Beginner Illustrator Tutorial How to Draw a Cartoon
Beginner Illustrator tutorial going step by step on how to draw and color a cartoon in Adobe Illustrator going through our resource document to build our cartoon character and practice using the pen, live paint, and gradient tools.
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.
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.
Flat Color & Values
We will be adding flat color using Live Paint to build our flat color areas. We will add a light source by adding transparent gradients and cast shadows using the knife tool.
Adobe Illustrator Brush Libraries include our 70 Cartoon, 100 Comic Strip, and 50 Vintage Mascot Brushes
Opening Color Swatches
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.
Coloring with Fills
One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through using Fills. The main thing to look for is enclosed shaped. We have done nothing but build with Shapes so coloring is super easy. Keep this in mind as you are going through the other tutorials where we don't have any shapes.
Select each color using the Magic Wand Tool (Adjust to Tolerance 5) each color. Add on a Radial Gradient to the frosting layers (3). Use the lightest and Darkest Color Swatch from the color set of 3. Adjust the slider to control where the values hit. Troubleshooting: Double check your fill is in front and not your stroke.
You can use the Gradient Tool to gain some control over where the gradient hits on your shapes. The tool will control the same features that are in the panel. I use the tool when I don't want to guess and check angle degrees or aspect ratio percentages.
How to Color in Adobe Illustrator
One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint Bucket is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it. Select All. Go up to Object - Live Paint - Make. If you have a grayed out Make it simply means you didn't have anything selected. I do recommend Deselecting by clicking on your artboard before clicking on a Color Swatch. *Remember Everything is still Selected so it will Color the Full Selection if you click on a Color Swatch with everything selected. Click on the Live Paint Bucket (K) and Click to Dump Color. It will feel like the Paint Bucket in Adobe Photoshop.