- Adobe Creative Suite, Gradient, illustrator, Pathfinder, Shapes, Transform Effects
Follow this Illustrator tutorial to create a characterful ‘Easter Bunny’, made nearly entirely by using the Ellipse Tool. We’ll be learning some great Illustrator techniques, making use of Shapes, Transform effects, Gradients and the awesome Pathfinder tools.
Let’s start by opening Illustrator and creating a New Document 210mm x 210mm.
First we’re going to create the Bunny’s face. Select the Ellipse Tool (L), make sure the Stroke colour is set to Black and the Stroke Weight is set to 4pt. Then click-and-drag the mouse to create a small circle for the main part of the head.
With the circle higlighted, let’s go to the Gradient panel and give the circle a medium blue to light blue Radial Gradient.
Now we’re going to create a duplicate circle inside this one, which will add depth to the image. With the circle still selected, go to Object > Path > Offset Path. In the Offset Path window, make the Offset: -2mm.
With the new inner circle still selected, let’s go to the Gradient panel and Reverse the Gradient, so that it goes from light blue to medium blue. Once this is done we can then turn the Stroke colour off.
Next we’re going to create the lower part of the face that surrounds the mouth. Select the Ellipse Tool (L), make sure the Stroke colour is set to Black and the Stroke Weight is set to 3pt. Draw a very small circle which will form the left cheek. Duplicate this circle (Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste) and position the new circle to the right, to form the second cheek. Now create a horizontal oval that spans the gap between the two cheeks.
We’re going to combine these shapes so that they become one larger shape. To do this, select all three shapes, go to the Pathfinder menu (Window > Pathfinder) and click the Unite button. Then in the Gradient panel, give the shape a light grey to light brown Radial Gradient. Finally, position the shape at the bottom of the original circle.
Again, we’re going to create a duplicate shape inside this one, which will add depth to the image. With the shape still selected, let’s go to Object > Path > Offset Path. In the Offset Path window, make the Offset: -3mm. With the shape still selected, go to the Gradient panel and Reverse the Gradient, so that it goes from light Brown to light Grey. Once this is done we can then turn the Stroke colour off.
For the eyes we need to create three circles using the Ellipse Tool (L). Make the outer circle White, with a Black 2pt Stroke. For the eyeball create a smaller circle, give it the same Blue Gradient as the head and turn the Stroke colour off. Finally, create a Black circle for the centre of the eyeball.
With one eye complete, let’s Group them; select all three circles and then go to Object > Group. Then go to Object > Transform > Reflect, once in the Reflect window, select Vertical and click Copy. Now you can move the eye horizontally to the right for the second eye.
Now we’re going to create the mouth; once again let’s select the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a horizontal oval with a Black 3pt Stroke. Then let’s fill the oval with a White to Pink Radial Gradient.
To create the nose, we simply duplicate the mouth Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste, resize it and reposition it. Feel free to use the Gradient Tool (G) to change the positioning of the Gradient.
Now we’re going to create the teeth. Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool, which can be found by clicking-and-holding on the Ellipse Tool to reveal a drop-down menu. Draw a small Rounded Rectangle for the teeth and fill it with a White and light Grey Linear Gradient that looks something like the second grab below. Finish the teeth by selecting the Line Segment Tool and drawing a line through the middle.
To create the ears, once again we’ll be using the Ellipse Tool (L). Let’s start by creating a tall, vertical oval with a Black 3pt Stroke. Next, let’s fill the ear with the same light blue to medium blue Gradient that the face has, except let’s change it from a Radial Gradient to a 90 degree Linear Gradient. To sample another shape’s Gradient you can use the Eyedropper Tool (I).
To form the inner part of the ear let’s go to Object > Path > Offset Path. In the Offset Path window, make the Offset: -3mm. With the shape still selected, let’s go to the Gradient panel and change the Gradient to the same light brown to light grey Gradient as the cheeks, but let’s make it a Linear Gradient.
Select both parts of the ear and go to Object > Group. With the elements of the ear grouped, go to Object > Transform > Rotate, type in Angle: 25 and press OK. Position the ear at the top of the head and press Object > Arrange > Send to Back. Now let’s Copy and Reflect the ear – go to Object > Transform > Reflect, set the Orientation to Vertical and press Copy. Now we can position the right ear appropriately to complete the face.
To create the body select the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a vertical oval with a Black 3pt Stroke.
Fill the oval with a medium blue to light blue ‘Radial’ Gradient.
Now we’re going to make the body more egg-shaped. Select the Direct Selection Tool (A) and click on the Anchor Point at the bottom of the shape. Drag the Anchor Point upwards until you have a shape similar to the image below.
Select the body and go to Object > Path > Offset Path and make the Offset: -3mm.
Now Reverse the Gradient so that it goes from light blue to medium blue and then turn the Stroke off.
To create the feet, let’s duplicate the body Edit > Copy, Edit > Paste. Then holding ‘shift’ on the keyboard, resize the shape so that it maintains the same proportions, but is suitably smaller. Now select the Line Segment Tool and draw a line through the centre of the egg, so that it splits the shape vertically in half.
Select both the Shape and the Line and then go to the Pathfinder panel and press the Divide button.
With the Shape still selected, go to Object > Ungroup. We are now left with two separate Shapes that can be rotated and repositioned as feet, so that they look like the image below. Once the feet are positioned, change the Gradient from Radial to Linear, making sure both feet are medium blue at the bottom and light blue at the top.
Finally, we’re going to create the arms. Let’s duplicate the left foot, then rotate it by 55 degrees (Object > Transform > Rotate).
Resize the arm and position it appropriately so that it looks similar to the image below.
Next, select the Elipse Tool (L) and create a circle that sits at the end of the arm, forming a hand.
Now we’re going to use the Pathfinder tool to combine both shapes. Select both shapes and then in the Pathfinder tool (Window > Pathfinder), click the Unite button.
With the arm selected, go to Object > Arrange > Send to Back. Now let’s Reflect the arm, go to Object > Transform > Reflect and in the Reflect window select Vertical and press Copy. We can reposition the arm appropriately to the right, to complete the tutorial.
Well done! Your illustration is now complete!
Feel free to add a background of your choice. You could also add a few shadows here and there to increase depth and detail. Remember that you can change the size of the shapes and alter the Stroke Weight to create your own unique look.
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