you have drawn in the previous step. This will create the appearance that the straws come from the inside the shirt.

 

Step 25

We will continue with the pants of the scarecrow. Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of the paths like in the image below and create the wavy look at the bottom just like for the arms. Color it with blue; then go to Effect > Stylize > Inner Glow and apply the settings shown.

 

Step 26

As you did for the shirt, add the cords at the bottom of the pants to maintain the same style. The paths have a 4 pt black Stroke applied.

Scarecrow-illustrator-tutorial

 

Step 27

At this point you can add another patch on the pants just like you did for the shirt. Apply the same appearances and after you are done, Group (Control-G) all the paths to keep things organizes in the Layers panel.

illustrator-tutorial-27

 

Step 28

Add a few detail lines on the pants as you did for the shirt. Focus mainly under the shirt and at the bottom of the pants. All these paths have a 1 pt black Stroke applied using the Width Profile 1.

Also, draw a slightly wavy path in the center of the shirt to define the opening. Apply a 1 pt black Stroke as well.

 

Step 29

It time to create the straw feet. Add as many paths as you want and apply the same appearances as before. After you are done, Group (Control-G) all the shapes that make up each foot and send them in back.

 

Step 30

We will continue with the piece of wood and after that we will finish the illustration.

Use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a straight path between the pants. Give it a 1 pt Stroke using the Oak Pattern Brush that you can find in the Brush Libraries Menu > Borders > Borders_Frames. While the path stays selected, double click on the brush stroke applied in the Appearance panel to open the Stroke Options window. Select Tints and Shades as the Colorization Method and hit OK. Now, change the Stroke color to R=140, G=98, B=57 and the wood brush will change color as well.

Use the Rectangle Tool (M) to draw an elongated rectangle over the wood; then select the stroked path along with this rectangle and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Control-7).

Select the masking rectangle again and then Copy and Paste in Back (Control-B) to make a copy of it. Color this copy with a white to black linear gradient at a 90 degrees Angle so the black is at the top. Set the Blending Mode to Multiply and reduce the Opacity to 45% to create a shadow at the top of the wood.

 

Step 31

Repeat the previous step and create the piece of wood going through the arms in the same way. After you are done, move the wood behind the straw hands but in front of the dark end pieces of the shirt in the Layers panel. This will create the appearance that the piece of wood goes through the inside of the shirt.

 

 

Awesome work!

Here is the final image of the friendly scarecrow character. Add a cool background to complete the illustration and you are done. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you learned new things today that you will be able to apply in future character design projects.

 

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