Adobe Illustrator How to Make a Cartoon Tutorial

Adobe Illustrator How to Make a Cartoon Tutorial

In Adobe Illustrator, Tutorials by Jason Secrest

Adobe Illustrator How to Make a Cartoon Tutorial

Beginner tutorial going step by step on how to make a cartoon in Adobe Illustrator. We will be going through inking using the pen tool following our anchor point guides. We have two versions of this tutorial with a black and white and full color tutorials with shadows and gradients.

Artist Doodle Sticker
Anchor Point Guides

Anchor point guides are designed to make life easier as you are learning where to place anchors and how to adjust handles.

Using Pen Tool

We will be using our 2 step approach to the pen tool. The first is using straight lines to just get down our anchor points. We will then be using the convert anchor tool to create curves and handles.

Adding Flat Color

Using live paint for a fast way of getting down color without having to use pathfinder to create shapes.

Zoom In

All of our initial preferences are designed to gain more control over what you are clicking on. The more you can zoom in and see your anchors and handles the better.

Smart Guides

Under VIEW make sure you have your smart guides turned on. Under your PREFERENCES (smart guides) you should definitely have your anchor/ path labels selected.

Anchor and Handle Size

In your (general) PREFERENCES there is a setting which can enlarge your anchor points and handles to make them easier for you to see before clicking.

Direct Selection Tool

The white arrow can grab and adjust the anchors, handles, and paths. All of the other settings are designed to let you know what you are selecting before you click and drag.

Inking your Cartoon in Adobe Illustrator

Adding on Line Variation using Cartoon Brushes

You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Cartoon Brushes. The process will be a combination of using the Brushes to get down the initial thickness and stroke width. The second step will be modifying the placement of the variation using the so we can edit later. This 2-Step Process allows for more control over your Line Variation compared to using your Tablet with Pressure.

Download Brushes

1. The Direct Download will make it very easy to download the zipped brushes file. Simply Extract All of the contents and follow along with the rest of the video.

Open Other Library

2. In your Brushes Panel, Window – Brushes. In the Bottom Left Hand Corner you will see a Brushes Library icon that looks like books. Click on it and scroll down to Other Library. Open Brush Library from folder.

Adding Line Weight

3. Depending on your own Style or preference, I would recommend adding a little more line weight to your artwork. The mistake I see a lot of beginners make is keeping the line weight at 1pt.

Cartoon Brushes

4. We have 17 Brush Libraries in our folder. You can use any one of them during this tutorial. All you have to do is line up the thin edge which will be floating in space. The Thick ends will represent our values which will be merging into other areas and strokes.

DOWNLOAD + INSTALL

ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES

BRUSHES + RESOURCES

Coloring in Adobe Illustrator

Open the Swatch Window. On the bottom left hand corner you will see the Open Swatch Libraries icon. At the bottom of the drop-down menu you will see Open Other Library. Go to our resource folder in the Color Palettes folder to Open ASE files. The ASE files have been created to make your life easier while going through the Challenge Series. Once you open the Library- click on the folder icon next to the swatches to move them from the library to the swatches.

Live Paint

One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it without having to use pathfinder. Once you are in Live Paint just point and click to create new shapes.

Follow Along on Teachable

If you are enjoying our Step by Step Tutorials, I would consider our Active Learning Curriculum on Teachable . This will give you access to the Full-Length Adobe Illustrator Tutorials, Challenges and Workflows.

(New) Active Learning

Well this is going to be awkward. I have been publishing (NEW) step by step content over the last year on our Teachable site. Our Premium Plus is all our (NEW) Tutorials + Challenges + Workflows, which is our library of 100+ Active Learning Tutorials + Pro Series.

FUN PLACES TO START

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You can Download + Install our Cartoon Illustrator Brushes. Watch Install Video.
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Follow Along to the Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorials on the Website and YouTube with Brushes, Textures and Resources.
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There are 100 Full-Length Tutorials, Challenges and Workflows on Teachable. Follow Along to our Getting Started Guide.
LIBRARY OF 100+

ACTIVE LEARNING

GETTING STARTED GUIDE