Today we are going to discuss how to draw a simple cartoon character from a sketch in Adobe Illustrator CS4. We are going to learn simple techniques and how to use them to produce a good effect. If you are familiar with Illustrator you will catch-up quickly. This is a very detailed tutorial so no worry for beginners, you can understand easily. So what are we waiting for? Lets get Started :)
You can also download the source file here.
Open your Adobe Illustrator. Create a new document with height 600 px and width 700 px.
Open your sketch file in Adobe Illustrator.
Hint: Open… > select your file and click Open. Create a new layer above the sketch picture layer, name it as hair.
Now We are going to paint the solid colors for each parts, We will try to draw each part of the body and color them with corresponding colors. Ok, now start from hair. Take pen tool(P) with no fill color. Draw borders of the hair.
Once you drawn borders fill this objective with color #F7941E, after that you delete borders.
Hint: just select none for stroke color.
Now we will move to face. Create new layer call face which should be under of the hair layer. (No need to create new layer for every objects, this is just for our convenience) Then draw the borders of the face and fill with color #FECD8A. Once you filled you may delete border color. That is better.
Next draw ear and color with same color #FECD8A. Delete border. (In here delete means select none for stroke color). You may follow the same technique which we used pervious steps.
Now before moving to body shall we add some details to hair and face? Ok go to hair layer and start paint as i illustrated below. Draw some shapes and color with dark and light colors. For light color i used #FFD25F
For rest of object we will use Gradient Tool (G). Select those options as below. After that color rest objects.
Go to face layer and draw an object as below and fill with #E0AA69. this would be kind of shadow.
Ok now Hide face object in the face layer for a moment. We will draw nose and mouth.
Create a new layer, rename it as sunglass. Ok start drawing sunglass and fill it with black color
Ok now We want to give a shining effect to sunglass, to do that we use Gradient mesh tool (). First draw a rectangle on the sunglass and choose Gradient Mesh Tool from tool window and click center of the rectangle. After this select downside of 3 points and color with white color. See the illustration below.
Go to face layer and draw beard. We use the same color which is used to color hair.
Now we are going to color his body. Create new layer, rename it as body and place it under the face layer. Ok draw border of his body including hands and all. We can draw hands later. Color that body with #F8BE77
Now we need to draw other parts of the body such as chest and hands. Therefore hide body object in the body layer for a while and start drawing those parts. First we start from dark color, and then go to light color to show the 3D effect. This is the way that i follow. But you can choose light to dark. Ok lets draw. For dark brown color is used #DE9F58
Ok now lets start to make shining in body. That is very much simple friends. We follow the same technique which we used previous steps. Just draw objects and color them with #F9CEA0
Once you finished the above step you can disable hide option to show background body color. So your picture might be like this.
Our next step is draw and paint shorts. Create new layer and name it as short. After that draw borders of the short, and fill with black color.
Ok friends, Now we need to give tattoo and chain. That is simple. Create new layer which must be top of all other layers, name it as gallery. Create a random shape and select Twirl tool from Tool window, this tool is hidden under the Wrap Tool (Shift+R). Now press and hold on the random shape that you have just created. You will end up with different shapes.
Choose a shape as tattoo and place this on his shoulder. Of course you can draw some more shapes to add beauty.
Ok lets draw chain.
1. First you need to draw an oval shape and color with Gradient tool.
2. Copy the oval, paste over there and reduce the size of oval. Select both ovals and click on Trim which is found in Pathfinder window.
3. Then select Direct Selection Tool(A) and delete the small oval.
4. Again copy the oval and paste over there, move just a bit as i illustrated above
5. Select both objects and click on Trim again.
6. Select upper side of the object with Direct Selection Tool and color with a light ash color
7. Select down side of the object with Direct Selection Tool and color with a dark ash color
Copy 3times that object we have just created previous step, arrange them as a chain and delete some parts to make it real.
Select those three ovals, copy, paste and then change their side
Draw a lock like this.
Color this lock and then place this lock to chain and erase unnecessary parts to make it really connected.
Select the chain as a whole and group them, have a copy of that. Now place that in his neck. Go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow…
Place the chain on his neck.
Ok, now We need to draw background. Create a new layer above the sketch layer. called background. First we draw sky. That is simple. Draw rectangle and color with Gradient Tool.
Then draw sea and sand. When you draw sea consider the following options in Gradient window. Then draw sand as well.
Draw some objects to show border of the sea.
Draw Clouds. You can draw many circles, unit them into one and color with Gradient Tool.
Ok, Now draw some ships in sea. Ok draw a picture like a boat and color with Gradient Tool
1. Draw a chip just like this
2. Color bottom part of the boat with red and white
3. Color to glass and window
4. Color other parts and water
5. Delete borders of the boat and give an effect of water
6. Clone this boat and have some changes to the cloned boat.
The final image is created. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you for watching.
Got Stuck at some step? Feel free to comment and we will try our best to help you out.:)
I am from Canada, working as a Graphics and Web designer in J11 IT Solutions Inc. (j11.ca) and running http://cutedrops.com blog. I like web designing, graphics designing and developing RIAs. I have knowledge in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash and Dreamweaver. If you like to conduct me just send a mail to email@example.com. Thanks :)